Here at WCCFTech we have taken a fancy to Sandybridge offerings from MSI. We really liked the C43, had good things to say about the GD65, concluded that the E23 was a decent office/ productivity board. Today we have the latest offering from MSI, based on the newest member of the x6x family, the Z68.
|Processor Support||All LGA 1155 Processors|
|Memory||DDR3 4 Slots / 32 GB|
|Features||Military Grade Components
Active Phase Switching
Onboard Power, Reset, & OC Genie Buttons
On-Board points for voltage monitoring (V-Check)
Multi GPU Support (Xfire & SLi)
EFI Driven Menu
Lucid’s Virtu Software Support
Intel Smart Response Technology
Integrated SandyBridge Graphics
|Slots||PCI-e x16 (2) (x16 or x8,x8)
PCI-e x1 (3)
|Overclocking||Yes (Both Processor & Graphics Core)|
|I/O||USB 2.0 & USB 3.0
Z68 is what the P67 should have been. Z68 unlike the P67 and like the H6x chipsets allows the use of and over-clock the graphics core within the second generation core processors. Like the P67 and unlike the H6x, it can also over-clock the processor core (or more correctly over-clock memory). Thus Z68 is a sum of P67 and H6x. Intel added a couple of extras to make Z68 relevant.
A cursory glance at the diagram will reveal that Z68 allows for the use of onboard graphics dye. A more interesting feature is the “Intel Smart Response Technology”. This allows the use of a (small capacity; maximum of ~60GB) SSD to complement hard disk performance. In fact Intel sells a specific SSD model (based on SLC) to serve this purpose. Apart from this, there is nothing new here. It is basically an H6x and P67 hybrid. More correctly is P67 which allows processor core over-clocking.