We've all seen the marketing blurb about the Gen 3.0 PCIe slot being twice as fast as the Gen 2.0 slot, after all it does potentially offer 32GB/s of bandwidth over the 16GB/s of the previous standard.

But as always nothing is quite as it seems.

The actual PCIe 3.0 speed depends on the CPU being used and, to get any real idea of its benefits, we'll just have to wait until we get our hands on an Ivy Bridge CPU and wait for a Z77 board to land on the lab's bench to see.

You'll also need a new PCIe 3.0 GPU to make sense of it too.

Asus P8Z68-V Gen3

As its stands the jury is out about just how much benefit there is currently in the PCIe Gen 3 slot for gamers.

This is shown quite nicely by the modest increase in the benchmark score for the Asus P8Z68-V Gen3 in Just Cause 2. Realistically though that's more to do with using a 7 series card to test with over a 6 series card used in the other boards.

It's a pity that Asus doesn't have a function within the BIOS of the board to allow switching between 2.0 and 3.0 for the primary x16 slot as that would allow for some direct comparisons.

So what about the rest of the board? Well it's built to the usual high Asus standards and for the price comes loaded with a pretty impressive feature list including USAP technology.

USAP or to give it it's full title – USB Attached SCSI protocol, is a performance boosting technology which according to Asus boosts the performance of USB 3.0 by an incredible 170%.

Like

If you disregard the PCIe Gen3 technology for a minute, then the Asus P8Z68-V Gen3 is a well featured Z68 motherboard with a really competitive price tag.

The elephant in the room is whether the PCIe 3 and Sandy Bridge combination is enough of a game changer to rush out and buy the board.

And to be honest we can't say that it is, but should you be able to use an Ivy Bridge CPU in it then it might be a different story.

Dislike

There's not much to dislike about the board, its design and build quality are up to the usual Asus high standards and it comes loaded with features although whether they get used or not is a mute point.

Final Word

A well-priced, well-featured board that has some future proofing in the form of its support for the next generation of PCIe slot.