ASRock Z68 Pro 3 review

An affordable Intel Z68 chipset motherboard has landed

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Our Verdict

A budget Z68 that may be basic but is a better performer than its predecessors

For

  • Excellent value
  • QuickSync and SRT
  • Good performance

Against

  • No SLI
  • No Crossfire

At the price that ASRock can apparently produce motherboards like the ASRock Z68 Pro 3, based on Intel's latest Z68 chipset, you might find yourself asking the utterly reasonable question: "what's the point of anything else?"

There are H61s, H67s and P67s galore out there, and all of them will work in tandem with a second generation Intel Core processor. But since the ASRock Z68 Pro 3 is based on the best of the best and available for only just over £100, what really is the point of browsing beyond it?

To recap, the Z68 has all the overclocking features of previous high-end boards, but can do two things no other chipset can. It has Intel's Smart Response Technology (SRT), which enables you to use a small, high-speed SSD as a cache drive, and Lucid's Virtu software on board too.

That software layer, uniquely, enables you to use a discrete graphics card in the PCI-Express slot and still take advantage of Intel's awesome GPU video encoding booster, QuickSync.

Gigabyte's Z68X-UD3H-B3 is another £50 more, so what are you missing out on with this ASRock bargain board?

Tags

Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelZ68 Express
Onboard VideoCPU Dependent Video
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots1
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket H2 LGA-1155
Brand NameASRock
Form FactorMicro ATX
Processor SupportedCore i5, Core i7, Core i3, Pentium Dual-core, Xeon Dual-Core
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory32 GB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots4
Number of PCI Slots1
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD Graphics 2000/3000
Graphics Controller Memory1.72 GB
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of SATA Interfaces5
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots4
HDMIYes
DVIYes
Number of Network (RJ-45) Ports1
Network (RJ-45)Yes
DisplayPortYes
Total Number of USB Ports6
Number of USB 3.0 Ports2
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports6
Number of Onboard USB 2.0 Ports6
PCI Express StandardPCI Express 2.0
Total Number of PCI Express Slots3
Memory Form FactorDIMM
Processor TechnologyTurbo Boost Technology 2.0, Hyper-Threading Technology, Enhanced SpeedStep Technology
Width243.8 mm
Depth243.8 mm
ManufacturerASRock, Inc
Product ModelZ68 Pro3-M
Product NameZ68 Pro3-M Desktop Motherboard
Controller TypeFloppy Controller, Serial ATA/300, Serial ATA/600
Manufacturer Part NumberZ68-PRO3-M
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.asrock.com
Marketing Information

ASRock Inc. is established in 2002, specialized in the field of motherboards. ASRock strives to build up its own brand. With the 3C design concept, "Creativity, Consideration, Cost-effectiveness", the company explores the limit of motherboards manufacturing while paying attention on the eco issue at the same time, developing products with the consideration of eco-friendly concept. ASRock has been growing fast and become world third largest motherboard brand with headquarter in Taipei, Taiwan and branches in Europe and the USA. The young and vibrant company targets from mainstream to enthusiast MB segments for different kinds of users, owning reputation around the world market with its reliability and proficiency.

Package Contents
  • Z68 Pro3-M Desktop Motherboard
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • Support CD
  • 1 x I/O Panel Shield