Elric Phares takes a hard look at this trio from Intel—and gives the thumbs up.
For a company on the rise, problems are always something to be avoided, and the choices top builders make result in either semi-flawless execution or surmounting problems. Intel has always been known to make stable and reliable chipsets, motherboards and CPUs, and when you add those together you get the backbone of most of the PCs built on planet Earth. When a company is in the business of providing fully functioning with (hopefully) almost zero-downtime systems for their clients, you need the reliability and channel power Intel brings to the table.
Whether you are building systems for a corporate client or for consumers, both require sustained support and products that live up to their reputation. From high-end server builder Aberdeen LLC, in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., to NASA, to much of the Fortune 500, having Intel inside can be a business-critical decision.
Our review team has just wrapped up testing this trio from Intel, so let’s get right to the results.
INTEL Z68DB MMOTHERBOARD LAB RESULTS
Intel has reached new heights with the introduction of the Z68 Express. This is the chipset that not only gets Intel past the fluff of the P67, but it also supports Intel’s latest Smart Response Technology (SRT), which allows a system's existing HDD to be combined with an SSD for enhanced, almost RAID-0 performance. This technology works really well for owners of the slower 5400RPM HDD, as they get performance increases when the 5400RPM drive and 20GB Intel 311 series SDD are teamed up. Boot times are also faster using the SRT technology—another appeal to the new combination.
Another thing that the new Z68 chipset has going for it is that it will support the generation of Intel CPUs code-named Ivy, creating upgradability options that many users will find appealing. With the cross-availability of CPUs from the entry-level i3 to the new overclocking king the i7 2600K, the entire Z68 platform is very flexible in both price and integration options, allowing for many configuration choices.
Today we look at the new Intel Z68 motherboard combined with the new i5 2500K and the latest 311 Series 20GB SSD, for using SRT in the system configuration. Let’s see why Intel is a top choice for channel pros.
Based around the new Z68 Express Chipset, the DZ68DB is a very flexible motherboard that can be integrated into many different types of systems, due to its robust feature set and price point. The DZ68DB has the ability to be used as an HTPC all-in-one solution for both general PC users and media enthusiasts, by utilizing the onboard graphics capabilities of the 2nd generation Intel Core i3 through i7 CPUs. The board also has the ability to be used as an entry-level gaming motherboard, because the chipsets multi-graphic options allow switching seamlessly between a dedicated, discreet card and the onboard solution.
Using newly implemented LUCIDLOGIX VIRTU technology allows the motherboard to use the onboard graphics when the user is watching movies, using the Internet, and so forth. But when the power for a discreet graphics card is needed, the system automatically switches to the power of the discreet card. This allows the motherboard to be used in more situations than previously realized, with an excellent upgrade path available to the buyer or end user.