We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, G.Skill, Kingston, Mittoni and Corsair.
Looking at the test system setup, you're not going to see anything you haven't seen that wasn't already included in our recent motherboard reviews. Considering we already really know how the Z68 performs when compared to both the P67 and X58 platform, the main thing we want to find out today is, does saving $70 mean we lose performance?
Before we get into the performance side of things, though, let's check out the overclocking side.
Overclocking performance was strong achieving 4.92GHz on our 2600k. This is about 130MHz lower than what we achieved on the Z68 Extreme4.
At a 50x multiplier and 100 / 101 BCLK we had some issues under Windows when we would get our benchmarks up and running. By moving back just a single multiplier, though, to 49x, we managed to achieve just over 4.9GHz and the board ran 100% stable.
Considering that 5GHz isn't achievable on all 2600k CPUs as it is, this is an alright overclock. People who opt for a cheaper board will also more than likely not be overclocking nearly as heavily.
Moving from the default 3.4GHz to 4GHz - 4.2GHz isn't going to be a problem and most people will be extremely happy with that as an everyday overclock.
Let's get started!