It comes as no surprise that ASUS has come straight out of the gate with a very strong performing Z68. Really, we'd expect nothing less from the company. Priced at $209.99 US, it's one of the more expensive Z68 boards on the market, but the MSI Z68A-GD80 we looked at comes in at $239.99 US.
While overall overclocking performance was only 10MHz higher on the ASUS offering, a number that's hardly relevant, it's important to know that we could get into Windows at 5.4GHz and really do a lot more than the MSI which just didn't like 5.4GHz at all. Of course, overclocking is always CPU dependent. While we spent a good couple of hours trying to get 5.4GHz stable, if you spent even more time you'd probably be able to get it to a point where you could at least do some 3DMark 11 benchmarking
The real shining light of the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro would have to be the auto overclocking ability. Sure, the feature isn't anything new; we've seen it from both ASUS and other board manufacturers in the past. ASUS have done it in a way, though, that helps you get an extremely high and strong overclock without the need to do anything.
ASUS talked up their auto overclocking feature a bit and really, I thought it was nothing more than marketing drivel, but you can see the results speak for themselves. Through the BIOS we're able to achieve over 4.4GHz. After installing AI Suite, though, and doing the Extreme automatic overclocking, we managed to achieve an overclock of over 4.8GHz which is amazing when you consider you don't have to do anything more than press a button and sit back and wait for it to do its thing.
The P8Z68-V Pro is just a strong board that performs well at stock and overclocked. It's got a strong list of features and a pretty good bundle. There's little to dislike about this board and while it's one of the more expensive Z68 options, it's not the most expensive. Considering what the board is capable of as well, it's an extremely fair price.
A lot of people are going to just buy the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro for the simple fact they've had ASUS boards in the past and feel confident using them. If you're tossing up which board to go, though, this is a fantastic offering that indeed stands out thanks to its massive auto overclocking ability.