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GIGABYTE Z68XP-UD3-iSSD (Intel Z68) Motherboard Review

GIGABYTE brings us a board that makes use of Intel's Smart Response Technology with an SSD onboard. Let's check it out.

| Socket LGA 1155 in Motherboards | Posted: Sep 17, 2011 4:26 am
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction

 

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A few months ago we saw Intel release the Z68 chipsets; it didn't bring too much extra to the table over its predecessor which got a bit of bad publicity when an issue was discovered that could potentially disrupt hard drive data over a period of time.

 

The new Z68 chipset meant that was no longer going to be an issue; one of the main features it did bring to us alongside Lucid Virtu technology was Intel Smart Response Technology. The idea behind it was that people could begin to enjoy the benefits of SSDs without the cost associated with them.

 

The idea was that you could use a smaller SSD drive, say 20GB, and combine that with a larger traditional mechanical drive and the SSD drive would be used as cache which would in turn be faster than just having everything run off the mechanical drive. Overall, it was never going to be as fast as a true SSD-only drive for everything, but it's never going to be as expensive.

 

Recently Chris took the time using the board we have here today, the Z68XP-UD3-iSSD to see just how Intel Smart Response Technology goes. Today we'll be taking a look at the rest of the board and summing everything up.

 

What makes this board stand out so much over the normal way you'd go down the ISRT route is that it offers an onboard 20GB SLC SSD drive via mSATA. We'll get into all that in just a moment. The first thing we need to do is see what's going on with the package of the board here.

 

 

The Package

 

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The overall box design isn't anything out of the ordinary and we can of course see a large highlight on the front of the box is the fact that we have a 20GB SLC SSD drive via mSATA included in the package. The back of the box gives us a run down on some of the other major features that are on offer.

 

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Inside the package we've got the normal array of paperwork along with a driver CD, I/O back plate, SLI cable and four SATA II cables. Nothing too out of the ordinary as we do have to remember the board is still only a part of the "UD3" range which isn't as high end as the UD5 and UD7 we've seen.

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