Introduction to the ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Socket 1155 Motherboard
In the time that Intel's Sandy Bridge processor has been on the market we have seen a mass of people flocking to this new offering, despite the new socket required. Each of us has our reasons for doing so; some did it for the overclocking potential of the processor, which you are almost guaranteed over 4.2GHz; some did it because their old rig just needed to be upgraded, which the performance offered for the price compared to going the socket 1366 route is very nice. No matter what the reason is, you cannot deny the performance increase gain from this new processor.
When Sandy Bridge went on sale at the beginning of 2011 we saw what seemed like hundreds of motherboards based on the Cougar Point (P67) chipset, which was needed to run the new highly anticipated socket 1155 Core line of processors. Along with the P67, Intel offered a H67 chipset as well. What was the difference? Not many, but there are a few. The biggest ones were the P67 allows you to overclock the CPU to its limits, where as the H67 didn't. There is also the H67 offering the connections to utilize the Sandy Bridge's on-die graphics processor, something that the P67 doesn't offer, despite all the (current) chips possessing this feature.
Yet, with the way Intel operates, we knew that a new chipset was right around the corner. Around said corner we have come and so has that chipset, which is dubbed Z68, and shares the Cougar Point codename. Intel graced the Z68 with a few more features, added performance tweaks and improved power efficiency to your rig. ASRock was quick to send us over a couple of their motherboards featuring the Z68 where we decided to find out what is no doubt on many of your minds: Is upgrading to Z68 worth? Read on as we run through the board and find out just that.