How cheap is too cheap? Gigabyte Z68 for $130

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Sttm
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How cheap is too cheap? Gigabyte Z68 for $130

Post by Sttm » Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:52 pm

I am looking to upgrade to a Core i7 2600 with a Z68 mobo and I came across this board on Newegg, GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3, it has Virtu, it has SLI. It seems to have everything and a decent brand name, yet only costs $130. Is this board just a great deal or am I missing something?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product
Core i7 2600k/ ASUS P8Z68-V Z68/ 8gb Corsair Vengeance 1600 Blue/ EVGA Geforce GTX 560ti Maximum Graphics Edition/Windows 7/Antec 300/Antec 650w/LG Blu Combo/Hp 27inch 2710M/Samsung P2770HD

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Re: How cheap is too cheap? Gigabyte Z68 for $130

Post by DragonFury » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:34 pm

nope the lower end Gigabyte boards will be a slimmed down version then its higher priced brothers. Like CPU power phased power distribution, lack of a fire wire port things like that.

I have used or reviewed the affordable versions of Gigabyte boards, they do quite well in performance and in overclockability. These are more geared for those who are into light to moderate overclocking, or for those who want a affordable board for an HTPC but want to have expandability options later on down the road.
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Re: How cheap is too cheap? Gigabyte Z68 for $130

Post by Sttm » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:01 am

I couldn't do it. I wanted to save the money but I kept looking at the Gigabyte site and looking at the feature lists and got paranoid over it. Like it doesn't say its ultra durable 3 like the other boards do. Stupid **** like that.

So I ended up buying an Asus board again, their entry level Z68 ATX for $199. I have had 3 stable long running builds with Asus so I guess some brand loyalty was in order.
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Re: How cheap is too cheap? Gigabyte Z68 for $130

Post by DragonFury » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:28 am

good choice, and good luck with your set up. if you wanted to save a bit extra cash but still want all out balls to the walls performance and did not care about the SRT the Asus P8P67 comes in at around 140 USD and overclocks like its bigger brother the P8P67 EVO motherboard. and carries most of Asus core features same amount of phased power distribution, Digi+VRM, EPU, TPU. it just lacks a second ethernet port, onboard power buttons, dumb things like that. I should mention the p8p67 vanilla does not split the pci-e lanes evenly across both pci-e ports it is either x16 X x1, or x16 X x4.
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Re: How cheap is too cheap? Gigabyte Z68 for $130

Post by Sttm » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:36 pm

I really want to play around with Virtu though so thats mainly why I went with the Z68. I have a dual monitor setup and I do a lot of multitasking with video, gaming, and 3D modeling programs so I have this dream where the integrated GPU is taking care of all the video processing on my right monitor while my discrete card is taking care of gaming and 3D work. I am not sure if I can get it to work like that, but if it could it would be awesome for me.
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Re: How cheap is too cheap? Gigabyte Z68 for $130

Post by DragonFury » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:14 pm

I doubt that be possible, the only way you can remotely do that is by running two discrete video cards as far as gaming on one monitor and doing others on the second, but even then it still may mess with your gaming sessions. Besides you cant do more then one thing at a time anyways. either you are gaming or doing other things.
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Re: How cheap is too cheap? Gigabyte Z68 for $130

Post by Sttm » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:34 pm

You obviously don't play World of Warcraft. I have spent countless hours in WoW while watching video as well. I do it with some other games too, like Mass Effect 2 when I need to go mine.
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Re: How cheap is too cheap? Gigabyte Z68 for $130

Post by DragonFury » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:49 am

no I dont,
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Re: How cheap is too cheap? Gigabyte Z68 for $130

Post by skier » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:05 am

have no idea what virtu is, but at any rate: the 890GPA-UD3H retailed for $130 and was a spectacular board, until I overloaded the PWMs.... for a couple months

the $110-150 price range has plenty of well performing contenders for those on a budget (like me)
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Re: How cheap is too cheap? Gigabyte Z68 for $130

Post by Sttm » Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:24 pm

http://www.lucidlogix.com/product-virtu.html

Virtu is a software setup that allows the use of integrated and discrete graphics. So if I am just web browsing then its using the HD3000, but if I load up a game it fires up my graphics card to run that. That should give decent power savings by not using the discrete gpu all the time. It also lets you take advantage of Intels Quicksync transcoding with the HD3000 gpu and Intels Blu Ray over the web thingy they are doing now. And I am hoping it will allow me to utilize the HD3000 to handle video while my discrete card handles gameplay, but that is iffy.
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Re: How cheap is too cheap? Gigabyte Z68 for $130

Post by skier » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:17 am

Sttm wrote:http://www.lucidlogix.com/product-virtu.html

Virtu is a software setup that allows the use of integrated and discrete graphics. So if I am just web browsing then its using the HD3000, but if I load up a game it fires up my graphics card to run that. That should give decent power savings by not using the discrete gpu all the time. It also lets you take advantage of Intels Quicksync transcoding with the HD3000 gpu and Intels Blu Ray over the web thingy they are doing now. And I am hoping it will allow me to utilize the HD3000 to handle video while my discrete card handles gameplay, but that is iffy.
good concept but i'd prefer my meaty 460 1GB to handle all the work it possibly can because it's always lag-free unless I'm folding
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Re: How cheap is too cheap? Gigabyte Z68 for $130

Post by apocalypse » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:38 am

Recently I've bought a Gigabyte Z68-D3H-B3 motherboard with an Intel Core i7 2600 3.4GHz, 8GB(2*4GB) DDR3 1333MHz RAM & A Hitachi 1TB SATA2 HDD. But its not working that good. Facing problems with its onboard gigabit lan card.
with the following system Windows performance index shows cpu rating 6.7 & RAM 7.4.

but With this spec GA Z68-D3H-B3 Intel Core i5 2400 3.1GHz 4GB DDR3 1333MHz , 1 TB SATA2 Samsung. everything works fine. & in windows experience index cpu got 7.4 Rating & RAM got 5.9 rating.

so, is it a wastage buying Z68-D3H-B3 with a Core i7? & worth buying it with i5???

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Re: How cheap is too cheap? Gigabyte Z68 for $130

Post by DaddyRabbit » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:55 pm

This is my understanding:

The GMA 3000 kills both AMD and Nvidia in specific media functions (Encoding, Transcoding, BD playback). Virtu allows you to point specific apps at either the GMA 2000/3000 or the discrete graphics.

There are two modes:

i-mode (plugged into the onboard vid outs) - If a media app is selected it will run through the IGPU as normal, when you launch a 3D game the discrete card will do the processing and rendering then put it in the IGPU framebuffer for final output. This does add some overhead.

d-mode (plugged into the discrete graphics output) - The discrete graphics operate as usual, no loss in performance. You must, however specify in the Lucid Virtu control panel which apps will use the IGPU. So you could point your transcoding apps to Virtu and, in theory, transcode a DVD in the background while playing BF3 with a minimal performance hit. The key is that Lucid must be aware of your app to make this work.

IMHO there is no reason at this point to buy a P67 over a Z68. While SRT or Virtu may not mean a lot today, with BIOS and software upgrades they very well might in the not to distant future. I haven't worked with SRT mainly because I spent a chunk on a dedicated SSD and then spent hours relocating directories to minimize writes and relocate program installs. If I had SRT available at the time it would have been a different story perhaps.
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Re: How cheap is too cheap? Gigabyte Z68 for $130

Post by Skippman » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:38 am

Well reading this I'm back to searching for a Mobo. I was all set on the Asus Sabertooth, but if I'm only running one or two apps constantly maybe I should reconsider SRT.

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