|ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 Motherboard|
The ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 is going to attract a lot of attention, especially because of the support for PCI Express 3.0 video cards (if you install a forthcoming Intel “Ivy Bridge” CPU). The presence of six SATA-600 ports, six USB 3.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports supporting “teaming,” a very decent voltage regulator circuit, a special “mouse port” where the user can manually change the polling rate, support for Virtu technology, two HDMI outputs, three PCI Express x16 slots (working at 16x/0x/4x or 8x/8x/4x), and the presence of a PCI Express switch chip that allows the third PCI Express to work at x4 without the need to manually disable additional features, complete the package that all serious gamers are looking for.
However, this motherboard is not “perfect.” Being touted as such a high-end product, we think that it deserved a better audio codec, such as the Realtek ALC889, and not a mid-range solution. In fact, we’ve seen mid-range motherboards with a better audio codec. The second weak point, in our opinion, is the reduced number of overclocking options. Even though the motherboard allows the CPU base clock to be adjusted in 0.1 MHz increments, we believe the serious gamer is a tweaker by nature and will want more options. The reduced number of connectors for auxiliary fans (only three) can also be seen as a major drawback, depending on how many fans you plan to have connected directly to the motherboard.
If you are attracted to the several features this motherboard brings, have the money, and are not so worried about its small drawbacks, then go for it.
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