Gigabyte Z68X UD5 B3 Review

Intel Rapid Storage Technology

Gigabyte Z68X UD5 B3 Review

Intel Rapid Storage Technology

IRST is the major new addition that the Z68 Chipset has over its P67 brother. This requires the addition of a SSD to your hardware arsenal but the benefit is that it's used as a cache drive to speed up your standard HDD, so you aren't financially bankrupted by having to buy a large SSD.

It's phenomenally easy to set up. Set the SATA mode to RAID(XHD), install Windows as normal to your HDD, install the IRST driver and set, in the little utility that comes with it, the SSD to be a Cache drive which takes a couple of clicks. And that's it. It's entirely idiotproof.

But, does it work?

Crystal Disk Mark 3.0

Starting with Crystal Disk Mark we can call it an emphatic yes. We're only using a well-worn old Samsung Spinpoint F1 and yet you can see clearly that with the benefits of an SSD providing the cache courtesy of our Kingston V100 and the IRST it fairly flies along. 100 MB/s in the 512K test, which is where most of your use will be, is outstanding. The true eye-popping result comes from the 4K read though, as the IRST gives us a forty-fold increase.


Moving on to the Write tests, the results remain the same. 


PC Mark 7

So up to date are we here at OC3D that no sooner is PC Mark 7 released, than we're bringing you scores. Here we've taken three of the detailed results from the PC Mark test suite to demonstrate how much of a benefit you see in daily tasks. The IRST literature promises "up to 4x faster results" and sure enough in Windows Defender we're seeing 4x faster speeds. Importing Pictures gives us just over twice as fast and Gaming is three times as quick.

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Most Recent Comments

12-05-2011, 11:12:12

Looks ok, but a bit expensive, nice review though. Quote

12-05-2011, 11:51:08

nice mobo - but for the price i would rather have a sabertoothQuote

12-05-2011, 11:54:58

Not as impressive as I thought it was going to be but as said it's not a bad motherboard. Z68, apart from the addition of SSD caching doesn't really seem worth it tbh, I know some of the boards offer the use of the IGP but if you are spending over £150+ on a motherboard it seems a waste to use the IGP and not a proper GPU.

With the IGP you also get the Lucid chip (on some boards) and the ability to overclock the CPU where as on H67 you only get use of the IGP which can be overclocked but no CPU overclocking and P67 no use of the IGP and only CPU overclocking.

Combining the use of the IGP and being able to overclock both IGP and CPU is good, but again if you are spending money on a decent motherboard i'd say it's best to go with P67 with a proper GPU or a high end Z68 motherboard with a proper GPU. The SSD caching is good but i would like to see the tech mature a bit to see what it is fully capable of on future motherboards.

Good review anyway Bryan Quote

18-05-2011, 02:16:09

the igp can also be used for encoding

ive seen mediashow espresso 6 benchmarks that show it encoding twice as fast then a gtx 560 tiQuote

18-05-2011, 05:34:04

Originally Posted by Luger718 View Post

the igp can also be used for encoding

ive seen mediashow espresso 6 benchmarks that show it encoding twice as fast then a gtx 560 ti
I read about that in this months Custom PC, not about the 560s but the igp. You can only use it on boards with the Lucid chip though but still it's a good feature to have. You can also switch between using you GPU to using the IGP or you can use it to boost the performance of the GPU, on the Asus boards with the Lucid chip anyway.

Also in Intels key notes at CES they showed the Quick Sync encoding being faster than a 580 .Quote

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