Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi Review

BIOS and Some Issues

Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi Review


The BIOS is capable of being navigated with a mouse, but that's the sole concession to modern BIOS UIs and because of that it's actually a ton easier to just use the keyboard as normal. Much is made of the 'overclocking' capabilities of the Zotac Z68-ITX. It's printed on the motherboard and mentioned in the blurb on the back of the box.

Yet when we enter the BIOS to see what overclocking options we have we find them to be scant indeed. Turning off Speedstep or Turbo Boost removes the ability to change the multiplier at all, so you can run 'full on' all the time. You also can't have varying multiplier levels for the amount of cores being used, something that all other LGA1155 motherboards we've reviewed have offered. But the option nonetheless is there to adjust the multi and therefore overclock.

Don't expect major results though. You can't input a steady voltage for the CPU, rather you can only input an extra amount that will be used when the CPU is in the Turbo state. How much extra voltage do you need? Well there is no way to tell how much is currently used without endlessly going back and forth to check. This applies equally to the RAM which doesn't tell you how much it's currently using, merely allows you to make an adjustment.

Finally, no we haven't missed any screens. This really is everything that the board has to offer in overclocking terms.

Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi Review     Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi Review

Memory overclocking claims support for 2133MHz RAM but despite using three different kits that have all happily run at 2133MHz on a swathe of other boards, none would do so here. 1866MHz was the most we could eke out, even running into 1.66v.

Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi Review

Small Ones aren't more Juicy

So there is some overclocking potential, but you'll need a calculator and plenty of anti-stress toys to achieve it. But hey it's a tiny ITX motherboard that you can turn into a monster gaming rig.

Oh wait, if I'm overclocking I want some good cooling on my CPU don't I? Well if you can find a single discrete GPU on the market that will fit into the PCIe slot once a tower cooler is inserted, you can win a prize*. We certainly couldn't think of one we've ever seen, much less have to hand.

Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi Review     Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi Review

* Prize only equal to the satisfaction of knowledge and has no actual value.

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Most Recent Comments

08-07-2011, 07:55:42

If you look at all the recent SB itx boards from Asus & Gigabyte, they also have the socket too close to the pci-e slot. But those are H61 & H67 boards that won't overclock. I'm eagerly awaiting the upcoming Z68 board from Gigabyte, hopefully they'll move the socket over so that you can get decent tower cooler on there. The Thermalright axp 140 seems to be the best choice for these boards at the moment - but the tolerances are very small....

The Prolimatech Samuel 17 is also a good choice.Quote

08-07-2011, 09:37:34


£12. Would have been good for testing purposes.

In fairness to the manufacturers, they'd not envisage the sense in buying an itx mobo and sticking a tower on it. You'd ideally be looking at the smallest case to fit the thing in with your low power cpu and possibly a 1u/2u type cooler.

For benching the thing, naturally you'll go with the best cooler you have at hand and clock the crap out of it the best you can.

These itx mobos are too expensive imo.Quote

08-07-2011, 09:45:53

Originally Posted by Rastalovich View Post

These itx mobos are too expensive imo.
Exactly what I was thinking, you can get a full ATX one for the same price and seen as these Itx are half the size and use less PCB etc they should definietly be cheaper, by at least £40.Quote

08-07-2011, 09:53:40

IMO they are pointless for the likes of the power-users of this forum

but it is nice to know the developments of certain manufacturers

if it looks tacky and doesn't overclock very well, i ain't interested - lolQuote

08-07-2011, 15:10:50

I have been following the development of these itx boards for a few years now, waiting to build a small powerful rig. Zotac build alot of these itx boards but I think that their history has been somewhat spotted. I remember the old 9300 based boards that were billed as the ultimate itx board, but they wouldn't go to sleep properly. I personally wouldn't buy a Zotac board and have been waiting for the SB itx boards to mature. For my money I would buy the Asus P8H67-I Deluxe, it has just about everything - but you can't overclock it... I hope Gigabyte hit a homerun with their Z68 offering...Quote

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