ASUS P8Z68-V Pro
This mainboard's box is similar to the previous one but lacks the flip-back cover. The colors, overall design and logotypes are all the same. You can find a picture of the mainboard and a brief description of its features on the back of the box.
There are fewer accessories here. The previous mainboard had two more SATA cables. The front-panel USB 3.0 module is replaced with a back-panel bracket with two USB 3.0 connectors. Here is a full list of accessories included with the mainboard:
- Four SATA cables with metal connector locks, two with L-shaped locks and another two with straight ones. Two pairs are specifically designed for SATA 6 Gbps devices (have white inserts on the connectors);
- A flexible bridge for two-way SLI graphics configurations;
- Additional unit with two USB 3.0 ports to go into the 3.5-inch chassis bay;
- I/O Shield for the back panel;
- “Asus Q-Connector” set including adapters for easy connection of the system case front panel buttons and indicators and a USB 2.0 port;
- User manual;
- DVD disk with software and drivers;
- “Powered by ASUS” sticker for the system case.
The ASUS P8Z68-V Pro is not a simplified variant of the senior model but uses an individual PCB design. There are a number of common traits between the two, though.
Let's talk about the differences. The cooling system is simpler here, but no less efficient. The central heat-spreader is missing but each of the hot components is equipped with a heatsink. The number and type of SATA connectors is the same but the two additional SATA 6 Gb/s ports are now provided by a Marvell 88SE9172 controller. The JMicron JMB362 chip is still here but it is now responsible for only one eSATA 3 Gb/s port; we'll explain you shortly why. There are no visible differences in the expansion card slots. The P8Z68-V Pro has two PCI, two PCI Express 2.0 x1 and three PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots. it supports CrossFireX and SLI technologies but if you use the third PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, which works in x4 mode, you lose the two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots, the extra USB 3.0 ports and the eSATA connector. By the way, the mainboard's USB 3.0 interface is implemented with two ASMedia ASM1042 controllers instead of the more popular Renesas (NEC) chips.
The reason for the lack of some connectors becomes clear when you take a look at the mainboard's back panel: it has video outputs which occupy quite a lot of space. Here is a full list of the mainboard's back-panel components:
- Six USB 2.0 ports, Six more USB ports are available as three onboard pin-connectors;
- Bluetooth V2.1 + EDR module;
- eSATA 3 Gbps port implemented via JMicron JMB362 controller;
- Optical S/PDIF and six analogue audio-jacks provided by eight-channel Realtek ALC892 codec;
- D-Sub, DVI and HDMI outs;
- Two USB 3.0 ports (blue connectors) implemented via ASMedia ASM1042 controller, the second controller like that provides support for two more internal USB 3.0 ports;
- Local network port (network adapter is built on Gigabit Intel WG82579 controller).
FireWire could not be made available on the back panel due to the video outputs, but the mainboard still has a VIA 6315N controller that supports the two internal FireWire connectors. There is no POST code indicator but the reason for boot-up problems can be found with the help of the Q-LED indicators. The Clear CMOS button is missing but the MemOK! one is present. The highlighted Power and Reset buttons are available, too. The mainboard also features Q-Slot latches on the graphics slots, single-sided Q-DIMM latches on the memory slots, and TPU and EPU switches. It even offers more fan connectors than the previous model: six instead of five.
The next picture illustrates the mainboard's capabilities.