ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe GEN3 Board Spotted with PCI Express 3.0 Support

Subject: Motherboards | October 14, 2011 - 01:09 PM |
Tagged: z68, pcie 3.0, gen3, asus

Spending time the San Francisco bay area usually results in some interesting finds.  The first one I can talk about?  An upcoming launch of refreshed Z68 motherboards from ASUS that include support for PCI Express 3.0 technology coming next year.

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At first glance the board doesn't appear to be anything really different - it looks much like the Z68 boards currently on the market and the P67 boards before that.  The heatsink and blue/black color scheme and the Deluxe moniker has been in use by ASUS since the initial Sandy Bridge processor releases.  There are still 4 DIMM slots, 8 SATA ports, USB 3.0, Bluetooth, dual Gigabit Ethernet and more sitting right there, easy for us to see.

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But unlike previous boards from ASUS, this one is the first we have seen to offer and validate support for the upcoming PCI Express 3.0 standard rated at 32GB/s rather than 16GB/s.  ASUS is actually the last to market with the so-called "PCIe 3.0 ready boards" as we have seen boards from MSI, Gigabyte, ASRock and others on PC Perspective previously.  In fact, we just published a review of the MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) board yesterday that offers the same feature. 

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Still, ASUS isn't one to sit by and let the competition pass so they built their own Z68 board that is now 100% ready for PCIe 3.0 devices and the pending Ivy Bridge processor from Intel.  The board will support full speed PCIe 3.0 speeds in both single GPU and SLI/CrossFire configurations.  In fact, ASUS says that both the BIOS and PCIe switches are ready, out of the box, with this new P8Z68 Deluxe GEN3 model, something that some other vendors' boards may not actually be.  That would mean the necessity to have a Sandy Bridge processor on-hand to flash the BIOS before an Ivy Bridge CPU would POST.  Just something to keep in mind.

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ASUS is hesitant to call the PCIe 3.0 support anything but future-proofing for consumers worried about the next-generation of graphics solutions from NVIDIA and AMD, though I would point out to our readers that any cards that come out in 2012 that do run PCIe 3.0 will still work just fine on PCIe 2.0 boards. 

That being said, an ASUS rep did mention in passing that they MIGHT have found another benefit to PCIe 3.0 on current systems and graphics cards: a reduction in microstuttering in PC gaming.  Now, I have yet to see this benefit in person and my initial thought was that this was simply a placebo effect, but I am eager to try it out when I get this board at the labs.  

Source: ASUS
October 17, 2011 | 05:39 AM - Posted by ddg4005

Nice! I'm still running Asus's P5Q Premimum motherboards in both my boxes but I still like reading about new boards, especially from Asus.

November 2, 2011 | 12:04 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Will have the board in a few days. Looking forward to putting my gxt590 into it, with 32GB of RAM. Should be rocking.

November 12, 2011 | 05:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Bad news ; Memory is broken on this board, ALL Boards of this type. Hopefully they will have a bios fix?

Too make the board work you need to place memory in the last socket. Otherwise it will not start up, not even bios.

December 5, 2011 | 01:23 AM - Posted by lucian (not verified)

My ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe GEN3 work fine with all memory sockets. I have 4 x CORSAIR VENGEANCE BLUE, 4X4GB that run at 1690Mhz

January 14, 2012 | 03:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Can you quote the model number on your Corsair vengeance blue ram please, I don't see it on the QVL and there's limited options for a 4 x 4GB configuration on the QVL. It seems ASUS is a bit slow in updating the QVL for this mobo.

February 5, 2012 | 10:40 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Whats the difference between ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe gen3 and ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe? Does ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe support ivy bridge with the bios update?
Thanks.

May 15, 2013 | 09:34 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yes! I upgraded my i5 2500 to i7 3770 and it works fine!

May 14, 2013 | 02:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Anyone knows if the ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe(not GEN3) supports PCI-E 3.0 too? Thanks alot in advance!

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