BIOSTAR Does Value Z68 Motherboard Right with TZ68K+

33a vrz BIOSTAR Does Value Z68 Motherboard Right with TZ68K+

Notable motherboard manufacturer BIOSTAR thinks it finally got its sub-$150 Intel Z68-based motherboard right, with the TZ68K+. The new motherboard was released to market at a price point close to the TZ68A+. The company earlier released the TZ68A+, a Z68 motherboard in the ATX form-factor, at a sweet price point of around $130. Reviewers noted that while there are no issues with the quality, it could certainly do with some minor changes. BIOSTAR seems to have incorporated many of those suggestions into the new TZ68K+.

Notable motherboard manufacturer BIOSTAR thinks it finally got its sub-$150 Intel Z68-based motherboard right, with the TZ68K+. On first glance, we can see why. The company earlier released the TZ68A+, a Z68 motherboard in the ATX form-factor, at a sweet price point of around $130. Reviewers noted that while there are no issues with the quality, it could certainly do with some minor changes. BIOSTAR seems to have incorporated some of those suggestions into the new TZ68K+.

Based on the Intel Z68 chipset, the TZ68K+ supports second generation Core processors in the LGA1155 package. The TZ68K+ uses a stronger CPU voltage regulation circuitry, with 8-phases. The TZ68A+ has a 4-phase one. MOSFETs in both zones (west and north of the CPU socket) are cooled by heatsinks. The board uses an all solid-state (conductive polymer) capacitor design. Otherwise, the TZ68K+ and TZ68A+ are identical.

As a value ATX board making use of the rather high-end chipset, the TZ68K+ builds almost entirely on the chipset's feature-set. Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (white) wired to the processor, a PCI-Express x16 (electrical Gen. 2 x4) and a PCI-Express 2.0 x1 wired to the Z68 PCH, and two legacy PCI slots wired to an iTE-made PCIe-PCI bridge. All of the board's SATA ports are internal, of which two (color-coded white) run at SATA 6 Gbps speed, while the other four (color-coded red) run at 3 Gbps.

33a vrz BIOSTAR Does Value Z68 Motherboard Right with TZ68K+

The Realtek ALC892 HD audio CODEC is wired to a 6-channel jack cluster even while it's an 8-channel CODEC. BIOSTAR wasted too much rear-panel real-estate in putting the three display outputs, HDMI, DVI, and D-Sub (VGA) in line. Perhaps a DVI+D-Sub aseembly would have eaten into the CPU VRM area. There's one gigabit Ethernet connection handled by a Realtek RTL8111E PCIe GbE controller, and two USB 3.0 ports given out by a low-cost ASMedia ASM1042 controller. There are just two USB 2.0 ports on the rear panel, six ports are through on-board headers.

The board is backed by BIOSTAR software including BIORemote 2, which lets you monitor and overclock the system (when it's connected to the internet), using your iPhone or Android-powered smartphone. The TOverclocker utility is a decent OS-based OC tuning utility. The Green Power Utility works with the CPU VRM controller to reduce power draw, and of course there's the Lucidlogix Virtu, which manages graphics processing loads between a discrete GPU and the GPU embedded into the Core processor.

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