If you're thinking of building a new powerful beast rig with socket 1155 platform, the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 is a wise choice. This is the revised version of the original board that introduces new features that takes you to the future generation of graphics.
This board is based on Z68 chipset that combines the power of both the P67 and H67. It supports the future standard of graphics in PCIe 3.0 x16 slot. The third Generation PCIe doubles the bandwidth of the existing PCIe 2.0 thus producing a super smooth display. This is good news for heavy graphics user as well as hard core gamers.
Another excellent improvement is the support for the upcoming Ivy bridge processor in 22nm CPU based design, also comes in socket 1155 version. Although it's not yet available, having a board that supports it has a great advantage for your future upgrade.
They manage to stick with the same number of PCIe slots, the first runs in a single 16X and can be configured in 8X/8X in dual and 4x on the third in black color. It completely removes the barrier between the two giants in graphics card, it doesn't matter if you're an Nvidia or ATI Radeon fans you got the freedom of choice for multiple GPU applications.
It also provides two PCIe 1X and two PCI slot. The four DIMM slot supports DDR3 memory up to 2200MHz with a maximum capacity of 32GB. A total of eight SATA ports are available, four of these are 6GB/s and four with 3GB/s.
You can fully utilize the goodness of the integrated Graphics on the Sandy Bridge processor, it provides everything you'll need in video output from RGB, DVI and HDMI, this is ideal when you're planning to use it as HTPC for large screen viewing. Of course, you can't leave without the LucidLogix Virtu, it has the power to combined the integrated GPU and your discreet GPU for an excellent Graphics display and video Transcoding with automatic switching.
The good thing about this board is that it's got a healthy dose of ports making sure that you'll never runs of it when you need it. It has 12X USB 2.0, 4X USB 3.0 ports, 2X IEEE 1394a ports, 1X eSATA 3GB/s and a Gigabit LAN. To enjoy its sound quality it provides a DTS surround sensation in 8-channel HD powered by Realtek ALC892.
This board is perfect for overclockers with tons of possibilities for you to explore, it has 16-phase digital power design 12-Phase for CPU and 4-Phase for iGPU. Equipped with overclocking protection to make it safe every time you tweak it, this makes it possible with ASUS CPU parameter recall.
It doesn't stops there; ASUS make it even easier for you to overclock using the Dual Intelligent Processors 2 with DIGI+VRM with TPU and EPU. This includes the Auto Tuning, TurboV, GPU Boost, TPU Switch and EPU for maximum energy efficiency.
This also includes the famous ASUS exclusive features such as the MemOK!, AL Suite II, Ai Charger+, Anti-Surge, UEFI BIOS EZ Mode, USB 3.0 Boost, Disk Unlocker and the Bluetooth interface (BT GO!). The SSD caching system is another good feature, it speeds up the data access time when combined it with a large mechanical drive.
The same solid performing board we're expecting here as the first version, this is something that most enthusiast are looking for that makes it very popular. This board is definitely a wise choice if you love to overclock, it brings more on the table. With 12-phase power design on the CPU making it possible for you to go beyond 5GHz speed limit with your 2600K processor and the 4-Phase on the iGPU can push the graphics further.
The Gen3 version is design for the future standard of our computing world, as the older version is slowly phasing out and the new one is available in a more affordable price. However, the Ivy Bridge CPU and the PCIe 3.0 GPU are not out there yet, this indicates its usefulness for a longer period of time. It comes in a pretty descent price for a high end motherboard that anyone can be tempted to grab it.