Virtue is something we either possess or have a lack of. On the other hand, the opposite of virtue is vice and a vice usually brings more pleasure to some than virtue. By virtue, we all feel the need not to waste but to save, and by vice, waste usually feels real good. With that said, how do Virtue and Vice relate to computers? There are those of us who purchase or build a computer system based on its efficiency and how future proof that system may be, and then there are those who build or purchase a system based on performance. The Virtuous purchase will give that user peace of mind knowing that there are many good months of use ahead due to their sound decision. Those who purchase based on Vice feel the thrill of having something that will outperform and make a Virtuous user drool.
When the Intel Z68 chipset was introduced to the consumer market, the game was changed. These motherboards offered the consumer options that had yet to be seen, and that is choice. Those who purchase a Z68 based motherboard have the option to use Intel Rapid Storage Technology, which uses an SSD to boost the performance of an old mechanical hard drive. It also uses a technology which was co-developed with Lucid Technologies called Virtu. Lucid Virtu is a technology that allows your system to either use your discrete video card when there is a demand for performance and the integrated GPU found on the Intel SandyBridge processor to save power when the system is at idle. (Of course there is much more, but that is not our focus at this time)
With all these great technologies, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of them? Those who still have a vice and they are the hard core enthusiasts who, at whatever cost, demand performance. No need to worry, motherboard manufacturers have thought of this and are offering the enthusiast user the benefits of owning a Z68 motherboard without including Virtue. One of these motherboards is manufactured by Gigabyte and it is the Z68X-UD7-B3.
The Z68X-UD7-B3 is Gigabyte’s flagship mainboard for the Intel socket 1155 Z68 chipset lineup. Gigabyte gave the Z68X-UD7-B3 an identical layout to the P67A-UD7-B3 as most of the changes are under the hood. Like all Z68 motherboards, the Gigabyte Z68X-UD7-B3 is capable of using Intel’s new Smart Response Technology which implements storage I/O caching to improve storage response times for traditional hard disk drives. Unlike some Z68 motherboards however, the Gigabyte Z68X-UD7-B3 does not have any display outputs on the rear I/O, thus is incapable of utilizing Intel’s revolutionary QuickSync technology. Despite this shortcoming, the Z68-UD7-B3 is equipped with top of the line and Gigabyte exclusive features like Ultra Durable 3 technology which combines Japanese Solid state capacitors, Lower RDS(on) MOSFETs and Ferrite core chokes as well as 24-phase power for maximum overclockability on the Intel socket 1155 platform. The Gigabyte Z68-UD7-B3 also features the new TouchBIOS Hybrid EFI technology, an EFI BIOS which runs on the Windows desktop and has the same flexible functionality of traditional BIOS in an easy to use interface. For maximum graphics performance, the Gigabyte Z68-UD7-B3 is equipped with an NVIDIA NF200 chipset, allowing for a 16x/16x configuration in Dual-SLI or 16x/8x/8x in Triple-SLI mode. For connectivity, the Gigabyte Z68-UD7-B3 has eight SATA ports, six of which run on the Intel chipset while the two extra gray SATA3 ports use the Marvell 88SE9128 chip. This wealth of connectivity options on the Z68X-UD7 also extend to external devices with up to 10 USB 3.0 ports via two Renesas D720200 chips and two VLI VL810 hubs. In fact there are a lot more features on the Gigabyte Z68-UD7-B3 but there is only so much space on this page to list them all.