Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
We recently reviewed the ASRock H61M/U3S3 motherboard at Phoronix, which was a very nice Intel Sandy Bridge motherboard with integrated graphics for those on a limited budget. While the H61 is great on the low-end side, Intel recently introduced the Z68 chipset. The Z68 is designed to take the features of the P67 chipset and its tuning capabilities while enabling the integrated HD Graphics 3000 support. In this review, we are trying out the ASRock Z68 Pro3 motherboard.
The Z68 chipset provides eight PCI Express ports (compared to 6 on the H61, but 8 is what's found on the H67/P67), 14 USB 2.0 ports (four over what's found on the H61), six SATA ports (+2 over the H61), and it also boasts some of Intel's new technologies, including Smart Response Technology, Remote PC Assist, Anti-Theft Technology, Quick Resume Technology, and Rapid Storage Technology. Of course, not all of these technologies will be of use to everyone, especially Linux users. The Z68 chipset supports FDI (the Flexible Display Interface), which is what the P67 chipset lacks and is what's needed to take advantage of the graphics controller that's embedded onto the Sandy Bridge processors.