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Today we're looking at a new breed of Mini-ITX motherboards from Asrock called the Z68M-ITX/HT and A75M-ITX. The former is an Intel Z68 board that supports Intel's second-generation Core processors, while the latter utilizes AMD A75's chipset to support Socket FM1 processors, namely the new Fusion A-series desktop APUs.
To spice things up we've selected Intel and AMD's $140 CPU offerings. In other words, this review will also serve as a comparison for the Core i3-2120 and AMD A8-3850.
Answering to the demand of an enthusiast-grade LGA1155 motherboard, Gigabyte has unleashed the G1.Sniper2 based on the Z68 chipset. Like Asus' ROG motherboards, Gigabyte's G1.Killer series targets hardcore users by including additional hardware on-board such as a dedicated sound chip by Creative and a network controller from Bigfoot Networks.
Those niceties make the G1.Sniper2 one of the most expensive Z68 motherboards available, which begs the question: are you getting your money's worth?
Along with combining the functionality of previous chipsets, Intel has infused the Z68 with some impressive new features that should make it more appealing to a broader demographic, namely Smart Response Technology (SRT) and LucidLogix Virtu GPU virtualization.
By cramming more features into the Z68, the company has effectively created a new enthusiast-grade chipset, while the P67 has been demoted to somewhat of a mid-range offering.
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