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Interesting questions. Some difficult to answer without knowing Intel's plans, which I guess they may not even know themselves.
1. Not sure about this, but I have a couple of conflicting thoughts. Solid state capacitors apparently cost more, and those who use them consider them a selling point. There's got to be a reason for that. However, you're not going to notice a difference in the board's performance - it's not a feature where you're paying more to get a specific result that you can quantify in your daily use. And, at least when I bought mine, the DZ68DB board was at least somewhat less expensive than the competition. I only keep PCs for 2-3 years, so longevity is less of an issue to me than the experience when I actually have it.
2. No clue. However, I can tell you that I'm running the current BIOS with no issues I'm aware of. Everything works as expected including SSD Caching and Virtu.
3. Don't know but I've been using Intel boards for a long time, and I'd be surprised if this is something they chose to put resourses into on an already-released board.
4. The BIOS supports UEFI. Maybe slower boot - I always think Intel boards boot slowly, but there are optimizations I don't take advantage of, and I basically never boot anyway. If you use Sleep instead of shutting down, you can push the button as you walk up to the desk. By the time you sit down, it'll be ready for your password - it literally wakes from sleep in 1-2 seconds.
5. In my experience, Intel updates drivers for as long as necessary. I'm still gettin fairly frequent updates for my DZ68DB, mostly for graphics and network. Other things like the chipset drivers really don't have to be updated in the absence of a bug or similar - once they work, they work.
I can sum up my experience with Dell boards this way: they're probably not as exciting or configurable as some other brands. Their quailty is as good as any, if not better. I don't overclock or anything along those lines, and I've found Intel boards, including my current DZ68DB, to be rock solid at a value price. If you're looking for something ultra fancy or for overclocking, this probably isn't the board. But if you just want a board that will work as expected for a long time, without aggravating you, this is a good choice.
Thanks for the reply.
I ended up getting the board and installed it last night. I actually prefer the text based bios to the Asus graphical bios, and the colour scheme isn't as bad as it appeared in online screenshots. I've installed all the drivers and it runs like a dream in Windows 7 and linux.
The one issue I've experienced is that I installed Intel Desktop Utilities in Windows, and when I open it, it just hangs while trying to obtain system information. So the program remains unresponsive and is consequently useless. Is there a reason for this?
I ran IDU for a long time on my 64-bit Win7 with what I thought were no issues - IDU itself worked fine for me, so I can't imagine what's going on. Maybe uninstall and reinstall it? Also, there are a number of versions depending on the board. I'm assuming you installed one that lists the DZ68 as a supported board?
I had ongoing issues with video playback stuttering. Shortly before I planned to throw the PC through the window, I discovered this thread and uninstalled IDU as a result. I keep checking for a fixed version (which is actually how I found your post the other day) but so far, one has not been released. Too bad, because I really like it, and have even had it alert me of an overheating/failed fan situation on my previous Intel motherboard. I had stuttering in every video playback situation - live and recorded TV, YouTube, saved video files, etc. http://communities.intel.com/thread/26980?start=0&tstart=0
I reintalled it as you suggested and after rebooting, it worked. Maybe it had failed to install properly because I installed all the drivers one after the other without rebooting after each one.
It's reporting that the temperature of my Crucial m4 SSD is 100 degrees and that it's over the thresold. I've never had a problem with the drive so I'm not sure what to think.
You learn something new every day, I guess. What I leared today is that apparently SSDs don't have temperature monitors (they run around room temp), so monitoring software sometimes reports random results. See these posts on the Crucial forums:
I am the software architect responsible for Intel(R) Desktop Utilities (IDU). This is an interesting discovery (and explains why we have been unable to reproduce this issue). We only expose HDD/SSD temperatures for drives that report themselves as having a temperature sensor (particular S.M.A.R.T. attribute(s) are used to obtain their temperatures). I presently don't have one of these particular drives, however, so cannot look into why this is happening. Can one of you please send me a dump of the drive's S.M.A.R.T. attributes table (from a tool like RWEverything or something similar)? If you don't want your information posted publicly, you can send it to me as a private message...
Thanks in advance,
Not me, sorry. My SSD seems to report temperature accurately - about a degree lower than the mechanical drives.
Any word on the audio and video stuttering in the current version of the IDU? I reinstalled it and video playback started stuttering even before the reboot. I'd be happy to send you logs, monitoring info or whatever to help work that one out.