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Intel Z68 Express details leak

Intel Z68 Express details leak

A leaked slide offers some details of Intel's upcoming Z68 chipset for Sandy Bridge processors.

Details of Intel's upcoming Z68 Express chipset for Sandy Bridge processors have appeared, courtesy of a leaked slide.

The chipset, which is said to include integrated Intel HD graphics with support for both digital and analogue outputs, is designed to offer performance overclocking features for Sandy Bridge processors according to the slide leaked by a member of the Chiphell forums.

According to the slide, the chipset will allow for 'performance over clocking [of] processor, memory, and processor [integrated] graphics,' with Intel clearly hoping to capture the performance enthusiast market with this revision.

As well as the overclockable integrated graphics, the chipset will include support for add-in graphics cards on either a single PCIe-x16 slot or dual PCIe-x8 slots, and the integrated audio codec is said to support audio over HDMI as well as analogue outputs.

The latest version of Intel's Rapid Storage Technology, version 10, is included, offering support for SATA 6Gb/s, lower power draw, support for RAID 0/1/5/10, and the company's disaster recovery Rapid Recover Technology. Support for the storage controller is already built in to Windows 7, making it an easy install.

The chipset is said to support up to 14 USB 2.0 ports, although sadly there's no sign of USB 3.0, 6 SATA ports of which two can be SATA 6Gb/s, eight PCI Express 2.0 slots, and up to four RAM DIMMS.

Missing from the list is support for the old PCI standard, which is clearly marked as a negative: if you've got an old PCI soundcard that you can't bear to part with, a move to Sandy Bridge may mean an upgrade is in order.

Are you pleased to see that Intel will be supporting overclocking with its Sandy Bridge chipsets, or confused as to why only two SATA 6Gb/s ports are supported? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

29 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
eddtox 22nd November 2010, 10:37 Quote
Not really too bothered about them taking out the PCI slots - I think it's about time. I only wish they had done it sooner, so that I could have something that is actually useful instead. (It's my only gripe about my GA-P55M-UD2)
wuyanxu 22nd November 2010, 10:37 Quote
apparent "leak" on a forum? with wording such as "Win7 in box"

i don't know, IF this is true, it's really confusing numbering.
Ph4ZeD 22nd November 2010, 10:39 Quote
Firstly, who cares about the old PCI slots. They clutter up the boards are bloody useless to gamers.
kenco_uk 22nd November 2010, 10:47 Quote
Omission of even a single PCI slot and no usb3 support is very poor. I'll be skipping this 'revision' methinks.

I'd also assume with the 'overclockable' chipset that it'll be a bit dearer than the standard chipset, plus the fact you've to pay for an overclockable cpu anyway.
mi1ez 22nd November 2010, 11:38 Quote
so are we assuming you need a Z chipset to change the multi on your K processor?

Good excuse for a soundcard upgrade!
Venares 22nd November 2010, 12:10 Quote
PCI has had its day, let it die in peace.
azrael- 22nd November 2010, 12:25 Quote
Sounds just as bogus as when I first read it about a week ago.
V3ctor 22nd November 2010, 13:28 Quote
So... This chipset is the overclocable one to the socket 1155...

What about socket 2011? Is it a server socket or it's the new socket to Ivy Bridge in the end of 2011?
asura 22nd November 2010, 15:23 Quote
Never mind PCI/Overclocking, still no on-board RAID6?!?
digitaldunc 22nd November 2010, 16:26 Quote
Rather ambiguous -- is it still the case that you'll need a K series processor for OC?

Agreed with previous sentiments about PCI -- still useful, but going/gone the way of IDE and AGP.
l3v1ck 22nd November 2010, 16:54 Quote
It's good to see the death of outdated kit such as PCI, but the lack of USB3 is a shame.
murraynt 22nd November 2010, 17:18 Quote
Yes, i knew me PCI Express x-fi would come in handy one day :D
Deders 22nd November 2010, 17:18 Quote
I have a PCI X-FI which I'm perfectly happy with and wouldn't want to have to change if I upgraded, Luckily I'm also perfectly happy with the rest of my system so I won't have to make the change anytime soon.
frontline 22nd November 2010, 18:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph4ZeD
Firstly, who cares about the old PCI slots. They clutter up the boards are bloody useless to gamers.

Not if you have a perfectly useable X-fi Xtreme music soundcard that still sounds better than the onboard HD audio of most motherboards.
confusis 22nd November 2010, 21:05 Quote
Yay for legacy free. As long as it doesn't have ps/2, parallel, serial, pata, or... i was about to say VGA (i assume d-sub) but nvm...
DXR_13KE 22nd November 2010, 21:09 Quote
I have a very good isa sound card and i am pissed that all modern computers don't come with an isa slot.
Deders 22nd November 2010, 21:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
I have a very good isa sound card and i am pissed that all modern computers don't come with an isa slot.

Which one?
dark_avenger 22nd November 2010, 23:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by asura
Never mind PCI/Overclocking, still no on-board RAID6?!?

Because onboard RAID sucks at doing even RAID5 let alone RAID6.

Anybody thinking of doing RAID 5/6 should be looking at a dedicated RAID card.
Cthippo 23rd November 2010, 04:57 Quote
Granted this is an enthusiast board, but...

There are a lot of hardware bits, especially in the business and industrial field, that still run on legacy hardware. Is there such a thing as a PCIe modem? How about a PCIe serial card. A lot of stuff still runs over the RS-232 interface. It's easy enough for us to say "Oh, who needs that anymore", but doubtless there is someone for whom their old hardware is mission critical.
Deders 23rd November 2010, 05:53 Quote
I've just found a use for my floppy drive, If I want to change my SATA to AHCI mode and install XP then i'll need a floppy to install the drivers before XP will even recognise the disks.
sear 23rd November 2010, 07:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
Granted this is an enthusiast board, but...

There are a lot of hardware bits, especially in the business and industrial field, that still run on legacy hardware. Is there such a thing as a PCIe modem? How about a PCIe serial card. A lot of stuff still runs over the RS-232 interface. It's easy enough for us to say "Oh, who needs that anymore", but doubtless there is someone for whom their old hardware is mission critical.
I definitely agree with you. The fact is that PCI cards are actually still extremely common. I don't think I've ever seen a PCIe wireless add-on card, for example - the big box computing stores here certainly don't stock any. The same holds true for sound cards and a lot of I/O cards designed to supplement a chipset's functionality. While I think a switch to PCIe is a good thing, and I wish every add-on card came in a PCIe model, to say it's dead and done right now is just incorrect.
eddtox 23rd November 2010, 07:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
Granted this is an enthusiast board, but...

There are a lot of hardware bits, especially in the business and industrial field, that still run on legacy hardware. Is there such a thing as a PCIe modem? How about a PCIe serial card. A lot of stuff still runs over the RS-232 interface. It's easy enough for us to say "Oh, who needs that anymore", but doubtless there is someone for whom their old hardware is mission critical.

I think you answered your own objection with the first line of your post. I'm sure there are still people (or more likely businesses) who have mission-critical PCI hardware, but I suspect this isn't aimed at them. They will probably continue to have other options available to them for a few years yet, but for your average consumer, this should be a good thing.

Also, I wouldn't be very surprised if some enterprising soul came up with some sort of PCIe>PCI riser card or something :P
confusis 23rd November 2010, 08:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
I think you answered your own objection with the first line of your post. I'm sure there are still people (or more likely businesses) who have mission-critical PCI hardware, but I suspect this isn't aimed at them. They will probably continue to have other options available to them for a few years yet, but for your average consumer, this should be a good thing.

Also, I wouldn't be very surprised if some enterprising soul came up with some sort of PCIe>PCI riser card or something :P

http://www.beaglesoft.com/pcie2pci.htm
mi1ez 23rd November 2010, 08:50 Quote
$140! OUCH!
eddtox 23rd November 2010, 09:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by confusis
http://www.beaglesoft.com/pcie2pci.htm
Nice! :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mi1ez
$140! OUCH!
I suppose it's not too bad if you really need it
Phoenixlight 23rd November 2010, 10:04 Quote
No USB 3.0? wtf?
confusis 23rd November 2010, 10:04 Quote
Razorwindmo46 13th March 2011, 14:04 Quote
Here is my take on this.
1. I like that mobo makers still include 1 PCI slot but, it is going to die leaving room for newer tech. and smaller boards
2. I am still on the socket 775 and anticipated Intel's move not to support USB 3 since they announced Thunderbolt (aka; Lightpeak)
http://www.intel.com/technology/io/thunderbolt/index.htm?wapkw=(thunderbolt)
3. PS2 is all but dead also with the mobo makers dropping one connection and expect it too soon in the coming years with Thunderbolt
FDAD 19th March 2011, 15:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph4ZeD
Firstly, who cares about the old PCI slots. They clutter up the boards are bloody useless to gamers.

Couldn't have said it better, it's a wast in space...
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