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Intel Z68 Board on Show at MSI MOA 2011

Intel Z68 Board on Show at MSI MOA 2011

The PCB appears to have been manufactured before the Sandy Bridge chipset debacle

It’s the MSI MOA overclocking event in Istanbul this weekend and the company has been using the event to give us an early look at a board based on Intel’s new Z68 chipset.

The new chipset, which is widely rumoured to be dropping on 8 May is set to offer a best-of-both-worlds option for those looking to buy an LGA1155 system.

This is because the chipset is known to offer both CPU overclocking and the ability to overclock the on-board GPU, two features that are currently not available in a single LGA1155 chipset. Z68 also looks set to bring support for the performance enhancing RST SSD Caching technology that caches frequently used data from a hard disk to an SSD to increase application boot times and responsiveness.

The board on show from MSI today is titled the Z68A-GD80, which indicates it is likely to sit towards the top end of MSI’s range of LGA1155 motherboards. It’s not clear though whether that’s as a result of the positioning of the Z68 as the new premium chipset (replacing the P67) or simply MSI’s choice to show this particular premium board.

As expected the board has on-board video connections in the shape of a DVI and a HDMI output. This is interesting as early rumours about the Z68 chipset indicated it would also include support for analogue D-Sub connections too, which is obviously missing from this board.

Also worth noting is that the name of the board has been added with a sticker. This approach has been used by MSI to use up PCB stocks manufactured before the Sandy Bridge chipset issue (and thus without the (B3) suffix its boards now carry) so this indicates that this PCB may have been manufactured months ago. This is an interesting indication as to how long motherboard manufacturers have had stock of the Z68 chipset and lends weight the the rumour that the release of the chipset has been put back to allow P67 board sales to pick back up after their initial recall.

Are you looking forward to the Z68 launch? Do you think Intel is mad releasing a new chipset before sales have had a chance to pick back up? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

Intel Z68 Board on Show at MSI MOA 2011 Z68 Board on Show at MSI MOA 2011 Intel Z68 Board on Show at MSI MOA 2011 Z68 Board on Show at MSI MOA 2011

Intel Z68 Board on Show at MSI MOA 2011 Z68 Board on Show at MSI MOA 2011 Intel Z68 Board on Show at MSI MOA 2011 Z68 Board on Show at MSI MOA 2011

26 Comments

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l3v1ck 16th April 2011, 15:28 Quote
I still think most overclockers would want a separate graphics card.
For those building a media PC, I don't think overclocking will be a major issue as they'll want it running as quietly as possible.
I'm sure some people will want the ability to overclock the CPU and built in GPU, but not many.
More interesting is the RST SSD Caching technology.
Bindibadgi 16th April 2011, 15:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
More interesting is the RST SSD Caching technology.

Yea keep an eye out for this. ;) I cannot comment yet though (unless Intel revealed it at IDF China, anyone?)
technogiant 16th April 2011, 15:53 Quote
I guess many of these high end boards will have the lucid vitru solution and so will enable you to use both on cpu and discrete graphic as appropriate for the task.

Also it means that the cpu's hardware transcoder is still available which many will wish to retain the use of.

I don't know why they bothered releasing the P67 and H67 boards...this a much more complete solution to accommodate everyone's needs.
mucgoo 16th April 2011, 15:53 Quote
Why can't intel release a k version of sandybridge with no GPU.
Aren't there already hybrid hard drives with something akin to this RST.
Evildead666 16th April 2011, 18:09 Quote
What point would RST be if you are already booting off an SSD ?

Just wondering since many, if not all, high end setups (This looks a pricey board) would have SSD boot at least.
Deadpunkdave 16th April 2011, 18:13 Quote
Quote:
RST SSD Caching technology that caches frequently used data from a hard disk to an SSD to increase application boot times

The opposite I assume?
Dae314 16th April 2011, 19:13 Quote
There's a typo in the article near the beginning in the first sentence of the third paragraph:
Quote:
This is because the chipset is known to offer both CPU overclocking and the ability to overclock the on-board GPU, two features that are currently not available in a single LGA115 chipset.

Also that sentence is a bit misleading. It sounds like you could be saying that there's a board with 2+ LGA1155 chipsets that supports GPU/CPU overclocking. A better phrase instead of "a single" would be "any". Also, I believe that "which" should be used instead of "that" but I'm not completely certain about that.

Might as well just redo the sentence xP:

"This is because the chipset is known to offer both CPU overclocking and the ability to overclock the on-board GPU, two features which are not currently available in any LGA1155 chipset."

Sorry for being a grammar Nazi, but after seeing the typo I analyzed the sentence more in my head :P.
Kroy 16th April 2011, 19:31 Quote
Interesting article. SSD caching looks like a potential performance gain, so that could be good. But otherwise, meh, why pay for extra features when a discrete gfx card will always be in play? Am I missing the point? I heard that it would be possible to effortlessly switch between the two in a kind of power/noise saving mode? Is that real, or was I sleeping?

And another typo... use of apostrophe in the its "and thus without the (B3) suffix it’s boards now carry". Its doesn't require an apostrophe unless it's being truncated from it is or it has.
borandi 16th April 2011, 19:39 Quote
Combined with Virtu, the Z68 should offer lower 2D power usage.
r4tch3t 16th April 2011, 20:23 Quote
For the video connectors, could they not still have the analogue connector with an adaptor? The DVI connector has pins for analogue out aswell, so there shouldn't be a problem, plus how many people still use analogue connections?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dae314
...SNIP...

"This is because the chipset is known to offer both CPU overclocking and the ability to overclock the on-board GPU, two features which are not currently available in any LGA1155 chipset."
But that sentence could mean that you can't get CPU overclocking or the GPU with any chipset.
The original sentence read to me as the isn't a single chipset that has both these features included.
John_T 16th April 2011, 21:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mucgoo
Aren't there already hybrid hard drives with something akin to this RST.

Seagate do a range of Momentus XT hybrid drives like this:
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/320gb-seagate-momentus-xt-solid-state-hybrid-drive-7200rpm-sata-3gb

I was looking to buy one for a quick, low-powered nettop build, (which only has space for one drive, making this ideal) but on reading differing reviews I can't make up my mind. AnanadTech absolutely loved them, whereas PC Pro thought they were an unreliable waste:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3734
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/hard-disks/360301/seagate-momentus-xt-500gb
Reading through other reviews shows a mixed bag of opinions as well.

I'm wondering if the implementation of it on Z68 means that there would actually be a NAND chip on the motherboard itself though? That would be really interesting...
azazel1024 16th April 2011, 23:30 Quote
The Sandybridge K chips without the on board GPU would be called Sandybridge-E (extreme, enhanced? Enuui?)

Anyway, SB-E isn't necessarily all K parts, but to the best of my knowledge all will be sans GPU and include quad, hexa and possibly octocore parts. I imagine the base SB-E quad are going to be about the equivelent of a 2500(k) or 2600(k) minus the GPU and build up from there (with the other SB-E perks like quad channel, 32x PCI-e lanes, etc).
jon 17th April 2011, 00:11 Quote
Is triple-channel memory going to be supported in the z68, or are we waiting for the LGA2011 silicon to be released?
deathtaker27 17th April 2011, 00:16 Quote
8th of may, do i get one for a bithday present?
Razorii 17th April 2011, 00:40 Quote
Unless there are orher features or performance enhancements which have yet to be revealed I see no compelling reason to replace my P67 board when the Z68 boards are released.
Tattysnuc 17th April 2011, 00:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mucgoo
Why can't intel release a k version of sandybridge with no GPU.
Aren't there already hybrid hard drives with something akin to this RST.

...to simplify their product range. The biggest cost Intel would have for a single die business model is the cost of setting up the production line. If they can set up one line and then tweak to make K's or not on the package then this is a much simpler model than a line for K's, a line for K's sans gpus etc etc. Economics of porduction...
Dae314 17th April 2011, 01:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r4tch3t
But that sentence could mean that you can't get CPU overclocking or the GPU with any chipset.
The original sentence read to me as the isn't a single chipset that has both these features included.

True, here's an edit:

"This is because the chipset is known to offer both CPU overclocking and the ability to overclock the on-board GPU, two features which are not currently available together in any LGA1155 chipset."
bigkingfun 17th April 2011, 01:47 Quote
Did Paul take those pictures? If so, please tell him to improve his camera skills.
Bindibadgi 17th April 2011, 04:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by borandi
Combined with Virtu, the Z68 should offer lower 2D power usage.

Depends what the idle wattages is. It'll benefit those with multi-GPU setups a LOT more in this instance though, I agree.

I'm keen to see Virtu drivers (given Lucid's history of drivers..), however, not every Z68 will come with Virtu as it costs a licensing fee - which is why AMD and NV are looking for their own free alternative.
Dragonphreak 17th April 2011, 20:44 Quote
I just hope that someone makes an ITX board, so I can overclock.
Material 18th April 2011, 00:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigkingfun
Did Paul take those pictures? If so, please tell him to improve his camera skills.

Psshhhh, I was trying to take them covert like cus none of the other press there seemed to notice the board.
Xir 18th April 2011, 13:04 Quote
Ohboyohboyohboy!
...let's see if it performs as well as P68 with a discrete graphicscard.
Quote:
offer both CPU overclocking and the ability to overclock the on-board GPU
Not that I'd like to OC the on.board GPU but I would like to USE it...as it's there anyway, for recoding or such.
wuyanxu 18th April 2011, 13:08 Quote
what is that port above PS2 socket? doesn't look like usual 2 USB ports.

come on nvidia, bring Optimus to this please! would rather stick with card manufacturer's tested drivers rather than Virtu's emulated drivers.
Bindibadgi 18th April 2011, 13:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonphreak
I just hope that someone makes an ITX board, so I can overclock.

ITX? Doubt that. Esp for OC as limited VRM space.

mATX? Hmm maybe ;)
Cigarjohn 25th April 2011, 23:52 Quote
I think maybe the world is coming to an end and all these manufactures are pumping out new technologies faster than we have a chance to test them and purchase them. The figure the market is going to drop anyway and we'll probably revert back to the dark ages again. LOL
UrbanSmooth 27th April 2011, 17:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
ITX? Doubt that. Esp for OC as limited VRM space.

mATX? Hmm maybe ;)

Yes! YES!

I am planning a summer 2011 mATX build, and Z68 is looking rather promising. Not to only find a board that will fit my planned color scheme...
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