Last week, ASRock brought its Fatal1ty Global tour 2011 to London to show off a number of new motherboards the company is bringing to market this month, most of which sport PCI-E 3.0.
The new boards are the company's first to feature the new interface, and are easily identifiable thanks to their Gen 3 suffix.
According to ASRock, the new standard brings a number of benefits with it, such as a doubling of potential bandwidth per lane and a reduction in the coding overheads associated with passing data over the connection. However, it doesn't increase the amount of power available to a connected graphics card.
Despite the boards being available now, it will still be a while before you can take advantage of the new feature, as there aren’t currently any PCI-E 3.0 graphics cards available on the market. However, there are currently rumours
that AMD’s forthcoming Radon HD 7000-series GPUs will support the new standard.
Even with a PCI-E 3.0 GPU and motherboard, though, you’ll still need an Ivy Bridge processor to enable PCI-E 3.0 support on the boards, and these aren’t due to hit the shelves until the first half of 2012. It’s interesting that ASRock is selling PCI-E 3.0 boards based on the P67 and Z68 chipsets, though, as this essentially confirms that both chipsets will be compatible with the future Ivy Bridge processors.
You can check out some photos of the boards that were at the event below. Is it sensible for ASRock to be selling motherboards with a feature that can’t be enabled for at least six months? Let us know in the forums
P67 Extreme4 Gen3
Z68 Extreme4 Gen3
Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3
Z68 Extreme7 Gen3