Gigabyte mobo with integrated SSD due in June
Gigabyte has just announced that it plans to launch a motherboard with an integrated SSD in early June, which will be available from ‘selected online retailers’ around the world.
The new board, dubbed the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3-iSSD, uses Intelâ€™s new Z68 chipset and will feature a tiny m-SATA SSD module that effectively functions as a small Intel Solid State Drive 311.
‘We are thrilled to deliver the world’s first motherboard to come pre-bundled with an Intel SSD 311,’ said Richard Chen, vice president of worldwide sales and marketing for Gigabyte. ‘The Z68XP-UD3-iSSD is the easiest way for [Gigabyte customers] to instantly take advantage of the performance boost [of Intel Smart Response].’
Weâ€™ve tested Intel’s Smart Response technology and found that it successfully delivered SSD speeds for commonly used data.
The only concern was whether the technology was appropriate for a high-end motherboard, although Gigabyte’s UD3 branding indicates that this board may be keenly priced. We’ve asked Gigabyte for pricing information, but haven’t had a response yet.
With only one chipset, which is located in the typical Southbridge position, Gigabyte has placed the m-SATA connection in the historical location of the Northbridge. This is clever thinking, as the SSD is just a bunch of ICs on a PCB â€“ you won’t need to swap the SSD in and out, and it wonâ€™t clash with connectors or cards there either.
Elsewhere the board looks fairly typical. It uses Gigabyteâ€™s blue and white colour scheme (the company’s high-end boards are black these days), but still uses the chunky, curved heatsinks that look a bit like the power stations of Hoth.
Given the UD3 branding, we were surprised to see a chunky heatsink on the VRMs and the overwhelming number of features advertised on the box. With two 16x PCI-E slots, three 1x PCI-E slots and a pair of PCI slots â€“ plus four SATA 6Gbps ports and at least a pair of USB 3 ports â€“ itâ€™s hard to see where Gigabyte has skimped. Thereâ€™s even Lucid Virtu support, if you fancy trying itoriginal content by bit-tech.net