Gigabyte Releases Z68 Motherboards With Onboard mSATA SLC SSD Support

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News Posted: Sat, May 14 2011 8:02 PM
A new platform is only as good as the support surrounding it, and now Gigabyte is giving Intel a little of that with a new Z68 motherboard. But it's not just "yet another Z68 mainboard." This is being called the world's first Z68 motherboard with onboard mSATA for Intel SLC SSDs as well as Smart Response technology. These new motherboards will support second-generation Core processors, and provide the first-ever mSATA drive connectors on a standard desktop PC motherboard. There's also the company's new TouchBIOS technology, which allows users o take total control over how their system operates and performs to best match their individual computing needs. 11 models are available now, with more than 9 additional models, including at least 4 mSATA versions, to be introduced in June, 2011.

Pricing details aren't being shared just yet, but more details on the specifics can be found below in the press release.

- GIGABYTE To Launch World’s First Z68 Motherboards with Onboard mSATA for Intel® SLC SSDs and Smart Response Technology -

 -- Full Range of Over 20 Models Planned for Introduction Before Q3, 2011, Including 4 mSATA SKUs --

City of Industry, California, USA, May 11th 2011 – GIGABYTE INC., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today launched their highly anticipated Z68 series motherboards, based on the Intel® Z68 Express Chipset and supporting the new 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors. Delivering the very best that Intel® 6 series chipsets have to offer, including a significant performance boost with Intel® Smart Response Technology, the first ever mSATA drive connectors on a standard desktop PC motherboard, and GIGABYTE’s proprietary Touch BIOS™ technology, GIGABYTE Z68 series motherboards put users in the driver seat, allowing them to take total control over how their system operates and performs to best match their individual computing needs. 11 models are available now, with more than 9 additional models, including at least 4 mSATA versions, to be introduced in June, 2011.

“GIGABYTE is excited to introduce a complete range of Z68 Express Chipset enabled motherboards that deliver exceptional performance and a multitude of unique features like Touch BIOS and onboard mSATA that help them stand out from the crowd,” commented Richard Chen, VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at GIGABYTE. “Intel has really raised the bar with the performance potential and rich feature set of the Z68 chipset, and as such, we fully expect the Z68 chipset to be the number one choice for users wanting to build their next Intel 6 series-based system.”

“We are very pleased to see the exciting new lineup of GIGABYTE motherboards based on the Intel® Z68 Express Chipset,” said Zane Ball, Intel General Manager of Desktop Platforms. “These high quality boards will enable users to unleash the full performance and features of our 2nd generation Intel® Core™ Processors.”

Integrated Graphics Options with onboard mSATA – coming soon

Additional models that are not included above are also planned for introduction before the end of Q2, 2011.
GIGABYTE Z68 Series Features
GIGABTYE Touch BIOS™ (patent pending)

An Innovative New Way to Modify BIOS Settings (only available on GIGABYTE Z68 motherboards)

TouchBIOS_LogoNavigating through the BIOS to change system settings can be a daunting task for users not familiar with control “F” functions and mouse-less navigation. While some BIOSes try to address this with a mouse friendly environment, many implementations still lack a certain ease-of-use necessary for most people. With Touch BIOS™, GIGABYTE engineers have completely re-imagined how users can interact with their BIOS, allowing for a more intuitive user experience whether using a keyboard, mouse or touch screen monitor. In fact, with a touch screen monitor, GIGABYTE Touch BIOS™ is as easy to use as most apps on an iPhone.

GIGABTYE has created easy to recognize icons to represent the main BIOS features. Users can change voltages and CPU ratios using the Overclock icon, or can monitor their system using the PC Status icon,

just to name a few. GIGABYTE has also included icons to quickly access GIGABYTE applications such as Quick Boost and @BIOS, allowing for even greater levels of system customization.

OverClockingEasy to Navigate

GIGABYTE has designed Touch BIOS™ from the ground-up to make it as easy as possible to navigate. Large icons allow users to navigate with a mouse or finger on a touch enabled monitor. GIGABYTE has

also added several touch-friendly features including easy-to-read fonts, enlarged navigation panes and wider side scroll bars to more easily modify BIOS settings.

+_-Completely Customizable

One of the key benefits of GIGABYTE Touch BIOS™ is that users can customize the Touch BIOS™ homepage according to their needs. Users can easily rearrange icon order using a mouse or finger and can also add frequently used icons or delete unused ones.

 


Boost-DiskNo Need to enter BIOS to Modify BIOS Settings

Since GIGABYTE Touch BIOS™ is Windows® based, users no longer need to reboot into the BIOS in order to make system changes. For example, users wanting to change their boot device priority only need to enter GIGABYTE Touch BIOS™ and make their changes. The next time they reboot, the system will automatically load their boot devices according to their new settings. This helps save time for users wanting to make quick system setting changes.

Picture1Intel® Smart Response Technology

GIGABYTE Z68 series motherboards are equipped with the much anticipated Intel® Smart Response Technology, allowing users to experience system performance similar to SSD only systems. Intel® Smart Response technology works by using intelligent block-based caching of frequently used applications to improve system performance and responsiveness. In fact, GIGABYTE Z68 motherboards with Intel® Smart Response Technology are able to outperform hybrid drive systems by more than 2X (PC Mark Vantage) and HDD-only systems by as much as 4X (PC Mark Vantage).

s-SLC SSD_noword_LGIGABYTE will introduce 4 unique Z68 motherboard models with an onboard mSATA connector that can employ Intel® Smart Response Technology together with new 20GB Intel® 311 mSATA SLC SSDs to boost system performance.

An onboard mSATA SLC SSD
 
Intel® Quick Sync Video*

Picture2Intel® Quick Sync Video makes fast work of creating, editing, synchronizing, and sharing videos–at home and online– without the expense of additional hardware. In fact, Intel Quick Sync Video delivers up to 2X faster media processing than any other solution for incredibly fast conversion of video files for portable media players or online sharing. To see a complete list of independent software vendors (ISVs) that have begun optimizing their products for this new technology, please visit: http://www.intel.com/technology/quicksync/index.htm.

Switchable Graphics with LucidLogix Virtu GPU Virtulization*

GIGABYTE Z68 motherboards are enabled with LucidLogix Virtu™ GPU Virtualization technology which allows users to dynamically switch between their built-in graphics and their high-end, 3D discrete graphics cards. This is ideal for gamers who require high-resolution gaming and still want to enjoy the built-in media features of 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors. In so doing, switchable graphics helps to dramatically reduce PC graphics power consumption while boosting performance when it is needed most. 
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OSunday replied on Sun, May 15 2011 11:31 PM

what is an mSATA connection and what is an mSata hard drive, is that like mini-SATA or something?

and what is the onboard mSATA SLC SSD, is that like a small capacity hard drive integrated into the motherboard for the bios to use/boot faster? Don't motherboards allready use flash memory which is pretty much the same thing as an SSD?

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mSATA is mini-SATA, the little slim drives without a case that are designed to be used in tablets and ultra lights. The Macbook Air uses a mSATA drive for example.

There is no integrated drive on the motherboard, what it has is a mSATA slot that you can just plug a drive into to use as your boot drive or with the new Smart Response.

Smart Response uses a small SSD (16~64GB) as a cache for a larger HDD to improve its performance. Intel makes a SSD specificly for this feature. It is called the 311 and has 20GB of SLC for $110.

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