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Intel Hardware

Intel Launches Z77 Motherboards, Preparing For Ivy Bridge 58

MojoKid writes "In preparation for the arrival of their 3rd Generation Core processor products based on their Ivy Bridge microarchitecture, Intel has readied a new chipset dubbed the Z77 Express. New socket 1155 Ivy Bridge processors offer 16 lanes of PCI Express 2.0 or 3.0 connectivity on-die and they feature integrated dual-channel, DDR3 memory controllers with maximum officially supported speeds of up to 1600MHz. The processors are linked to the Z77 chipset via Intel's FDI (Flexible Display Interface) and 20Gb/s DMI 2.0 interfaces. The chipset itself is outfitted with 8 more PCIe 2.0 lanes, six ports of SATA (II and III), an integrated Gigabit MAC, and digital display outputs for up to three displays. Making its debut for the first time in an Intel chipset is also native USB 3.0 support with four USB 3.0 and ten USB 2.0 ports built in."
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Intel Launches Z77 Motherboards, Preparing For Ivy Bridge

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I can only hope that Intel in their esteemed wisdom allow more than 16Gb of Ram


    the MB manufacturers see fit to put a decent amount of Memory slots on the boards.

    They probably won't though as this could be seen to be possibly eating intot their much more lucrative Server MBO business.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rev0lt ( 1950662 )
      From what I've seen from the specs of the latest socket 2011 boards, they allow upto 64GB on desktop models, but I'm not shure I'd like to have that amount of RAM without ECC.
      • That might be true for the 2011 Boards. A good number of them do seem to have 8 RAM Slots

        I think what the OP was talking about was the MB makers releasing MB's with only 2 RAM Slots.
        Then Intel has in the past released a cheapo chipset that was deliberately restricted in the amound of RAM that it supported.
        Remember the MicroSoft Netbook Spec? Many makers implemented the RAM restrictions by using a low end chipset.

      • That's a good point. As the amount of the RAM continues to increase, so does the possibility for an error. At some point we might be looking ECC as a standard feature.
      • Z80 (Score:4, Funny)

        by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Monday April 09, 2012 @12:53PM (#39620167) Journal

        they allow upto 64GB on desktop models

        Are you sure? The Z80 chipset only used to allow 64kB and the Z77 is presumably three models earlier.

        • get with the times, man. the Z80 can do banked memory! under CP/M 3 systems you could have 16 banks *64kb = 1024kb of memory! A megabyte is more than enough for anyone.
        • by rev0lt ( 1950662 )
          The Z80 had no standard chipset :D It usually had some auxiliary IC's (mainly from intel), or some custom ASIC, such as spectrum's ULA. But hey, you could actually get Z80 to work with whatever RAM you wanted, using a paging mechanism (akin to EMS on early PCs).
    • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Monday April 09, 2012 @10:21AM (#39618567)

      Uhh, LGA1155 boards have been able to do 32GB of RAM since a year and a half ago, as had LGA1156 boards before that.

    • by slaker ( 53818 ) on Monday April 09, 2012 @10:23AM (#39618587)

      I would certainly hope your servers have more than 16 gigabits of RAM.

      As with most Intel chipset releases, there really isn't much to get excited about here. "Native" USB3 might be exciting to someone somewhere, but from a practical standpoint we've been getting USB3 on motherboards for the last couple years anyway, and extra PCIe lanes are for the most part only interesting to nutball gamers.

      Z-series chipsets are enthusiast products. Basically all this stuff just integrates features that are already on $150+ motherboards into Intel's chips.

      I give this a hearty "meh."

      • by rev0lt ( 1950662 )
        The extra PCIe lanes probably are the most exciting feature, since they can easily be converted to external PCIe. We're talking high-speed cpu->device interconnection, or even in some cases, cpu->cpu (upto 25m) interconnection, at a fraction of the price of 10G or competing technologies. From displays with embedded graphics card to external storage, the applications are much beyond the gamers realm.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Z-series chipsets are enthusiast products. Basically all this stuff just integrates features that are already on $150+ motherboards into Intel's chips.

        I give this a hearty "meh."

        You're fucking deranged. Integrating stuff that was previously done separately is basically the story of chip design in the last 40-50 years. It's the reason your mobile phone has gps/accelerometer/3d graphics/sound and it costs a couple of hundred dollars. You do remember when a floating point unit was a separate chip, right?

      • by Creepy ( 93888 )

        I think more importantly, Sandy Bridge has been in scant supply for several months due to a recall. I bought the last Sandy Bridge laptop at one store and nearly 2 months later they still don't have any 1080p or better 15 or 17 inch laptops in stock. Supposedly the supply will be back by mid-May, but I had heard many manufacturers were skipping replacing Sandy Bridge laptops since both Intel and nVidia had a chip refresh coming soon (Ivy Bridge and n600 respectively). I was in a bind though, because my lapt

        • by QQBoss ( 2527196 )

          I think more importantly, Sandy Bridge has been in scant supply for several months due to a recall. ...

          Ummm, no. The recall was back in January of 2011 and was fully resolved by April of 2011. [] This is April, yes, but given that a year has passed between that April and this April, it is safe to assume that the recall induced issues are well behind us.

          Any shortages of Sandy Bridge at this point would be more likely related to OEMs allowing current inventories to drain prior to the official release of Ivy Bridge based products.

      • by kenh ( 9056 )


        From TFA:

        "Considering the fact that the Z77 Express is designed for next-gen processors and targets the high-performance desktop segment"

        Intel has Server chipsets and Desktop chipsets, not to mention protable and specialty chipsets - this is a desktop/workstation chipset, aimed directly at the "enthusiast" market.

        Intel has a tradition of not creating server drivers for desktop chipset/MB combinations, I wouldn't expect any MB maker to use a performance desktop chipset for a server MB.

      • by Xanny ( 2500844 )
        More PCIE is great for servers. Expect the next 5 - 10 years see all the OpenCL / CUDA tinkering on the supercomputer market trickle down to other easily parallelizable tasks like web page generation, and we will migrate from clusters of 8 core budget processors to one rig with tons of PCIE bandwidth and quad GPUs doing all the work. Especially if they can get a combined ~24 gigs of ram with something like a 7970.5 with double the ram.
        • Amen to that. Throwing multiple storage controllers on separate lanes would eliminate a lot of bottlenecks for me.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Gigabit MAC? Yum. Gigs & Gigs served.

  • I want frys with that, too.
    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      I want Fry's with that, too.

      FTFY. Before someone bashes me for the apostrophe, it's a possessive.

  • Two hundred and seventy one different motherboards? Wouldn't that lead to market confusion?..... Oh Z71 Nevermind.
  • Now if a video card can't do pci-e 3.0 then it will only get X8 pci-e 2.0 speeds. As for duel x16 slots you may need to add a switch chip that puts out dual X16 pci-e 2.0. Most boards may have

    Also the other pci-e slots / lanes (that get used by on board chips) + USB 3.0 + SATA 6.0 + gig-e may put a load on the DMI bus.

  • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Monday April 09, 2012 @10:59AM (#39618937)

    I'm showing my age here, but I remember the days when MACs were only 48 bits.

    • by Idbar ( 1034346 )
      I'm really happy with Gigabit MAC []. This will probably make girlfriends and wives get ready faster than ever!

      Awesome technology advances these days!
  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:01AM (#39618963) Homepage

    I just have to say, back when I was doing a lot of hardware work, I would have happily launched 277 motherboards ... with a catapult.

    • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

      I dunno, I think a 12-gauge and some sort of modified clay-pigeon apparatus would be more ideal.

      For added irony, you could load the shotshells with machine screws instead of buckshot.

  • What a waste of time.

  • This will be perfect for Grandmothers everywhere to log on and check their hotmail accounts.
  • I think a lot of commenters on this are missing the point that 16 lanes of PCI-e 3.0 directly on-die is going to be a massive boost to Native PCI-e NAND Flash implementations (Fusion-io, for example). One of the biggest hurdles to getting more productivity out of faster CPUs and the proliferation of sockets/cores is feeding data to those CPUs. The disparity here is staggering... CPUs have improved by over a million times where storage interfaces and devices have only improved perhaps 100x (being generous)

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.