ASRock has presented its first motherboard supporting PCI-Express 3.0 standard. The new products, called Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3, is based on Intel Z68 chipset and dedicated for Intel Sandy Bridge (LGA 1155) processors.
The main feature of PCIe 3.0 is bandwidth of 1GB/s per lane. To compare, PCI Express slots of 2.x specification deliver max of 500MB/sec per lane. Since Z68 does not have native support for PCI-Express 3.0 ASRock had to use a separate chip, PLX PEX8608, for this reason.
In order to have native support for PCIe 3.0 one should wait at least until first Intel X79 (LGA2011) and other 7-series (LGA 1155) chipset based motherboards to hit retails.
Back to Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3. As you might guessed, this a high-end solution and number of PCI-Express x16 slots confirm it. There are two slots of 3.0 and one of 2.0 specification. This provides users with opportunities to create Quad-SLI or Quad CrossFireX setups which is also possible thanks to Virtu LucidLogix technology presented here. Other than that, CPU power stability is supported by Advanced V12 + 6 Power Phase Design, while four DIMM slots can have dual channel DDR3-2133(OC) memory installed. Storage drive connectivity is brought by ten SATA ports (six of them are believed to be of SATA 6.0 Gbps standatd) with support of Intel Smart Response technology.
I/O panel includes four USB 3.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet controllers, one eSATA port, six inputs/outputs for 7.1-channel audio system, D-Sub and two HDMI 1.4 ports and Fatal1ty USB Mouse Port that allows to set port frequency within 125-1000MHz range
Although ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 is said to be already available for sale, but we were unlucky to actually spot the price of the novelty.