Shortly after, netrock about troublesome Intel 6 series chipsets came down, IT-community started to wait impatiently for appearance of a new chips. We are talking about Intel Z68 supporting LGA 1155 Socket and dedicated to open wide the true potential of Sandy Bridge processors. Last weekend was rich to show up a leaked slide on Internet revealing features of the upcoming chipset.
Essentially, Z68 chipset is a combination of P67 and H67 chips. Therefore, you can now overclock discrete cards in CrossFireX or SLI configuration as well as use Sandy Bridge IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor). Besides, Z68 chipset provides full overclocking access to BCKL, memory, CPU multiplier and IGP in particular. This results in power performance boost for 3D applications since IGP can now run at up-to 1950MHz in Turbo mode — almost 45% increase compared to 1350MHz provided by P67/H67 chipsets — with CPU clocked at 4.5 GHz and DDR3-2133 memory. Still, it is not clear whether it will be enough to stand against AMD’s IGPs of Llano processors. Most likely, we won’t see Intel’s new chips in laptop products. On the other hand, Llano is a platform primarily intended for performance and mainstream notebooks and mainstream desktops.
Another interesting thing about Z68-based products is the price. Z68 motherboards are said not to be cheap, so itis more targeted at high-end market. But IGP shows low interest for advanced user, hardware enthusiasts and overclockers, therefore, we should not expect mass shifting from P67 to Z68 boards. Even more, the selection of Z68-based products won’t be wide.
As for actual release dates, no official info is available, although, we have already heard of Z68 mainboards presented by leading manufacturers at CeBIT 2011. Internet sources state the start of sales for Z68 motherboards to begin somewhere in May.