Despite the fact that there is some time left before official presentation of Intel Z68 chipset, which is set to 8-9th May, motherboards based on that chipset have been caught selling in one of Norvegian e-stores. We are speaking about Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 motherboard that was selling at Multicom for 2693 Norwegian krones, which is translated to around $397 (excluding VAT). Same board has been spotted in Taiwanese market accounting approximately $513.
Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 motherboard should officially hit shelves same time Intel Z68 Express is released. As for the technical details, the motherboard does not include display output ports though Z68 chipset supports Sandy Bridge integrated graphics processors too and don’t forget great overclocking functionality. In addition, Gigabyte has finally moving to UEFI interface instead of traditional BIOS, however the name Touch BIOS implies that it is likely to be a Hybrid EFI technology. The overall look reminds us of UD7 board based on P67 chipset with some minor improvement.
Besides that, Intel Z68 Express chipset, supports Quick Sync option, that was implemented in 2nd generation of Intel Core processors allowing significant increase of video decoding speed with no loss in image quality. Also, there is a SSD caching features (a.k.a Smart Response) that boosts performance of a system with both SSD and HDD installed.
Another interesting thing to note about Gigabyte and Z68 chipset, rumors say the company stops production of P67 based board in favor of more advanced chipset, since both have almost same functionality and price. It is also reported that Gigabyte has already canceled ordering P67 chips from Intel in order to make a faster shift to Z68 saving more money and time.(rumors deflated)
Update on 04.20.2011
Official statement regarding reports of cancelling P67 chipset projects:
The industry reports about GIGABYTE cancelling all P67 projects and moving 100% to next gen Intel 6 series chipset models are misleading and unfounded. GIGABYTE will continue producing some P67 chipset motherboard models until the end of 2011, and the H67 models are expected to be available well into 2012. However, it is true that GIGABYTE is aggressively preparing a full range of motherboards based on next gen Intel 6 series chipsets for the enthusiast, power user and mainstream market segments. These models will boast all the rich features available from Intel’s latest chipset and CPU offerings together with some exciting new GIGABYTE proprietary technologies.
We appreciate the excitement and enthusiasm regarding GIGABYTE’s next generation 6 series chipset motherboards, and look forward to a quick ramp in the weeks and months to come.