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ASRock Takes Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs to Z68, P67 and H67 Series Motherboards

World's top 3 motherboard manufacturer ASRock today announced that its entire line of Intel P67, H67 and Z68 series motherboards will support Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs by updating the latest P version BIOS & Drivers! Via an Intel® Ivy Bridge CPU, ASRock P67, H67 and Z68 series motherboards are resurrected. Users may expect more powerful processing speed yet lower power consumption by the world's first 22 nm 3-D Transistors.

"Besides pursuing extremes with hardcore hardware enthusiasts and die-hard gamers, making high-end technology easy and accessible for everybody is also one of ASRock's goals." commented James Lee, V.P. of Sales and Marketing at ASRock. "We have no doubt that users will be thrilled as much as we are with these updates, it will be like experiencing a brand new motherboard all over again."

iBUYPOWER Announces Availability of Intel's Performance Tuning Protection Plan

iBUYPOWER, a leading innovator in gaming PCs, is excited to announce the availability of Intel's Performance Tuning Protection Plan on all new iBUYPOWER gaming systems. The plan offers iBUYPOWER customers a one-time replacement for a CPU that is internally damaged by operating the processor outside of Intel's published specifications.

The protection plan will be available at no additional charge with the order of any Intel Z68-based iBUYPOWER system featuring an Intel Core K Series processor. This includes iBUYPOWER's popular Chimera, LAN Warrior II and Erebus systems. The company also offers free liquid CPU cooling on all new desktop systems.

Intel SSD 313 "Hawley Creek" SSD Stripped Apart, Tested

With 3rd generation Core "Ivy Bridge" processors, and 7-series "Panther Point" chipset, Intel will also release a new line of cache-SSDs to complement its Smart Response Technology (SRT) feature, which provides a decent performance middle-ground between HDDs, and expensive SSDs. The SSD 313 "Hawley Creek" family will replace SSD 310 "Larson Creek" family. It consists of drives that make use of relatively low amounts of SLC NAND flash memory (which have much higher endurance than MLC NAND flash, making them ideal for caching). Built in the 2.5" SATA and mSATA form-factors, the drives will be available in two variants; the 20 GB variant offers 220/100 MB/s (reads/writes), with 36,000 4K random read IOPS, while the 24 GB variant offers 160/115 MB/s (reads/writes), with 33,000 4K random read IOPS.

HWBOX.gr got to test the SSD 313 20 GB variant on a current generation Z68 motherboard (ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z), and post its findings. The Greek tech-site tested its performance in what it's meant to do: SSD caching using Intel SRT. Findings show a healthy boost in performance, with synthetic benchmarks, including synthetic read/write performance, random-access (IOPS), PCMark, and real-world tests such as Windows 7 boot-time, and startup of content-creation applications, but the performance-difference between SRT and plain-HDD narrowed as tests with data-loads grew, which is expected. SSD caching merely places "hot-data" (frequently-accessed data of the HDD on the SSD, for quicker access), and shunts data in and out of the SSD, as "heat" of data on the HDD changes competitively. Find a ton of more test results at the source link.

Source: HWBox.gr

Gigabyte G1.Sniper 3 Z77 Motherboard Pictured

How time flies. It's been just a little over an year since Gigabyte unveiled its G1.Killer series of gamer-overclocker oriented motherboards, including the G1.Sniper, and now it's already at G1.Sniper 3. While the original G1.Sniper was based on the X58 chipset supporting LGA1366 processors, the the Sniper 2 based on Z68 chipset, supporting LGA1155 processors, the Sniper 3 stays put on the LGA1155 platform, but makes use of the brand-new Z77 chipset. The motherboard is designed to drive up to four graphics cards in 4-way CrossFire/SLI configurations. It takes advantage of a PLX PEX8747 bridge chip, which takes in one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 link, giving out two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 links, it even has a native multiplex that splits its second downstream x16 link to two x8 links. This way, the G1.Sniper 3 is ready for 4-way action with the latest PCIe Gen. 3.0 graphics cards.

MSI's entire Z68 (G3)/H61 (G3) Series Motherboard Supports Intel's 22 nm Processors

MSI announces today that MSI's Z68 (G3)/H61 (G3) series of motherboards offers official support of Intel's next-generation CPU based on the 22 nm manufacturing process. Users can download the corresponding BIOS listed below at no charge to upgrade their existing MSI Intel Z68/H61 motherboard, allowing a full experience of superior performance and powerful features found on the next-generation 22 nm Intel CPU.

MSI G3 motherboards also fully support the latest PCI Express Gen 3 specification, reaching twice the current bandwidth and maximizing performance from next-generation PCI Express Gen 3 video cards. Via MSI's unique intelligent update tool - Live Update - your computer will automatically download and update the latest BIOS for next-generation CPU compatibility, providing an immediate upgrade without spending extra money on a new motherboard purchase!

Mouse Computer Intros MDV Advance Series Desktop for Graphics Professionals

Japanese company Mouse Computer introduced the MDV Advance series desktop for graphics professionals. It is characterized by a large 27-inch IPS display with 2560 x 1440 pixels resolution, originally made by Samsung, driven by NVIDIA Quadro graphics. Based on the Sandy Bridge and Sandy Bridge-E platforms, the MDV Advanced is available in two models. The MDV-ASQ8310B-WS-P27LP is driven by Intel Core i7-2700K processor, with 8 GB (2x 4 GB) memory, based on a Z68 chipset motherboard. Graphics is handled by Quadro 600 The storage subsystem consists of a 1 TB hard drive and DVD SuperMulti drive.

The MDV-ASG9300B-WS-P27LP is the more expensive model, driven by Intel Core i7-3930K six-core processor, X79 chipset motherboard, and 16 GB (4x 4 GB) memory. Graphics is driven by Quadro 2000D. The storage subsystem is carried on from the other model. Buyers can opt for better storage at a premium. Both models are driven by Windows 7 Home Premium x64 OS. The pricing of MDV-ASQ8310B-WS-P27LP starts at 169,890 JPY (US $2150), while the MDV-ASG9300B-WS-P27LP starts at 239,820 JPY (US $3032).

Source: PCWatch Akiba

Mouse Computer Announces Trio of High-End Desktops with Intel SSD 520

Major Japanese OEM Mouse Computer announced a trio of high-end desktop PCs that are built specifically around Intel's SSD 520 solid-state drives, launched a little earlier this week. These include the MDV-ASG8310B-SSD, the MDV-ASG8250B, and the MDV-AGG9320S-SSD. The MDV-ASG8310B-SSD and MDV-ASG8250B are both driven by Intel Core i7-2700K processor, based on Intel Z68 motherboard, with 8 GB (2x 4 GB) memory; while the former features NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti graphics, the latter has GeForce GTX 560. The MDV-AGG9320S-SSD is driven by six-core Intel Core i7-3930K processor, with 16 GB (4x 4 GB) memory, and GeForce GTX 570 graphics.

All three are built into the same chassis, featuring the same 23-inch full-HD display and peripherals. All three feature Intel's newly-launched SSD 520 solid-state drive with 120 GB capacity, the SSD is configured to hold the OS and program files, while all three further feature a slower 1 TB hard drive that handles documents and storage. DVD-RW, gigabit Ethernet, and Windows 7 Home Premium x64 make for the rest of the commonalities. The MDV-ASG8310B-SSD is priced at 99,750 JPY (US $1,300); the MDV-ASG8250B at 109,830 JPY ($1,432); and the MDV-AGG9320S-SSD at 159,600 JPY ($2,081).

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

Shuttle Launches New Mini-PC with Z68 Chipset

Shuttle Computer Handels GmbH, the European subsidiary of Shuttle Inc., one of the leading developers and manufacturers of compact PC solutions such as the world-renowned XPC Mini-PC barebones, today announces its new top-of-the-range XPC Barebone model SZ68R5.

It is the first time a Shuttle Mini-PC integrates Intel’s Z68 high-performance desktop chipset with Smart Response Technology (SSD caching). An SSD is used here to speed up the boot process and to ensure ultra-rapid application startup. Space-saving mSATA-SSDs can be fitted in the corresponding Mini-PCIe slot on the motherboard.

StormST Unveils Still Tower Gamer Edition PC

Japanese PC manufacturer StormST unveiled the Still Tower Gamer Edition desktop PC, which is configured to offer decent features and performance at a value price point. It's more of a "pre-integrated PC", since even its chassis is sourced from other brands. The chassis is an NZXT H2 (white or black) silent case.

Innards include Intel Core i7-2600K processor cooled by SCYTHE APSALUS2 120 closed-loop water cooler, ASRock Z68 Pro3 motherboard, 8 GB (4 GB x2) DDR3-1333 MHz memory, ELSA Gladiac GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1 GB graphics, Intel SSD 320 Series 80 GB holding the OS and Program Files, 2 TB storage HDD holding Users and Documents folders, Pioneer DVD writer, Antec Earthwatts Green 650W PSU, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OS. All this, for 129,780 JPY or US $1,685.

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

ASUS X79 Motherboards Hold 70% Global Market Share

Two in every three socket LGA2011 motherboards based on the Intel X79 chipset, globally, are ASUS. The company has amassed 70% global market share of X79 motherboards, according to the latest sales data given out by the company. That's not all, the same data claims ASUS globally holds 50% of the Z68 motherboard market, and 60% of the P67 motherboard market. ASUS' X79 motherboard lineup includes four models in the P9X79 series: the P9X79, P9X79 Pro, P9X79 Deluxe, P9X79 WS; three models in the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Rampage IV series: the Rampage IV Extreme, Rampage IV Formula, and Rampage IV Gene; and Sabertooth X79.

Source: DigiTimes

Intel To Launch Sandy Bridge LGA1155 Processors That Lack iGPU

"Visibly Smart" was the tagline with which Intel brought its 2nd Generation Core processor family codenamed "Sandy Bridge" into the market. What every Sandy Bridge chip in the LGA1155 package launched thus far has in common is its integrated graphics controller. Apparently, Intel is planning to launch three new Core i5 quad-core processors, which lack that integrated graphics. The processors very much will work on H61, H67, and Z68 chipset-based motherboards, only you can't use the integrated graphics, making them functionally-identical to first-generation LGA1156 Core i5 quad-core chips.

The Core i5-2550K, which has been talked about for the past few weeks, is one of these three models that will lack iGPU. This chip is geared for overclocking, as it features an unlocked base clock multiplier. The other two models are the Core i5-2450P, and Core i5-2380P. Intel is perhaps counting on the "P" marker to intuitively denote lack of iGPU, like with P67 chipset. Clocked at 3.10 GHz with a Turbo Boost speed of 3.40 GHz, the Core i5-2380P is clocked identically to the Core i5-2400, except of course it lacks the iGPU. The Core i5-2450P, on the other hand is a little unique, with a clock speed of 3.20 GHz and 3.50 GHz Turbo Boost speed. Pricing and availability are not known, though it is expected that some of these chips will be priced lower than existing models with iGPU.


Source: VR-Zone

Christmas Special: The PC Technology of 2011

Welcome to the TechPowerUp 2011 PC technology Christmas special. We hope that you will enjoy reading it while tucking into your turkey, Christmas presents and a little too much wine... In this article, we go through the technology of 2011 that has had the most significance, the most impact and was generally the most talked about. It's not necessarily the best tech of 2011 which is the most significant though, since lemons can be just as significant as the ground-breakers in how they fail to deliver - and the backlash that goes with it.

January: Intel Sandy Bridge i5 & i7

Released on January 9th, the new Intel Core i5 & i7 processors were based on Intel's second generation Core architecture built on a 32 nm production process (HEXUS review). They included an IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) physically on the same piece of silicon along with HyperThreading. These new dual and quad core processors soundly beat all previous generations of Intel processors in terms of processing performance, heat, power use, features and left AMD in the dust. Therefore, Intel badly needed some competition from AMD and unless you have been living under a rock, you will know how that turned out in October with the launch of Bulldozer. Sandy Bridge was a sound win and is generally considered to be the only architecture worth considering at this point. The i5-2500K is currently at the sweet spot of price/performance. It comes at a stock speed of 3.3 GHz, but typically overclocks to an amazing 4.5 - 5 GHz with a decent air cooler and without too much difficulty in getting there. Models in the budget i3 range were released at various times later. See this Wikipedia article for details.

Ivy Bridge Early Sneak Performance Peek: Any Faster Than Sandy Bridge?

Intel's Ivy Bridge line of processors are not due for release until spring 2012, but it looks like Chinese website Coolaler has scored a sneak peak at the performance level of Intel's 22 nm Ivy Bridge platform by testing an engineering sample of a quad core CPU. The screenshot shows CPU-Z & Task Manager (no HyperThreading) readouts, while the AIDA64 Cache & Memory benchmark has been run. The CPU used is a 2 GHz sample as shown by the photo, which CPU-Z reports as running at its 2.4 GHz turbo boost speed (20% overclock) on a Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 motherboard. Rough and ready verdict: about the same speed as the current Sandy Bridge, but with a significantly enhanced northbridge and graphics core. The AIDA64 scores are actually slightly lower than the current SB scores, but this is likely because the CPU is running unsupported and unoptimized due to a mobo BIOS that's not made for it and a benchmark that cannot measure its true performance. Note the memory speeds, which were run fast at 2134 MHz 6-9-6-24 CR2, further indicating lack of optimization, since these timings suggest somewhat better performance than what was measured.

Giada Unveils Mini-ITX Z68 Motherboard

Chinese company JEHE is launching its latest compact mini-ITX motherboard in Europe under the Giada brand, the MI-Z68. As the name suggests, it is based on Intel Z68 chipset, and supports Core i3/i5/i7 processors in the LGA1155 package. There is no TDP restriction, as the board features a full-fledged CPU VRM that draws power from a 4-pin 12V connector apart from a 20-pin ATX connector (any of today's PSUs with 24-pin connector will support it). The board uses a 4+1 phase CPU VRM, with single phase memory. There are two DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting dual-channel memory. The lone expansion slot is a PCI-Express 2.0 x16.

There's impressive storage connectivity, this includes two mSATA 3 Gb/s (on on either side of the slot), two SATA 6 Gb/s (blue), and two SATA 3 Gb/s (black). There are just two USB 3.0 ports, both on the rear panel, and driven by a Renesas-made controller. 8-channel HD audio with optical SPDIF output, one gigabit Ethernet connection (driven by Realtek-made PHY), display outputs that include DVI and HDMI, a number of USB 2.0 ports and PS/2 keyboard, make for the rest of the rear panel. The Giada MI-Z68 will be priced at €88.

Source: TechConnect Magazine

MSI Announces Z68MA-G43 (G3) PCI-Express Gen. 3 Ready mATX Motherboard

Leading global graphics card and motherboard brand and manufacturer MSI officially announced the Z68MA-G43 (G3) motherboard today. The new motherboard will be the first in the industry to adopt the next-generation PCI Express Gen 3 high-speed data transfer standard to deliver unprecedented levels of performance with a staggering 32GB/s of bandwidth. The motherboard will also feature MSI's proprietary ClickBIOS II that will allow enthusiasts to use the mouse or even touch control panel to adjust the system and overclocking settings through UEFI BIOS or Windows applications.

In addition, OC Genie II is included and can be used to optimize the CPU, memory, integrated graphics card, and storage devices for maximum stability and performance in just one second. When combined with Intel Smart Response Technology the performance of conventional HDDs can be increased by as much as 457%. With support for all solid capacitors, USB 3.0, SATA 6G, HDMI / DVI / D-Sub video-out, and multiple CrossFireX graphics cards, the new motherboard meets enthusiasts' demands for system stability, expandability, and extreme game graphics.

ASUS Unveils ROG Maximus IV Gene-Z/Gen 3 with PCI-Express 3.0 Slots

ASUS is ready with a new PCI-Express 3.0 compliant socket LGA1155 motherboard, adding to its recently-launched line of Intel Z68 chipset-based boards that feature Gen 3.0 PCI-Express x16 slots. This latest one is part of the elite Republic of Gamers (ROG) family, and is built on the compact micro-ATX form factor, called Maximus IV Gene-Z/Gen 3. This is the second modification of the Maximus IV Gene, the original was based on Intel P67 chipset, the Gene-Z replaced the chipset with Intel Z68 that supports Smart Response technology, while the Gene-Z/Gen 3 adds PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots.

The board uses a 12-phase Digi+ VRM for the CPU, it is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots supporting DRAM speeds of up to DDR3-2200 MHz with overclocking. The socket is wired to two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots over Gen 3 compliant switches and electrical components, the slots configure to PCI-Express 3.0 x8/x8 when both are populated. PCI-Express Gen 3 support requires next-generation 22 nm Ivy Bridge Core processors, which will be launched next year. The only other expansion slot is an open-ended PCI-Express 2.0 x4, wired to the Z68 PCH. NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFire are supported.

ASUS Unveils Trio of PCI-Express 3.0 Motherboards Based on Intel Z68 Chipset

ASUS unveiled a trio of socket LGA1155 motherboards based on the Intel Z68 chipset, which feature PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (electrical x8/x8 when both are populated). The new motherboards are PCI-Express Gen 3.0 specifications compliant, complete with switches and electrical components. Leading the pack is the P8Z68 DELUXE/Gen3 in the $250-segement, followed by the P8Z68-V PRO/Gen3 in the $200-segment, and the P8Z68-V/Gen3 in the sub-$200 segment.

All three feature 16-phase Digi+ CPU VRM, an Intel-made gigabit Ethernet controller, and Lucid Virtu support. All three feature the same expansion slot loadout, with two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC or x8/x8), one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical 2.0 x4), and two each of PCI-Express 2.0 x1 and legacy PCI wired to an ASMedia-made bridge chip.

Intel Intros New Z68-based Extreme Series Desktop Boards

Intel released two new Desktop Board Extreme Series motherboards based on the Z68 chipset, supporting Core processors in the LGA1155 package, the DZ68ZV and DZ68BC. The DZ68ZV uses the same exact PCB as the DP67BG, replacing the P67 PCH with Z68 (they're pin-compatible). It lacks display connectivity. The only plus here is support for Intel Smart Response Technology. It uses a 8-phase active-swiching/load-balancing digital PWM power circuitry for the CPU, and quite a few overclocking features. Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 2.0 x16, three PCIe x1, and two PCI. Storage connectivity includes two SATA 6 Gb/s four SATA 3 Gb/s and one eSATA 3 Gb/s. Then there's 8-channel HD audio, USB 3.0, and Intel GbE controller.

The DZ68BC is a completely new design that is tailored for the Z68 chipset, complete with overclocking features, as well as display connectivity. The CPU is powered by an 8-phase digital PWM VRM, makes use of improved VRM cooling, expansion slots include two PCI-Express 2.0 x16, three PCI and two PCIe x1, storage connectors consist of four SATA 6 Gb/s, four SATA 3 Gb/s, and two eSATA. There's 8-channel HD audio, Intel GbE connections, display IO that includes DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI, USB 3.0, and possibly FireWire. Lucid Virtu comes bundled, that provides active switching between the integrated and discrete GPUs.

Source: VR-Zone

Gigabyte Responds to MSI's Bluff Call

A little earlier this month, MSI's PR team dished out a presentation in which they claimed that Gigabyte was misleading buyers into thinking that as many as 40 of its recently-launched motherboards were "Ready for Native PCIe Gen.3". MSI tried to make its argument plausible by explaining what exactly goes into making a Gen 3-ready motherboard. The presentation caused quite some drama in the comments. Gigabyte responded with a presentation of its own, in which it counter-claimed that those making the accusations ignored some key details. Details such as "what if the Ivy Bridge CPU is wired to the first PCIe slot (lane switches won't matter)?"

LucidLogix Injects HyperFormance to Virtu Software for Faster, More Responsive Gaming

LucidLogix demonstrated today for the first time at Intel Developer Forum 2011 (IDF) the injection of HyperFormance technology into its Virtu Universal GPU virtualization software for outstanding gaming responsiveness, visual quality and frame rates.

"Games are all about creating a suspension of disbelief and a more immersive overall lifelike experience," said Offir Remez, president and founder of Lucid. "HyperFormance technology provides a more responsive game interaction together with a clean visual image, making for a more pleasurable experience."

BIOSTAR Announces TZ68K+ Performance Motherboard

BIOSTAR, a world famous manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards, industrial computing systems and computer peripherals, expanded the T Series with the TZ68K+ motherboard based on the latest single-chip Intel Z68 chipset. The new board features the ATX form-factor (305 x 230 mm) and is aimed at system integrators and individual builders of high-performance desktop systems.

The BIOSTAR TZ68K+ motherboard fully supports all functional capabilities embedded into the latest version of the Intel Z68 chipset. They are a support for second-generation multi-core Intel Core i7, Core i5 and Core i3 CPUs (Sandy Bridge) with TDP up to 95W for the LGA 1155 Socket, integrated SATA 3.0 ports (SATA600) and speedy PCI Express 2.0 interfaces for peripherals. One can also arrange RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 arrays with the Matrix RAID function and make use of the Smart Response technology that allows caching storage devices with additional flash memory.

SAPPHIRE Supports Latest Intel CPU Family with Pure Platinum Z68 Mainboard

SAPPHIRE Technology, a leading manufacturer and global supplier of graphics, mainboard and multimedia solutions has just introduced a new mainboard developed to support the latest SandyBridge family of CPU’s from Intel.

The SAPPHIRE Pure Platinum Z68 is a full ATX sized board that supports the 2nd Generation Intel SandyBridge i3 / i5 / i7 processor family using socket LGA1155. Four dual channel memory sockets are provided, supporting up to 16GB of DDR3 memory with current technology, and capable of supporting up to 32GB when suitable modules become available. There two USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports (plus 8 on headers), as well as Gigabit LAN and Bluetooth connectivity with EDR (enhanced data rate). It has four SATA II 3G ports, and two SATA III 6G ports (+ two more on a header) and supports Intel “Rapid Storage” technology as well as RAID 1, 0, 5 and 10.

GIGABYTE Announces Entire 6 Series Ready to Support Native PCIe Gen. 3

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co., Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards and computing hardware solutions today announced their entire range of 6 series motherboards are ready to support the next generation Intel 22nm CPUs (LGA1155 Socket) as well as offer native support for PCI Express Gen. 3 technology, delivering maximum data bandwidth for future discrete graphics cards.

Wanting to provide maximum upgradeability to customers, GIGABYTE has enabled native support for PCI Express Gen. 3 across the entire range of GIGABYTE 6 series motherboards, including the recently launched G1.Sniper 2 motherboard, when paired with Intel's next generation 22nm CPUs. By installing the latest BIOS for their 6 series motherboards today, users can be assured they are ready to take advantage of all the performance enhancements tomorrow's technologies have to offer.

EVGA Rolls Out Trio of Z68 Motherboards

After much delay, EVGA released its first wave of LGA1155 motherboards based on the Intel Z68 chipset featuring Intel Smart Response technology. Quite surprisingly, none of EVGA's Z68 motherboards feature display outputs. The series is topped by Z68 FTW, designed for enthusiasts and overclockers; followed by Z68 SLI, geared for gamers with NVIDIA SLI graphics setups; and Z68 SLI Micro, an SLI-ready board in the micro-ATX form-factor.

The Z68 FTW uses a similar layout to the P67 FTW. It uses a strong VRM to power the CPU and memory, it provides as many as six PCI-Express x16 slots, making use of a nForce 200 bridge chip that makes it 3-way and 4-way SLI ready. It is loaded with overclocker-friendly features such as EVbot support, a front-panel OC controller, and an overclocking gauge. The Z68 FTW is also available as a package without those two accessories.

New Add-On Card Makes SSD Caching More Accessible

While using a low-capacity SSD to cache a hard drive has shown in some cases to be the next best thing to owning a large SSD as the proper primary drive, SSD caching is limited by the availability of the right technology. On the one hand, you have Intel offering it with its Smart Response Technology, on the other you have special storage enclosures such as HDDBoost from SilverStone. Smart Response Tech for now is limited to socket LGA1155 platform, and in it, Z68 Express chipset-based motherboards. In Japan, a new add-on card design has surfaced, by a company called Kuroutoshikou, which lets you use an mSATA SSD to cache a SATA hard drive, and its installation is claimed to be fairly straightforward.

The PCI-Express 2.0 x1 add-on card pictured below, makes use of a new Marvell-made 2-port SATA 6 Gb/s controller. One of its two ports is wired to an mSATA, the other to a standard SATA port. The SATA controller in this card features Marvell's HyperDuo technology, which works similar to Intel's Smart Response Technology, and installation is almost plug-and-install-driver. The card uses a half-height PCB, and packs a low-profile expansion bracket cover, if your SFF case demands it. Pretty much any make of mSATA SSD and SATA hard drives can be used. This addon card is priced in Japan for 3,980 Yen, which is about US $50.3, a $20 premium over some of the cheapest 2-port SATA 6 Gb/s cards are around that price range. It's possible that peripheral specialists of the likes of Rosewill, Siig, Syba, etc., might market such cards Stateside in the future.


Source: VR-Zone
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