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Intel DZ77RE First and Only to Feature Thunderbolt from Intel's 7-series Board Stable


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This week, we got two important bits of news, firstly, that Intel's third-generation Core processor family (codenamed "Ivy Bridge"), is scheduled for launch on April 8, 2012; and secondly, that Intel will use that occasion to launch its new 7-series chipset, and with it, bring its 10 Gbps Thunderbolt interconnect to the PC platform. A road-map slide tabling Intel's own Desktop Board division products based on 7-series chipset, shows that only one motherboard from Intel's stable will feature Thunderbolt, the DZ77RE.

The DZ77RE is likely listed within the Extreme Series, which will be a top-of-the-line product. This is a bit of a contradiction to the idea behind Thunderbolt, and the way Intel's Desktop Board lineup is designed. It typically consists of Extreme Series, geared for gamers and overclockers; Media Series, for content-creation professionals; Classic Series, for office PCs with room for upgrades; and Essential Series, which well, covers the essentials. None of the supposed Media Series boards from Intel's 7-series chipset based Desktop Board lineup is listing Thunderbolt support, when it's the content-creation industry that stands to be the primary user of the interface. Thunderbolt facilitates ultra-high bandwidth for multiple lossless high-resolution video streams which will help in tomorrow's video-editing systems.

Sources: Expreview, DonanimHaber
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Great, so anyone who thinks their current SB or SBE motherboard will last for an Ivy bridge CPU upgrade just found out otherwise. Intel are so sneaky.

Intel might only have it on one board but I'm sure Asus/Gigabyte etc will include it on most of their boards in the Z77 series. I assume Z77 is the ivy bridge version of Z68, I cant see them not putting it on X89 Ivy bridge-e boards.
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I don’t think current Sandy Bridge and Sandy Bridge-E systems become obsolete just because of a new chipset such as the Z77 and new motherboards with Thunderbolt. Adoption of Thunderbolt (for example the use of it with Thunderbolt hardware) and the growth of Thunderbolt (again hardware / peripherals) requires “accessibility” among a fairly large group. Right now only Apple has it (I’ve heard of a Sony laptop and maybe one other non-Apple solution) and that doesn’t work in its favor. Limiting Thunderbolt to only high-end motherboards or only high-end systems from OEMs also does nothing to help it along.

Right now my Asus P8P67 Pro (B3) already has non-beta BIOS for Ivy Bridge chips so unless Z77 boards bring more to the table then Thunderbolt support (and presumably not all Z77 boards will have Thunderbolt in the first place) I’m not necessarily too concerned.

I’m actually more interested in Thunderbolt on the Sandy Bridge-E LGA2011 platform as I don’t already have one. Presumably, February will yield C2 stepping Sandy Bridge-E parts but if it will receive Thunderbolt support in April as well I may wait until then.
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Whats thunderbolt?

haha just kidding, I have no use for thunderbolt right now therefor i think i will be just fine with my p67 and 2500k.
Sep 4, 2005
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what is the point of putting thunderbolt on a board? Who is going to use it?

I predict 2 years at least before anyone has enough use for it that board makers will include it if its not already in the PCH.
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I have one on my Macbook Pro. There aren't any devices that use thunderbolt that I know of (if I am wrong, please don't post with a link...no one really cares)