Q77M vPro 2 ASRock first with Q77 motherboard, a little bit too early in fact

Intel's Q77 chipset isn't expected to launch for another week and a half or so, but that hasn't stopped ASRock from launching its first product based on the chipset, the Q77M vPro motherboard. As the name inclines, this is a motherboard for business users and as such it comes with Intel's Small Business Advantage in the box.

Intel's Q77 chipset isn't expected to launch for another week and a half or so, but that hasn't stopped ASRock from launching its first product based on the chipset, the Q77M vPro motherboard. As the name inclines, this is a motherboard for business users and as such it comes with Intel's Small Business Advantage in the box.

Intel's SBA is a software package that makes it easy for small businesses to manage their PCs without a dedicated IT support team, or at least that's the idea behind the software. It features a software monitor that keeps software up to date and working, a backup and restore application, a USB port blocker that prevents unauthorized USB devices to be used with the computer, a power saving feature and a "PC Health Center" which performs maintenance tasks on the system during non-working hours.

Q77M vPro ASRock first with Q77 motherboard, a little bit too early in fact

So what about the motherboard? Well, the Q77M vPro doesn't look all that special, it's a fairly typical mATX motherboard with one x16 PCI Express 3.0 slot, one x16 PCI Express 2.0 slot with four lanes of bandwidth and two PCI slots. It also has the standard set of four SATA 3Gbps and two SATA 6Gbps ports, a front USB 3.0 header, as well as headers for four USB 2.0 ports, a serial port, a parallel port and a TPM module.

The rear port layout is fairly basic with a PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, Intel Gigabit LAN – this is a requirement for the SBA software to work – 5.1-channel audio and a DisplayPort, DVI and D-sub connector. The choice of DisplayPort over HDMI clearly makes this a motherboard targeted for more professional use, but it's really the only thing that makes this board stand out a bit from the crowd.

Q77M vPro 2 ASRock first with Q77 motherboard, a little bit too early in fact

The Q77M vPro is already on sale for around US$125 (S$160) which is a pretty steep price premium over something like ASRock's own H77 Pro4-M which offers a better feature set for a mere US$90 (S$115), so unless you really need the Intel SBA software and the DisplayPort connector, there are plenty of more affordable options out there.

Source: ASRock