gigabyte issd 2 Gigabyte and Intel teams up for exclusive mSATA SSD offer

It was only days ago that we got the first exclusive picture of one of Gigabyte's mSATA equipped Z68 boards and now the company has announced yet another interesting development. Gigabyte has teamed up with Intel to offer an exclusive deal for those interested in getting a Gigabyte mSATA equipped motherboard with an mSATA SSD.

It was only days ago that we got the first exclusive picture of one of Gigabyte's mSATA equipped Z68 boards and now the company has announced yet another interesting development. Gigabyte has teamed up with Intel to offer an exclusive deal for those interested in getting a Gigabyte mSATA equipped motherboard with an mSATA SSD.

In all fairness, Gigabyte is pretty much the only consumer motherboard manufacturer to offer motherboards with an mSATA connector, but that doesn't make this any less of great deal for consumers. The motherboard in question is the GA-Z68XP-UD3 which so far hasn't made an appearance, which is Gigabyte's highest-end mSATA equipped board.

gigabyte issd 2 Gigabyte and Intel teams up for exclusive mSATA SSD offer

The deal with Intel consists of a bundle with Intel's 311-series SSD which is a 20GB SLC Flash based mSATA unit which Intel designed specifically for its Smart Response technology. You can of course get the two on its own, but the exclusive bundle deal means that Gigabyte can offer the two with a bit of a discount, something that most people are likely to appreciate.

To avoid unscrupulous retailers from popping the mSATA SSD out of the board and selling the two separately, Gigabyte has not only created a special packaging for the bundle deal which highlights the fact that there's an SSD in the box, but has also changed the motherboard model name to GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD. This means that if you're getting one of these boards without an mSATA SSD, then someone has helped themselves to it before you got the board.

The motherboard itself is a lot more interesting than the Z68P-DS3 that we looked at a couple of days ago and it's not hard to see why Gigabyte picked this model for the mSATA SSD bundle. The Z68XP-UD3-iSSD sports two x16 PCI Express slots where the secondary slot shares bandwidth with the primary slot. There are also three x1 PCI Exprss slots and two PCI slots. Beyond the mSATA connector, there are also the usual four SATA 3Gbps ports and two SATA 6Gbps, but Gigabyte has also added a pair of additional SATA 6Gbps ports.

gigabyte issd 1 Gigabyte and Intel teams up for exclusive mSATA SSD offer

The board has pin-headers for two front USB 3.0 ports, six USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port and a serial port. Around the back we have a PS/2 port, eight USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a FireWire port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out and an HDMI port. This places the Z68XP-UD3-iSSD pretty high on the list of Gigabyte's Z68 boards for anyone that's looking at taking advantage of all the new features on offer by the Z68 chipset.

We don't have the exact pricing on the bundle deal, but we were informed that it would be significantly cheaper than buying the two separately. The Z68XP-UD3-iSSD is shipping next week, but depending on where you're located it might take a couple of weeks before the boards arrive in the retail channel.

Source: Gigabyte