intel z68 Intel Z68 chipset pricing lower than expected

By now we're within a month or two at the most from the launch of Intel's upcoming high-end Sandy Bridge chipset, the Z68 and we've gotten some new details ahead of the launch via the grapevine. It's all good news, although we have as yet not managed to pin-point the actual launch date which is the final piece of the puzzle.

By now we're within a month or two at the most from the launch of Intel's upcoming high-end Sandy Bridge chipset, the Z68 and we've gotten some new details ahead of the launch via the grapevine. It's all good news, although we have as yet not managed to pin-point the actual launch date which is the final piece of the puzzle.

As you may or may not have read, Intel has added support for SSD caching in the Z68 chipset and so far it's been known as RST SSD caching, not exactly a sexy name for what at least for Intel is a new technology, so the company's PR department came up with a better one – Smart Response. It's at least a catchier name, even though it actually says less about the actual technology, but that's what marketing and PR is for, right? If you want a preview of how well it works or not, we suggest you head over to Tom's hardware that put up an early preview a while back. Smart Response still requires that you own an SSD of course, although even a fairly small one would be good enough.

However, the really good news is that Intel decided to lower the price of the Z68 chipset to a price point much closer to that of the current P67 chipset. This should hopefully result not only in a lot more affordable Z68 boards, but also a wide range than many of the board makers initially planned to offer. That said, Intel hasn't officially revealed the pricing of its P67 chipset so any actual pricing is a bit hard to deduce and we're currently unable to reveal the price difference, but it's much smaller than what earlier rumours have suggested.

As soon as Intel has gotten its Sandy Bridge and Westmere-EX Xeon CPU launch out of the way, we'd expect that they'll start preparing the launch of the Z68 chipset, unless they've decided to hold it back until Computex. Otherwise the best and most likely launch even would be IDF Beijing which kicks off on the 12th of April, but none of the keynotes or technical sessions seems to suggest that we're looking at a Z68 platform launch at IDF.