dz68pl 1 Intels soon to launch Z68 motherboards detailed, pictured

We've finally managed to dig up details of Intel's upcoming DZ68PL and DZ68AF motherboards along with a couple of pictures of each of the boards. We first got wind of the new boards back in September, but then we only knew the models names and we'll do our best to fill in the rest of the details today.

We've finally managed to dig up details of Intel's upcoming DZ68PL and DZ68AF motherboards along with a couple of pictures of each of the boards. We first got wind of the new boards back in September, but then we only knew the models names and we'll do our best to fill in the rest of the details today.
 
We need to start this by correcting a small mistake from our September article, the DP67BA is in fact being replaced by the DZ68PL and the DP67DE is being replaced by the DZ68AF and as such Intel is not adding Smart Response technology to its P67 motherboards. This was a misunderstanding on our side due to unclear information given to us.
 
It's really hard to follow Intel's logic here, as we're now nearly a year into the Sandy Bridge life cycle and Intel is putting out Z68 motherboards akin to the first generation boards that arrived back in May, some six months ago. What we mean by first generation is that neither of Intel's two new boards feature any kind of display connectivity, despite that both boards clearly has space for the display connectors.
 
dz68pl 2 Intels soon to launch Z68 motherboards detailed, pictured
 
As such the DZ68PL which is the ATX size board is a rather strange addition to Intel's media series of motherboards, as when you think about media, you think about products that somehow are connected to a display. The DZ68PL is a rather boring board with a single x16 PCI Express slot, two x1 PCI Express slots and three PCI slots. It has five internal SATA connectors of which two are SATA 6Gbps. The only other “feature” if you can call it that are four pin headers for eight USB 2.0 ports and a pin header for a single FireWire port.
 
dz68pl 1 Intels soon to launch Z68 motherboards detailed, pictured
 
Around the back are six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, a FireWire port, a Gigabit Ethernet port – using an Intel Ethernet controller of course – and 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out. There really isn't much to this board and considering the multitude of choice, there are many better options to go for by now.
The DZ68AF follows a similar concept, although this is a mATX board so it only has a single x16 PCI Express slot, two x1 PCI Express slots and a single PCI slot. Intel has once more gone for five internal SATA ports of which two are SATA 6Gbps. Other similarities carried over are the four internal pin headers for eight USB 2.0 ports and the single pin header for a FireWire port. The rear I/O is also identical with exactly the same port layout.
 
dz68af 2 Intels soon to launch Z68 motherboards detailed, pictured
 
We just don't understand why Intel are launching these products when there should be less than five months before Ivy Bridge and new 7-series chipset based motherboards arrive. It's possibly that Intel has done this as the company is cutting the production of the P67 chipset as the demand is so low and only minor changes were needed to the PCB. We'd still have much preferred these new additions if they'd at least had some kind of display connectivity, since as they stand; they look out-dated before they've even launched. Both boards should be available shortly.
 
dz68af 1 Intels soon to launch Z68 motherboards detailed, pictured