Updated:Gigabyte reveals Z68 board with mSATA connector

gigabyte msata Updated:Gigabyte reveals Z68 board with mSATA connector

Here's a surprise, Gigabyte is going to have more Z68 motherboards and we'll be seeing boards with an mSATA connector on them which will accept mSATA SSDs. Talk about spoiling it on the day of the launch of the much anticipated Z68 motherboards. Well, ok, it's not that big of a deal, but it's a neat feature and we can see other board makers follow suite.

Here's a surprise, Gigabyte is going to have more Z68 motherboards and we'll be seeing boards with an mSATA connector on them which will accept mSATA SSDs. Talk about spoiling it on the day of the launch of the much anticipated Z68 motherboards. Well, ok, it's not that big of a deal, but it's a neat feature and we can see other board makers follow suite.

The mSATA connector was developed for tablets and thin and light notebooks, but it works just as well on a desktop motherboard. It's pretty much a mini PCI Express connector, although rather than having PCI Express and USB interfaces, it does as the name suggests have a SATA interface. This allows for extremely small, but standardised SSDs to be installed in small devices, yet more flexibility compared to soldering the chips onto the PCB or using a non-standard connector or SSD.

gigabyte msata Updated:Gigabyte reveals Z68 board with mSATA connector

Gigabyte has so far only provided a single picture via its Facebook page of the new board and it doesn't reveal much at all about the board itself. The SSD in question is the mSATA version of Intel's Larsen Creek SLC SSD, also known as the 311 series.

What details we can see from the board is that it has at least one x16 PCI Express slot and the mSATA connector is located between it and the CPU socket which is a somewhat unusual place to fit anything beyond a x1 PCI Express slot. Of course the model name has been handily cropped out of the picture as well, so all we know for a fact is that it's a Z68 board. Interestingly though, the blue PCB is suggesting that this is an entry-level motherboard, as Gigabyte's higher-end boards have black PCBs these days. That said, it could just be that this is a prototype on the blue PCB and final boards will have a black PCB.

Update: Gigabyte has now announced the model names of the board with the mSATA connector and there will be four models, all launching sometime in June. The models are the Z68XP-UD3, Z68XP-D3, Z68AP-D3 and Z68P-DS3 suggesting that all four models are fairly far down in Gigabyte's range as well as lacking display connectivity. On top of that the model names give away that all three boards are full size ATX boards of which only one is part of the Ultra Durable 3 series, i.e. the other three models don't have 2oz copper layers in the PCBs. The P in the model names are obviously an indicator for the mSATA connector. We'd expect to see the boards on display at Computex.

Source: Gigabyte Motherboard Tech Column on Facebook

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