USB 3.0 finally included
It took Intel a while to get the USB 3.0 support to its chipsets and according to the schedule seen by Fudzilla, this should finally happen in first half of 2012.
The top chipset to natively support USB 3.0 is Z77 and it is tailored for Ivy Bridge 22nm, socket 1155 CPUs. It will come with a choice of one 16X PCIe slot, two 8X PCIes or one 8X and two 4X Gen 3 PCIe slots.
The chipset supports Intel RST, Smart Response Technology and supports maximum of 6 SATA ports where two of them can reach the top 6Gb/s speed. Total number of USB slots is 14 but only four of them can get to USB 3.0 speeds.
The chipset supports 8 PCIe 2.0 (5GT/s) and has zero PCI slot support. The good news is that Z77 supports CPU overclocking and it can support maximum of 4 DIMM memory modules.
The chipset also has a new graphics core, which is actually a part of Ivy Bridge 22nm CPU. This graphics core supports three independent displays and a choice of HDMI / DVI / Display Port / eDP or VGA connectors are possible. Lets not forget the integrated audio codec that supports dual stream HDMI and Display Port Audio.
These boards will also have native Gigabit Ethernet MAC and Intel Rapid Storage Technology 11 that includes Smart Response Technology, SATA 6Gb/s support, Lower power and UI enhancements, Single disk migration, RAID 0/1/5/10 support and Intel Rapid Recover Technology.
Sounds like a decent chipset to us and it is meant to replace Z68, the chipset that is about to launch today.