Ivy Bridge with a tiny footprint
look at our favorite price search engine has revealed that a quite interesting board is coming from the house of Gigabyte.
This will be the first board that supports both old Sandy Bridge chips and new Ivy Bridge processors in mini ITX format. The name is Gigabyte MSQ77DI and as the name implies it is a Q77-based board. Last time we checked Q77 was supposed to change Q67 in the business market segment and the Q77 supports Intel Vpro something that business market tends to care about.
The Q77 supports LGA1155 socket but not the cool feature of CPU performance tuning, something we call turbo. The interesting feature of Q77 is that its Intel ME firmware 8.0 SKU ends up with 5MB storage, which is 3x+ times more than 1.5 MB you get on consumer Z77 counterpart.
Q77 supports 1 PCIe 16X, 14 USB 2.0 and 4 USB 3.0, PCIe 2.0 at 8X, legacy PCI support, important for the business segment, as well as 6 SATA 2.0 and 2 SATA 3.0 support.
The board itself supports UEFI, has 2 DDR3 So DIMM memory slots, 1 PCIe mini card slot, 1 DisplayPort, 1 HDMI, 4 USB 3.0, 1 Gb LAN, as well as 2.0 audio. From Internal connectors you should find the 2x USB 2.0, 2X SATA 6Gb/s, 1 mSATA, 1 PWM CPU cooler plug, 1 PWM cooler plug and the spec promises a Thin-Mini ITX support.
This is clearly a business oriented motherboard, and although at first glance it might sound like an interesting option for deep pocketed home theater enthusiasts, if falls short in the audio department.
You can get more details about this listing here