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MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) is world's first PCI gen 3 motherboard

by Hugo Jobling on 5 July 2011, 12:57

Tags: MSI

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MSI is has become the first manufacturer to launch a PCI Express gen 3 motherboard, in the form of the Z68A-GD80 (G3). The board also confirms to Intel's latest design standard, making it decently future proof, which is important as it will be a while before hardware demanding the bandwidth offered by PCI-E gen 3 surfaces.

Offering twice the bandwidth - 32GB/s - of gen 2 PCI Express, gen 3 is a notable improvement. The number of devices that can come close to saturating a 16x gen 2 PCI-E slot is fairly limited, but with advances in PCI-E based solid-state storage, and ever increasingly powerful GPUs, among other devices, it probably won't be long before the extra throughput has a use found for it.

The Z86A-GD80 (G3) is based on Intel's socket-1155 Z86 chipset, and features two PCI Express gen 3 slots, one 16x and one 8x, in addition to three gen 2 slots: a single 16x PCI a pair of 1x. There are four DIMM slots, enabling the system to accept up to 32GB of RAM in total, four SATA-II and three SATA-III ports should cover all likely storage options, and a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports is welcome, if fairly standard.

Other than its faster PCI Express ports, the other unique features offered by the Z86A-GD80 (G3) include its Click BIOS II, which offers a homogenised interface between both the boot-time UEFI and Windows controls, HDMI 1.4, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, and Virtu switchable graphics, which will toggle between integrated and dedicated GPUs depending on the need.

The Z68A-GD80 (G3) isn't on sale yet, so pricing isn't known.  However, the B3 version of the board, which lacks PCI Express gen 3, is selling for about £170, and the G3 will almost certainly command some premium over its lesser-equipped alternative once it goes on sale.

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HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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Will you actually get more bandwidth though as the on-chip PCI-e will still be 2.0 based and the PCH still has to connect over the bandwidth strangled DMI.

I'm calling marketing gimmick.
P67 already superseded ?
Maybe a dumb question, but will ivy bridge work with that motherboard?
Terbinator
Will you actually get more bandwidth though as the on-chip PCI-e will still be 2.0 based and the PCH still has to connect over the bandwidth strangled DMI.

I'm calling marketing gimmick.
Your question is answered by the following:

Johnnyb7863
Maybe a dumb question, but will ivy bridge work with that motherboard?
Yes.

Ivy Bridge is likely to be PCIe 3.0, so in conjuction with this board provide pcie 3.0. And what does the PCH have to do with anything?
I just read that ivy bridge processor will work in those motherboards and be able to take full advantage of the pci 3.0 lanes.