Intel releases 7-Series chipsets as Ivy Bridge launch approaches

By on April 10, 2012, 10:00 AM

Intel this week officially released the 7-series chipset family that will go along their third generation Core microarchitecture processors, known as Ivy Bridge, for notebooks and desktops products. Although the actual launch of Ivy Bridge processors is still a little over two weeks away, desktop motherboards based around Intel's Z77, Z75 and H77 chipsets are already being made available to those planning a future upgrade.

There won’t be any physical changes to the existing LGA 1155 socket, so Sandy Bridge processors will still work in Series 7 motherboards if users want to upgrade the board now and the processor later. Conversely, a number of Intel 6-series chipsets (P67, Z68) should be forwards compatible with Ivy Bridge processors pending a BIOS update, if you are planning on upgrading the other way around.

The new chipsets -- codenamed Panther Point -- are part of Intel's first batch of mainstream and performance offerings for the desktop and will join the HM75, HM76, and HM77 on the mobile side of things. Among the new features Intel is touting are native support for USB 3.0 -- which is widely supported on Sandy Bridge based systems but through third-party solutions from NEC and others -- as well as new 'responsiveness technologies' like Intel Smart Response (SSD caching), Intel Smart Connect, and Intel Rapid Start.

Other new features include support for a couple of SATA III (6Gbps) ports in addition to up to four utilizing the older SATA II (3Gbps) interface, and support for 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes to be used for graphics and/or other add-in PCI cards -- provided an Ivy Bridge processor that supports the newer standard is installed.

Overclocking is supported on Z-chipsets but not the H-chipset, and both support Intel's HD Graphics, unlike with Sandy Bridge where P67 boards didn't.

Intel is expected to launch Ivy Bridge on April 29, which will reportedly include several Core i5 and i7 chips for desktops and three i7 processors for notebooks. Furthermore, dual-core mobile CPUs are expected in the first week of June in addition to several more quad-core desktop parts. Early reports show a lack of low-voltage parts which suggests we might not see Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks until later this spring.




User Comments: 15

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mosu said:

And still no Thunderbolt...

captainawesome captainawesome said:

I really wish old tech wouldn't even exist in the higher end board. That is *only* USB3, SATA3, PCIe3. None of the little bit of the new coupled with a crap load of the old

Guest said:

same old bullshit by intel, will overclock their old cpus and release it by giving a new name IVY BRIDGE, with cost nearly double to Sandy bridge.

Guest said:

@captainawesome - At least keep some USB 2.0 ports, USB 1.1 devices are not recognized in USB 3.0.

Of course you may be able to get around that by plugging in a usb 2.0 hub in usb 3.0 port then the 1.1 device in the hub... I'll have to try that.

venomblade said:

@Guest Actually the MSRP for the 3570k(2500k's replacement) and 3770k(2600k's replacement) are about the same. $225 and $332 respectively...try again..

Guest said:

@venomblade

That's about a 50% price increase...

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I really wish old tech wouldn't even exist in the higher end board. That is *only* USB3, SATA3, PCIe3. None of the little bit of the new coupled with a crap load of the old
And for the rest of us who don't want to buy every piece of hardware we own over again, every time a new chipset comes out, where does that leave us in, "your personal grand scheme of things"...?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@captainawesome - At least keep some USB 2.0 ports, USB 1.1 devices are not recognized in USB 3.0.

Of course you may be able to get around that by plugging in a usb 2.0 hub in usb 3.0 port then the 1.1 device in the hub... I'll have to try that.

It is my understanding that USB 3.0 uses two controllers.

The old USB 2.0 controller (which should be backward compatible to 1.1) and the new USB 3.0 controller.

Am I mistaken about this?

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

And still no Thunderbolt...

Ah, mosu....another Intel article, another ill-informed trolling post.

Intel DZ77RE-75K (with Thunderbolt controller)

MSI Z77A-GD80 (with Thunderbolt controller)

Then of course Asus have Thunderbolt headers to accept (presumeably) their own Thunderbolt expansion card -not to be confused with the "Thunderbolt" sound/NIC card using the same name. Not exactly rocket science to realise that all is required for Thunderbolt to be a feature on a board is the use of an onboard PLX lane extender, the controller IC and I/O connection.

It is my understanding that USB 3.0 uses two controllers.

The old USB 2.0 controller (which should be backward compatible to 1.1) and the new USB 3.0 controller.

You are correct.

And for the Guest...read and dispel the myth

Guest said:

Ivy bridge is not an overclock of their Sandy Bridge processors. They are the same as the sandy bridge processors, but on a new manufacturing technology that shrinks the die size and cuts 50 watts off of the power consumption. They don't overclock better than Sandy Bridge unless you have a better cooling system.

Haswell is the next architecture overhaul, slated for release next year. They will pack a lot more punch.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Ivy bridge is not an overclock of their Sandy Bridge processors. They are the same as the sandy bridge processors

Guest poster wrong by 100%. Hands up all those who are surprised.

Sandy Bridge on P67/Z68/Z77 chipset: Max multiplier 57

Ivy Bridge on P67/Z68/Z77 chipset: max multiplier 63

[link]

[BSN]

Guest said:

dude Intel ivy bridge is not same old tech its totally new for me it is 22nm it have 3D transistor its coming with PCI-E 3.0 & lots of other features aswell so its going to be better than Sandy Bridge for sure. Cheers

princeton princeton said:

Guest said:

@venomblade

That's about a 50% price increase...

No those prices are nearly identical to current SB part MSRPs.

Guest said:

I really wish old tech wouldn't even exist in the higher end board. That is *only* USB3, SATA3, PCIe3. None of the little bit of the new coupled with a crap load of the old

I agree fully with your sentiments. The world would be improved if only the new and better performing products were allowed to go forward. That is why I am also in favor of gasoline failing to work in any car older than 5 years old. Similarly, elderly people should be employed at the Soylent Green factory to reduce burden on the system. Having infrastructure that continues to support old stuff is bad and inefficient.

DAOWAce DAOWAce said:

Lack of more than 2 native SATA6 ports hurts more than anything else.

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