Intel Z77 'Panther Point' Chipset Overview

By on April 17, 2012, 11:34 PM

Continuing its tick-tock release cycle, Intel plans to unveil a new CPU microarchitecture at the end of April. Codenamed Ivy Bridge (tick), the update will bring a 22nm die shrink of current 32nm Sandy Bridge technology (tock), bringing greater efficiency and allowing Intel to cram more into the same size die.

Intel is often criticized for introducing too many new chipsets and sockets, but this isn't usually the case with "ticks" as the microarchitecture is largely the same as the preceding "tock." Such is the case with Ivy Bridge, which uses the same LGA1155 socket introduced in early last year alongside Sandy Bridge.

Although backwards compatibility with 6-series motherboards will be available, Intel couldn't resist the opportunity to accompany its latest architecture with a fresh round of chipsets. Codenamed "Panther Point," the new 7-series chipsets include half a dozen parts, with the Z77 being Intel's new flagship.

We expect many performance fiends to question whether upgrading to a 7-series board is worthwhile, and we wouldn't be surprised if some budget builders are interested in discounted secondhand 6-series boards. We'll offer an overview on Panther Point offers so you can make an informed shopping decision.

Read the complete article.




User Comments: 10

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cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm happy to hear a firmware update is all my board needs to support Ivy Bridge. I had heard rumors that Ivy Bridge would require a new architecture. Nice to know the rumors were wrong.

Guest said:

One more difference: 6 Series has XP drivers, 7 series has no XP drivers which means 6 series motherboard is the last on which you can natively install Windows XP.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

No support for PCIe 3.0??? That's a shame...

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Pretty disappointing but expected... poor SATA3 support, poor PCIe support. Basically very little to support high bandwidth disk solutions.

If you want a PCIe x16 graphics card and a PCIe SSD solution, you run out of native ports. If you want to use SATA 3 you are limited to 550MB/s read/write.

The SSD tech supports MUCH more - Revodrive 3 X2 for example - and they are relatively affordable next to a SATA 3 SSD but have mind boggling performance.

Intel is holding people back by leaving us stuck with these bottlenecks for ANOTHER generation. SATA 3 was obsolete before it was released.

Guest said:

One more difference: 6 Series has XP drivers, 7 series has no XP drivers which means 6 series motherboard is the last on which you can natively install Windows XP.

Not true at all. Just checked the current lineup for MSI and all Z77 boards support xp.

Guest said:

Hi, the Intel Z77 chipset does support PCIe Gen 3; however, users will only experience the true effect of this new bus channel when a board featuring this chipset is paired with an Ivy Bridge CPU that has 16 PCIe lanes.

DAOWAce DAOWAce said:

+1 to Darth Shiv.

Been complaining about Intel's lack of SATA3 ports compared to AMD and also lack of high speed PCI-E lanes.

Now they're removing PCI slots and still keeping the PCI-E bottleneck? Wtf?

PCI-E 3.0 is okay, but seriously, Intel needs to get its act together. If AMD actually releases a quality CPU again, I'm jumping ship ASAP. Tired of dealing with these issues.

Guest said:

Here is an example of a motherboard with the H77 chipset that does have a legacy PCI slot:

[link]

What gives with these claims that it's not supported?

Guest said:

Haven't looked at AMD boards, but how many SATA 3 and high-speed PCIe lanes to you need? With the intel DZ77GA-70K, you have 2 PCIe gen 3 slots to run SLI, plus a PCIe gen 2 slot to run a 4x PCIe SSD, plus 2 native SATA 3 ports, plus 2 (slower) Marvell SATA 3 ports. How manny SSD drives are you planning on putting in the system? SATA 3 is far superior with SSDs, as SATA 3 HDDs are the bottleneck point in the data stream.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm happy to hear a firmware update is all my board needs to support Ivy Bridge.

How long should we wait before coming to a conclusion that we have been shafted out of supporting Ivy Bridge with 6-Series PCH?

Has there been firmware updates for 6-Series PCH and Ivy Bridge compatibility?

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