MSI shows Z77 mobo with Thunderbolt built in

— 3:30 PM on March 8, 2012

When we caught up with MSI at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, the company showed us its upcoming Z77A-GD80 motherboard. We were told the board would have Thunderbolt connectivity, but the prototype itself didn't.

Now, at the CeBIT trade show in Germany, MSI is showing off a new version of the same board—and this time, Thunderbolt is in. VR-Zone was on the scene and snapped a few pictures.

It looks like the Thunderbolt controller chip has taken up residence just beside one of the heatsinks covering the CPU power-regulation circuitry. VR-Zone suspects the chip is one of Intel's unannounced Cactus Ridge offerings, possibly an L3310 model. It's wired up to a mini-DisplayPort connector just like the ones on Apple's Thunderbolt-equipped Macs and MacBooks. That connector is neighbors with an old-school VGA output, HDMI, and a pair of USB 3.0 ports. (Believe it or not, there's a legacy PS/2 keyboard/mouse port in the cluster, as well.)

Check out VR-Zone's story for the pictures and closeups.

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