Biostar, MSI flaunt Sandy Bridge motherboards

COMPUTEX — Intel's next-generation Sandy Bridge processors may not be due out for at least another six months, but here at Computex, some motherboard makers were already showing Sandy Bridge-compatible mobos based on Intel's future 6-series chipsets.

We caught a glimpse of three such boards: one from MSI and two from Biostar. All three had LGA1155 sockets and fairly conventional-looking layouts, although MSI had beefed up its offering with low-profile (and purportedly long-lasting) "Hi-c" capacitors.

When we inquired about performance and clock speeds, we were told to expect a "lot of surprises" from Sandy Bridge, both on the CPU and graphics fronts. (Sandy Bridge, for those unaware, will succeed Nehalem, the architecture upon which Intel bases its current Core i3, i5, and i7 processors.)

Interestingly, one of the two companies claimed existing LGA1156 processors won't actually be able to function in LGA1155 boards with 6-series chipsets. We were also told that Intel will stick to existing Core in model numbers for Sandy Bridge CPUs.

About the 6-series chipsets themselves, Biostar had both the P67 and H67 (which looks to support integrated graphics) on display. Judging by the label on the MSI board, that one seemed to be based on the H67, as well. Both chipsets have 6Gbps Serial ATA connectivity built in. The MSI product card also mentions support for CrossFire and SLI.

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