Report: 7-series Intel chipsets may arrive in March

DigiTimes’ sources buried deep in the motherboard industry are talking again. This time, it’s about Intel’s upcoming 7-series chipsets for Ivy Bridge processors. We got our first hint of their capabilities a few months ago, and this latest report confirms what we learned back then. 7-series chipsets will apparently stick with the same Serial ATA setup as current 6-series models but add four USB 3.0 ports to the mix. The Z77 and Z75 will probably be most interesting to enthusiasts; DigiTimes’ moles say both will support CPU overclocking and Intel’s Smart Response SSD caching scheme.

Those same sources indicate that 7-series chipsets are coming in “March or April 2012.” We’ve already seen at least one 6-series motherboard that promises compatibility with Intel’s next-gen CPU, so it’s possible that Intel could unleash its new CPUs before rolling out fresh chipsets. Given recent history, though, I’d expect Ivy Bridge and 7-series chipsets to arrive together.

At the tail end of the article, DigiTimes mentions that Intel will be ready to ship X79 chipsets in August. The X58 replacement is long overdue, and most of the motherboard makers we spoke to at Computex mentioned an August/September timeframe for X79 boards. With quad memory channels and a whopping 14 Serial ATA ports, the X79 is clearly designed for workstations and servers. It’ll be interesting to see whether enthusiasts adopt the platform as eagerly as they have other high-end Intel chipsets.

Comments closed
    • zdw
    • 8 years ago

    Hey everyone! Don’t you love having absolutely no competition in the chipset market? Yay Intel!

      • willmore
      • 8 years ago

      Noone will adopt USB 3.0 if we don’t put it in our chipsets. Mua ha ha.. Oh, what’s this?

    • Forge
    • 8 years ago

    Well, Sandy is awfully attractive, and she makes my Nehalem look all old and saggy, but SB-E is talking SATA to supersaturation, and enough memory channels that 8 ram slots is not unlikely….

    Why do things always have to be so complicated?

    My dream rig has 6 cores, 12 threads, about 12-16 SATA, and 16 memory slots. That would be hot. If we’re getting really idealized, I’d like lots of BCLK headroom, an unlocked multiplier, and fine-grained control of max TDP and turbo multipliers too.

    You listening, Intel? You have the chance here to extort more money out of me in one product cycle than ever before!

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    I’m just not sure about having Intel lead with the mainstream parts, then adding in the high end at the end of a year full of the mainstream part having the latest tech. Seems like they got that backwards. The enthusiast wants to have cutting edge and the mainstream doesn’t care if it’s cutting edge, so shouldn’t the mainstream be getting the later release of the high end tech?

    Sure, SB-E may be faster than IB, but it won’t be for lack of trying.

      • yuhong
      • 8 years ago

      If you think this is bad enough, look at the quad socket Xeon side.

      • mganai
      • 8 years ago

      The enthusiast market got first dibs last time with Nehalem, and got the only real major push last year with the Westmere die shrink, which gave them the Gulftown six-cores. The only thing the mainstream got out of Westmere was new dual cores, no replacement for the quads they got a year earlier out of Lynnfield. (Although those were still receiving updates.)

      It makes sense for Sandy Bridge to put priority on the mainstream, since its biggest advancements were the integrated GPU and reduction in power.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 8 years ago

    Ivy Bridge will be the upgrade I wait for, so this is interesting.

    My Q9650 (running at 3.6GHz) is still sailing along –as good as Sandy Bridge is (I have an SB notebook) I couldn’t justify it on the desktop until Intel’s chipsets advance, considering I’d have to do CPU, mainboard, and RAM.

    • deinabog
    • 8 years ago

    Fourteen SATA ports? The possibilities for RAID configurations are endless.

      • willmore
      • 8 years ago

      I’m curious where they got that. None of the linked articles have it. They *do* have 14 USB ports mentioned (4 3.0 and 10 2.0)

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 8 years ago

        [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/4291/additional-details-on-sandy-bridgee-processors-x79-and-lga2011[/url<]

          • willmore
          • 8 years ago

          10 SATA 3 and no USB 3.0. Wow. I’d like to have been in on the meeting that decided that.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      They’ve been endless since ISA, probably before?

        • willmore
        • 8 years ago

        I had a four drive RAID system using IDE ISA cards in a 386. Testing the MD driver was fun with that. Found bugs in the IDE code, too.

      • chrone
      • 8 years ago

      is it limited only two sata3 ports? 🙁

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    Ivy Bridge is supposed to be backwards compatible with current LGA 1155 platforms, right? In that case, I don’t think this will hold up Ivy Bridge releases, which is good news.

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