Gigabyte's 7-Series Ivy Bridge Motherboards at CESby Anand Lal Shimpi on January 11, 2012 3:00 AM EST
Gigabyte had five of its upcoming 7-series motherboards on display at CES today. While Gigabyte isn't talking about all of the features that will be available at launch, we will see an mSATA connector on some boards (GA-Z77X-UD3H) for use with smaller SSDs as a NAND cache in front of a hard drive. Gigabyte also showcased its G1.Sniper M3, a high-end micro-ATX motherboard. As Ivy Bridge brings down max TDPs at the high end, this may finally be the beginning of a transition to smaller desktops - even in the enthusiast space. The transition doesn't have to be huge, but perhaps it's time for some more innovation in the desktop space when it comes to form factors.
None of these boards support Thunderbolt however we may see some Thunderbolt enabled designs after the 7-series chipset launch in early Q2 (early April sounds about right).