AnandTech has just published the specs for the forthcoming Intel Z77, Z75 and H77 Express chipsets which will accompany the 22nm Ivy Bridge processors as of the beginning of 2012.
While we were already aware of what’s new on the Intel Series 7 range, namely the arrival of USB 3, we didn’t yet know what would set these three desktop versions apart. First of all, the good news is that overclocking of K range processors will be enabled on these three chipsets, which isn’t so for the H67. Secondly, the IGP will be supported (not so on the P67). Abandoning this segmentation is obviously a good thing.
Intel hasn’t unfortunately completely left its old habits behind and the Z75 Express would only seem to have been introduced to add value to the Z77 Express, which will be on sale for a few $ less. Handling of the PCI-E lanes isn’t as supple on the Z75 Express, while SSD Caching (Smart Response Technology) won’t be available.
Note that on the Z77 Express, it will be possible to route the 16 PCI-Express 3.0 lanes on Ivy Bridge to the 3 different physical PCI-Express x16 ports: 8 for the first and 4 for the two others. In terms of bandwidth, this corresponds to a 16/8/8 bandwidth on PCI-Express 2.0! Of course you’ll need a PCI-Express 3.0 compatible graphics card to obtain this bandwidth on the equivalent number of lanes.