TAIWANESE VENDOR Asus has announced its first Thunderbolt equipped motherboard that uses Intel's Z77 chipset.
Asus' P8Z77-V Premium motherboard is based on Intel's Panther Point Z77 chipset supporting the chipmaker's latest Ivy Bridge processors. However Asus chose to spruce up the relatively mundane Z77 motherboard by installing a 10Gbit/s Thunderbolt PHY that allows daisy chaining of up to six devices.
Asus' P8Z77-V Premium motherboard is largely standard Z77 fare, with the firm's UEFI supporting DDR3-2800 through overclocking modes. The firm has included four PCI-Express Gen3 slots, two of which can operate at 16x, with support for quad-SLI and quad-Crossfire.
Last week MSI introduced what it claimed was the first desktop Thunderbolt motherboard, however Asus quickly followed suit ahead of the expected glut of Thunderbolt motherboards at Computex next month. While MSI might have been first out of the blocks, it seems that Intel is claiming Asus' P8Z77-V Premium is the first certified Thunderbolt motherboard.
Jason Ziller, Intel's director of Thunderbolt marketing said, "Intel and Asus have worked closely on the implementation of Thunderbolt technology onto their motherboards. It is our pleasure to state the P8Z77-V Premium is the first Thunderbolt certified motherboard in the industry, a testament to its solid design and compatibility."
Intel has already said it will talk a lot more about Thunderbolt at Computex and it is not a stretch to think that motherboard makers will release more Z77 motherboards that feature Thunderbolt. Asus and MSI have stolen a march over their rivals by announcing two motherboards a few weeks before their competitors, although Thunderbolt capable external hard disk drives carry a significant price premium over USB3 or eSATA units. µ