Gigabyte builds a 20GB Intel SSD into new Sandy Bridge motherboard

Gigabyte builds a 20GB Intel SSD into new Sandy Bridge motherboard

Summary: Want to build a fast-booting system without buying and installing a solid state drive? Gigabyte is giving you another option by launching a new motherboard that has a 20GB SSD baked right in.

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TOPICS: Intel
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Want to build a fast-booting system without buying and installing a solid state drive? Gigabyte is giving you another option by launching a new motherboard that has a 20GB SSD baked right in.

The Z68XP-UD3-iSSD is based on the new Z68 Express chipset for Intel's Sandy Bridge processors, and comes with a new m-SATA Intel Solid-State Drive 311 Series unit. The Z68 introduces Intel's Smart Response Technology to improve system performance through app caching, and 20GB gives you enough space to park your OS and some frequently used programs to take advantage of it. Intel claims that the technology provides a 60-percent speed boost over a pure hard drive-based system, and a fourfold performance improvement over hybrid SSD-hard drive setups.

The mobo also comes with LucidLogix Virtu switchable graphics technology, allowing you to switch between Intel's integrated graphics and a discrete graphic card -- or cards -- depending on the application. You also get two PCI Express x16 slots, support for both CrossFireX and SLI multi-graphics card technologies, a handful of SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 connectors, and Gigabyte's Touch BIOS for easier BIOS tweaking.

Gigabyte hasn't announced a price for the Z68XP-UD3-iSSD, which will tell you a lot about whether it's worth having a motherboard with a built-in SSD or getting a different mobo and a separate SSD. It does plan to make it available in early June, so we won't have to wait long to find out how much it would set you back.

[Via Engadget]

Topic: Intel

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36 comments
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  • It will only work for Windows XP, not for Windows 7

    Windows 7 folder can take 15 GB alone, and the drive also has to have memory dump files, Users folder, and so on.<br><br><b>Blue screen of death</b> waits for people who will install Windows 7 on this SSD. It will show errorcode and an advice to make bigger free spare or check faulty drivers (as "specific" as MS error could be).<br><br>I would not recommend installing Windows 7 on any volume less than 64 GB. Even with all of installations going to my drive "D" (I created "Program Files" there), the volume "C" takes no less than about 45 GB.<br><br><b><i>There are special utilities that can move some of W7's guts to other drives, but then the whole point of SSD goes away since the system will work slower.</i></b>
    DDERSSS
    • Rubbish

      @denisrs

      So you think Gigabyte is that stupid? You can run W7-64 fairly comfortably in 20GB. You start by turning off system restore, the swap file and hibernation. If you are looking for speed, you stick enough RAM in it so the swap file is not necessary. Then you install user files and most apps to another drive. You must also remove all Windows update files regularly.

      Maybe there are a lot of users out there who would not mind a little tweaking for a good speed boost at an affordable price.
      Economister
      • No need to turn off anything

        @Economister Just change the location to different drive.

        In any case, having a Win swap space in an SSD will significantly degrade the lifespan of the drive by doing too many writes (SSDs have a limited number of writes).
        wackoae
      • RE: Gigabyte builds a 20GB Intel SSD into new Sandy Bridge motherboard

        @Economister Forget that, use the 20 GIG with the swap file.
        slickjim
      • RE: Gigabyte builds a 20GB Intel SSD into new Sandy Bridge motherboard

        @Economister
        winsxs expansion will kill any free space left.


        @wackoae
        MS telemetry data shows the swap space has lots of small reads, but fewer, mainly 1MB, writes, making SSDs one of the optimal devices for a swap drive.

        Win 7 must be doing write caching to the swap space.
        Patanjali
    • Are you really this clueless?

      @denisrs Ever heard of using multiple partitions?

      Anybody with a brain knows that Windows can be installed in a completely separate partition from where the programs are installed. Contrary to what a dumbazz believes, programs, temp dirs and swap space don't have to be installed in Drive C.
      wackoae
      • Are you this illiterate? I wrote that all of my programs are installed on D

        @wackoae: ... drive, and the C drive still takes the amount I wrote about it.

        And moving swap to HDD just kills whole point of SSD, since the system will be slow. And, anyway, swap file alone is just few gigabytes of tens of gigabytes that W7 takes.
        DDERSSS
    • Totally Agree

      @denisrs

      I have an 80 gig partition with a D: partition for programs, and I only have 15 gig free on C: (even with removing all the usual culprits.

      The problem is Windows/Installer and Windows/winsxs. And there's no way around this.

      SURE! Windows can "install" on 20 gigs, but after some updates and adding programs, it'll quickly overflow 20 gig.
      Drakaran
  • Why only 20GB?

    As somebody pointed out, the most modern Windows needs about 15 or more GB just for the setup alone. It could run Linux rather well, I suppose, but that's a small set of users to cater to.

    And I get the feeling OSX would need a larger amount to, if used for anything big.

    So why not go up to 64 GB for the SSD?
    Michael Alan Goff
    • Cost maybe? (nt)

      @goff256

      NT
      Economister
      • Cost is always a factor

        Maybe they should release this -and- offer higher SSD storage amounts? I would just rather see this to be something that I could get -without- limiting myself too much.
        Michael Alan Goff
  • Caching

    Pretty sure the point isn't to use the SSD as a C drive but that it's a cache. It will hold duplicates of the most commonly used files on all your drives and make it speedier to access those files. No planning on the part of the user = great for OEMs actually pushing SSDs to the masses.
    chefjoe
    • RE: Gigabyte builds a 20GB Intel SSD into new Sandy Bridge motherboard

      @chefjoe maybe so... I still don't see the real point though. My system boots and runs VERY well with a SATA II SSD. What if this thing crashes, which HDDs and SSDs are apt to do occasionally?
      lcloria2
      • The real point may be ...

        @lcloria2

        fast and cheap?
        Economister
    • RE: Gigabyte builds a 20GB Intel SSD into new Sandy Bridge motherboard

      @chefjoe -
      As you said, the Smart Response Technology is aimed at app caching. That's where all of those speed comparisons are measured. Sean P. just overstated the intent of this product when he mentioned using it for the OS.
      SlimSam
  • RE: Gigabyte builds a 20GB Intel SSD into new Sandy Bridge motherboard

    I have a 128gig SSD and it has only 40gigs available. Most of the contents of My Documents are stored off C. 20 gigs of SSD for the system drive won't even be a good start.
    lcloria2
    • So you have ......

      @lcloria2

      a lot of crap and/or applications on your C drive. Your point is what?
      Economister
      • Oh .. I think you can cut posters some slack on this point.

        @Economister

        This blog article is the first info that I have read concerning this new product and I admit to having a severe lack of tech knowledge with the inner guts of Win 7 but the point several posters have made regarding this 20 GB SSD and it's relationship with the "Smart Response Technology aimed at app caching" seems to make sense.

        IMO, as far as SSD based systems are concerned, the greater the SSD storage size is, the better.

        As for myself, I have last years BTO iMac with the Nehalem core i7 2.93 GHz chip set and 16 GB of installed 1333 MHz DDR3 ram. My primary boot drive is the 256 GB SSD with a secondary internal 2 Terabyte HD. (A very nice 27" monitor system.)

        I mention this only because with the installed RAM and all my installed programs on the SSD, my system is still competitive with the latest Sandy Bridge iMac systems with standard HD boot drives. It also has 162 GB of free SSD capability left.

        Solid state memory is the way to go. For example, Photoshop CS5 extended boots in 3 seconds on my system.

        So .. if owners of Win 7 systems wish to install all their programs and OS files on the boot SSD, I can understand their "wants or needs" for as large an SSD option as possible.

        Believe me, Economister, I don't have any crap ware installed on my system but I do wish the 460 GB class SSD units had been available at the time of purchase.

        One needs all the space for video editing that a person's disposable income can purchase.
        kenosha77a
      • Pfffft

        I don't agree. All my apps are on E:, the swap is on F:, and the SSD with Windows 7 and all the fur and lint it has collected in a year is pushing 60G.

        Anybody who tries to make Win 7 work in 20G is going to be spending every weekend brushing out the lint just to keep it running. Who needs that?
        Robert Hahn
    • RE: Gigabyte builds a 20GB Intel SSD into new Sandy Bridge motherboard

      20GB is plenty of space for a core Win7 install. At work, we use VMs with a full suite of "base" apps installed (Office, etc plus install source residing on the same drive) on a 20GB VHD with about 5 GB to spare. The swap files is on the drive but there is no hibernate file.
      d.gruntled