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Gigabyte Sticks 20GB SLC SSD On Z68 Mobo

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 51 comments

It's not often that the ubiquitous motherboard gets considerable attention.

There are lots of models, all ranging in sizes, commodity features, and brands, producing "me-too" products. Rarely do we see features that really command excitement. Enter Gigabyte's GA-Z68XP-UD3 series. There are two types, a GA-Z68XP-UD3 and a GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD.

Both models come with an integrated mSATA interface (essentially mini PCIe), allowing users to actually install mobile-SSD modules directly onto the motherboard. The difference is, with the GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD, Gigabyte is bundling a 20GB Intel SLC SSD module. Gigabyte told us that they skipped over MLC based modules to ensure higher levels of reliability and speed. While this is true, SLC modules cost significantly higher than MLC modules, and so we expect the iSSD bundle to command a steeper price.

If used, the module can be configured as a drive for your OS, or as a cache drive to be used in conjunction with Intel's Smart Response.

Gigabyte also mentioned that because a module is bundled with the iSSD board, Gigabyte will handle the RMA duties for the module should it ever fail within the motherboard's warranty period -- no need to go to Intel for coverage.

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  • 15 Hide
    yzfr1guy , May 31, 2011 6:53 PM
    Great Idea! 20Gig is perfect for OS install.
  • 10 Hide
    Transsive , May 31, 2011 6:56 PM
    My Windows 7 folder (2 years old) is 22GB... maybe perfect for XP.
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    yzfr1guy , May 31, 2011 6:53 PM
    Great Idea! 20Gig is perfect for OS install.
  • 4 Hide
    applegetsmelaid , May 31, 2011 6:54 PM
    I want one.
  • 10 Hide
    Transsive , May 31, 2011 6:56 PM
    My Windows 7 folder (2 years old) is 22GB... maybe perfect for XP.
  • 1 Hide
    kilo_17 , May 31, 2011 6:58 PM
    This is a pretty cool idea from Gigabyte
  • 9 Hide
    avi0013 , May 31, 2011 7:00 PM
    yzfr1guyGreat Idea! 20Gig is perfect for OS install.
    Is 20G enough with windows bloat? Or how about dual boot?
  • 2 Hide
    pabeader , May 31, 2011 7:03 PM
    win 7 OS is only 3.5 gig. just make sure everything else goes to data drive.
  • 3 Hide
    sceen311 , May 31, 2011 7:09 PM
    perfect place for my Photoshop cache? and the files I'm currently working with? how bout upgradeable swapable?
  • 2 Hide
    fir_ser , May 31, 2011 7:10 PM
    Good feature in a motherboard and I believe the SSD is upgradable.
  • 3 Hide
    Horhe , May 31, 2011 7:18 PM
    pabeaderwin 7 OS is only 3.5 gig. just make sure everything else goes to data drive.
    How did you manage to trim it so much? Mine's 17.7 GB (only the Windows folder) and it is a recent installation (about 3 months). Windows 7 Professional x64
  • 6 Hide
    thrasher32 , May 31, 2011 7:18 PM
    I really like Gigabyte, their mobos are top-notch, and they are true innovators. This is a good example of that innovation at work.
  • 1 Hide
    belltollsforthee , May 31, 2011 7:21 PM
    I want one, and man gigabyte is getting on the ball!
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , May 31, 2011 7:22 PM
    i wondered why this kind of thing didn't happen sooner. i had this idea about 5 years ago

    i have always wanted something like this.

    expect to see os bundles where os is preinstalled, which may be a bonus.
  • -5 Hide
    belltollsforthee , May 31, 2011 7:22 PM
    I want one, and man gigabyte is getting on the ball!
  • 1 Hide
    legacy7955 , May 31, 2011 7:22 PM
    I like this idea, you know that just down the road higher storage numbers will be available at about the same price so if we bide our time plenty of affordable versions of this implementation will be available .

    I wonder if the OEMs like HP, Lenovo, and others will be far behind in offering this in their laptops?
  • 8 Hide
    fir_ser , May 31, 2011 7:23 PM
    TranssiveMy Windows 7 folder (2 years old) is 22GB... maybe perfect for XP.

    Its true 20GB isn’t enough for everyone.
  • 3 Hide
    malphas , May 31, 2011 7:24 PM
    Presumably the idea is for it to be used in tandem with the z68 chipset's SSD caching abilities, rather than as a system drive.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , May 31, 2011 7:26 PM
    am i the only one that thinks it's so damn close to the CPU and primary gfx slot, some serious thermal abuse there.....
  • 1 Hide
    avi0013 , May 31, 2011 7:32 PM
    malphasPresumably the idea is for it to be used in tandem with the z68 chipset's SSD caching abilities, rather than as a system drive.
    Exactly.
  • 2 Hide
    legacy7955 , May 31, 2011 7:49 PM
    ThermalAbuseam i the only one that thinks it's so damn close to the CPU and primary gfx slot, some serious thermal abuse there.....


    Good point, the proximity is awfully close.


  • 0 Hide
    geekapproved , May 31, 2011 8:04 PM
    cool idea but my first thought was it's gonna run much hotter than it would in a drive bay.
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