Gigabyte Sticks 20GB SLC SSD On Z68 Mobo
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.