The arrival of Sandy Bridge-based Core CPUs coincided with Intel's Couger Point chipset launch in 2011. It introduced the P67 and H67 platforms to support those LGA 1155-based processors, but ultimately recalled them due to a bug with their SATA controller. Replacements didn't arrive until later in the year.
Cougar Point chipsets were divided into two groups: consumer and business. The former category included H61, H67, P67, and Z68 PCHes, while the latter category included B65, Q65, and Q67. The most feature-rich solution was Intel's enthusiast-oriented Z68, which boasted eight PCIe 2.0 lanes, two SATA 6Gb/s ports, four SATA 3Gb/s ports, and 14 USB 2.0 ports. It also featured support for overclocking, RAID 0/1/10, and the ability to split PCIe connectivity up between multiple GPUs. Most other chipsets (excluding Q67) were watered-down variants of Z68. Q67 lacked overclocking support, but it otherwise maintained feature parity with Z68. It also exposed a number of business-oriented features not available via Z68.
All LGA 1155-compatible chipsets connected to the CPU over an improved DMI 2.0 link capable of roughly 2GB/s of bandwidth. Later, with the introduction of the Panther Point platforms and Ivy Bridge processors, Intel integrated a USB 3.0 controller into its PCHes. All 7-series chipsets can support up to four USB 3.0 ports as a result. Ivy Bridge CPUs also saw the introduction of PCIe 3.0.
Main new features:
Processors from this era:
- 2nd- And 3rd-Gen Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 Processors
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