Thunderbolt Finally Arrives for Non-Apple Technology

Intel thunderboltIntel’s finally installing a Thunderbolt port in a non-Apple motherboard. That may signal a few more Thunderbolt devices may be headed to market. I hope so.

Right now, Asus and MSI both have Thunderbolt equipped motherboards in the pipeline. Still, Thunderbolt devices are few and far between. The technology is still too expensive for most people, though as ports find their way into more computers, that should change. Manufacturers may start looking beyond external hard drives and begin to release products that get the most out of the technology

Here’s what’s under the hood for Intel’s DZ77RE-75K:

  •  Proprietary 10 Gbps (bi-directional) I/O port.
  • Motherboard, which is based on the Z77 Express chip set and optimized for the latest round of Intel Core i7 K processors, features a new GUI BIOS, integrated HD audio and video and offers RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 support.
  • The board supports second and third generation Core i3/i5/i7 processors (Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge) and handle up to 32GB of 240-pin DDR3 RAM in its four memory slots.
  • Standard number of expansion slots: two PCI-Express x16 and two PCI Express 2.0/PCI.

The port situation, in particular, should keep most people happy. It features eight USB 3.0 and ten USB 2.0 ports, some of them internal. Other ports include four 6 Gbps SATAs, four 3 Gbps SATAs, one 6 Gbps eSATA, two Gigabit Ethernet LANs, two FireWires (one external and one header) and the aforementioned Thunderbolt port. One ought to be enough as devices can be daisy chained.

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