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Socket 1155: 6-Series and 7-Series Chipset Guide

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Intel Socket 1155 - Chipset Guide Featuring Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge

526

"Intel’s new Sandy Bridge architecture is certainly raising a few eyebrows since its launch back at the early part of 2011, not only for the right reasons regarding the superb performance but also for the wrong reasons because of the SATA defect at launch time which has now thankfully been resolved.

In the a month after launch a new eyebrow has risen regarding all the chipsets available for sandy bridge chips. There are no less than 4 chipsets available and the purpose of this article is to help you choose which chipset is right for your PC.

Before I start to break down each chipset, it is worth noting that performance wise they are all pretty much the same, it is just the features of each chipset vary.

H61
Another chipset that was released late on. The H61 is pretty much the same as the H67 but are designed for the bottom end of Sandy bridge builds. Whilst marginally cheaper than H67 chipsets they lack the following features;
Native SATA III ports
Clear Video Technology
RAID

Also Clear Video depends on the iGPU, not chipset itself. Here is an example, ASRock H61M.

In most cases they have less memory slots (only 2) though now we are seeing H61 Boards with 4 slots tho rummored to be a H67 board, but in reality a H61.
-H61 for a fact only supports 2 dual sided dimms.
-With a true H61 board, you can have 4 slots, but you can only use single sided dimms, so the processor will still see it as 2 slots.
Quote:
Quote:
4×240pin Note: 1. Before you install memory module on this motherboard, please read below message to avoid any improper installation: - Due to chipset limitation, if you plan to install three or four memory modules on this motherboard, please install only single-sided memory modules. - To install two memory modules on this motherboard, please install them on DDR3_A1 and DDR3_B1 DIMM sockets. 2. For the detailed installation information, please refer to the user manual or quick installation guide.

Less PCI-E Lanes and less USB 2.0 ports.

H61 is only recommended for users that can do without those features, are not too bothered about the upgrade potential of the motherboard and simply cannot afford to step up to a H67 chipset.

H61 Block Diagram Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
408

Notes: All Intel 6-series chipsets have no native USB 3.0 controller built into it. It is either ASMedia, NEC, or Etron USB 3.0 controller.

H67
Introduced along with the P67 chipset at launch is the H67 chipset.
Each Socket 1155 CPU all have in built graphics, and to be able to utilise that embedded graphics card the motherboard must have a video output such as a VGA, DVI or HDMI port. All H67 motherboard have at least one video output so that the CPU GPU can be used. Whilst this is a great feature it is worth noting the integrated graphics are not much cop and only really suited to HD video playback and very basic gaming. The main advantage of this is to eliminate the need for a small sub $50 graphics card and to bring down the overall cost of a workstation PC or media Centre that does not require a dedicated graphics card. The H67 like all the other chipsets does support dedicated graphics cards too, so should the need to add a higher end graphics card arise, it is a straight forward procedure.

The downside of a H67 chipset is it supports very limited overclocking even if an unlocked ‘K’ Series CPU (i5 2500K & i7 2600K) is installed. To the overclockers, this is a completely no go chipset, but for everyone building a sandy bridge system on a budget. So in retrospect, use this if you're not going to use a dedicated GPU. It will use the graphics processor built on the sandy bridge CPU. (for something like normal desktop use or HTPC) You're unable to overclock the CPU however you can overclock the integrated GPU.

P67
The P67 chipset was also available at the launch of the Sandy Bridge CPU. The upside of this chipset is it supports the option of running two dedicated graphics cards in SLI or Crossfire and the option to overclock K series CPU’s.
The downside is not being able to support the integrated graphics on the CPU so a dedicated graphics card is a must. It makes it a popular choice for the enthusiast and gamer. Use this if you're going to be using a dedicated GPU and you're wanting to overclock your CPU.
Since P67 lacks iGPU support, it cannot use Intel Quick Sync (fastest multimedia transcoding). Quick Sync can achieve CPU quality that otherwise cannot attain from CUDA or AMD/OpenCL.

H67 and P67 Block Diagram Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
363

Z68
Launched 5 months after the P67 and H67 chipset the Z68 chipset combines the advantages of the H67 and P67 Chipset so that overclocking, dual dedicated graphics cards and use of the integrated CPU graphics is available I.E The best of both worlds. Whilst on the surface it would seem that this would be the chipset to go for, how many users that have 2 dedicated graphics cards will actually want to use the onboard graphics when they already have 2 more powerful graphics cards in their system anyway?
The only real advantage is for users that wish to access the HD graphics features such as quick sync, but considering it’s only supported by very few transcoding programs and there are not many people out there that need or will want to transcode, it makes it almost pointless to choose Z68 over a P67 chipset.

Same applies to users that want to overclock the CPU but use the onboard graphics card; it’s a very limited market.

Finally, another feature of a Z68 chipset is known as SSD caching which is where it allows the use of a small (say 10 or 20 GB - 60, 64GB) Solid state hard drive to act as a cache for a larger ‘traditional’ hard disk. If you are already planning the use of a Solid State drive this feature is redundant.

449

If you can’t afford a decent size SSD (40GB+) then there are more cost effective ways around using a small SSD and SSD cashing like spending less on a motherboard, (H67 chipset or even a P67 chipset) and putting the saved money into a decent size SSD.

The Z68 at launch
Quote:
With the launch of Intel's Z68 Express chipset came the expected influx of supported motherboards. Because Z68 is meant to be a higher-tier P67, however, there were not quite as many models available at launch that we expected, with GIGABYTE dominating the listings with at least eight motherboards. It's clear that while GIGABYTE is anxious to get rid of P67, other vendors are content with having two separate product lines.

In looking around at the various launch boards, I noticed that many GIGABYTE boards did not have video outputs, which seemed to me to be a major contradiction to what Z68 is meant to offer up. After all, the chipset offers two major features, and without video outputs on the board, one of those are thrown out the window. as this is the same with my GIGABYTE Z68 board.

After reeading about two of GIGBYTE's competitors, i learned that its boards that do not have video outputs can't take advantage of QuickSync+Virtu, which was to be expected given that Intel stated that video outputs would in fact be required for this configuration to work. With further research I learned that ASUS with its higher-end boards that also didn't feature video outputs, I found that that QuickSync+Virtu does still work.

As it turns out, ASUS implemented a super-secret method of negating the requirement for video outputs on the motherboards, so on its Z68 boards that don't feature video outputs, users can plug their display into their discrete graphics card as normal, and still take advantage of the QuickSync+Virtu feature.

More about Lucid virtu
Lucid Logic

Sample image here Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
286

Notibly ASUS borads support what's called "D-Mode", which refers to "discrete" graphics cards. These boards do not have video outputs. Boards that do have "I-Mode", simply referring to the integrated graphics. These boards feature QuickSync+Virtu regardless of whether they feature D-Mode or I-Mode.

What benefit does D-Mode offer the consumer? Well, if there is one, it isn't major. The lack of video outputs might be preferred by some, and the benefit of being able to plug into your discrete card as usual is also nice. Aside from that, the technical aspect of ASUS pulling this off seems to be more important than the benefit to the consumer, which isn't something that happens all too often.

Z68 Block Diagram Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
499

Finally
There you have it, hopefully your answers have been cleared up. Quite clearly the original H67 and P67 chipsets are still, and will remain, the most popular choice for socket 1155 Sandy bridge custom PC builds unless the machine is needed for a rare and specific task."
300

331

Over the next month or so we will see if Ivy bridge lives up to expectations. This being the new Intel's micro architecture and the next Tick in Intel's Tick Tock model. The 7-series chipsets are bring more improvement in graphics and should prove useful for the average user, gamer, and workstaions to the 3D Modelers and thier visual experence.

The Tick of the Tock Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
397

These new chipsets provide the companion logic to the 2nd Generation Intel Core processors today (Sandy Bridge) and will support the 3rd Generation Intel Core processor family (codenamed Ivy Bridge) late April. They also integrate USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt, enable technologies like Intel Smart Response, Intel Smart Connect, and Intel Rapid Start in desktop and mobile platforms.

For PC platform, the 7-series Chipset family includes the Z77 and Z75 Express chipsets.

The combination of the Intel Z77 and Z75 Express Chipsets and 3rd generation Intel Core processors offer smart features like Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 and Intel Hyper-Threading Technology. Intel Smart Connect Technology enables instant access to data by allowing content to be refreshed in the standby power state - all while minimizing power consumption. In addition to faster boot and resume times, Intel Rapid Start Technology provides energy effciency. The Intel Z77 Express Chipset also features Intel Smart Response Technology that delivers faster application loading.

The Intel Z77 and Z75 Express Chipsets enable the performance tuning features of unlocked Intel Core processors, allowing the user to change the core multiplier to increase frequencies without having to run any other part of the system above specifications.

Ivy Bridge processors pack smart performance and built-in 3D visual and graphics support. Intel Quick Sync Video technology, Intel's built-in hardware acceleration technology in all 3rd generation Intel Core processors, promises to deliver high video transcoding performance. In addition, the InTru 3D Technology delivers smooth 3D movie playback. The Intel Z77 and Z75 Express Chipsets and 3rd generation Intel Core processors also come with built-in Intel Wireless Display (Intel WiDi), allowing users to view content from their desktop PC to an Intel WiDi-enabled TV screen. The Intel Z77 and Z75 Express Chipsets also support up to three displays.

The Intel Z77 and Z75 Express Chipsets integrate several capabilities to provide fexibility for connecting I/O devices, including integrated USB 3.0 support and the latest Intel Rapid Storage Technology, which enables the full Serial ATA (SATA) interface speed of up to 6 Gb/s to support next-generation Solid State Drives (SSDs) and traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). In addition, the new chipsets drive lower power through enhanced link power management of the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI), enable easier expandability with support for native hot plug, and enhance boot and multitasking performance with Native Command Queuing (NCQ). Intel Rapid Recover Technology (part of the Intel Rapid Storage Technology suite) provides a fast method for the end user to recover their data and return their system to an operational status.

Intel also annoucned the Intel H77 Express Chipset, which offers most of the features of the Z77 and Z75 chips (Intel Turbo Boost 2.0, Intel Hyper-Threading, Intel Smart Response, Intel Quick Sync Video, InTru 3D, Intel WiDi, Intel Rapid Storage), but it doesn't support CPU overclocking.

Ivy Bridge Chipset Information in note form!

Sneak Preview of Chipsets in Table Form Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
500

New Processor Graphics Improvments: Diagram Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
383

Naming
  • Chipset: Panther Point
  • Platform: Maho Bay

Chipset Overview Diagram Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
450

Maho Bay Platform Overview Diagram Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
450

Initial Chipset Notes
Quote:
Together with the Ivy Bridge CPUs, Intel's 7-series motherboard chipsets will form the Maho Bay desktop platform, and the chip maker plans to split this PCH range into two different groups.

The first of these will target the consumer market and includes three platform controller hubs (PCHs) dubbed Z77, Z75 and H77, which feature similar specifications apart from some minor changes.

Z77
Starting with the most feature rich chipset, the Z77, this packs four USB 3.0 ports, two SATA 6Gbps and four SATA 3Gbps connectors as well as support for Intel's Smart Response (SSD caching) technology.
Furthermore, the motherboard chipset can split the 16 PCI Express lanes available for the CPU into an x8 + x8 or an x8 + x4 + x4 configuration.

more to follow

Z77 Block Diagram Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
419

Z75
The Z75 support for the Smart Response Technology seems to be optional, but all the other features are common between the two chipsets (Z77) and both of these offer CPU overclocking support.
As to PCIe the Z75 only support a single x16 slot or dual x8 slots.

more to follow

Z75 Block Diagram Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
419

H77
As far as the H77 is concerned, this also comes with four USB 3.0 ports and the same storage configuration as its older brother, but Intel has decided to disable processor overclocking and dual-GPU operation and re-introduced Smart Response to make up for these shortcomings.

more to follow

H77 Block Diagram Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
374

Features Common to all
Features common to all the three Panther Point PCH chips include Intel HD graphics support, with up to three individual displays, dual stream HDMI and DisplayPort audio and RAID 0/1/5/10 support.

Together the above three chipsets make up the base of the consumer chipsets in the Intel 7-series Ivy bridge.

Notes:
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post #2 of 50
interesting, so for my build with a I7 2600k i should go with a z68 or p67 chipset?
post #3 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoff View Post

interesting, so for my build with a I7 2600k i should go with a z68 or p67 chipset?

yes. z68 preferably.
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post #4 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

yes. z68 preferably.

thank you smile.gif
post #5 of 50
Thread Starter 
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post #6 of 50
so i read this and i see not much difference for my needs between a p67 or z68 board,

in other forums i read some good deals on Asrock gen 3 p67 boards.

my plan is to use a graphics card and mild overclocking, no SSD chace but may have an SSD for OS

would p67 to me fine?
post #7 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoff View Post

so i read this and i see not much difference for my needs between a p67 or z68 board,
in other forums i read some good deals on Asrock gen 3 p67 boards.
my plan is to use a graphics card and mild overclocking, no SSD chace but may have an SSD for OS
would p67 to me fine?

yes..z68 would too..
 
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post #8 of 50
No 1155 chipsets have native USB3

The way they/you worded it, it sounds like it was removed from H61
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post #9 of 50
TL;DR version:

H67: Use this if you're not going to use a dedicated GPU. It will use the graphics processor built on the sandy bridge CPU. (for something like normal desktop use or htpc) You're unable to overclock the CPU however you can overclock the integrated GPU.

P67: Use this if you're going to be using a dedicated GPU and you're wanting to overclock your CPU.

Z68: The best of both words. Basically the full feature motherboard with all the perks of H67 and P67 combined.
    
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post #10 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by reflex99 View Post

No 1155 chipsets have native USB3
The way they/you worded it, it sounds like it was removed from H61

Correct. All Intel 6-series chipsets have no native USB 3.0 controller built into it. It is either ASMedia, NEC, or Etron USB 3.0 controller.

Also Clear Video depends on the iGPU, not chipset itself. Here is an example, ASRock H61M.
http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=H61M

You should also point out that since P67 lacks iGPU support, it cannot use Intel Quick Sync (fastest multimedia transcoding). Quick Sync can achieve CPU quality that otherwise cannot attain from CUDA or AMD/OpenCL.
Edited by trumpet-205 - 12/20/11 at 10:09pm
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Misaka
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 Sapphire HD 7850 2 GB Samsung DDR3 16 GB (30 nm) 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Crucial M4 128 GB WD Caviar Blue 1 TB Lite-on DVD Burner Thermalright Venomous X 
OSOSMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Professional x64 (Host) Crunchbang Linux x64 (Guest) HP 2311x HP PS/2 Keyboard 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Rosewill Capstone 450 W Rosewill Challenger Logitech M570 ASUS Xonar D1 
Other
Hauppauge HVR-1250 
  hide details  
Reply
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