Ivy Bridge Z77 Motherboards Could Launch Today

Some Intel Ivy Bridge supporting motherboards sporting the Z77 chipset could be launched today if rumours are to be believed.

Apparently the boards have been ready for a while and it was only the chip availability that has delayed the launch until now. Fudzilla has it that there are even rumours that if Intel's Ivy Bridge processors can be pumped out in large numbers, that the intended April launch date could be brought forward.

Ivy Bridge is set to replace the current generation of Sandy Bridge E processors and will bring performance gains as well as the usual improvements that come with a die shrink. These new chips will be the first to use a 22nm die and will therefore have reduced power requirements and a lower thermal design power (TDP). The desktop variants are expected to come in 77/65/55/45/35W options.

In terms of power increase, the processor itself is expected to see a jump of about 20 per cent over previous generations, while the onboard graphics processing unit (GPU) improving by around 30 per cent.

There will of course also be increased support. USB 3.0 is on the agenda which will please those who move large files around. PCI Express 3.0 is also supported, adding bandwidth that if early performance numbers of AMD's 7000 series graphics cards are anything to go, will be welcomed with open arms by early adopters.