This post is for a very select segment: desktop enthusiast PC builders who have not yet purchased Intel’s Sandy Bridge but are planning to soon. For you, I suggest a 3-4 week wait until new motherboards come out based on the forthcoming Z68 chipset.
Z68 combines the best features of the H67 and P67 mother-boards already in the market, and adds in a couple of new ones too. Probably for about the same price as H67 and P67 equivalents.
H67 chipsets support all Intel’s great media encoding in hardware, but can’t be overclocked. P67 chipsets support overclocking with K-series processors, but lose the media encoding capability. Z68 marries the best of P67 and H67. (Why Intel came up with P67, H67, and Z68 is a story I’m interested in hearing).
In addition, Z68 motherboards support RST SSD Caching, a feature which enables a solid state drive to be used to cache frequently-used data found on a hard drive. This will speed up boot times and application start times. Its competition is Microsoft Readyboost with a thumb flash drive and using the SSD as a boot drive with a separate data drive.
Look for motherboards that include LucidLogix’s Virtu software (which will be supported by some vendors, including Intel), and you’ll have a system that switches between integrated and discrete graphics, cutting power consumption along the way.
Expect all this in May, according to this post in techConnect.