Taiwanese manufacturer MSI has announced a new motherboard Z68A-GD80 (G3), which according to the company will be the world's first motherboard to utilize the PCI Express Gen 3 (3.0) bus standard. Featuring a BIOS with a graphical user interface, the motherboard boasts two PCIe 3.0 slots (1x16, 1x8), which provide a 2x faster transfer rate than the 2.0 standard with a maximum bandwidth of 32GB/s, and support for 3TB drives. It is also equipped with an Intel Z68 (B3) chipset and supports the LGA1155 socket to work with Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs.

The motherboard comes with Click BIOS II technology, "which utilizes a unified graphical interface in both Windows and in the UEFI BIOS" and offers touchscreen support, as well as the OC Genie II which MSI says is capable of increasing CPU, memory, iGPU and HDD performance by pressing a single button. The mainboard is equipped with Military Class II components, which is designed to ensure stability and long lifespan.

The MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) features two USB 3.0 external ports, HDMI v1.4 and DVI outputs, four DDR3 memory slots with dual channel support (up to 32 GB), FireWire and SATA 6 Gb/s connectivity. MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) supports AMD Crossfire, NVIDIA SLI multi-GPU solutions tailored for hardcore gamers, as well as Virtu Switchable Graphics, which allows the power of a discrete GPU and integrated GPU to be combined.

MSI also says that that PCE Express 2.0 SSDs perform 13 per cent faster when connected to the new motherboard, compared with its closest competitors.

While the MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) appears to be available now, there's still no word on price.

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