It is time from another universal port to try to dethrone USB as the standard. This time we have Intel Thunderbolt wanting to go toe to toe with USB 3.0. The first to bring this option to the enthusiast market is the ASUS P8Z77-V Premium, the first Thunderbolt certified motherboard technically.
First the ASUS P8Z77-V Premium comes with SSD Caching II, which allows you to use more than one SSD as a cache drive. It even comes with a 32 GB mSATA based SSD on-board ready to be used as your primary cache drive. You can get the ASUS P8Z77 PRO/Thunderbolt with the full specs below, but does not come with the SSD Caching II, which should lower the price point if it was the Thunderbolt interface you were after.
I am sure Intel Thunderbolt will be one of the features you find on all top tier Intel motherboards. As many of you will recall, the simultaneous bi-directional 10 Gbps, single cable that can be daisy chained and fully support DisplayPort has been available on laptops and via add-on cards before; however, this is the first time it is certified and integrated into a motherboard.
I know the ASUS P8Z77-V and ASUS P8Z77 PRO will be great top tier motherboards, but I think companies should stop this “first” posting. It was annoying when everyone was doing it (still doing it) on forums and comment threads; “First” press releases are getting to be just as bad. I got at least 3 PR e-mails making the first claim with ASUS literally being first to send it. I chose their PR was because they are working with LaCie, PROMISE, and Elgato to produce products for the Thunderbolt interface. Doesn’t matter how awesome a feature is, if you have no reason or way to use it.