The PCI Express 2.0 interface is common nowadays, but ASRock left the norm when it used the next generation of this interface on its new LGA 1155 motherboard for Intel Sandy Bridge and, eventually, Ivy Bridge CPUs.
Ever since the Ivy Bridge platform became a looming certainty, new Intel-based motherboards have either been offering support for it or not.
It turns out that ASRock has been working on one of the former that might also turn into the latter, later on.
Either way, whether it supports the upcoming generation of CPUs is not the main thing to be concerned about when looking at the Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3, as it is called.
Instead, one should take note of the fact that the PCI Express 3.0 interface is supported by two of the slots built into it.
For those that want an update, the PCI Express 3.0 interface can provide a bandwidth about twice as large as the maximum of the PCI Express 2.0. In numbers, this means 1 GB/s per lane instead of just 500 MB/s.
Considering that the latter rate is nothing to scoff at, this is a significant design choice on ASRock's part, especially since it took a PLX PEX8608 bridge chip and some tweaks to make it work, since native support for the technology does not exist yet.
As for everything else, the mainboard comes with a PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot (Quad-SLI or -way CrossFire is supported), the LuciLogix Virtu technology and four DDR3 slots.
What's more, six SATA 6.0 Gbps ports are present, alongside ten SATA 3.0 Gbps ones, dual Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1 channel audio, eSATA, dual HDMI, USB 3.0 (four ports) and the Intel Smart Response technology.
Finally, the un-priced platform boasts a Fatal1ty USB Mouse Port (polling rate adjustment from 125 Hz to 1000 Hz) and 18-phase PWM, plus a debug LED.