from Gigabyte was showing off one the company's upcoming P55 motherboards during the GOOC US quarter finals this past weekend and PC Perspective was there and managed to snap a couple of pictures of the board.
The board itself looks pretty standard, it has three x16 PCI Express slots, although again, we're not sure about the exact PCI Express lane configuration, but at least the top slot will use the full 16 lanes in single card mode and you can clearly see the digital switch in the pictures for using a pair of graphics cards. The board also has two PCI Express x1 slots and two PCI slots.
Around the back we're most likely looking at a standard Gigabyte setup consisting of a pair of PS/2 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, a mini and full size FireWire port, dual Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-channel audio and optical as well as coaxial S/PDIF out. The board also has 10 SATA connectors, three headers for an additional six USB 2.0 ports, a header for a FireWire port, a floppy and IDE connector and three buttons which consist of power on/off, reset and clear CMOS.
Finally the board has an ONFI
slot, something one of our sources at Gigabyte pointed us towards. Initially it was thought that these slots were meant for Intel's next gen Turbo Memory cards, but it seems like there's a lot more to it than that. The ONFI interface offers speeds of up to 200MB/s (that's Mega Byte, not Mega bit) and will accept various flash memory based devices, including Turbo Memory modules, but also SSD drives. This might become a standard interface for SSD drives in the future, although it seems like the physical size of the drives would be limited due to the positioning of the ONFI slots on all motherboards we've seen to date.
We'll try to dig up a few more details about the ONFI cards and report back once we have some more information to share, but we've already been told that it should be possible to boot from the ONFI interface, unlike some PCI Express based SSD solutions.
You can find the pictures of the board here