Asus P6T Reviewccokeman -
» Discuss this article (3)
The Asus P6T is an ATX form factor motherboard designed for use with Intel's LGA 1366 Core I7 processors, including the 965EE. It is designed around the Intel X58/ICH10R chipset combination. Featuring six memory slots, the P6T supports the installation of up to 24GB of DDR3 2000 (O.C.)*/1866 (O.C.)*/1800 (O.C.)*/1600 (O.C.)/1333/1066 memory in a Triple Channel configuration. The cooling capabilities do not look to be as robust as those used on the P6T Deluxe OC Edition but both boards use Asus' tried and true Stack Cool 2 motherboard design to get rid of unwanted heat generated by the motherboard components by using the PCB as another passive heatsink. The heatsinks used on the board are only interconnected between the X58 chipset and the power circuit by the I/O panel.
The I/O panel offers plenty of connectivity. One difference between the Deluxe version and the standard P6T is that the P6T Deluxe features a single multi use PS/2 port while the P6T has two ports, one for use with a mouse and one for a keyboard. There are a total of six USB 2.0 ports available on the I/O panel with more available on board. Additional connectivity includes two S/PDIF ports, one optical and one coaxial, a single eSATA port, a single IEEE 1394a Firewire port, a single RJ-45 LAN port and the eight channel surround sound ports. Expansion capabilities come in the form of three x16 PCI-E 2.0 slots that run at 16x x 16x x 4x when running video cards in a TRI SLI configuration. The X58 chipset allows for graphics solutions that include Tri SLI and QuadfireX for the maximum graphics potential. Additionally, there are two PCI slots and a single PCI-E x1 slot.
The connectivity for the front panel and expansion brackets are located across the bottom of the P6T. From left to right we have the front panel sound, optical drive sound connection, the floppy drive connection, IEEE 1394a port that brings the total for the P6T to two, three USB 2.0 ports that bring the total on board to twelve, a chassis fan connector and the front panel connection. Visible just behind the left hand USB port are the overvoltage jumpers that allow you to the option of running higher voltages than normally available.
Most of the storage drive connectivity is on the right hand side of the board with the exception of the floppy drive connection on the bottom side of the board. The PATA port is JMicron controlled as well as the two orange SATA Drive Expert ports each with their own controller. The six red SATA 3.0GBs ports are controlled via the ICH10R southbridge. Moving further up, there is the 24-pin ATX power connection that supplies the majority of the power to the P6T. Asus has added on board power and reset buttons for those that choose to run with a tech station or just really don't use the front panel connections. The six DDR3 memory slots support up to 24GB of system memory in speeds of up to DDR3 2000MHz.
The area around the LGA 1366 socket is really not too cramped on this version of the P6T. The 8+2 phase power design means there are fewer components in this area. Asus uses low RDS(on) MOSFETs, ferrite core chokes and solid Japanese made capacitors to make sure the power gets to the components as clean and efficiently as possible. There are a total of eight chokes around the socket with two more by the memory. One thing to notice is that Asus has included mounting holes for both LGA 775 and LGA 1366 heatsinks. This way you dont need to spend the additional money on a new heatsink, bracket or water block, something users of the popular D-Tek CPU water blocks will appreciate.
In addition to the Stack Cool 2 PCB, the cooling solution on the P6T is a little less robust than that seen on the P6T Deluxe. The P6T features a single heatpipe interconnecting the sinks on the X58 chipset and the power regulation circuits for the CPU. The ICH10R southbridge uses a standalone heatsink with another standalone sink above the CPU socket. Less robust may prove to be a problem but we will see as the heat generated under load by the X58 chipset was pretty substantial on the P6T Deluxe.
Let's get the P6T installed and see how it compares to some of the other offerings in the marketplace.