P67 Roundup Part Twotacohunter52 -
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We just looked at the ASUS SABERTOOTH, now we are going to take a look at another board from ASUS that is just $20 more expensive, the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe. While the P8P67 may not come complete with TUF Thermal Armor, it comes with an insane amount of unique ASUS Features, as well as overclocking features. Some of these features include ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 2 with DIGI+ VRM, ASUS Digital Power Design, ASUS BT GO! (Bluetooth), ASUS Exclusive Features, ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution, ASUS EZ DIY, and ASUS Q-Design. For overclocking features, you'll be able to use Precision Tweaker 2, SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection), and Overclocking Protection. Along with all these features you'll also get the extra cool stuff, like dual Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth support, and a multitude of back panel I/O connections. All of this together should make this one of the meanest boards in our roundup.
The ASUS P8P67 Deluxe uses a black carbon fiber-like color scheme for its packaging. The ASUS logo sits at the very top, with the P8P67 Deluxe logo directly underneath. To the right is an advert for the board's Dual Intelligent Processor Design. This features the ASUS DIGI+ VRM EPU, as well as the ASUS TPU. Flipping the box over reveals a very detailed description of the board, as well as some of its key features. These include the Dual Intelligent Processors, the Complete USB 3.0 support, the front panel USB 3.0 box, the BT GO!, and the extra SATA 6Gb/s support. Lifting up the box's tab reveals even more info on the P8P67's features. These include the board's TPU for great voltage control, the EPU for great energy efficiency, the EFI BIOS, the AI Suite II, the DTS Surround sound support, and the Quad SLI/CrossFire Support. This box has so much information it feels like a review on its own!
The ASUS P8P67 Deluxe was packaged similarly to how the ASUS SABERTOOTH was. We do not see any plastic clamshell packaging, but the board was packaged before the included accessories.
Speaking of accessories, the P8P67 Deluxe has a lot of them. For starters you'll be able to use the ASUS Q-Shield, which is a padded I/O shield. You'll also be equipped with two SATA II 3Gb/s cables, and four SATA III 6Gb/s cables. Along with the cables, you'll also get an ASUS Q-Connector and a SLI bridge. There's one more rather large accessory included with the P8P67 Deluxe. Remember back when USB 3.0 was just being released and you needed to run USB cables through your case to the back panel I/O ports if you wanted to use it? Well, now you can easily have USB 3.0 coming from the front of your case, even if your case doesn't offer USB 3.0 support. How, you ask? With the ASUS front panel USB 3.0 box, of course! The box will fit in a 5.25" drive bay and will give you an extra two USB 3.0 ports.
The ASUS P8P67 Deluxe uses a black PCB with a blue color scheme. At first glance, the board appears to have an exceptionally great layout, which to me is more important than anything else. Flipping the board over reveals a relatively empty PCB, but from looking at it we can see that the board's heat spreaders are held on by screws as apposed to push pins.
After having just looked at the ports from two other motherboards, I'm willing to say that the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe has the best available options, when it comes to that. You'll have a PS/2 port, a Bluetooth module, an eSATA port and a Power eSATA 3Gb/s, eight USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports, an IEEE 1394a port, dual Gigabit LAN ports, a Coaxial S/PDIF out, an Optical S/PDIF out, your standard audio ports, and a Clear CMOS switch. Multi-GPU users will love the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe because the board supports both Quad SLI and Quad CrossFire solutions. The board achieves this with its two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots, which default to x8 in dual mode, and its PCIe 2.0 x16 slot that runs at x4. Accompanying these PCIe slots are two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots, and two PCI slots.
Moving on to the bottom of the P8P67 Deluxe, we can see that it's got quite a few features. Starting from the left, you'll have access to an HD audio header, a 1394a header, a power switch, and a reset switch. Located between the switches and the headers is the EPU switch. This will allow you to enable or disable the energy efficient EPU. The EPU offers real time power savings by monitoring and optimizing hardware loads to moderate power consumption. The EPU will also help reduce fan noise and, according to ASUS, increase your components' lifespan! Located after the reset switch are two USB headers, two 3-pin fan connectors, an onboard LED display, and your front panel headers.
Moving on to the right side of the board, we'll first notice the eight SATA ports. The first four are SATA II 3Gb/s ports and they are followed by two SATA III 6Gb/s ports. The remaining two ports are on the Marvell® PCIe 9128 controller and run at SATA III 6Gb/s. Directly to the right of the SATA ports is the connector for the ASUS front panel USB 3.0 port. Like all P67 motherboards, the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe draws its power from a standard 24-pin connector. What's more interesting is what is located to the right of the 24-pin connector. These are the MemOK! button and TPU switch. The MemOK! button is something we've seen on ASUS motherboards for a while now and it's something many users have found useful. If you're having trouble booting with a particular stick of memory, simply hit the MemOK! button and the motherboard will automatically determine safe memory settings to boot with. The TPU switch will enable you to disable/enable the P8P67 Deluxe's TPU. The ASUS TPU offers the user advanced overclocking and monitoring options, which combined with ASUS TurboV, can generate some massive overclocks. Last, but not least, the board draws its auxiliary power from a single 8-pin connector.
Unlike other motherboards, the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe does not use a finned heat spreader for its chipset. Well actually, the heat spreader is finned, but you can't see them. Instead you'll see the ASUS logo on a square decal that uses a black, blue, and silver color scheme. The TPU and EPU are located under a heatspreader that uses a similar color scheme for its design. Located around the P8P67 Deluxe's LGA 1155 socket and covered by blue wave-like heat spreaders is the 16+2 power phase, which is powered by DIGI+ VRM technology. This technology provides, according to ASUS, twice the "precision power". Basically, it will help to extend your overclocking range to your hardware's full potential. The DIGI+ VRM will also provide your system with greater stability and higher power efficiency.
Now that we've seen all the boards we will be looking at in this roundup, let's take a look at their included utilities.