Asus P6T6 WS Revolution Core i7 Motherboard
The Asus P6T6 WS Revolution has a well thought-out floor plan with respect to mechanical layout, with its connectors in seemingly all the right places. Specifically its 8-pin ATX power connector is on the top edge of the board, out of the way and ready for cable routing that could easily be worked along side or behind the motherboard tray in a chassis.
The board also is built with Asus' patented Stack Cool 2 technology which employs an extra metal layer on the underside of the PCB, around critical, thermally stressed components in the CPU socket area. Beyond that, in terms of its cooling solution, the chipset heatsinks and heatpipe arrangement don't look especially exotic, though there is a larger sink on the Southbridge chip that also covers the NF200 PCIe switch. Also, around the socket area, you can see the board's claimed 16+2 phase power array. This essentially is a 16-phase circuit for the CPU and another 2 phase circuit for the QPI link and memory. Asus claims this design offers better power efficiency, better thermal characteristics and more overclocking headroom.
The P6T6 WS Revolution's included G.P. Diagnosis card is a welcome addition that plugs on to one of the board's pin header locations. It offers a two character LED diagnostic readout display as well as reset and power switch functionality. This is a nice touch and great added functionality but we would like to see a clear CMOS switch added to this little PCB, especially since there isn't one on the back IO panel.
The P6T6 WS Revolution has a fully decked-out IO panel on the backside of the board, complete with dual Gig-E NICs, 6 of the total available 12 USB 2.0 ports (an additional 6 are available on internal headers, though we would have liked 2 more on the IO panel), eSATA and S/PDIF audio ports. Notably missing is any trace of a Firewire port on the board, which quite frankly, we didn't miss at all, though some users obviously might.