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P67 Motherboards: Asus, MSI, Gigabyte

 

For the purposes of this article, in addition to the Intel-built boards on the previous page, we acquired a handful of enthusiast-class P67-based motherboards to give you all an idea as to what type of boards would be hitting the scene along with the new Sandy Bridge-based Core i5 and i7 based processors.

   
Asus P8P67 Deluxe Motherboard, Click To Enlarge

First up, we have the Asus P8P67 Deluxe. The P8P67 Deluxe is about as feature rich a motherboard as we have come across. In addition to exploiting all of the features inherent to the P67 chipset, the P8P67 Deluxe offers USB 3.0 support (with front panel USB 3.0 ports included), Bluetooth connectivity, additional SATA 6Gbps ports, and what Asus is calling “Dual Intelligent Processors 2”. The Dual Intelligent Processors consist of Asus’ EPU unit, which we’ve covered in the past, and the TurboV processing unit. The processors work together with the P8P67 Deluxe’s 16+2 digital VRM (DIGI+ VRM) and give users the ability to monitor and adjust power delivery. According to Asus, the combination of the programmable digital VRM and DIP2 results in superior efficiency and longevity.

The Asus P8P67 Deluxe also supports SLI and CrossFireX, DTS Surround, and Asus includes a copy of their AI Suite II, which gives users easy access to all of the Asus-proprietary features mentioned here in a single software package. In addition to the aforementioned features, the P8P67 Deluxe also sports an EFI BIOS that’s worlds better than traditional text-based BIOS menus. Take a look.

We found the Asus P8P67 Deluxe to be a very stable board that was quite tweaker-friendly too. Performance was also excellent, as you’ll see in the pages ahead.

   
MSI P67A-GD65 Motherboard, Click To Enlarge

Here we have the MSI P67A-GD65. Like the other P67-based motherboards featured here, all of the P67 chipset’s features are available on the P67A-GD65, but MSI works a bit of their magic as well. The MSI P67A-GD65 features a mouse-friendly EFI BIOS that’s much easier to navigate than traditional text-based BIOS menus. The board is also in MSI’s “Military Class II” family and features super ferrite chokes, highly conductive polymer capacitors, and solid capacitors throughout, which should offer increases stability and longevity.

The MSI P67A-GD65 also supports “1 second overclocking” thanks to its OC Genie feature, but the BIOS also sports all of the overclocker-friendly features we’ve come to expect from MSI for manual tweaking. MSI also includes their new Instant OC Control Center software which gives users the ability the monitor and control system parameters from within Windows, with no need to reboot when making changes.

Other features of the MSI P67A-GD65 include USB3.0 and THX TruStudio PRO support, along with “Super Charger” which allows users to charge USB devices even when the system is powered down.

We found the layout of the MSI P67A-GD65 to be quite good and like the dark blue and black aesthetics.

   
Gigabyte P67A-UD7 Motherboard, Click To Enlarge

Next up we have the Gigabyte P67A-UD7. The P67A-UD7 is an enthusiast class, LGA1155 based motherboard for Sandy Bridge processors and will be Gigabyte’s flagship P67 mobo upon its arrival. It features a 24 phase CPU power design, Gigabyte’s “Ultra Durable 3” technology with two ounces copper layers within the PCB, ten SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, six SATA 6Gbps connectors, 3-way CrossFireX and SLI support, DualBIOS technology, and On/Off Charge support.

While the UD7 will be the flagship model at launch, targeting the enthusiast and extreme overclocking market all of Gigabyte’s P67 boards (UD7, UD5, UD4, UD3P) will come with the new black PCB. The H67A-UD3H still sports Gigabyte’s traditional blue color scheme.

Inside the box, Gigabyte provides an accessory bundle fitting for an enthusiast class product as well. The UD7 comes with a user manual, quick installation guide, driver disc, six SATA cables, I/O shield, dual eSATA bracket, 2-way SLI bridge, and a 3-way SLI bridge.

 


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