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  • jigglywiggly - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    gr8 article and I liked the ending comparison to the asrock board, I'ma get that. Just has so many features. Reply
  • vol7ron - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Can't see getting P67. Waiting on Z67. Hopefully it will be all I ever dreamed of Reply
  • Kaboose - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Z68 they didn't stay with 67 on the "Z" chipset apparently. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Possibly since LGA 2011 will also use DMI to connect to the chipset Z68 boards will be sold for both sockets; and presumably some of the more mundane chipsets would be used for server/workstation builds. Reply
  • Etern205 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    LGA 2011 will use the X68 which is different than Z68.
    SB chipsets
    Highend: LGA 2011/X68
    Mainstream LGA 1155/Z68<--Allows for OCing.
  • vol7ron - Saturday, January 22, 2011 - link

    Yep. It was either a typo or a finger fart :)

    Still, I'm hoping the processor batches will have improved by then. What I'm hoping for is the CPUs to mature a little bit, to possibly get a little higher BCLK overclock (not looking for much, just closer to the 5Mhz).
  • DanNeely - Sunday, January 23, 2011 - link

    Don't hold your breath. The BCLK limit is most likely due to something on your PCI/PCIEe buses (neither of which are designed for any overclock at all) bombing out; not your CPU. Reply
  • medi01 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Suddenly, paying 150-200$ for a motherboard is OK.
    After all, it makes Intel CPUs "cheaper".
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, January 23, 2011 - link

    It's been like that for a long time. But personally I never saw the value in expensive motherboards.

  • medi01 - Monday, January 24, 2011 - link

    I don't recall it "being like that" for AMD motherboards. Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, January 24, 2011 - link

    Agreed. The last 3 motherboards I bought all came free (or close to it) in a Microcenter deal. 2 AMD system, and one Intel (socket 775). They all have decent overclocking, and have been plenty stable. Your better off spending the money you save on more RAM, or an SSD. Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Sunday, January 23, 2011 - link

    "I'ma get that"

    You left out the wrong word. The "a" is the beginning of "a-gonna"; the phrase is "I'm a-gonna" do something. If you're going to remove something, it's the "a": I'm gonna get that.
  • softdrinkviking - Monday, January 24, 2011 - link

    For all you know, "I'ma get that" could be widely used in this person's area, how would you know?

    Don't correct slang, it completely defeats the purpose, and it's kind of insane.
  • Sufo - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    The "a" is the last a of gonna. The part that is omitted is the "gonn". If you're going to be such a useless pedant, at least get your facts straight.

    Not the best source, but

  • maxnix - Thursday, April 28, 2011 - link

    Unfortunately for you, spell checking isn't one of them! Reply
  • Spazweasel - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    EVGA seems late to the game. They've announced their first 1155 board (130-SB-E675-KR) on their website, but has anyone actually seen it in the wild (much less reviewed)? Reply
  • seamusmc - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Spaz, (chuckle)

    I thought I read somewhere in their forums that EVGA's first P67 board will be available in February.
  • Spazweasel - Monday, January 31, 2011 - link

    Okay, now we know why!

    It will be interesting to see if EVGA was among the first to be saying "Hey, something's not right here" and this was the reason.
  • DanNeely - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    The obvious feature gigabytes $260/320 board shas is PCIe bridge chips that allow a huge number of USB3 ports and more x16 slots, although you're only getting higher burst performance per device since they're all still sharing the same 16 lanes from the CPU.

    The other traditional feature is better mofsets/mofset coolers to allow higher voltages for overclocks if you have the cooling to handle the heat.
  • Pjmcnally - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    This is a great review that I was very happy to read. I picked up the ASRock board at release but I wasn’t sure I had made a good decision.

    I believe there is one small error in the review, the headers for both lists of board features read “ASRock P67 Extreme4” not “Asus P8P676 Pro” or “Gigabyte P67A-UD4”.
  • IanCutress - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Edited; simple copy/paste error. Glad you liked the review, we should have some H67 on the way next.

  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    May as well go down to detroit and buy a big fat rock. I would like to see you guys put together two $600 systems. One based on these outrageous $200 motherboards and a $200 cpu, and $200 for everything else. And put that up against a $70 motherboard and $200 cpu and put the extra $130 into a video card. Who in their right mind would choose this new crap? Dont even talk about encoding because encoding is something you start and then walk away. You dont need to be there to watch it encode so it dont matter how long it takes. (For 95% of users. Dont play these 5 percent mindgames.) Reply
  • vol7ron - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    I never walk away from my box Reply
  • marc1000 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    this is off-topic, but i think you should walk away from your box a little more. =D Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    I agree anything over 150 for a motherboard is stupid. But these new Sandy Bridge CPU's are great! It's called progress, and when you do a lot of encoding speed does matter even if you do walk away and/or use another computer in the mean time. Not to mention how intensive encoding full 1080p content is, what about 3D and in the future 4K HD and 8K HD. It's called progress and it's a good thing! Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, January 24, 2011 - link

    If you do a LOT of encoding, then you will have 2, 3, or 4 machines stacked up next to each other. And those machines would have Athlon X4's and cost $200 apiece to build. Only a fool spends $200, $300, or more, on a cpu just to encode something a little bit faster. You can get much better overall throughput using cheap AMD processors from the last generation. That fact holds true whether you encode one hour a week of video, or 1000. Intel is simply hoping that people are dumber than they may or may not really be. Reply
  • Fatchap - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    I used to type the command to load up a game or an application, press play on the tape player and walk away. I guess you still do the same as you would not want any of this new crap. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, January 24, 2011 - link

    You are quite delusional and propagandized if you think comparing a 2600K to something like a Q6600 or X2-250 is like going from "tape players" whatever you might use now. If you want a proper comparison, try VHS vs SuperVHS. Remember that? Oh yes, you must go out and spend $300 on that shiny new super-vhs player. All your old tapes will still look the same. But that's ok because anything new you record will look pretty good. (Of course if you ever stopped and thought about it, back in the day things always looked pretty good when you first recorded them. It's not until you tried playing it back in a different vcr that it started looking bad.)

    When someone can build a $500 gaming system that runs faster than something with a previous generation cpu and motherboard for less money then I might begin to be interested. But when you have to go with half the stream processors just to pay for a bunch of new crap that doesnt even get you anything, it makes no sense. These chips are supposed to result in cheaper motherboards. More integration, lesss complexity, bla bla bla. Well I dont see it. I just see a money grab.
  • seamusmc - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Shadow, some of us are still a generation or two behind. We'll definitely see more then a 5 percent boost. Personally I've been waiting for this 'perfect storm' of price and performance for quite some time, though I may wait for the 22nm refresh.

    Sure if you have an X58 platform with a 950 it probably doesn't make sense to upgrade, certainly not for gaming. Though many of the folks that frequent this site are enthusiasts and just want to play with the new hardware regardless of cost.
  • seamusmc - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Shadow, just realized the 5 percent gain you were talking about may have been between a $70 P67 board and $200 P67 board.

    I'd agree on that front. Though the more expensive boards do come with more features, USB hubs, and some better quality components.
  • erple2 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Technically, there has simultaneously always and never been a "perfect storm" of price and performance. Things always get faster at the same price point over time.

    As a commenter above pointed out, while these machines may be able to decode stuff quickly (and I'm guessing the 2600k will be faster), when their "system price" comes down to whatever sweet spot you are targeting, we'll have additional things we want to do with our computers (3D movies, 4K HD, 8K hD etc) that will tax these beyond what we consider "reasonable" today.

    Ultimately, things ALWAYS get cheaper for the same level of performance and/or do more with the same cost. That's what progress "mandates". Unfortunately, we demand more things to be done, so the perceived amount of extra work you can do never really seems to go down. I used to be happy running a 386-DX40 in the DOS days. Things seemed fast and speedy then. I acknowledge that I do more today than I did back then, though I'm not sure if that's because the software does more, rather than I do more.

    My advice - pick a budget and when you can no longer reasonably do what you now do, then buy with an eye to the future. I picked a fairly high budget, but I wanted to get a 'significant' upgrade that would still be usable 3 years in the future. My Core2Duo lasted from 2007 until the end of 2010, when I (foolishly) bought an i7-950.
  • marc1000 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    and in the 067 boards we can't use the encoding abilities from Sandy Bridge, because the on-chip GPU is turned-off in this chipset. so the only value in $150 boards is x8/x8 PCIe (cheaper boards cut this to x16/x4, a stupid thing but the only way to force us to spend more). Reply
  • medi01 - Saturday, January 22, 2011 - link

    Which "encoding abilities" are we talking about, please? Shamelessly hyped increased speed, achieved at the cost of quality loss, eh? Reply
  • Beenthere - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Asus has a long history of delivering half-baked goods - which this review confirms has happened once again. That and the fact that Asus provides zero customer support in my and many other customer's experience, means I'll vote with my wallet and get the Gigabyte mobo. I know the Asus fanbois will ignore the product defects and buy the Asus mobo anyway because of some review which shows it will OC by 2 Hz. more or something insignificant. This is how Asus dupes the naive kids. Reply
  • Rick83 - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Well, I'm monitoring the Gigabyte boards, and there's the same image as you'd expect from the ASUS side. Plus with the weird BIOS-flash thing happening on all the boards, and the features that are missing on the Gigabyte boards, I think I'll take an ASUS this time around. (Though any board will be a step down from my brilliant IP35 Pro.... RIP ABIT)
    Digital Audio Inputs seem to have died out completely....

    In the end, I think I'll go with the microATX ASUS in the new Fortress FT3 by Silverstone...
  • SmCaudata - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    I want to do the same build. I'm hoping for a new GENE or equivalent ASrock board. The FT3 looks like it can handle SLI well. Would be fun to build that powerful of a system in w small package and still have awesome thermals. Reply
  • Gothmoth - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    gigabyte boards make way more trouble then asus boards.

    don´t remind me on the samsung drives or hitachi drives that would not work for 8 month with gigabyte boards.

    take a look at gigabytes support forum and you will see how "happy" the gigabyte users are. LOL.
  • milkyway4me - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Asus does advance RMA, gigabyte doesn't. That and that alone, is why any reasonable person should choose Asus barring some massive issue that sticks out to them. Reply
  • Duwelon - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    And i've had the exact experience with Asus and Gigabyte. Last 3 computers I built all used Gigabyte board. 1 bad video card (fanless gigabyte 4550 and they replaced it with a geforce 9600gt with a fan... gee thanks for the downgrade in performance and features and upgrade in noise, thanks so very much). 1 Gigabyte board is acting up, the NIC keeps disappearing without a trace, had to install a PCI NIC to keep it on the network. I friggin hate Gigabyte's RMA process, but they're still better than some i've had to use. Asus, never had a problem with their RMA and they were a little faster than Gigabyte from what I remember. To each their own, sadly they both have flaws and neither are much better than the other. Overall though, given my recent screwing over by Gigabyte and recent issues, my pendulem is swinging towards Asus again. Reply
  • seamusmc - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    I've had boards from all major vendors, ASUS, Intel, Gigabyte, Abit, DFI, etc. They've all had duds and they've all had great boards. I currently have 4 ASUS x48 Rampage's, (Home Server, Work, Wife and Game), and it is one of my favorites among many favorites. ASUS CULV is another stand out in my memory.

    In my experience, ASUS hasn't delivered more half-baked goods then anyone else.

    Right now, it seems to me all the boards are having issues and that's to be expected with a new chipset. This is why I decided last month, despite my unquenchable hunger to upgrade, to wait at least until Feb to upgrade. At this point I may wait until March.
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    And in my experience I'm on the exact opposite. Built a gaming computer for my dad last summer. Started to randomly refuse to turn on after 2 months of use normal. After ruling out peripherals I pulled the HSF off and popped the CPU out to see a DISCONNECTED PIN on the mobo! Just sitting there on the ground like it had decided to fall off. Contacted Gigabyte through Newegg and received NO response. TONS of people were having similar issues both on their forums and on Newegg. I never received a response from them and ended up shelving the $130 mobo in my basement and buying a $140 Asus which has been rock-solid since installation last fall.

    Prior to this lack of customer support I was a huge fan of Gigabyte. My last 2 mobo's and video card were from them and I had nothing but praise when asked for a recommendation by friends/family. After the mobo fiasco and clearly being ignored (both myself and other enthusiasts) I've sworn off the company.
  • Makaveli - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    was that 920 D0 at stock speeds for the gaming test or overclocked? Reply
  • MeanBruce - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Really feel it's worth waiting for the SandyBridge E LGA-2011 Asus Rampage IV Extreme X68 with Quad memory. That mobo will last through Ivy Bridge 22nm and maybe even into Haskins! In the meantime think I'll drive over to motor city and pick up some new rocks. Reply
  • vol7ron - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Mmmm quad mem. Reply
  • Gothmoth - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    honest the H67 and P67 boards, as good as they are, are only to suck the money from the dumb enthusiasts who will not wait for the REAL DEAL.

    im not buying this stuff from, intel im waiting for Z68.

    this overclocking/quick sync sillyness with the current chipsets really sux.

    don´t know what intel is thinking but im not buying this crap thats for sure.
  • vol7ron - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Second. It's actually a good marketing move to get rid of old parts Reply
  • MeanBruce - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Mmmm Z68... Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Well, for some users the current offerings do make sense. If you are building a pure gaming system P67 shouldn't limit you any, as QuickSync isn't likely to be that important to you. Or our work computers, for example, will never be overclocked, so H67 boards would be fine for that use.

    That said, any mild enthusiast building some form of general-purpose system should probably wait for Z68. Dunno how Intel screwed that up, but it was dumb.
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    Here here. I'll read the reviews for Anandtech but wouldn't touch this junk with a 10 foot pole. All the mobo manufacturers should be ticked at Intel for pulling this stunt as it doesn't affect them, just us as the end users and the mobo companies. Reply
  • GoodBytes - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    I agree with Beenthere.
    Since 2003-04 I notice ASUS cut on quality like no tomorrow. And their RMA service (well at least in Canada) is non-existant. Staff are rude, don't want to work, takes a month to process a replacement (this is NOT one of those once in a life time experience, this happened to me twice, and friends), and you get at the end someone else RMA'ed board with a different problem and packed with dust. When I got that as a second time, now they draw the line. I switch to Gigabyte. The boards feel quality over ASUS high-end boards, and unlike ASUS boards, they don't break soon after the warranty.

    So yes, Gigabyte boards are more expensive for what you get in term of features, but in terms of life span and quality, Gigabyte wins by far. And I used to be a ASUS-fan, hence why I closed my eyes on my first bad experience, and the ones of my friends. Idiot I was.

    When Gigabyte said that ASUS boards where crap.. they were not kidding... When that was said I was like most people "Pfff what are they talking about"... and now I see how crappy the boards are.

    I really don't get what's so special about ASUS, and I am tiered of reviews who ignore quality and long term usability. Did the reviewer tested the computer to go into sleep, and hibernate several time in a row, and long period of sleep for a week, to see if the board wake up, and that EVERYTHING is fully function (every USB, Ethernet port(s) and eSATA (if any))? Does the review test the board under stress for really long time. How about leaving the computer turned on for a week, no reboot, how many time if failed (if any). How about heat dispersion, to ensure that the board can last longer over 3 years in a state of being overclocked. All this is ignored by all review sites... They all cover the same things... performance, warranty by years (and not actually SEEING how the server is, and the time it takes for a replacement), how it overclocks, and features numbers.

    These are the moment where I wish that if I had more time, I would collect resources and start my own review site. But the problem is I am already anti-ASUS... so I can't even be legitimate.
  • IanCutress - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Long term usability isn't something that's easily tested. Sleep and hibernate is simple to test, but leaving the board on for a week? We unfortunately a) do not have enough hardware to keep the mu;tiples of same test bed and test other products at the same time, and b) if something did go wrong after a long sleep state, how long it would take to get in a different BIOS and re-run the test, or if a new BIOS had been released during the test, the test would have to be restarted. It's not a case of this being ignored by review sites, it's just not an applicable use of time, effort, and sustainability. If this is a major concern to you, then I'd suggest holding back until the next revisions of these boards hit the shelves - by that point, issues would be worked out and there would be a plethora of threads on the vendor's website describing various long term usability issues. There are always niche situations which could be looked at in more detail, and if you're up to the task, join a review website or start your own to tackle these issues specifically.

  • strikeback03 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Not to say your experiences are isolated (as I have an ASUS board that doesn't like one peripheral when resuming from sleep) but Gigabyte boards can have problems as well. I built a system for work using a P45 Gigabyte board that cannot run for more than 4 days, it just locks up after that. Reply
  • scott967a - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Could you throw an MSI board into the mix? Reply
  • VahnTitrio - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    I had to order that ASUS board with basically no reviews available. Looks like I made a solid choice, as I got it for $165. I'm hoping it's waiting for me when I get home from work. Reply
  • landerf - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Does anyone have a break down of what usb/sata controllers each asus model uses? Reply
  • ValueDriven - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Thank you for this article. For me very timely w.r.t. general sandy bridge and ASUS specifically.

    I recently grabbed an i5-2500K at Microcenter for $192 after-tax, and bundled with an ASUS P8P67 (not PRO, Crossfire only) for another $127 after-tax. For a total of $320. Now all I need is some DDR3 memory and I'll have the missing components for my new build (non-gamer). So for about $375-$400, I'll have for once the basis of a mid-level enthusiast build with the latest technology and over-clockable in the high 4-5GHz range. (I usually trail the technology, letting it "depreciate." Hence, ValueDriven.)

    I've had mixed results, but generally good, with ASUS boards. Long ago I had an ASUS P2B-F (i486 I think, PENTIUM III - 750MHz) which seemed pretty good and lasted a long long time.

    Next I had an ASUS A7N8X Deluxe (AMD Athlon) board which was OK, although it did finally fail. I only hated it relative to the ABIT NF-7S board I got for a 2nd setup which oc'd a lot better, taking my Athlon from a native 1460MHz up to about 2220MHz..

    Most recently I have an ASUS P5 Deluxe WiFi-AP (with a Core2 Quad 6600) which I got on clearance when CompUSA folded (to become kids 'puter). I really can't complain about this board. In fact, it has been great. The only thing it hasn't done is oc my Q6600 as high as I'd like, but I believe this is the fault of my TUNIQ Tower120 which has a crappy mount (press fit screw retainer heads popped off during installation - requiring torch & hammer repair). If I keep this Q6600 setup, I'll probably install a new heatsink...maybe a SCYTHE Mugen 2 w/ double fans which is sitting in the closet. But then I need to get a cooler for the i5-2500k! :(

    The only GIGABYTE board I have, a GA-EP45-UD3R, I have never used. I bought it and an INTEL Q9550 for a new build which I'm probably going to skip & resell the parts. But I did buy it b/c I had heard good things about this board. (Mugen was originally for this setup.)

    SO for me the real question is: Is it better to keep the Sandy Bridge setup & part out either my unused Q9550 setup or my used Q6600 setup, OR is it better to return the Sandy Bridge and just build my Q9950? The jury is still out!
  • darckhart - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    It's not really value driven if you don't use the parts you buy... it's just a loss. that continues to depreciate.

    wrt your situation, move forward with the sandy bridge since you have it already. at 4.5+ GHz, and new board features like usb3 etc, it's already loads better than a q9550 oc and p45 chipset.
  • strikeback03 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    I'd have to check, but I believe that is the same processor and motherboard I referenced above. In which case I couldn't recommend it unless you naturally shut the computer down daily or similar. We have it set up next to a stock-clock Q6600/P35 system and the student using them says the Q9550 feels faster, that said if overclocking you probably won't be able to tell much of a difference and the newer parts would probably get you more money back. the i5 is going to be a lot faster. Reply
  • DaveSimmons - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Do any of the three support Dolby Digital Live real-time encoding of game audio as 5.1 for the optical digital port?

    I'm using analog outs for my socket775 system but may be switching to optical digital for my next build.
  • ajp_anton - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    You should've benchmarked the LAN connection. Is there any difference between Intel and Realtek? Reply
  • GeorgeH - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    On the temperature and power graphs, you might want to differentiate the colors a bit more. Right now it looks like OCCT/Idle are using the exact same shade of purple, and Metro/Video are using the exact same shade of red. Common sense tells me which is which, but it just looks bad.

    Overall it was a great review; the only thing I'd change would be to put Gigabyte's "BIOS Classic" implementation into the pros column, but I'm weird like that.
  • Peanutsrevenge - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    I have the HTC Hero aswell running Cyanogenmod ROM for 2.2 and the BT Turbo Remote software is showing in my market (version 1.0.9) if you wanna recheck it Ian and update the article.

    Interesting that you had such trouble with the Gigabyte board, I went off Asus a few years ago due to several glitches, bugs and DOAs and switched to speccing / recommending Gigabyte for friends and customers.
    Hope this is a one off for them rather than the end of a faultless era!
  • sweetspot - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Why do MOBO test sites all fail to add sound quality test to the benchmarks ?? Most folks spending over 150.00 for a mobo and playing games and entertainment, would like nice quality sound as well.

    Cant spend 190 bucks without asking the sound question, nobody would by a board without the over all picture, not just A wins B in a frames bench test.

    Is sound onboard good or not ? do we lose xfire / SLI if we go with add on sound card option . Nobody would buy a mobo without asking that simple question as well, and why does every single review site 99% of the time skip a simple sound quality mention on boards they test ??

    No mention of sound quality in a mobo review is just pitifull, cant be that hard to tell someone if it even works or not, alot of boards onboard sound is broken on release, all the review sites always fail to skip that test, so it never gets seen when they give nice review so people go out and buy busted parts.

    A simple basic sound paragraph mention as to yes sound in games / videos / chatting were clean and x # of channels responded correctly. Or sound worked but the mic and mic boost options were broken, so dont buy if you online chat which alot of poeple do? How do you skip such a important detail ??

    All this was, is a comparison of 190 bucks worth or silence!!
  • kepstin - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    If you really care about sound quality, you're probably going to end up using a digital audio output; either co-ax/optical on the motherboard, or via HDMI. At that point it doesn't matter which sound card you have, because you're not using the onboard DAC at all. Reply
  • Rick83 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    The quality of the clock generator still matters, though. Reply
  • sweetspot - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Not true as the question poised clearly states,

    Most would think a mobo review would include some sort of sound testing as well as just frames, But no sound quality test or mentions in review of 2 different boards comparison, So review of which is faster but no other quality reasons of the boards are compared aka sound ?? why ??

    The cost of extra sound card makes huge difference in product purchases, and not reviewing the key pieces is not helpfull at all in my opinion.

    Most readers rely on review sites as they have access to parts a normal user does not get alot of computer parts every day to test with.

    This review is a A is faster then B review vs a review like A is better quality / price over all then B review which it seems was intended to be ??
  • strikeback03 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Both are using the Realtek ALC892, so theoretically should be very similar. I'd agree a "it works" should probably be mentioned, but other than that substantial sound quality testing can be extremely subjective. Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Are there reviews of the new 15.6" notebooks based on Sandy Bridge with the GT540M and GTX460M coming? You know the ones, from Clevo and Compal with 1080p screens? I've seen them at a couple different places including a very good deal on the GTX460 Clevo from Please please please at least let me know if these reviews are in the pipeline or not. Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    So why is it that as more and more of the load gets put on the CPU, the northbridge, memory controller, GPU, these motherboards are getting more expensive? Seriously? It doesn't make any sense.

    Is this why Intel is SOOO far behind supporting USB 3.0 and more than 2 measly SATA 6GBPS ports? LGA 775 I had no issue at all getting a very nice board that OC's well and is still running perfectly and while originally supported P4 was updated in the BIOS to support the latest quad core Penryn's on 45nm and it STILL runs like a dream. LGA 1156 I had to just up to the 100-130 range and depending on who I was building for would go up nearing 150.

    But now simple things like SLI require a 200 dollar boards? I know that wasn't supported on the other old boards but it's called "progress" for a reason. I consider that a standard feature now not something reserved for rich people. It is unacceptable to pay more than 150 for a motherboard, even if you put bluetooth on it call it the "Royal Excaliber 12000" and have a prince sign it. Seriously, I didn't expect to see prices over 200 at all till X68 came out. WTF guys, WTF!
  • MeanBruce - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    Royal what? I used to have a patient named Royal Ruffles, his real name, so peculiar I thought, oh yeah back to mobos. So interesting some readers think it's stupid to spend $200 for a new mainboard while others have no problem dishing out $430 or $450. I mean we are enthusiasts right? It's tax deductible, so I am all for drooling over new Z-branded chipsets and LightPeak support and 16GB of quad memory and incorporated northbridge and overclocking it all with your iPhone. It's a hobby right? It's supposed to be a blast! Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    What board was that? As I have hardly seen any P965 boards which had BIOS updates to support Penryn, let alone older chipsets.

    I'd imagine the short answer is that it helps Intel's bottom line, and until AMD can produce stuff that competes in performance as well as price Intel will continue to gouge for the chipsets. Also Nvidia charges to SLI certify boards, which is probably why the board makers don't include it in cheaper boards.
  • Hrel - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Asus P5NE-SLI built on the Nvidia 650i SLI chipset. Reply
  • medi01 - Sunday, January 23, 2011 - link

    Makes me wonder, how much do they pay for the chipset.
    I recall buying AMD motherboards supporting the latest CPUs for 50-70$.
  • Hrel - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    I agree with your conclusion whole heartedly. AsRock has really had their game together this past year or so and they don't seem to be slowing down at all. I used to be a strictly Asus guy but AsRock is looking like it'll be the heart to my next build. Reply
  • airgreek - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    you do know that Asrock is owned by Asus right? I have been in the PC game a LONG time back when Abit was the mobo to own. I only consider three brands for mobo's now (from experience) and those are MSI, Gigabyte, and EVGA. EVGA has INCREDIBLE customer service, while Gigabyte uses solid material to build their boards. MSI is not far behind Reply
  • Peanutsrevenge - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    I agree completely, I LOVE EVGA stuff, it's just not usually suitable for what my customers want, so I don't get to play with their stuff often :( Reply
  • lpjz290 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    even though ASrock is a ASUS subsidiary, they are now also considered a competitor ever since they were listed on the taiwan stock exchange. now that they have produced a board that can perform very close to ASUS P8P67 PRO at a considerably lower price, i'd say these two companies could very well be fighting against each other more often in future (which is gd for ASUS as a whole anyway). Reply
  • Hrel - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    they broke off from Asus, actually. Reply
  • Heloc - Sunday, January 23, 2011 - link

    AS of June 2010 ASUS is no longer the majority owner of ASRock but they spun off by issuing shares to ASUS shareholders so both companies have the same board of directors.

    There is more separation than there was but still than separation than in a simple spin-off.
  • mckirkus - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    If you're doing any surround sound gaming you'll probably want the UD4. It enables Dolby Digital Live which means you can run one optical cable to a receiver and get real surround sound with games without having to resort to a bunch of analog cables. I was about to get a $100 sound card but the UD4 makes that unnecessary. Reply
  • Rick83 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    An ASUS Xonar DX costs around 50-70$ and does the same, and remains portable to any pcie board. I chose to go with that in the end... Reply
  • sweetspot - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    See this is the point exactly overlooked,

    ""go get so and so sound card to solve your problems, but now look at the equation posted in the review ""

    2x 190 mobos or the 150 mobo which is better save 40 bucks ??

    See how can you save 40 bucks when they clearly did not do sound review at all, so you now need to go pay the extra 50-70 bucks for add on sound card, now you are not saving 40 bucks with the Asrock board are ya.

    Sure reader can go elsewhere and do alot of extra research on the parts for that info, but the review sites are supposed to cover that whcih is the whole reason people read them in the 1st place to get info they dont have access to read and not have to go web hopping for each detail to get information, and let an expert reviewer cover that research and testing for them, the whole reason review sites exsist. leaving out details so readers have to go elsewhere for items they reviewed is not a very helpfull at all, and readers waste time reading this to find out they are SOL later on, and need to spend more time on other sites for overlooked details.

    Sound is not small item or bug oversite, every mobo computer usually sound is a key part of their use for home / entertainment use types. So skipping sound and other mojor compnents in a review is terrible to the reader.
  • Voldenuit - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Blegh. Too expensive.

  • Concillian - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Seen a fair number of reviews of various $150+ P67 boards.

    OCing the 2500k looks to be about as non-complex as it gets, does a mobo really make a big difference anymore aside from 20 phase VRMs or whatever for the people doing water and phase change cooling and pumping 1.5 volts through these things?

    Seems like a normal person on air going for 4.4-4.6 should need nothing fancy except whatever pci-E slot config and ports they are after.

    I'm waiting on a <$150 roundup somewhere.
  • Rick83 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    The worst part, is that I got a p55 UD5 for 150 euro, which has more features than the new UD5. (And cost less at launch)
    I don't even want to talk about the feature-decay with regard to my IP35 Pro.

    It's a sad state for the mobo buyer and best to stick to the low end.
  • Cashano - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    I read a lot of comments about wait for the (X/Z)(67/68) boards, problem is by then AMD is on the playing field with they new chipset and boards, but lets look at todays boards.

    When testing boards at $190, i would say its more fitting to test the ASRock P67 Extreme6 instead of the ASRock P67 Extreme4, seeing that its closer to the $190 mark and alot more SATA and V16 power, but thats just what I think.

  • Cashano - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Forgot to add, that Ext6 has 2x 1Gbit LAN, or combined 2Gbit :P new feature.

  • seamusmc - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Who really uses that feature though. I've never met anyone that takes advantage of that. Would be neat to try it. Reply
  • Hogan773 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    No - the POINT is that you compare based on what you GET and the ASRock is delivering all the features (and more) vs the $190 tier at both ASUS and GB.

    Maybe you're different, but when I buy something, my thought process is not "OK how much to I want to spend" but rather "what features do I want to buy" and from there, where can I get the lowest dollar price on said features.

    BTW beyond the bigger power phases there doesn't seem to be that many diffs between the ASR 4 and ASR 6. Thats prob because the ASR 4 is pretty fully loaded.
  • Cashano - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    You are right that there isn't a lot of difference between X4 and 6, from what i can see it is,

    X6 has 2x SATA3(raid), 4x SATA3(raid), 4x SATA2(raid), and V16+2 phase power, and Dual Lan.

    X4 has 2x SATA3(raid), 2x SATA3(raid), 4x SATA2(raid), and V8+2 phase power, and Single Lan.

    I don't know the price difference is in the US, I think its down to about $10.

    Well my thought process is, what do I need here and now for cheapest price, and what do I need in 3 to 6 months, for expansion and upgrades (like crossfire and hard disk's) but that's just me.

    But yes I would take the X4 over X6 if i didn't use Dual lan, or used 2 Raid setups.

  • Hogan773 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    No - its 42 dollars more for the Extreme 6 vs Extreme 4.

    If it were 10 bucks like you said, I'd get the 6. But not for 40 bucks.
  • cjs150 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    to full fat ATX boards anymore?

    With all the features being crammed in surely 99% of all users were find their needs met with a decent micro-atx board - heck probably 60%+ would be fine with a mini-ITX board.

    Seriously do we really need 3 graphics card slots, 2 way SLI/Crossfire is overkill for the vast majority of people.

    As on board sound gets better and better most people have given up on a sound card.

    The most slots I have populated over the last 5 years is 5 (2 graphics cards, sound card, TV tuner and RAID card) and that was truly the exception. These days all I need is 3 cards for 2 way SLI and a TV tuner
  • strikeback03 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Would also help if PCI disappeared so there was no question over what slots were included/available with certain cards. For example, the uATX board in my HTPC has 1 PCIe X1, 1 PCIe X16, and 2 PCI, which meant I had to get a PCI wireless card and if I wanted to add any additional tuners would have to get PCI for that as well, would have preferred more/all PCIe.

    Also, the spot in my desk for a tower isn't getting any smaller, no reason to not use a full-size ATX board with that much space.
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    Yup. I have the space for a mid/full tower below my desk. It does no good for me to have a m-atx (actually it'd make it worse since it would be lower for the optical drive!). I also hate playing the cram game when trying to build and work on systems that are in such tight confines.

    Sure for people with very limited space or HT setups it's nice to have a smaller form factor, but a LOT (the majority?) of desktop users have a similar setup where space is rarely a real issue and the extra real-estate for cable management, component selection/replacement, and airflow/noise is a much greater factor.
  • seamusmc - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Gigabyte's and ASUS' offerings at the $150 price point. The main difference between ASUS' Pro and Non-Pro are SLI support and the Intel Nic.

    Personally I'd love to see a review of cheaper boards. Would it significantly reduce price if they didn't include on-board audio?

    The main reason I'm considering the Pro is the Intel Nic, though I'm not sure if its really a big deal.

    Another reason I am considering ASUS is that Gary Key and his staff are on the Xtreme and HardOCP forums addressing issues folks are encountering, providing OC guides and updated BIOS not available from the official site.

    Not saying that there are no issues with the ASUS line, there are, but it seems many problems with the ASUS line are corrected by a) Using 1.5v memory; b) Fresh install of Win7; c) Over-clocking correctly, some folks are trying things that don't apply to SandyBridge.
  • Arbie - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    We are six pages into the discussion with no signs of an idiotic flame war! This must be a recent record for Anandtech. Whatever the reason, it's certainly refreshing. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    Trolls are still sleeping. And since it's not the normal FW companies (Intel vs. AMD, Nvidia vs. ATI). Reply
  • jfelano - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    I don't understand the point of testing just TWO boards at a $190 price point. Makes no sense. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Maybe only Asus and Gigabyte gave $190 boards to review... Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    While this may not be worth it to many, note that the ASUS board has an Intel gig NIC, and the Asrock has a Realtek.

    This also means (for what it's worth) that the ASUS board supports Intel VPro, while the Asrock does not. For many people, that isn't a factor --but it is worth knowing.

    Just looked at that Asrock board --I think it's the first I've seen by them that I found really impressive on paper. I might have to read some reviews on it.
  • James5mith - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    One big giant reason to use the Asus board? Intel® 82579 Gigabit Ethernet

    An Intel PHYS on an Intel board means one less PCIe lane taken up by the NIC. Not to mention, it's Intel not Realtek.
  • Mumrik - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    ‘if I’d rather take a $150 board rather than a $190 board, why are there $300 boards available?’

    No, the question is why you don't focus more on reviewing the lower end boards. Motherboards have become too expensive, especially when you consider how much is being moved onto the CPU. These were Asus' and Gigabyte's midrange boards. I'd love to hear more about the two below them in the two companies' lineups. Let's hear if there's a reason not to pick the 130-150 options.
  • erple2 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    I think the question is still extremely valid - if the 150 dollar board gives you all of the performance of the 190 dollar boards, where does that leave the 300 dollar boards?

    You also bring up another good question - what can the 150 dollar board buy you that the 100 board doesn't have?

    My assumption is that there are various features that simply don't exist on the sub-100 dollar boards.

    BTW, I'm not sure that motherboards are really all that expensive. At least, not beyond "standard inflation". The same level of features (of the day) cost about the same amount as they do today, I think.
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    If this is standard inflation we are in for a world of hurt.... Reply
  • sweetspot - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Just me but id prefer 70fps in my games if sound quality was excellent vs 75-80 FPS and unusable sound mobo parts. And or have to pay additional for add on pci sound card cash which defeats the savings shown using the asrock 150 mobo yet sounds bad so pay 50-70 more for add on card, vs the 2 190 boards sounds are good, So the value set he describes in this review of the 40 dollar cheaper board is totaly stupid since he failed to show the boards major components correctly ( Yes sound on a mobo is consider a major component piece of the many).

    Sure reader can go elsewhere to get the info but the point of the review sites is to cover basic parts so people dont have to web hop all day for those details.
  • faxon - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    I wanna see a review of these vs the P67-GD65 from MSI. its the cheapest 8 SATA port board on the market and other sites have been saying it looks pretty good, wondering what you guys think before i buy it though Reply
  • HauntFox - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    I just built a new system with this Asus board, it is quite nice, except I do not like the sata ports that point to the front. I barely have enough room to plug a sata cable into them with my case because the drive cage is in the way. Reply
  • RussianSensation - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Legit Reviews did a comparison, which can be found here:

    1) Realtek vs. Intel - Besides a 3% lower CPU performance, the throughput is hardly any better wtih Intel. Also, unless you are networking multiple computers, we aren't going to be hitting 900+MB/sec in Internet speed.

    2) 16x/4x vs. 8x/8x in CrossFire - Since P67 chipset runs PCIe 2.0 at full speed unlike P55 chipset, the PCIe 4x slot off the P67 chipset actually has 2x the PCIe bandwidth compared to P55 16x/4x boards. Overall, when testing with HD6950s in CF, the performance difference is almost nonexistent.

    So overall, the stock P8P67 board looks like the one to get for those running single-GPUs.
  • Exodite - Monday, January 24, 2011 - link

    I'd get the ASUS just for the Intel LAN solution TBH.

    I can't say whether it's hard- or software, or a combination of the two, but Realtek ended up as a real step down from the Marvell solution in my previous motherboard and I'd avoid it in the future if I can.

    Most notably I went from a 30-40ms latency in WoW to 100-120ms with the Realtek. This was only recently rectified, well mostly rectified, with a driver update.

    So for me personally i'd definitely be worth it. It's nice to see a review that tests the LAN solutions but frankly just testing throughput and CPU usage is rather disingenuous as latency and jitter probably play a larger role in most network-related usage.
  • fixxxer0 - Saturday, January 22, 2011 - link

    how come there are no tests showing the SATA 6.0 speed comparisons? Reply
  • publiorama - Sunday, January 23, 2011 - link

    I have a serious question about these mobos.

    Both Asus and Gigabyte P67 motherboards don't have "VT-D enable" option in their BIOS, whereas P55 does. Asrock P67 have it.
    So up to now, VT-D are non usable on Asus and Gb.
    What the hell is this ?? You got a CPU with VT-D and you cannot use it ??

    Have you some info about this ??
    That is a huge problem for many people.
  • Cashano - Sunday, January 23, 2011 - link

    You need a non-K CPU (ii5-2400, i5-2500, i7-2600), so this wont be used for any OC-PC builder.

  • publiorama - Sunday, January 23, 2011 - link

    It's sure you need a non-K CPU.
    I'm talking about motherboards.

    In Asus and Gb mobos there's NO VT-D option at all. In asrock P67 there is, and even the old asus P55 have that option.

    I'am asking if someone knows if VT-D support in Asus and Gb will be in some BIOS update, or watherver else.
  • akula2 - Friday, February 04, 2011 - link

    I'm not sure about P67 Vt-d from Gigabyte or Asus, yet. But P55 offers the Vt-d support.
    Next, if you are looking for P67 with Vt-d, then get Intel's Extreme Series board, DP67BG (but wait till April, till Intel replaces its stock):

    That MOBO fares very well, check out some reviews. But if you are OC freak, especially compare everything with Gigabyte/Asus then forget it.

    As of today, I've suspended procuring P67 MOBOs because of SATA bug plus Vt-d wasn't clear enough. I've to wait till April or so.
  • radium69 - Sunday, January 23, 2011 - link

    I remember when I used to buy my Abit IP35 PRO "Off limits" it cost me $150 . It had nearly EVERYTHING, and it was a great motherboard. It's still going rocksolid with a modest overclock for over 3 years?

    I have build a lot of PCs, which housed a GIGABYTE DS3L motherboard, damn great motherboard, great features. And the price? $110. Overclockability? Just simply awesome. Running some older core 2 duo's with a modest overclock of 400/500mhz.

    BSOD's? NONE all in 2-3 years so far.
    It was THE bang for the budget motherboard for normal users. Offcourse we are all enthousiasts, but that doesn't mean we have enthousiast wallets...

    And for $190, it SHOULD come with just about everything AND have high quality parts.
    It's just that simple. I'lll be waiting for the sub $150 in depth reviews. That's where the majority is at. And so should you (anandtech) too.
  • knirfie - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    Too bad LAN performance wasn't compared, this is often ignored because nearly all boards use Realtek cr*p.

    However, the Asus board uses an Intel solution, it would be interesting to see how badly the Intel chip beats the RTL8111 in terms of CPU load, throughput, etc.
  • spikexp - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    So if I can get a p8p67 pro + 2500k for the same price (exact same) of a
    ASRock P67 Extreme4 + 2500k.
    The p8p67 pro would be better?

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