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  • james.jwb - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    "However, I remember the time when I was a scrimping student. I wanted high gaming performance at the lowest cost – if Sandy Bridge was out then, and I was specifically after the Sandy Bridge platform over anything AMD, then a H67 with an i3-2100 and the biggest graphics card I could afford would be a viable option."

    When I was in this position, i'd go for the cheapest CPU and overclock it so it was faster than anything on the market. I'd be surprised if this wasn't the norm for people on a tight budget.
  • IanCutress - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    My argument mainly for my comment is that the CPU is becoming less of a factor for gaming, thus shifting the focus away from a CPU OC to a large GPU. It used to be the case that the CPU made a large difference as well, but it my mind it's not that much of an issue with a strong default CPU speed and cores available. Nevertheless, the AMD + cheap tri/quad core is on the other side of the coin.

  • slickr - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Intel mobos are crap. Only for overclocking and only for graphics, where is the middle?

    And they are too expensive, hopefully AMD wipes the floor with them with their new Buldozer platform.
  • Jeffs0418 - Sunday, May 22, 2016 - link

    Here we are 5 years later and...Y'know I was ready to move on from my Athlon 64 x2 5000+/AM2 platform(which I liked but was marginal for modern gaming). I was stoked for a nice capable FX4100/Bulldozer platform. But after reading disappointing reviews I ended up with a Core i3 2120/Sandy Bridge and a H61 mobo. Currently running a Core i5 2500(non-k) massaged a bit to 3.9GHz on all cores with aftermarket cooling on P67 mobo. Never have used Intel integrated graphics so I couldn't care less about that. But I am glad I didn't go with Bulldozer and am comfortable enough with my current setup even now that I'm in no hurry to upgrade. Reply
  • omelet - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    Wouldn't someone wanting SB gaming on a budget be more likely to want an H61? You can get such a board from ASRock for like 60 bucks. That's $60 more you'd be able to spend on the GPU, and you'd still have every feature you need. The only real performance difference is that there's no SATA 6Gbps, but budget gamers don't have drives that need that anyway. Reply
  • yzkbug - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    Totally agree. I’m looking for a good, reliable, budget-priced motherboard for my new HTPC. Would love to see a comparison review of H61 motherboards, especially the power comparison numbers. Reply
  • Taft12 - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    I'd need to know at what point the 6 PCIE lanes on H61 begins to get in the way of the GPUs performance. Someone will surely do the testing to show us in the near future. Noticeable on, say, a 6850? Or do we need a much higher-end GPU for a bottlenect? Reply
  • DanNeely - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    The GPU would still be running on the 16 lanes from the CPU. You just have 2 less lanes for 2ndary slots and onboard devices. I don't think it's likely to be an issue except in that you're much less likely to get a second x4 slot (1/11 vs 6/16 on newegg), and the 1 H61 board that does it has legacy PCI slots for the other 2 spaces, while 5/6 H67 boards have at least 1 1x slot as well. Reply
  • omelet - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    This is very confusing. All the boards claim to have x16 slots, but they can't possibly run at x16 if none of the boards on the table even have 16 lanes. A P67 running two cards would have to run each at 4x, or even lower if there are any x1 slots on the board (as there are on most boards).

    It might be explained as being an x16 slot running at a lower speed, except for the fact that P67 and P55 both specify that they can run two cards at x8/x8, which can only mean that they run the x16 slots at 8 lanes each when you have two cards plugged in. That should also be impossible according to the table.

    Other sources I've found on the internet seem to imply that the x16 slot on the H61 runs at full x16 speed. I think perhaps we just need some clarification on what the values on the table here mean.
  • ajp_anton - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    There are two sources for PCIe lanes. The CPUs all have x16 (only for graphics), the rest (what is shown in the table) come from the motherboard chip (H67 etc). Reply
  • Roland00Address - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    No ahci means no trim for SSDs. Just pointing this out for while a gamer on a budget may not care about this feature, people who want a quicker machine for everday use or htpc and thus want a SSD would be better suited with H67. Reply
  • casteve - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    The H61 might not support AHCI...but TRIM can work in IDE mode. Reply
  • yzkbug - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    Any news on when Z68 is coming out? Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    Any scrimping student with half a brain is going to get a console with a Gamefly subscription rather than blow $900 on a retarded i3 gaymen rig.
    With a PC you're stuck shelling out $60 apiece for unfinished tech demos and bad ports, only to be playing alone in your room. But you get 3 or 4 consoles on a floor and suddenly you have a glut of party-friendly games passing around.

    $900 PC + $900 for 15 games, or $250 in console + extra controller, spending $350 for a couple games and a yearly subscription that gives 2/mo, plus borrowing is free, on a system that actually gives you the college experience? (Doesn't count the price of TV, but you're probably gonna have one of those anyway.)

    And yes, it is $900+ for PC.
    $680 for i3 2100/GTX 560/4GB/500GB
    $150 for any monitor worth having
    $60 for a decent mouse and keyboard.
    $35 for student copy of Win7.
  • Dookie11 - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    Sorry about being poor and not being afford both. Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    You don't have to apologize. Reply
  • bigboxes - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    Sorry to interrupt your flaming post, but if you think that console parties are not nerdy than you are still a virgin. I suggest you sell your gamer gear and get on with the real "college experience" that you are so in need of. Reply
  • omelet - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    Most people interested in PC gaming already have desktop computers at home, so you shouldn't include the cost of a monitor, hard drive, mouse, keyboard, speakers, operating system, or case in the cost of upgrading it to low tier gaming-capable. Also, while the i3 is not what a poorman gamer is going to get, let's assume it is for the sake of conversation on this article. You can get an i3 2100, an H61 motherboard, a GTX 460 768MB, and 4GB of DDR3 1333 RAM for $375 including shipping. I'm not counting the $45 in rebates, either, so that probably also covers the cost of a sufficient PSU over a generic 300W one. The build listed above is going to give significantly better performance than a 360 or PS3 at the resolutions the consoles put out. If you need the bigger screen, you can use the TV as a monitor. Plus you get to play games with a mouse and keyboard (or with a controller if that's your thing).

    There are plenty of games that are on PC and not on consoles. SC2, Civ5, and the vast majority of MMOs are among these titles. A lot of awesome older games, too, which don't even require modern gaming-tier hardware to run well. It's also true that consoles have a lot of games that aren't on PC, and the group gaming experience is different, but there are advantages to both types of gaming and the cost of entry into PC gaming is not at all as high as you're suggesting.

    The effective cost of entry into PC gaming is really low for those people who need powerful computers for other reasons, or those who play older games or play on lower resolutions and graphics settings. It's also lower than I suggested for average Joe Blow, since he'd probably go with an AMD build that's ~$60 less expensive than the H61/i3 build.
  • Zoomer - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Quite the opposite, lol. It is definitely cheaper to stick with PC. Besides, there aren't very many games that are well suited for the console's HID. Reply
  • AssBall - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Not to mention how awesome an experience typing out and printing reports and presentations, running or coding technical software, checking mail or IMs, and browsing notes, whole classes, research, or entertainment on the internet on an XBOX is..... /sarcasm

    You should have a computer for college anyway, a cheap gaming rig is the way to go, the console is just an expensive toy.
  • DominionSeraph - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Did you know that the laptop that is a college student's constant campus accessory is.. get this.. a computer?

    This isn't 1980. A laptop's a given either way.
  • Wilberwind - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    oh noes...that Console vs. PC debate again...Consoles are great for playing with friends. I have both, but If you're using a PC for work and internet, why not just spend a little more and make it into a cheap gaming rig? Reply
  • dingetje - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    consoles are great...for retarded kids Reply
  • silverblue - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Just because someone chooses to play games on a console, doesn't make them retarded. You spent more money for a machine that will be utilised far less than theirs and doesn't lend itself as well to communal entertainment, but I'm not going to judge you or anyone else for whatever gaming option they've opted for. Reply
  • silverblue - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    "utilised" i.e. the developers will generally program consoles to their strengths, whereas you have to hope the developers pay even half the attention to even one component in yours, be it CPU or GPU. Nothing's perfect, however for all the downsides of having a locked system, the ability to develop for only one or two permutations of hardware allows a studio to work at ekeing out every last amount of power from a supposedly limited machine. Reply
  • Voldenuit - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    Intel's hare-brained chipset segmentation strategies = failsauce. Reply
  • Taft12 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    ... and don't forget -- preventing others from producing competing chipsets = monopolyabusesauce Reply
  • mariush - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    Page 8:

    Along the bottom are a plethora of USB headers, but no fan headers. In fact, this board is somewhat lacking USB headers – there is one for the CPU, which is oddly south of the CPU socket, and another next to the SATA ports. Trying to fit a Corsair H50 required some deft placing of the cooler or a fan extension lead, and the second fan required a 3-pin to molex connector.

    Surely you mean "this board is somewhat lacking FAN headers", or it doesn't really make sense
  • KaarlisK - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    Does the power consumption at idle increase when overclocking the GPU?
    If the overclock affects the turbo frequency, it should not change. If the overclock changes the base frequency, I have no idea.
  • Concillian - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I really do not understand Intel's target with the H67.

    H61 is for the budget person + single GPU
    P67 is for the overclocker with plenty of money to donate on a motherboard almost $!00 more expensive plus a CPU that has a price adder as well.

    H67 is for the IGP overclocker? Wha?

    The review is fine, but the products reviewed have no real target market in my mind. It's a marketing stunt that I'm surprised Anandtech didn't call them on by including an H61 motherboard here and pointing out that the real value, if there is one in this Intel generation, is H61.
  • bupkus - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Agreed. The i3-2100 is a true budget cpu, imho. It should be matched with a true budget mobo-- namely the H61. I hope to see some more info on boards made with that chipset. Reply
  • Taft12 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    It's not accurate to call the i3-2100 a "true budget CPU" while we've got stuff like the Athlon II X2 and Pentium E5xxx on the market. Reply
  • cjs150 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I am pleased you said this, because this is something I do not understand either, H67 looks to be a waste of time

    ASrock seems the best of this silly catagory. I have one of their boards in a file server, nice board, just works without fuss. Perfect for a server. May look at them for next build, instead of my usual ASUS fetish.

    One thing though that really bugs me. Why on all the Micro-ATX boards out there do they insist on having the top PCI-E so close to the bottom end of the memory sockets. Have the MB manufacturers not noticed that high end memory is shipping with cooling fans? Several times I have found it impossible to fit a graphics card and the memory fan, virtually every time at the very least I have to ensure that there are no possible shorts by putting electricians tape around the bottom of the memory fan clup on. MB manufacturers it is not difficult, move the PCI-E slot down by 5mm or the memory sokets up by 5mm
  • bigboxes - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Not a bash, but fans on DDR3 ram is mostly frivolous waste. Heck, most ram today doesn't even need fancy heatspreaders because they run so cool. This is about the H67 chipset so I don't think many would waste time/money on buying high end memory that offers little in the terms of performance. Don't worry, Z68 is coming soon and you'll be able to buy your full ATX board that you can load up with the latest and greatest in parts to get that XTREME o/c. This chipset is not marketed for you. Reply
  • ArtShapiro - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I'd like to think that I (a decided non-gamer) am the target audience.

    I currently have a physically large (huge?) desktop system in a Chenboro 105 case. No way this monster can fit in the alcove in my computer desk, so it sits on the floor with the usual scads of cables coming from the desk. What a royal pain to move, clean, etc.

    I suspect this summer I'll have an H67 system in a tiny (maybe Antec 300-150) case, little bigger than my tiny Asus TS mini Windows Home Server machine. With no graphic card, this thing should be efficient and dwarf the performance of the existing monster.

    The H67 setup fits my needs to an alarming degree!

  • Concillian - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    I suspect this summer I'll have an H67 system in a tiny (maybe Antec 300-150) case, little bigger than my tiny Asus TS mini Windows Home Server machine. With no graphic card, this thing should be efficient and dwarf the performance of the existing monster.

    The H67 setup fits my needs to an alarming degree!

    What about this system cannot be handled by a significantly cheaper H61 motherboard? I missed that part of why H67 was perfect.
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    He's not a gamer, but maybe he wants the SATA 6Gbit ports? 4 memory slots? USB 3.0?

    H61 boards are lacking, well, a lot if you're want anything beyond ultra-entry-level.
  • ArtShapiro - Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - link

    Pure power. The cost is irrelevant (within reason); the increased processor of, say, the 2500/2500K will be a nice thing in processor-heavy applications and will probably ensure a longer relevant lifetime for the machine.

    I figure it's worth it to shell out a little more upfront for the H67.

  • bobbyto34 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Thanks a lot for testing DPC Latency. This can be a major issue for DAW's users. Reply
  • Spoelie - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I would concede that an integrated GPU is a very valuable tool for any computer user. It can be used to eliminate variables when troubleshooting a system, and to prevent downtime when the discrete GPU passes away. For this reason and this reason alone I personally don't buy a system without an integrated GPU anymore, even though I always have discrete GPUs. At least in 2 cases this has helped me tremendously.

    My personal preference is a cheap but good overclocking mATX board with (support for) iGPU & at least 1 eSATA port. Couldn't care less about SLI/XFire & RAID5, so the 785+SB710 board I now use was perfect, but without USB3 and SATA6 it's starting to show its age. One of the reasons I haven't switched to SNB is that Intel can't provide me that platform yet.

    Here's to hoping for cheap mATX Z68 and cheap(er) K series CPUs.
  • bigboxes - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    That's why I always have a spare video card for just such an emergency. Since my motherboards tend to be on the higher end they don't have video out anyways. I wouldn't want the mfg to take away other ports just to include video out. It makes sense on HTPC applications as well as low end or micro-ATX boxes where utility is the priority. I just buy a cheap card that is $30 after rebate and leave it in the box until I need it for troubleshooting or in case of emergency. Reply
  • rustycurse - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    on page 1:
    "The same question ultimately applies to the Sandy Bridge chipsets – why only allow CPU overclocking on P67 (and Z68 in the future)? "
    I was always thought that term 'Sandy Bridge' is applied to CPU technology and 'Cougar point' to the chipset or am I wrong?
    ...but about shown mobos ... neither of them suit my tasks. I won't buy it
  • crispbp04 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    "The ECS H67H2-M is a few serious check points against it as a board to use."

    is or has?
  • WasabiVengeance - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Quick question: How many of those vid outputs can the board actually use simultaneously? Previously intel chipsets were limited to 2. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    "However, I remember the time when I was a scrimping student. I wanted high gaming performance at the lowest cost – if Sandy Bridge was out then, and I was specifically after the Sandy Bridge platform over anything AMD, then a H67 with an i3-2100 and the biggest graphics card I could afford would be a viable option."

    That would be a huge waste of money. Why buy an i3-2100 if you're just going to plug in a gpu anyway? And why buy an H67 when it clearly costs $50 beyond what it should, especially since it has no northbridge.

    An ASRock M3A770DE motherboard AND an Athlon X3 cpu together costs the same as one of these H67 scams. Not to mention the $125 for the intel cpu. No way. If I needed more cpu performance I would get the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition and still have an extra $50 that could go into a better gpu.
  • DaveSimmons - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    For budget gaming, H61 seems the better choice by far, with motherboards in the $60-65 range, At that price the price advantage of AMD budget CPUs go away (at stock speed anyway) and the intel HSF is quieter than stock AMD HSF from what I've read.

    SilentPCReview compared Intel Core i3-2100 vs. AMD Phenom II X2 565 and the intel won on both performance and power use. Spend a bit more for an i5 and you'll have a solid midrange gaming a budget price.
  • ritchan - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    "With H67 and its no overclocking rule, the market that wants a cheaper board can get that cheaper board."

    Yet these reviewed boards are still on average more expensive than an AMD board in an equivalent market segment. Which support overclocking and core unlocking. Also, bargain bin motherboards haven't been known for their overclocking prowess, i.e. the power window argument doesn't hold. If you're buying cheap, you get that power window anyway.

    Also notice how the cheaper AMD boards like the 870-UD3R or MSI's boards come with absolutely no heatsinks on the VRMs. Bye bye, power window argument.

    Stop trying to justify negative market segmentation. The H67/P67 split is a step back from where things were before, and it only gives Intel a good excuse to charge extra for overclocking enabled chipsets in the future. Wait, they're already doing that... and you're sugarcoating it for them.
  • glad2meetu - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    I think Intel has done a very poor job with the Sandy Bridge release. Intel appears like it is lost in the woods these days and needs a new CEO.

    I think I would choose a ASUS or a Gigabyte motherboard if I had to pick one for Sandy Bridge. I am surprised how poor the Intel chipsets are. Intel inside no longer means anything special.
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    The CPUs are special. The rest of the platform, not so much. If Z68 had been included at launch, and all 6 series chipsets had included USB3 and all SATA ports 6Gbps (not just 2) then I would have a different opinion. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    Is a cooling fan for RAM really necessary on a platform that allows essentially no overclocking and has relatively fixed memory settings?

    Also, Intel advertising these CPUs as having a certain multiplier in single-threaded mode then not letting the motherboards use that multiplier is a load of bull.
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - link

    Well done, Gigabyte! And it's a shame how poorly the others are doing in comparison. I fI wanted high power consumption I could just stick with an old machine or get an AMD..

    Not wanting to start a bashing / flame war. It's just that in my eyes the exceptional power consumption (especially idle) of the Sandy Bridge + IGP (plus excellent performance) is what makes it really attractive for really many roles.

  • trogthefirst - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Actually i was torn between H67/61 and one of those 785G/880G platforms for my aunt recently - non gaming build In the end she needed multi display scalable to possibly 3-4 displays so i went with a cheapo 880G and an $70ish AthlonII X3 With the Surround View feature you could run, with a Radeon GPU up to 4 displays (2 from integrated graphics) and 2 off something like a passively cooled HD 4350/5450 Sounds like a lot of expansion, features, etc for such a cheap platform if u ask me! Reply
  • loimlo - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - link

    Dear Ian

    Would you like to share us with Power cumsumption measurement detail?
    1. Is it DC or AC draws?
    2. How do you measure the watts? From the wall plug by using Kill-a-watt?
    3. Did you give not so useful MB's energy-efficiency software like ASRock IES, Gigabyte Energy Saver?
    That said, I never had good experience with these softwares, especially Gigabyte one.
  • ShadowVlican - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    did you guys measure total system power consumption, or is that just motherboard? looking to build a HTPC, would love something modern and doesn't eat power Reply
  • tpk911 - Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - link

    Intel to release Z68 chipsets in first half of May
    Monica Chen, Taipei; Steve Shen, DIGITIMES [Wednesday 20 April 2011]

    Intel will release its Z68 chipsets in the first half of May, with Gigabyte Technology likely to be the first major motherboard maker to launch Z68-based products as soon as its embargo expires. Gigabyte's offerings will include its top-end GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 model.

    Motherboard makers have also reportedly been informed that Intel will focus more on its Z- and H-series chipsets.

    The share of P67-series motherboards will begin dropping once the Z68 is launched and the segment will gradually be phased out, with the P-series not being included in Intel's next generation chipsets.

    ...just a quick update, if I may :)
  • gsuburban - Sunday, February 12, 2012 - link

    I wanted to upgrade from an Asus P5 series board and found most of the P8 boards had no floppy or ide (pata) interface on them. Since I still have 2 great BenQ 1655 DVD recorders, they wouldn't be usable without buying a PCI PATA card. After looking matters over I didn't see much benefit in using up 2 of 6 SATA ports since I have at least 4 hard drives and would be limited on SATA ports etc.

    I thought it over and discovered the P8H67-V and P8H67-M Pro by Asus still had the ide interface on board. No floppy but at least the IDE was there which would yield 6 SATA ports available without using them for the DVD-Optical.

    I use XP Pro still since it does have it's advantages in some areas and not having the floppy drive is the pits as you can't load AHCI drivers via the F6 prompt in setup. I tried all sorts of ideas such as a custom image that included the AHCI drivers etc without success.

    The P67 boards are totally fine and they run fast with the right CPU and memory but they are best used with Windows 7. The H67 boards save you about $250 since you don't need a video card, the boards are less than the P67's and with the select models, you get an IDE port which also frees up 2 SATA ports for those who still have IDE devices.

    H67 would be my choice for high performance every day computing since the graphics are much improved from the days of G series and price is low, around $105.

    I think it's too soon to eliminate the floppy and IDE interface at any rate.

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