In the world of motherboards and manufacturer competition, the idea is to beat your competitor. To develop the product, with more features, more fancy gadgets, and perform better than your competitor at every price point. Today, we pit arguably the two most popular motherboard vendors at a price point that will see a significant number of sales from consumers and enthusiasts alike – the ASUS P8P67 Pro and the Gigabyte P67A-UD4, which were both released during the Sandy Bridge week for $190. Forget all the marketing fluff; this is a showdown!

When a new platform is released, a myriad of motherboards hit the shelves at the same time. Each vendor will usually come out with a few products, targeting their prospective markets. Big motherboard players, like ASUS and Gigabyte, will release motherboards ranging from the cheap low end, to that high-end halo product. They will bombard you with data, ideas, concepts, and reasons why their high-end products are better than their low end – in terms of numbers, features, or what is in the box. Whether you can really trust what each manufacturer says on the box depends on the interpretations of the benchmarks and analyses by review sites like AnandTech.

At the time of writing, Newegg has 56 Sandy Bridge motherboards available – 22 for H67 and 34 for P67. Of those in the P67 range, you can pick up an Intel motherboard for as little as $115, or an ASUS as expensive as $320. So what makes that expensive motherboard worth almost three times as much as the low-end board? What makes a $200 board better than a $150 board? Features? Warranty? Overclockability? Price? All of these points, while valid, carry different weight with every different consumer.

I reviewed the ASRock P67 Extreme4 at the Sandy Bridge release, and they offered a great product that is available online for $153. Today, we have two boards released at $190 by two of the biggest motherboard manufacturers – the ASUS P8P67 Pro, and the Gigabyte P67A-UD4. Firstly, the question is: if you had $190, which one would you buy? Then secondly, we have to ask: are these boards worth the ~$40 difference to the P67 Extreme4? Luckily, at least in my opinion, after using all three of the boards, the answers to both of these questions were self-evident.

Firstly, let us tackle the ASUS P8P67 Pro.

ASUS P8P67 Pro: Visual Inspection
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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.
  • vol7ron - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

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

    Z68 they didn't stay with 67 on the "Z" chipset apparently.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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