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Counting Down to 2011 - Sandy Bridge Motherboards Preview

ASUS P8P67 Deluxe

ASUS P8P67 Deluxe

Now that we have glimpsed some of the motherboard features and technologies from ASUS next year, let's take a look at one of those boards that will actually have them. The ASUS P8P67 Deluxe is probably ASUS' highest end P67 motherboard outside of its Republic of Gamers (ROG) series. It comes with those touted features, like the EFI BIOS, the digital power design and the hardware chip for auto-tuning. It also comes with a built-in Bluetooth module for ASUS' BT GO! feature. Along with all these new features, you'll find ASUS' usual features that are too numerous to list here, from minor ones like Q-Connector to more useful ones like our favorite EZ Flash 2 utility.

In terms of the hardware, you'll find that ASUS has designed for three PCIe x16 slots, though only the first two slots are multi-GPU capable (dual at x8/x8, single at x16 and both ATI and NVIDIA supported) with the last slot (in black) at x4 mode. The Intel P67 Express chipset provides two SATA 6Gbps ports with four SATA 3Gbps ones. This is complemented by ASUS with two more SATA 6Gbps from a Marvell 9128 controller and an additional two eSATA 3Gbps port from a JMicron controller.

You'll also find dual Gigabit LAN, another sign of the 'Deluxe' nature of this board. Audio is provided by a Realtek ALC889 HD CODEC, which is pretty standard on motherboards. Despite the presence of dual NEC USB 3.0 controllers for a total of four USB 3.0 ports (two at the rear, two more via a separate front panel unit), FireWire is retained. Of course, there are many USB 2.0 ports courtesy of the chipset, with eight alone at the rear.

 

Overall, the design and features are very similar to ASUS' last-gen P55 boards, which is not surprising given the way Intel has been designing its chipsets. Discrete graphics is still required for this chipset and this board supports the necessary multi-GPU technologies. If you liked (and we did) the layout of ASUS' older boards, you'll find it to be more of the same. We didn't see any obvious issues, with the PCIe x16 slots spaced properly and the low-profile heatsinks should make it even easier for those with larger, third-party coolers. However, like ASUS boards in the past, you may have to fork out a bit more compared to some other brands.