The many faces of Sandybridge motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | October 18, 2011 - 06:21 PM |
Tagged: Z68XP-UD3, x68, sapphire, sandybridge, Pure Platinum Z68, p67, Maximus IV Extreme B3, Intel, gigabyte, G1.Sniper, asus

When building a SandyBridge system you have several types of motherboard chipset to choose from, some with more capabilities than others.  The ASUS Maximus IV Extreme B3 is the odd duck in this roundup, being the only P67 board in an Z68 round up which means that it loses out on Intel SRT, which is not a drawback for those planning on using an SSD with a high enough capacity to be used as a main drive.  The two Gigabyte boards and the Sapphire board are Z68 and therefore sport all of the bells and whistles that come with that chipset.  In terms of pure performance and overclocking ability it is not the feature set that matters, it is the ability of the board its self.  Check out which of these 4 boards reigns supreme in Neoseeker's benchmarks here.

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"A quartet of motherboards based the Intel P67 and Z68 chipsets arrives at Neoseeker's labs, covering both the value and enthusiast market spectrums. There just might be something for everyone with a Intel LGA 1155 socket CPU in our latest motherboard roundup."

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Source: Neoseeker

How do you surpass the ASUS Maximus III? Add a V and go for four

Subject: Motherboards | October 3, 2011 - 01:19 PM |
Tagged: asus, maximus iv extreme, lga1155, p67, NF200, x68

The ASSU Republic of Gamers is a fast growing family line, the newest arrival being the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme.  That pairs the Intel X68 chipset with the nForce 200 MCP to give you additional PCIe lanes.  In fact you can manually tweak the PCIe lanes assigned to the PCI3 16x slots, a feature that experienced overclockers will probably use frequently.  Speaking to the overclockers, [H]ard|OCP wanted to stress two very important capabilities of the board, not only did it hit 5.1GHz at a CPU voltage of 1.475v, it also boasted the lowest temperatures that [H] saw on their watercooling rig.  This board is not for the plug and play crowd but for the enthusiast crowd it will shine.

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"ASUS expands its Intel based Republic of Gamers line once again with the Maximus IV Extreme. This motherboard has a lot to live up to as each Maximus before this was nothing short of excellent and quite possibly the best motherboards available at the time of release. The Maximus IV Extreme continues the tradition and exceeds expectations."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

New Gigabyte Tool Switches SATA Mode In Windows

Subject: Motherboards | August 30, 2011 - 07:17 AM |
Tagged: Utility, p67, motherboard, Intel, gigabyte, bios

According to Tech Power UP, Gigabyte recently released a Windows tool that allows users to change the SATA controller mode without digging into the BIOS. The SATA controller mode relates to how the controller on the motherboard or add-on card communicates with the hard drive or SSD. Users will be able to choose from legacy IDE, AHCI, and RAID modes. From the brightly colored Windows tool, users can change the setting accordingly. The utility will then write the setting to the CMOS and prompt the user to reboot the computer so that the change can take effect.

The tool will work with any Gigabyte motherboards with the Intel H61, H67, P67, or Z68 chipsets. Further, the utility will run on both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems. It is available to download from here.  The package comes as a zip file containing an executable that does not need to be installed, which is a welcome touch.

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While the Gigabyte Disk Mode Switch tool will make changing the setting easier than digging through the BIOS, it effectively accomplishes the same thing. What this means from a practical standpoint is that the Windows tool for changing the SATA mode suffers from the same issues that changing it in the BIOS does; mainly that the (Windows) operating system does not like such drastic changes and the user may encounter problems with Windows recognizing the drive and/or assigning the proper drivers. This is an issue primarily when changing the SATA mode of the drive that the operating system is installed on. While there are some registry tweaks that promise to help smooth the process, it is generally recommend to ensure the proper SATA mode is set before installing Windows onto the drive. Therefore, this tool’s usefulness is somewhat questionable.

Have you encountered any issues in changing the SATA mode post-install? Is this gigabyte tool useful or just another piece of manufacturer "helpware" that DIYers will never use?

A powerful and relatively inexpensive P67 board from ASUS, meet the P8P67 vanilla edition

Subject: Motherboards | June 17, 2011 - 02:58 PM |
Tagged: p67, asus, sandy bridge

[H]ard|OCP just finished reviewing the ASUS P8P67 Rev. 3 board, a fairly plain Sandy Bridge board that still manages to include a great mix of features.  The price of $160 demonstrates that this is by no means a high end SandyBridge board but looking at the feature set it self it is hard to tell.  ASUS included a UEFI BIOS, Bluetooth, four USB 3 ports and four SATA 6GB/s ports which match the offerings of higher end boards.  It is the slots where you will notice at least some deficits such as the single full speed PCIe 16x slot, the other runs a 4x.  Those who do not overclock might encounter a nice surprise, it seems ASUS is up to its old tricks with Intel's Turbo Mode.  Where once ASUS tended to bump the FSB 1MHz or more above the stated speed, it looks as if ASUS bumps the Turbo Mode speed up a bit on Sandy Bridge CPUs.

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"ASUS' P67 chipset product portfolio can get fairly confusing at times with the slew of "P8P67" models. This time we are taking a look at the "vanilla" P8P67. Though you could say its vanilla with a lot of twists as this board offers a "B3" stepping version of the supporting chipset and sports a very solid feature set for "vanilla.""

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

The tough get tougher - meet the ASUS Sabertooth P67

Subject: Motherboards | May 23, 2011 - 05:42 PM |
Tagged: asus, Sabertooth, p67, tuf

[H]ard|OCP took a look at the ASUS Sabertooth P67, which is a member of ASUS' armour plated TUF series.  The two PCIe 16x slots, three PCIe 1x slots and two SATA 6Gb/s ports do not look unusual the TUF Thermal Armour does not.  Almost all of the components are covered by the heatsink, don't worry though as ASUS' Thermal Radar can see them.  That feature will keep an eye on your components temperatures, which is good thing as the TurboV EVO software makes overclocking a breeze.  The review was not barren of complaints, there are several improvements that [H] felt were necessary but that was not enough to spoil the overall stellar performance of the board.

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"The Sabertooth P67 motherboard is the latest member of ASUS' TUF series of products. The board is built to be champion, with some of the best performance we have seem to date out of the Intel P67 platform."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

An armour plated Sabertooth from ASUS

Subject: Motherboards | May 5, 2011 - 02:28 PM |
Tagged: p67, thermal, armour, armor, lga1155

The ASUS P67 Sabretooth sports Thermal Armor, a shell over most of the PCB giving it a unique look, but that's not all.  It also helps to spread the heat generated from your components and caps and has thermal sensors embedded within to give you a really good look at the temperature of portions of your board.  The UEFI BIOS caught The Tech Report's eye as did the performance.  They aren't convinced that the board should have you upgrading before the looming release of the Z68 but if that is not within your budget, this board might be.

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"Asus' Sabertooth P67 motherboard offers five-year warranty coverage, loads of temperature sensors, and a novel shroud designed to cool motherboard components. We take a closer look at whether Asus has built the perfect premium P67 board for enthusiasts."

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASRock

Introduction and Features

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ASRock is teaming up with Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel to bring back to life the Fatal1ty series of gamer-centric motherboards. Their latest creation is dubbed the P67 Professional and this particular LGA 1155-based motherboard pulls out all the stops in terms of quality components and enthusiast-level features. The use of premium gold caps, Japanese conductive polymer capacitors, and support for quad SLI and CrossfireX graphics configurations makes the P67 Professional a true head-turner for gamers looking for every edge to max out their system's gaming prowess.