Asus P8P67

The P8P67 motherboard is a motherboard that fits people who are willing to make small sacrifices, but are not willing to sacrifice overall performance of that component. In a lot of ways, the P8P67 motherboard is nearly identical to its bigger brother the P8P67 EVO motherboard (Review HERE), with only having a few minor differences separating these two motherboards apart. The P8P67 motherboards still retains Asus’ core features, DIGI+VRM (You can read more about it HERE), Asus very own TPU/EPU microprocessors (Please visit this link HERE), also Asus’ very own AI Suite II, not to forget that the P8P67 motherboard still can be overclocked just as high as its bigger brother the P8P67 EVO motherboard. So what are the differences between these two motherboards, well to start off with the visual differences, the P8P67 motherboard only uses 1 Ethernet port vs 2 on the EVO motherboard, the P8P67 motherboard does not have onboard on/off buttons. The P8P67 motherboard does not use the Warning LED system like that on the EVO motherboard, and for the final major difference between the two motherboards, (P8P67, P8P67 EVO) is that the EVO motherboard has 3 full PCI-E VGA ports, while the P8P67 motherboard only has 2 full sized PCI-E ports. So in the reality of things, there is not much of a difference between these two motherboards, visually speaking of coarse.

Which leaves the DGC to figure out what exactly is the true difference between the P8P67 and the P8P67 EVO motherboards. And, if there are any major differences between these two motherboards, will it be a major difference? The only way we can find out is for us to dive in, and start cranking.

For more information on the Asus P8P67 motherboard specifications Please visit this Link HERE.

Key Features

  • DIGI+VRM with dual Intelligent Processors TPU/EPU For more information Please visit this link HERE
  • BT GO (Blue Tooth Connectivity)
  • EFI BIOS For more information Please visit this link HERE
  • Asus AI Suite II For more information Please visit this link HERE
  • Gigabit LAN Capabilities
  • Asus DTS 8 channel audio surround Sound
  • Dual 8x PCI-E VGA ports that support Amd’s Quad Crossfire X
  • 4 SATA 6Gb/s HDD connectivity (2 SATA 6Gb/s native to the PCH, 2 SATA 6Gb/s Marvel controller)
  • 4 SATA 3Gb/s ports (Native to the PCH)
  • 4 USB 3.0 ports, 2 rear, and 2 front panel chassis USB 3.0 header (if your chassis supports front USB 3.0 IO ports)
  • DDR3 2200 (O.C.) memory support
  • Mem Ok
  • Memory Auto Banking Booting
  • Dual 4 pin fan headers and control for these headers in the UEFI via manual fan control or via AiSuite II ( Fan Xpert ).

Packaging

Starting off on the packaging of the Asus P8P67 motherboard, similar to the Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard, Asus does give us plenty of information about this motherboard and what its key features are, as well as informs the user that this is indeed a B3 chipset revision.

Once again Asus does do a pretty good job on ensuring that their motherboards are well protected from the rigors of shipping.

Lets take a quick look at what comes bundled with the P8P67 motherboard. Not much in the way of a lot of added extras, but enough to get us moving in the right direction for our computers. Asus includes 2 users manuals, driver disk (which is inside one of the manuals), a rear IO port cover (For the paste few years Asus been using this type of shielding on the Rear IO cover, Asus calls this their Q Shield, this shield helps reduce the amount of EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) from reaching the motherboard. Asus also pads this rear IO shield to add a nice touch to help minimize cuts and bruises when we install our motherboards into the chassis) , 4 SATA cables (2 are SATA 3 Gb/S, 2 are SATA 6Gb/s), a rear USB 2 expansion port with an eSATA port, and finally we get a USB standoff header, and a front IO stand off header.

Time for me to do the overview of this motherboard.

This time I decided to start off on the EPU switch and the Mem Ok button area. Just like the EVO motherboard, this motherboard  fully supports Asus’ very own TPU/EPU capabilities; as well as, Mem Ok. The Mem Ok button is for if and when we might have a memory incompatibility with this motherboard, we press this button while our computer is turned off, and the motherboard will cycle through various timings, frequencies, and voltages in hopes to get you up and running quickly.

This is what Asus has to say about the EPU switch and the Mem Ok button located here:

EPU:

This switch initializes a quick OC. This is focused at first time builders or builders with no OC knowledge. All the user needs to do is flip the switch and it will overclock the CPU. A 2500K will approx reach 4.3GHz and a 2600K will approx reach 4.4GHz. This OC is designed to be used with the stock cooler or aftermarket heastinks. In addition it maintains using offset voltage option for voltage delivery ensuring an efficient way of supplying voltage under an overclock configuration.

Mem Ok:

This is a special hardware IC that interfaces with the Turbo V Controller IC on the board. Through this controller and button users can help to eliminate issues with memory.

In either a situation of memory causing a post issue, boot issue, degraded dimm performance or mis match dim configuration mem ok can attempt resolve the issue via adjustments to the DRAM frequency, timings and voltage. Through these adjustments the memory parameters are adjusted to allow for a potentially successful boot. In addition some users use it as a semi clear cmos. This is due to the fact it will reset frequency parameters but not clear the entire bios and other non frequency related adjustments ( SATA operation, disabled devices, fan settings etc ).

Zooming out from the EPU switch and the Mem Ok button, we get to see the memory DIMMs. Due to the nature of the 2600K 1155 socket CPUs, we can only use a Dual channel memory, so there are only four memory DIMMs available. Right below the memory DIMMs, is the main 24 pin power plug, then just off to the left of the main 24 power plug, we get to see the included USB 3.0 front IO header. Jumping to the far right hand side of the motherboard (edge of it) we can see fan header #1 which is located by the corner, and fan header #2 is located about a third way up the motherboard.

I just found this out about the Asus P8P67 motherboard, is about the memory DIMMs themselves. Normally if and when I do need to run just one stick of memory, I just got into the habit of placing it in the first and third memory DIMM, Asus has giving us the flexibility of being able to use any of the four memory DIMMs with either 1 stick of memory, or two sticks of memory. We are no longer confined to having to place the memory in a specific ports like we had to do previously. this is called Memory Auto Banking Booting.

Making our way over to the PCH area. This motherboard also support 4 SATA 3Gb/s HDDs, as well as 4 SATA 6Gb/s HDDs. The Lt Blue SATA ports are the SATA 3 Gb/s HDD hook ups (Native), the Grey SATA ports are the SATA 6 Gb/s HDD hook ups (Native), and the darker blue SATA ports are the Marvel controlled SATA 6 Gb/s HDD hook ups. Moving to our left, we can make out the front IO on/off header on the corner of the motherboard, followed by a COM header (Did I just say a COM port? scratches head and looks at picture again, this time more closely, Yep that is a COM header, interesting……) Right above the COM header, are the three included front USB 2.0 headers. If we look just to the right of the COM header is where fan header # 3 is located. The TPU microprocessor is located in the same exact spot as it did on the P8P67 EVO motherboard, nestled right in between the PCH heatsink and the fan header.

Lets see how the PCi/PCI-E expansion ports are laid out shall we. We are going to start from the right and work our way left. The first expansion port we see is a PCI-E x1 port, followed by a full PCI-E VGA x16 port, we get another PCI-E x1 port, this port will be rendered useless after you put in a video card into the full PCI-E x16 VGA port. Similar to the P8P67 EVO motherboard Asus placed a PCI port right behind the second full PCI-E x16 VGA port, (this is not your average everyday VGA expansion port, read below for more information), after the secondary PCI-E VGA port we get two more PCI expansion ports. Looking at the far left edge of the motherboard, starting from the included TPU switch, we get a 1394 Firewire Front IO header, then right above this header is the front IO audio header.

The Black Secondary PCI-E VGA port, will not split the PCI-E lanes that come from the primary PCI-E VGA port. Due to the nature of the 2600K, and the P67 chipset, there are only 16 PCI-E lanes available for the VGA cards, if you use one video card, that video card would get the full x16 PCI-E lanes. If we decided to use a second video card, then the x16 PCI-E lanes would be split (or shared) between the two video cards. The P8P67 motherboard does not split or share the same PCI-E lanes from the primary PCI-E VGA port, this PCI-E VGA port (again the black one) only has a x4 PCI-E lanes available to it, but there is a catch to this. I found this out the hard way, the black PCI-E VGA port defaults at running with an x1 PCI-E port. To enable the x4 PCI-E lane capability, we have to enable that in the EFI BIOS, but if you enable the x4 PCI-E capability on the black PCI-E port, you will borrow the PCI-E lanes from the first, and second PCI-E x1 ports; as well as, the USB 3.0 front IO header. I use a Creative X-FI PCI-E x1 sound card, at first I thought that the black PCI-E port was a x8 VGA port, but when I was installing drivers for my fresh Windows 7 install, I went to go check and see if my two 6970 video cards were running in Crossfire; they were not. I looked in the manual, and it stated that this secondary VGA PCI-E port only uses an x1 or a x4. So I rebooted the computer, entered the EFI BIOS, set the secondary VGA PCI-E port from an x1 to a x4 (keep in mind that the Creative sound card is in the first PCI-E x1 port). After doing this I rebooted the computer, and now I lost all sound from my Creative X-FI sound card. Well at least I got my crossfire to enable on the 6970 video cards. After fumbling through the manual once again, I found out that the black PCI-E (secondary VGA PCI-E port) shares/borrows the same PCI-E lanes from the listed above components.

This is what Asus has to say about the TPU switch

This switch initializes a quick OC. This is focused at first time builders or builders with no OC knowledge. All the user needs to do is flip the switch and it will overclock the CPU. A 2500K will approx reach 4.3GHz and a 2600K will approx reach 4.4GHz. This OC is designed to be used with the stock cooler or aftermarket heastinks. In addition it maintains using offset voltage option for voltage delivery ensuring an efficient way of supplying voltage under an overclock configuration.

An up-close shot of the TPU switch that Asus uses on this motherboard.

Looking at the area around the CPU socket. The CPU socket area is fairly clear of any large obstacles, so we should not have any major issues on being able to use large CPU coolers. Similar to the P8P67 EVO motherboard, the upper right CPU mounting bolt hole, that is right next to the 2 VRM heatsinks (in picture upper right) sits a bit close. This is not enough of a major problem, just needs to be mentioned.

Now time for me to wrap things up with the overview of this motherboard. Taking a look at the rear IO ports of the P8P67 motherboard. Starting from our left, then working our way to the right, up first are the everyday standard 2 PS2 port headers, since most keyboards and mice are USB nowadays, I would have preferred to have seen a single PS2 port with 2 USB headers here (personal preference). Moving to the right, this time Asus did not include two audio optical outputs, they opted out only for one audio optical port. Up next is the BT GO (allows us to connect to this computer remotely with our phones, or BT devices, this is a rather cool feature) with 2 USB 2.0 ports. Up next is just a 2 USB 2.0 USB header, then we get a 1394 Firewire with 2 more USB 2.0 ports on the same header. Moving on further to our right, we get a single Ethernet port with 2 USB 3.0 ports header, then finally we get to the 8 channel onboard analog audio ports. The one thing I would like to have seen included, is a rear Clear CMOS button.

Extra Pictures

EFI BIOS

This is what the EFI BIOS looks like under the AI Tweaker tab in the EFI BIOS. Looking at these SS (screen shots), we can see that the 2600K CPU uses a 100 BCLK, we do not have a QPI voltage adjustment for the new 2600K CPU. So consequently we are somewhat limited on our BCLK adjustments. The BCLK does not adjust by whole numbers, 1,2,3, instead the BCLK adjustment uses a more fine tuned adjustments of 0.1, 0.2, 0.3. Both the Advanced and the EZ EFI BIOS portions, have an “auto overclocking”, capability, in the advanced EFI BIOS, this is named the OC Tuner, by pressing the OK option, the EFI BIOS will reboot the computer, and cycle the computer for the best possible overclock. In this case the OC Tuner gave me a roughly a 4.5 GHz overclock on the 2600K CPU. The Asus P8P67 motherboards, do not overclock the CPU by the base CPU multiplier (been there, tried that), we can only use the turbo multiplier of the 2600K CPU.

Asus always gives us two different ways we can adjust the CPU voltage, we can either use a standard voltage setting (where we set the actual voltage the CPU) will use, or we can use the over voltage setting (Offset). I highly recommend using the over voltage setting (or offset voltage control).

Testing Methodology

Test Bed

CPU Core i7 970, Core i5 750, Core i7 2600K
Motherboard Asus R2E, Gigabyte P55A-UD4P, Asus P8P67 EVO, P8P67
Case Case, what case?
Memory Crucial Ballistx
Video Card 2 X 6970s
Hard Drives 1 Patriot Torqx 128 Gig SSD, 4 x Seagate Momentus 320 HDD in RAID 0, 1 Western Digital 1 TB HDD
CDROM Drive Lite-On Blu-ray
Power Supply Power Cooling 950 Watt
CPU Speeds Used 2.8 GHz, 3.3Ghz, 3.8Ghz (Turbo was turned on)
Operating System Used Microsoft Windows 7
Video Card Cooler
Koolance 697 Water Cooling
CPU Cooler
Koolance CPU 360

I will be comparing the Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard up against a Core i5 750 1156 socket CPU with a Gigabyte P55A-UD4P motherboard, and a Core i7 970 CPU on an Asus Rampage II Extreme X58 based motherboard. All motherboards will be using their default CPU clock speeds with turbo enabled for the comparisons only. I will be including an overclocked Asus P8P67 paired up with an Intel Core i7 2600K 1155 CPU (Sandy Bridge) motherboard, this will only be used as a reference only, so you can get an idea of the level of performance you could possibly get if you choose to overclock this motherboard/CPU combination. A fresh Windows 7 64 bit install was performed prior to any official testing, the results will be based off of an average of 3 runs per benchmark to ensure that I did not get any erroneous readings, and to make sure my results are accurate as possible. For the memory frequencies, I allowed each of the tested motherboards to determine the actual speed of the memory after I loaded up the BIOS defaults, in this case the Core i5 750 CPU used the memory frequency of 1333 MHz with a 7-7-7-20 timings, the Core i7 970 used a 1600MHz with 8-8-8-24, and the Core i7 2600K used 1600 8-8-8-24 timings on both tested motherboards, the P8P67 EVO, and the P8P67 motherboard. Your results may and will vary greatly from my own.

For the Graphics testing, I will be doing something a bit different. I will not be including the Core i7 970, or the Core i5 750 CPUs in on the fun. I will be comparing the P8P67 motherboard with only the P8P67 EVO motherboard in both a Crossfire configuration, and in a single video card configuration. I want to see if having a x4 limitation on the secondary video card will hurt performance when being compared to a motherboard that uses a x8 x8 multi GPU configuration. Considering that both of these motherboards are fairly equal to one another, this would make an opportune moment to conduct this “Highly Scientific Experiment”, OK well not exactly “Highly Scientific”, but close enough for the government. If you want a comparison on what the difference between the Core i5 750 CPU, Core i7 970 and a Core i7 2600K please feel free to look at this review HERE, also you can look at this article where I compared a Core i7 970, Core i5 750, and a Core i7 930 both stock clock speeds and overclocked speeds HERE.

Benchmarks

  • SiSoft Processor Arithmetic, Multi-Media, Memory Bandwidth, and memory latency
  • Aida 64 Memory Read, Write, Copy, and Latency, CPU testing Queen, VP8
  • Cyberlink Power DVD Converted a 19 minute and 10 second movie from a MOD file format to AVI file format, using highest visual quality
  • Bibble 5 converted 100 Canon 10.1 RAW images to a JPG file format, using maximum image quality
  • CineBench R11 CPU rendering
  • wPrime 32 million units of PI, and 1024 million units of PI
  • 3DMark 11 Performance testing
  • 3DMark Vantage Performance testing
  • Unigine Heaven maximum visual quality, no AA/AF was applied on either resolution tested
  • Alien Vs Predator Default settings used at both set resolutions
  • Lost Planet 2 Maximum visual quality, no AA/AF was used

Overclocking

Overclocking the P8P67 motherboard went a whole lot more smoother then what it did on the P8P67 EVO motherboard. Of course I had some practice with the EVO motherboard prior to moving to the P8P67 motherboard, so naturally overclocking will go a lot smoother. This time I did not try and see if I could do a 200 BCLK/FSB overclock, because I already knew that was going to be a fight I was not going to win, but I still wanted to use the highest possible BCLK/FSB I could get away with. The way I approached this new way of overclocking, I turned off Turbo, and then set the CPU base multiplier to a mere 20 (this will eliminate any CPU related overclocking), I manually adjusted all of the voltages to their stock setting, and added a notch or two for good measures. Now I started upping the BCLK by 1 (the new EFI BIOS does the BCLK in increments of 0.1) and rebooted the computer and entered Windows to do some stability testing. I kept going till I started having instability issues and then backed the BCLK by 1. So this new BCLK I was at stable was at a 105 BCLK, not bad considering. Since I already knew what the CPU required as far as volts for a 4.9 GHz overclock I typed in the numbers, rebooted and started my stability testing. Then rebooted, reentered the EFI BIOS, and trimmed the voltages down a bit. Pretty simple overclocking this time around.

I did allow the P8P67 motherboard to do an “Auto Overclock”, in the Advanced EFI BIOS for me, just to see if it will give me the same overclock as the P8P67 motherboard did. The auto overclock gave me the same exact results as the EVO motherboard gave me of a 4.5 GHz.

Default Settings that were used

Overclocked Settings

Results

Higher = Better

Starting off with SiSoft Arithmetic testing, it appears the Asus P8P67 motherboard is slightly out performing its bigger bother the P8P67 EVO. I do not think it is enough to be concerned with, SiSoft likes to vary from one benchmark to the next.

Higher = Better

Moving on to the Multimedia portion of testing, The Asus P8P67 motherboard is again performing slightly above the P8P67 EVO. Well at least its nice to see that an affordable motherboard can keep up with a top end motherboard.

Higher = Better

The Memory Bandwidth testing is confirming that the Asus P8P67 is right on par on performance with its bigger brother P8P67 EVO.

Lower = Better Measured in ns

The P8P67 motherboard is definitely giving us some rather consistent performance .

Higher = Better

Starting on the AIDA 64 benchmarks, the P8P67 motherboard is still able to keep up with the P8P67 EVO motherboard.

Lower = Better Measured in ns

Similar to SiSoft memory, the P8P67 motherboard manages to keep giving us consistent performance, and this motherboard shows no signs of letting up.

Higher = Better

I will let the charts speak for themselves, as they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Measured in Seconds Lower = Better

Turning our attention over to the real world benchmarks, the P8P67 motherboard still out performs its bigger brother, the P8P67 EVO motherboard.

Measured in Seconds Lower = Better

The P8P67 motherboard still keeps its relentless beating to the P8P67 EVO motherboard.

Measured in Seconds Lower = Better

Speechless.

Higher = Better

Well kiddies, what did we learn from all of these tests and charts? That even though the P8P67 motherboard may lack in some features, it sure in hell does not lack in punch. And this little motherboard can, and is more then capable of slugging it out with the best of them.

The Games

This portion of testing is only done with an Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard that is capable of running a 8×8 dual VGA PCI-E lanes, vs the P8P67 motherboard that can only use a 16×4 configuration dual VGA PCI-E lanes. I want to see if there is a truly a difference; these results may surprise you.

Higher = Better

Starting off, one of the most widely used video benchmark out there today, 3DMark11 has become a standard for which we all use to gauge our computers video performance with. For the most part, I cannot tell the difference between the level of performance between the Asus P8P67 motherboard and the P8P67 EVO motherboard, while my two 6970 video cards are in Crossfire mode. Now lets move on to our next test 3DMark Vantage.

Higher = Better

Now we start to see the difference between the P8P67 motherboard and the P8P67 EVO motherboard. Looking at the Crossfire numbers, the EVO motherboard is giving a bit more performance because of the 8×8 PCI-E VGA lanes distribution. Time to move on to Unigine Heaven.

Measured in FPS Higher = Better

Now this is what I expected to see, Nothing wrong with the P8P67 motherboard, just the limited bandwidth on the secondary VGA port is starting to weigh heavily on the performance of the 2 6970 video cards while they are in Crossfire mode. The single video card mode is looking great, in fact the P8P67 motherboard is still showing its supremacy.

Measured in FPS Higher = Better

Ouch, this has got to hurt. The P8P67 motherboard gives us some rather impressive numbers on the single video card configuration. But the limited x4 PCI-E lanes to the secondary 6970 video card is still killing my overall performance.

Measured in FPS Higher = Better

Interesting results, during the 1920 x 1080 resolution testing in crossfire mode, both motherboards performed identical to one another. But, once I kicked up the resolution to a staggering 5760 x 1080, we start to feel the performance crunch of the x16 x4 PCI-E lanes limitation of the P8P67 motherboard.

Ending Thoughts

So what is truly the difference between the P8P67 motherboard to its bigger brother the P8P67 EVO motherboard besides the visual differences? Well if we go off of the CPU performance between these two motherboards, nothing. The P8P67 motherboard clearly was able to keep up with the EVO motherboard in both performance, and in overclock-ability. the only true differences between these two motherboards is the fact that the P8P67 EVO motherboard fully supports an 8×8 PCI-E lanes to both of my 6970 video cards while they were in Crossfire mode, where the P8P67 motherboard uses a different PCI-E lane distribution of a x16 x4 to the Crossfired 6970 video cards. Despite the limitation of the x16 x4 PCI-E lane distribution, the P8P67 motherboard still managed to put up some rather respectable numbers during my Crossfire testing. While some games may feel the crunch of the limited nature of the secondary PCI-E lanes of x4, there will be games that won’t. So your results will vary greatly from one game to another.

The only thing I did not care too much about the usage of the secondary PCI-E port, was once I enabled this port to a x4 configuration, I lost the use of my PCI-E Creative X-FI Fatality Titanium sound card, because it shares (or borrows) these PCI-E lanes from the two single PCI-E x1 ports and the front IO USB 3.0 header (USB 3/4). I feel that Asus could have split the PCI-E lanes evenly across both VGA PCI-E ports.

For more information on our Rating system please visit this post HERE. The P8P67 motherboard did exactly what was stated on both the box, and what was printed in the manual. Looking around the internet this motherboard goes on or around the 140 USD mark, which will fit anyone who is on a tighter budget who needs to have a motherboard that is slimmed down on some of the features, but does not sacrifice on performance. With the pricing of this motherboard, and the core features that Asus keeps in play on this motherboard, even I can overlook the small things.

I give the P8P67 motherboard a well respected and earned:

9 out of Ten and the:

Golden Dragon Award

Asus P8P67 EVO

Like many gamers out there today, I just want to be able to play my games. If that requires me to upgrade my computer from time to time to be able to play my games, then so be it. I do not just play games on my computer, I use my computer for various tasks, like video editing, manipulating multiple images from my 10.1 Canon Rebel EOS camera, to surfing the internet. So having a a fast computer to keep up with my life style has become a necessity. The one thing I cannot stand when it pertains to computers, is having to wait for my computer to decide when it is going to do something, I prefer to have the computer wait for me, not me wait for the computer. Another main thing I look for in computers is not just having a fast CPU, I like to overclock my computer to squeeze out even more performance out of it (in essence make my everyday computing tasking go even quicker). I remind people, when it pertains to gaming and computing, we are only as fast, or as good as our slowest/worst component. The one main component that we cannot live without in our computers, also determines the overall outcome of our performance with our computers, is the motherboard. If you want a fast computer, you need to have a motherboard that can handle a large amount of information quickly, and effortlessly. You can have the worlds fastest CPU on the planet, but if your motherboard cannot handle the information properly, then what good is that worlds fastest CPU? By the way, this is a rhetorical question.

Today at the DGC , we are going to be looking at the Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard that fully supports Intel’s newest Sandy Bridge based 1155 socket Core i7 second generation CPUs. When we say that Asus went all out on this motherboard, we mean it. The Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard is easy enough for any novice computer builder to get that ultimate overclock; as well as, this motherboard is robust enough for the more experienced Enthusiast to have the ability to squeeze every last ounce of performance they can get.

For a full list of Specifications for the Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard please visit Asus’ website HERE.

Key Features

  • DIGI+VRM with dual Intelligent Processors TPU/EPU For more information Please visit this link HERE
  • BT GO (Blue Tooth Connectivity)
  • EFI BIOS For more information Please visit this link HERE
  • Asus AI Suite II For more information Please visit this link HERE
  • Dual Gigabit LAN Capabilities
  • Asus DTS 8 channel audio surround Sound
  • Dual 8x PCI-E VGA ports that support Amd’s Quad Crossfire X, and Nvidia’s Quad SLI GPUs
  • Onboard ON/OFF switches
  • 4 SATA 6Gb/s HDD connectivity (2 SATA 6Gb/s native to the PCH, 2 SATA 6Gb/s Marvel controller)
  • 4 SATA 3Gb/s ports (Native to the PCH)
  • 4 USB 3.0 ports, 2 rear, and 2 front panel chassis USB 3.0 header (if your chassis supports front USB 3.0 IO ports)
  • DDR3 2200 (O.C.) memory support
  • Mem Ok
  • Powered eSATA rear IO port
  • Memory Auto Banking Booting
  • Dual 4 pin fan headers and control for these headers in the UEFI via manual fan control or via AiSuite II ( Fan Xpert ).

Packaging

Like always, Asus gives us plenty of information about their product, the P8P67 EVO motherboard. Asus also states that this particular motherboard uses the newer B3 chipset stepping, and that this motherboard fully sports their newer DIGI+VRM TPU/EPU overclocking/power capabilities.

Opening up the package, Asus does do a pretty good job to ensure that their products wont get damaged during the rigors of shipping.

After the motherboard, and the motherboard separator gets removed, we can see what Asus included as bundled hardware/software. We get 2 instruction manuals, a driver disk, 4 SATA cables (2 are SATA 3Gb/s which are all black, and 2 SATA 6Gb/s cables that have white ends on them). A rear IO plate cover (For the paste few years Asus been using this type of shielding on the Rear IO cover, Asus calls this their Q Shield, this shield helps reduce the amount of EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) from reaching the motherboard. Asus also pads this rear IO shield to add a nice touch to help minimize cuts and bruises when we install our motherboards into the chassis), an Nvidia SLI bridge, a front IO/USB header stand offs, and finally Asus included a rear USB 3.0 PCI expansion ports.  Not exactly a lot of extras, but there is enough here for us to get our machines up and running.

Now time for us to go over the P8P67 EVO motherboard.

Starting off on the far corner of the motherboard nearest the DIMMs, we get a close up view of the Mem Ok button, and the EPU switch locations. We also get a good look at the location of the DRAM warning light that Asus uses to warn us users if there happens to be a problem with our memory. The EPU switch comes in a default setting of off, so if you plan on using this feature, you will have to manually turn on the EPU switch. The Mem Ok button, is for us users in case this motherboard may have a memory compatibility issue. What this little switch does is if we cannot boot our computer, and the DRAM LED lights up, we may be having a memory compatibility issue, we press this little button prior to booting up and the motherboard will cycle through memory voltages, timings, and memory dividers in hopes to get you up and running quickly. Counting as I see them, we get a peek at the location of Fan Header #1.

This is what Asus has to say about the EPU switch and the Mem Ok button located here:

EPU:

This switch initializes a quick OC. This is focused at first time builders or builders with no OC knowledge. All the user needs to do is flip the switch and it will overclock the CPU. A 2500K will approx reach 4.3GHz and a 2600K will approx reach 4.4GHz. This OC is designed to be used with the stock cooler or aftermarket heastinks. In addition it maintains using offset voltage option for voltage delivery ensuring an efficient way of supplying voltage under an overclock configuration.

Mem Ok:

This is a special hardware IC that interfaces with the Turbo V Controller IC on the board. Through this controller and button users can help to eliminate issues with memory.

In either a situation of memory causing a post issue, boot issue, degraded dimm performance or mis match dim configuration mem ok can attempt resolve the issue via adjustments to the DRAM frequency, timings and voltage. Through these adjustments the memory parameters are adjusted to allow for a potentially successful boot. In addition some users use it as a semi clear cmos. This is due to the fact it will reset frequency parameters but not clear the entire bios and other non frequency related adjustments ( SATA operation, disabled devices, fan settings etc ).

Zooming out from the Mem Ok button and the EPU switch, we get a broader view of the memory DIMMs. The Sandy Bridge CPUs only support Dual channel memory, so we can only use up to 4 memory DIMMs for a grand total of 32 GB of memory. We get the location of the main 24 pin motherboard  power plug that sits right below the memory DIMMs.  Just above, and to the left of the main 24 power plug we get a glimpse of the front USB 3.0 header  that Asus included on this motherboard.

I just found this out about the Asus P8P67 motherboard, is about the memory DIMMs themselves. Normally if and when I do need to run just one stick of memory, I just got into the habit of placing it in the first and third memory DIMM, Asus has giving us the flexibility of being able to use any of the four memory DIMMs with either 1 stick of memory, or two sticks of memory. We are no longer confined to having to place the memory in a specific ports like we had to do previously. this is called Memory Auto Banking Booting.

Making our way over to the PCH of the P8P67 EVO motherboard. Right below the PCH heatsink, is where the SATA ports are located at, you will see three different colors as well. The light blue SATA ports are the 3Gb/s HDD ports, to the right are 2 grey (white to me) SATA ports. These are the native SATA 6Gb/s HDD ports to the PCH, then finally the darker blue SATA ports are the Marvel controlled 6Gb/s HDD ports. Can you use a SATA 3Gb/s HDD on a SATA 6Gb/s port? Yes. Moving towards the far corner of the motherboard, we can see the front IO on/off header, sitting just right above the front IO header, is fan #2. Moving up off the left edge of the motherboard is where the onboard on/off buttons, nestled right above the onboard on/off buttons, is the location of one of the 3 USB 2.0 expansion headers. If you look real closely in between the PCH heatsink and the fan header, we will see the TPU microprocessor.

Making our way over the PCI-E/PCI expansion ports. We are going to start from the right and make our way left, the first PCI-E port we see is an x1, moving left is a x16 PCI-E VGA port, this port is the primary video card X16 PCI-E. Right next to the primary x16 PCI-E port is another PCI-E x1 port, Most video cards will be using up to 2 PCI expansion ports, which will render this port useless. Moving left, I found the location of this PCI port in a rather nice place, it sits far enough away from the primary PCI-E x16 VGA port, so for those who still need a PCI port available can still use that type of expansion card  with this motherboard. Now the white PCI-E X16 port, due to the nature of the Sandy bridge CPUs the second PCI-E port will not have a full x16 PCI-E lanes available once two video cards are installed into this motherboard. If you use 2 video cards in either Crossfire, or SLI the PCI-E lanes will be shared between the primary PCI-E port and this secondary PCI-E VGA port. The Sandy Bridge CPU only has  16x PCI-E lanes available. Right next to the Secondary PCI-E port,  is another PCI port, if you plan on using 2 video cards on this motherboard, you will render this PCI expansion port useless. The Last PCI-E (black) port is rather unique, this PCI-E port is not either 8x or 16x, it is a 4x or 1x. But there is a catch to the 4x PCI-E lanes available, this port is defaulted to a x1 PCI-E. If you enable this port to be a x4 PCI-E (through the BIOS), you will kill the PCI-E x1 (first one, and second one), as well as the USB 3.0 front IO headers 3/4 as it shares the PCI-E lanes with these devices. Looking at the far left edge of the motherboard, bottom side, we can see the last 2 USB 2.0 front IO headers, moving upwards we can see the TPU switch (this is defaulted in the off position), right above the TPU switch, is the Firewire 1394 front IO header, then finally we get the front IO audio header.

We finally make our way over the rear IO ports/CPU area. Asus moved the CU back from the rear IO ports a bit to give us a bit more room behind the VRM heatisnks. This will allow a lot more airflow on or around the VRM heatsinks to properly get cooled. The VRM heatsinks are the rather cool looking Lt blue heatsinks to the top, and to the right of the CPU. Another little thing I personally liked about Asus motherboards is that they put the EPS CPU power plug right on the edge of the motherboard, making getting access to this power plug once installed into a chassis quite easily. Looking just a little bit above the EPS CPU power plug is fan header #3. All the way down towards the right hand bottom corner of this picture is fan header #4.

Now time for me to get up close and personal with the CPU area. The CPU bolt pattern of the 1155 based CPUs use the same exact pattern as the previous 1156 based CPUs, so finding a CPU cooler should not be a problem. Overall I do not see any large obstacles that will hinder us from using our rather large CPU coolers, but there is one little spot that may be a slight problem on getting access to. The upper right bolt hole (in the picture) is in a rather tight spot,  if you need access to it, it sits really close to the VRM heatsinks. I wont hold this against this motherboard, but it does need to be mentioned.

I mentioned earlier that Asus uses LEDs to warn us users of possible problems that we may have with this motherboard. There are a total of 3, we already seen the location of the memory LED, the CPU warning LED is located right above the memory DIMMs, and the final LED is located right above the Primary PCI-E VGA x16 port. These are in easy to see locations, and bright enough for us to see if they are lit up. These LEDs will only light up and stay lit up if there is a problem with that specific area. If the CPU LED lights up,you have a problem with the CPU, when the PCI-E LED lights up, we are having issues with the video cards, if the memory LED lights up, we have a memory problem. We do not need to have a doctorate in brain surgery to understand the LED warning lights.

An upclose shot of the TPU switch that is located on the Asus P8p67 EVO motherboard.
This is what Asus has to say about the TPU switch

This switch initializes a quick OC. This is focused at first time builders or builders with no OC knowledge. All the user needs to do is flip the switch and it will overclock the CPU. A 2500K will approx reach 4.3GHz and a 2600K will approx reach 4.4GHz. This OC is designed to be used with the stock cooler or aftermarket heastinks. In addition it maintains using offset voltage option for voltage delivery ensuring an efficient way of supplying voltage under an overclock configuration.

To finish up our overview of the Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard we are going to be looking at the rear IO ports. Starting from out left and working our way to the right. Asus includes the use of the ever ancient PS2 keyboard/mouse ports, I personally would rather to have seen just one PS2 port and a couple extra USB ports here. Right next to the PS2 ports, is the audio optical outputs from the onboard sound card. Then we see the BT GO wireless adapter with 2 more USB 2.0 headers, and a eSATA connector. Followed by a Firewire 1394 port, 2 more USB 3.0 headers with a Power eSATA connector. The first Ethernet port we see is the Realtek Ethernet port with 2 more USB 2.0 ports, right next to the Realtek Ethernet port is a second Ethernet port, but this port is an Intel based Ethernet which has 2 USB 3.0 Ports. The two Ethernet ports on this motherboard are not teaming capable, but we can use these two Ethernet ports to tie in two different networks into one. The little button you see to the left of the Intel controlled Ethernet port, is the rearward clear CMOS button, I am glad that Asus is still continuing on putting the Clear CMOS button in a position where we can gain access to it easily. Then finally we get the 8 channel analog audio header.

This is an up close shot of the BT GO wireless connector that Asus includes on the P8P67 EVO motherboard. What this does is allows us users to connect remotely with any Blue Tooth enabled device to share files with that device and our computer. This comes in handy for anyone who uses a cell phone, tablet PC, Lap tops, pretty much anything and everything with a Blue Tooth connectivity, so these items can transfer files or movies, songs to and from these portable devices to the computer. With out the need of purchasing special adapters, or expensive cables to hook up to the computer. I used a friend’s phone that had Blue Tooth capabilities, and downloaded a couple of video clips he had on his phone, the connection rate was pretty impressive, we maintained a 500+ KB/s throughout the entire download, I should mention the phone was about 3 feet away from the computer.

How I configured the P8P56 EVO motherboard during my review.

Extra Pictures

   
   
   
   

I like to show a few extra pictures for you readers to get a better look at what the motherboard looks like at various different angles.

EFI BIOS

 

This is what the EFI BIOS looks like under the AI Tweaker tab in the EFI BIOS. Looking at these SS we can see that the 2600K CPU uses a 100 BCLK, we do not have a QPI voltage adjustment for the new 2600K CPU. So consequently we are somewhat limited on our BCLK adjustments. The BCLK does not adjust by whole numbers, 1,2,3, instead the BCLK adjustment uses a more fine tuned adjustments of 0.1, 0.2, 0.3. Both the Advanced and the EZ EFI BIOS portions, have a “auto overclocking”, capability, in the advanced EFI BIOS this is named the OC Tuner, by pressing the OK option, the EFI BIOS will reboot the computer, and cycle the computer for the best possible overclock. In this case the OC Tuner gave me a roughly a 4.5 GHz overclock on the 2600K CPU. The Asus P8P67 motherboards, do not overclock the CPU by the base CPU multiplier (been there tried that), we can only use the turbo multiplier of the 2600K CPU.

Asus always gives us two different ways we can adjust the CPU voltage, we can either use a standard voltage setting (where we set the actual voltage the CPU will use, or we can use the over voltage setting (Offset). I highly recommend using the over voltage setting (or offset voltage control).

Testing Methodology

Test Bed

CPU Core i7 970, Core i5 750, Core i7 2600K
Motherboard Asus R2E, Gigabyte P55A-UD4P, Asus P8P67 EVO
Case Case, what case?
Memory Crucial Ballistx
Video Card 2 X 6970s
Hard Drives 1 Patriot Torqx 128 Gig SSD, 4 x Seagate Momentus 320 HDD in RAID 0, 1 Western Digital 1 TB HDD
CDROM Drive Lite-On Blu-ray
Power Supply Power Cooling 950 Watt
CPU Speeds Used 2.8 GHz, 3.3Ghz, 3.8Ghz (Turbo was turned on)
Operating System Used Microsoft Windows 7
Video Card Cooler
Koolance 697 Water Cooling
CPU Cooler
Koolance CPU 360

I will be comparing the Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard up against a Core i5 750 1156 socket CPU with a Gigabyte P55A-UD4P motherboard, and a Core i7 970 CPU on an Asus Rampage II Extreme X58 based motherboard. All motherboards will be using their default CPU clock speeds with turbo enabled for the comparisons only. I will be including an overclocked Asus P8P67 EVO paired up with an Intel Core i7 2600K 1155 CPU (Sandy Bridge) motherboard, this will only be used as a reference only, so you can get an idea of the level of performance you could possibly get if you choose to overclock this motherboard/CPU combination. A fresh Windows 7 64 bit install was performed prior to any official testing, the results will be based off of an average of 3 runs per benchmark to ensure that I did not get any erroneous readings and to make sure my results are accurate as possible. Graphics based testing will be performed with 2 x 6970s with crossfire enabled, I will also be doing a standard 1920 x 1080 resolution, with a 5760 x 1080 resolution. For the memory frequencies, I allowed each of the tested motherboards determine the actual speed of the memory after I loaded up the BIOS defaults, in this case the Core i5 750 CPU used the memory frequency of 1333 MHz with a 7-7-7-20 timings, the Core i7 970 used a 1600MHz with 8-8-8-24, and the Core i7 2600K used 1600 8-8-8-24 timings. Your results may and will vary greatly from my own.

The benchmarks and their settings will be listed below.

Benchmarks

  • SiSoft Processor Arithmetic, Multi-Media, Memory Bandwidth, and memory latency
  • Aida 64 Memory Read, Write, Copy, and Latency, CPU testing Queen, VP8
  • Cyberlink Power DVD Converted a 19 minute and 10 second movie from MOD file format to AVI file format, using highest visual quality
  • Bibble 5 converted 100 Canon 10.1 RAW images to a JPG file format using maximum image quality
  • CineBench R11 CPU rendering
  • wPrime 32 million units of PI, and 1024 million units of PI
  • 3DMark 11 Performance testing
  • 3DMark Vantage Performance testing
  • Unigine Heaven maximum visual quality, no AA/AF was applied on either resolution tested
  • Alien Vs Predator Default settings used at both set resolutions
  • Lost Planet 2 Maximum visual quality, no AA/AF was used

Overclocking

Overclocking the Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard with a Core i7 2600K CPU was an interesting endeavor. Typically we used to overclock our CPUs and motherboards by using the BCLK/FSB of the motherboard. In the case of the new Sandy Bridge CPU we can no longer just start cranking the BCLK/FSB in hopes of getting a higher overclock on the CPU/memory/motherboard. I quickly found this out after my EPIC failures of trying for a 200 BCLK/FSB overclock. Well I at least had to try, for the ultimate BCLK/FSB overclock, even if it was a futile attempt. I then remembered that the only way to overclock the 2600k Sandy Bridge based CPUs was by the CPU multiplier, after spending a few minutes inside of the EFI BIOS, I located the base CPU multiplier adjustment, then I upped the multiplier by 3, and restarted the computer, after of course I turned off the turbo feature of the CPU. I was not greeted with any instability issues, instead I was greeted with a non-overclocked CPU. Boy, things started to get rather interesting for me to say the least, I then checked and made sure I was sent an 2600K CPU, by checking both the box the CPU came in, as well as checked the CPU itself, it definitely is a 2600K CPU. Long story short, I quickly found out again, that the only way I can overclock the 2600K CPU on the Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard (I should have read the manual first) is by the Turbo feature of the CPU. I decided to say screw it, and let the EFI Advanced BIOS configure me an overclock so I can get an idea on what this motherboard requires for an overclock with my 2600K CPU. The EFI BIOS granted me a decent overclock of 4.5 GHz, within a few minutes, interesting. So I decided to do a couple of stability benchmarks to see if this overclock would hold; also checked my temperatures, stability was there, and my temps looked perfect. So I rebooted the computer, reentered the EFI BIOS and started clicking on buttons. After spending a few minutes of rebooting and stability testing, I decided to call it good with my overclock as the voltages started to get a bit uncomfortable for my tastes.

Default settings used for comparison

Overclocked Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard with a 2600K CPU

Results

Time to see exactly how the Asus P8P67 EVO with a 2600K CPU stacks up against the mighty Core i7 970 CPU while being paired up with the Asus Rampage II Extreme.

Higher = Better

Starting off on one of my favorite benchmarks, SiSoft. As we can see the 2600K CPU has no issues on being able to keep up with the mighty Core i7 970 hex Core CPU. This is in part due to that fact that the Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard got the 2600K CPU with a rather high turbo frequency of 3.8 GHz, vs the 3.3 GHz on the Core i7 970 CPU.

Higher = Better

During the multimedia testing of SiSoft, the Core i7 970 starts to show its true strength, and that it will take more than just frequencies to keep up with a 12 threaded monster.

Higher = Better

Moving along to the memory bandwidth testing. Intel has done a great deal of optimizing to the newer second generation of Core i7 CPU’s and it shows. The dual channel memory capabilities of the 2600K CPU is able to keep up with the mighty triple channel memory of the 1366 Core i7 970 CPU.

Time Measured in ns Lower = Better

Moving along to the memory latency testing of SiSoft. We can see that Intel did a terrific job on being able to optimize the memory performance with the 2600K Sandy Bridge CPU.

Higher = Better

If you ever wanted to know what it is like to be manhandled, well here is your chance to see it in person. The Core i7 2600K being paired off with the Asus P8P67 EVO is clearly manhandling the competition.

Time Measured in ns Lower = Better

Similar to SiSoft testing, the 2600K and the Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard shows who is the boss when it comes to the memory performance.

Higher = Better

During the CPU testing of AIDA64, The Core i7 2600K CPU manages to keep up with the Core i7 970 CPU, but only because it has a higher operating core frequency.

Time in Seconds Lower = Better

Cyberlink Power Director prefers to have a higher core frequency then it does having a large amount of CPU threads available. This is verified when we look at the default Asus P8P67 EVO paired up with the 2600K CPU and then compare that to the default Asus Rampage II Extreme with the Core i7 970.

Higher = Better

When it comes to all out rendering, it will take an awful lot of CPU to be able to match the mighty Core i7 970 CPU.

Time in seconds Lower = Better

Bibble 5 conversion testing proves that it takes core frequencies to perform this task quickly. This time, the Core i7 970 CPU did not even have a chance on being able to keep up with the 2600K CPU.

Time in Seconds Lower = Better

wPrime is another one of those programs that prefers to have a lot of threads available, as well as a high CPU core speed. Even though the 2600K is producing a much higher default CPU core speed, it is still no match to the Core i7 970 CPU all out sheer raw thread count.

The Games

Higher = Better

Starting off on our first video game benchmark, looking at the GPU portion of testing, we can see that the paired up 6970s in crossfire prefer to have a high CPU core speed vs to having more threads available to them.

FPS Higher = Better

3DMark Vantage demonstrates that having a high CPU core speed is preferred over having multiple threads available. Once again this becomes apparent when we compare the GPU portion of the testing between the Core i7 2600K and the Core i7 970 CPUs.

FPS Higher = Better

Aliens Vs Predator does not really care what the core speed is, nor does it care how many CPU threads you have available. All of the compared CPU’s performed pretty close to identical to one another.

FPS Higher = Better

Similar to our Aliens Vs Predator testing, Lost Planet does not really have much of a preference between high CPU core speed, to having a lot of CPU threads available. The only time we get even a disconcernable difference is during the standard resolution testing of 1920 x 1080 between the Core i5 750 CPU and compare that to the other two CPUs the Core i7 970, and the Core i7 2600K.

FPS Higher = Better

Pretty much the same story we had with AvP, and Lost Planet 2, that during the 5760 x 1080 resolution testing the CPU had very little influencing on the frame rates. Dropping the resolution down to a mere 1920 x 1080 is when we start to see minor differences between the three tested CPUs. But then again you will not be able to tell the difference between 108 FPS, to 119 FPS.

Ending thoughts

Time for me to wrap things up here for this review. During this whole testing, I been performing on the Core i7 2600K while paired up with the Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard, I kept asking me this one simple little question over, and over in my mind. That question is this, I spent 600 USD for the Core i7 970 CPU, because I felt at the time it was the better option for my computer system. But here sits a CPU/Motherboard combo that costs about 600 USD, and in all reasoning is providing me with the same if not better performance than the 600 USD Core i7 970 has ever given me. I could have gone out and bought this same CPU for 320 USD, this very same motherboard for another 200 USD, and picked up some good 4 gigs of memory for additional 80 USD and have a complete new base computer system for the cost of just one CPU. I consider myself a serious computer user, a straight quad-core CPU just will not cut it for what I am doing with my computer, but for what I truly do with my computer, I do not need to have the Core i7 970 CPU either. This is where the 2600K CPU and the Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard comes in handy, for those who want an extremely powerful computer system that can and will rival even some of the biggest and baddest computers out there, with out sending that person to a poor house at the same time.

Are there any bad points that I should mention that could possibly hurt the overall scoring of this motherboard? No, I cannot see any major obstacles that would hinder the overall usage of this motherboard.

Did this motherboard perform at or above rated capacity? Clearly the answer to this question is Yes, when I first hooked up this motherboard and gotten myself familiar to the EFI BIOS, I was not expecting the “Auto Overclocking” to give me a really good decent overclock of 4.5 GHz, and I sure in hell was not expecting to be able to increase that overclock further to a 4.9GHz with in a few minutes.

How is the overall Layout of the motherboard? Almost perfect, the only thing I have to say, I did not care for is that one CPU mounting bolt hole sits awfully close to the VRM heatsinks, making it a bit more difficult for me to install my water block to this motherboard, but not impossible. I also have to consider that not everyone mounts their CPU coolers the same way I do.

Well since I got all my questions and answers answered it is time for me to give out a rating.

I give the Asus P8P67 EVO motherboard an overall rating and well-earned:

9 out of Ten and the:

Golden Dragon Award