Articles: Mainboards

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Whenever Intel’s 6 series chipsets are mentioned these days, it is always with a comment about the error that has been found in them. Every error of this kind is a problem but how bad is this particular one? Let’s recall what it’s all about. With this error the performance of disks connected to the chipset’s SATA 3Gbps ports may deteriorate after two or three years of heavy use. Thus, if you only have one or two hard disks, like the majority of users, you should not worry about this problem at all. You can just plug your disks into the two SATA 6Gbps ports which are not susceptible to the performance deterioration and enjoy problem-free computing. Now, if you really need to use more than two SATA ports, there are several options as well. Many mainboards offer onboard SATA controllers which you can use or you can install a standalone SATA controller into your system. You can even use the affected SATA ports and there is a high chance that you will never experience any problems with their performance. If you already own a potentially defective mainboard, you can approach its manufacturer requesting a refund or replacement when mainboards with the revised chipsets start shipping. In fact, you can hardly lose much even in the worst case scenario: if you keep on using an affected mainboard and do notice its SATA performance degrade after a couple of years, you may want to replace your entire system because there will be completely new mainboards and new CPUs then with much higher performance.

Well, Intel has already begun to ship its series 6 chipsets of the new B3 revision which are free from the discovered issue, with corresponding mainboards coming to market very soon. The new chipsets do not differ from the older revision in anything but the eliminated error, so we are going to continue our series of reviews of LGA1155 mainboards. We will be talking about the ASUS P8P67 Pro today. We choose this product not because it comes first in alphabetic order and not because its manufacturer is the world's major mainboard maker. Having had a chance to take a quick look at several LGA1155 mainboards from different brands, we are especially interested in what ASUS offers. The company implements a lot of innovations in its products, so we want to dwell on them in more detail than we would be able to do within the constraints of a comparative review of several mainboards. Besides, ASUS traditionally rolls out not just an individual product but a whole series which models vary in functionality. Thus, many things said here are true for the other products of the same series.

Packaging and Accessories

The ASUS P8P67 Pro comes in a rather slim box which front is decorated with various logotypes. The product’s key features are briefly described on the back of the box.

Besides the mainboard, the box contains the following accessories:

  • Four SATA cables with metal connector locks, two with L-shaped locks and two with straight ones. One pair is specifically designed for SATA 6 Gbps devices (has white segments on connectors);
  • Flexible bridge for 2-way SLI graphics configurations;
  • Additional bracket with two USB 3.0 ports;
  • I/O Shield for the back panel;
  •  “Asus Q-Connector” including adapters for easy connection of the system case front panel buttons and indicators and a USB port;
  • User manual;
  • User manual for DIGI+ VRM and BT GO! utilities;
  • DVD disk with drivers and software;
  • “Powered by Asus” sticker for the system case.

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