Articles: Mainboards

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PCB Design and Functionality

The ASUS P8P67 Pro is a well-balanced and cleverly designed product which is very easy to use.

One of the key features of the new generation of ASUS mainboards is a digital CPU voltage regulator called DIGI+VRM. It is claimed to offer quick response time, deliver stable power, maintain lower temperature and longer service life compared to conventional analogue solutions. The voltage regulator of the P8P67 Pro has 12+2 phases and the number of active phases can be dynamically adjusted depending on the current load and operation mode. Rich and flexible setup options are yet another advantage of the DIGI+VRM regulator. For example, besides turning on and off the technology for counteracting the CPU voltage drop under load, you can specify the exact degree of that counteraction.

The mainboard also features an integrated Bluetooth 2.1+EDR module and a number of onboard controllers. There are two Renesas (NEC) D720200F1 chips here: one supports the two USB 3.0 ports on the back panel and another allows connecting two more ports either to your system case or to the dual-port USB 3.0 bracket included into the box. Besides two SATA 6Gbps and four SATA 3Gbps ports provided by the chipset, there are two more SATA 6 Gbps ports based on a Marvell 88SE9120. A JMicron JMB362 controller is responsible for the two back-panel eSATA 3 Gbps connectors, one of which is Power eSATA, i.e. it can power the connected device. Finally, there is also a VIA VT6308P controller supporting two FireWire ports.

The ASUS P8P67 Pro has a lot of special technologies and features we know from other ASUS products like the MemOK! button which helps start the system up even if there are some problems with the memory modules. There are handy latches on the graphics card slots while the memory slots have a latch on one side only. The Q-LED system will indicate at what step the boot-up process has been halted. The TPU (TurboV Processing Unit) switch helps overclock the CPU automatically whereas the EPU (Energy Processing Unit) switch enables energy-efficient operation.

Here is what the mainboard offers on its back panel:

  • PS/2 keyboard and mouse connectors;
  • Optical S/PDIF and six analogue audio jacks provided by eight-channel Realtek ALC892 codec;
  • Eight USB ports, including two USB 3.0 ports (blue connectors) implemented via NEC D720200F1 controller; six more USBs are available as three onboard pin-connectors;
  • IEEE1394 (FireWire) port implemented via VIA VT6308P controller, the second port is available as an onboard pin-connector;
  • Power eSATA 3 Gbps ports (green connectors) and eSATA 3 Gbps implemented due to JMicron JMB362 controller;
  • Local network port (network adapter is built on Gigabit Intel WG82579V controller).

The ASUS P8P67 Pro specs are summarized in the following table:

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