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Asus P8P67 Deluxe

High-End P67 Express: Five $200-250 Motherboards

An integrated Bluetooth transceiver and separate eSATA controller are two things that set Asus’ P8P67 Deluxe apart from its value-oriented competitor. Of course, you have to give something else up, and the P8P67 Deluxe only has two rear-panel USB 3.0 ports.

Four additional USB 2.0 ports have been moved from front-panel headers to the rear I/O panel, replacing one of the PS/2 and two of the USB 3.0 ports seen on ASRock's boards. That leaves only two USB 2.0 headers (four ports) internally, though that number has sustained most builders through several motherboard generations, and we don't expect any changes now. Those who need more front-panel USB will find a two-port USB 3.0 header.

That two-port USB 3.0 header also marks a big difference from competing products by being placed front-and-center, just behind the 3.5” external bay of most cases. Asus still places its front-panel audio connector in the bottom-rear corner, however.

Asus does not offer any Ultra ATA or floppy connectors, even though the floppy controller is present in its Multi-I/O controller. Leaving the connector out does clean up the board’s layout a little, and the combined market for both interfaces is far too small to consider removal a mark against value.

Asus even uses the same slot layout as ASRock, switching from x16-x0-x4 to x8-x8-x4 transfer modes automatically whenever a card is installed in its second x16-length slot.

Things look quite a bit different under the sinks, though. Performing traditional southbridge functionality, Intel's P67 PCH is placed in the traditional southbridge location. Next to it, the PEX8608 eight-lane bridge distributes the bandwidth of four lanes not used by the third graphics slot across two PCIe x1 slots and several interface controllers. Those controllers include two SATA, two USB 3.0, one Ethernet, and one FireWire controller.

The P8P67 Deluxe’s primary network controller is not a PCIe-based device. Asus uses Intel’s WG82579V PHY to interface the chipset’s network function directly, purportedly reducing latency and simultaneously saving the board from running out of PCIe lanes.

The P8P67 Deluxe includes six internal SATA cables, four of which are rated compliant with the SATA 6Gb/s specification. Asus’ USB 3.0 front-panel 3.5” external bay adapter is fully boxed (rather than open-topped), adding expense while eliminating its ability to be used as a 2.5” drive adapter.

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