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Conclusion

ASRock P67 Transformer: P67 Gets LGA 1156 Compatibility
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As the performance computing world anxiously awaits the release of Intel’s next mainstream platform, ASRock's P67 Transformer reminds the entry-level folks that, if you don't like Intel's new approach to overclocking (completely locking the Core i3 and limiting non-K-series SKUs), then ASRock's board gives you a way to drop in a previous-gen Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 processor and continue to tweak it as you did before. Thanks to the continuation of Intel’s DMI interconnect, pairing the new chipset with an old processor is as simple as ignoring the added clock signal. This kind of reminds us of the upgrade from AMD’s Socket AM2+ interface to AM3. But there’s a big difference in how the upgrade was executed.

While AMD’s new processor worked in its older boards (with a BIOS update), Intel’s next-generation CPU will not. The major reason why Intel’s Core i3/i5/i7-2x00-series CPUs need a new motherboard is that the clock generator has been integrated into the chipset, so that the CPU gets its clock signal from a different source. But wait...there’s more!

Had Intel integrated its clock generator into the CPU, rather than the P67 chipset, it could have made its new processor compatible with the older socket, but not vice-versa, as was the case with AMD’s AM2+ to AM3 conversion, which required AMD to keep older DDR2 memory controller logic in order to retain compatibility. Something as simple as an added key notch could have assured that the mechanical compatibility went only in the “right” direction. The P67 is an improvement over the P55, but we’re sure a great many CPU upgraders would have accepted a sacrifice in motherboard features in order to avoid the expensive of a complete replacement. Many of these potential customers will surely be turned away by the need to upgrade both parts simultaneously, just as they were when LGA 775 disappeared in favor of LGA 1156 a little more than a year ago.

On the other hand, buyers who want the latest chipset features without the expense of a new CPU have one place to turn: ASRock. The P67 Transformer provides chipset-integrated SATA 6Gb/s and enough PCIe bandwidth for full USB 3.0 performance using mature LGA 1156 processors. That's perfect for folks who already have a capable Core i7-875K, for example, but are just missing the other motherboard-oriented features made possible on P67. We didn’t see as much performance gain as we anticipated from this particular product, but some level of gain was still there. We hope that continued BIOS development will bring this board’s controller performance up to par with the latest LGA 1155 products. After all, we like choice, and we have to commend ASRock for thinking outside the box on this one.

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  • 5 Hide
    James296 , January 5, 2011 4:22 AM
    Hmmm, I'll be keeping an eye on ASRock for future products that I may buy. especially for my next build
  • -8 Hide
    xxsk8er101xx , January 5, 2011 4:51 AM
    I dunno why you would buy this. Mixing technology never works.
  • 3 Hide
    kcorp2003 , January 5, 2011 5:10 AM
    My next build is in Q1 or Q2 2012. where ivy bridge cpu is eight-core processors for mainstream and quad-core processors at the entry level segment. As of right now i'm sticking to my Q9550 3.4Ghz and HD4870. I can live with the extra few seconds or mins for boot up, loading, compressing, unzip, converting, installing, etc... can waste the time reading some toms articles :)  or other important things like eating.

    Also most game engines aren't optimize yet to take advantage what I have. except for Dx11. I know frostbite engine 2.0 thats making Battlefield 3 will be optimize for multi core and Dx11.

    All of my games plays well on 1680x1050 on medium settings. So I'm good. Don't need anything yet. Unless I want to game in 3D. then ill need to invest for a new complete build to play 3D comfortably; GPU (crossfire or SLI), 120Hz monitor, new CPU @ 4Ghz, Window 7, SSD (hopefully), x78 mobo, RAM, and wrap it up with a nice case with lots of air flow and wiring management. which i'm saving up money for in 2012 before the world ends :) 
  • 3 Hide
    joytech22 , January 5, 2011 5:30 AM
    xxsk8er101xxMixing technology never works.


    You mean like DVD/BD Combo drives? they work pretty damn well in my opinion.

    Asrock has done pretty well for themselves, I'm going to keep a close eye on them as long as they provide, at the very least, AMD Bulldozer boards that support SLI.


  • 3 Hide
    Reynod , January 5, 2011 5:30 AM
    Thanks crash !!

    :) 
  • 0 Hide
    PreferLinux , January 5, 2011 5:36 AM
    xxsk8er101xxI dunno why you would buy this. Mixing technology never works.

    joytech22You mean like DVD/BD Combo drives? they work pretty damn well in my opinion.Asrock has done pretty well for themselves, I'm going to keep a close eye on them as long as they provide, at the very least, AMD Bulldozer boards that support SLI.

    You mean, like DVD drives, that support CDs as well???
  • 4 Hide
    dco , January 5, 2011 5:46 AM
    Sandy bridges sacrifices far out-way its slight performance increase, quite disappointing. I wont be upgrading until both performance and scalability are met.
  • 2 Hide
    joytech22 , January 5, 2011 5:46 AM
    PreferLinuxYou mean, like DVD drives, that support CDs as well???


    Or DVD/CD/BD/BDXL/Litescribe as well????? :D 
  • 0 Hide
    nekromobo , January 5, 2011 6:13 AM
    anyone asked or answered if there's any real need for these i5-750 or k2500/k2600 if you have lga775 3.2-3.6ghz core2quad.

    500-1k update for few measly fps, no thanks.

    I know power is some concern but the new mobo+cpu will eat power too no matter how you look at it.
  • -5 Hide
    apache_lives , January 5, 2011 6:14 AM
    Who would want to use a crappy 2 year old motherboard with a new processor and video card and everything? who cares - new rig = NEW STUFF

    dcoSandy bridges sacrifices far out-way its slight performance increase, quite disappointing. I wont be upgrading until both performance and scalability are met.


    the "new" i5's and i7's arent revolutionary, there evolutionary - those of you with older i5's and i7's wont see much of a jump thats expected, there just newer models etc - why are you complaining?

    xxsk8er101xxI dunno why you would buy this. Mixing technology never works.


    agreed, even if it did, why bother?

    James296Hmmm, I'll be keeping an eye on ASRock for future products that I may buy. especially for my next build


    asrock and MSI - i dont understand why people concider there products, MSI in perticular - there horrid rubbish, MSI should stand for "might start intermittently" and asrock at work we call assrock or ascock - bla.

    Modding and unofficial support and all that isnt new, asus used to always beat everyone in those reguards, if you think about it, the socket 478 and 775 days - all those used the same GTL/FSB design, technically you can use the original 845 chipset with a Q9650 (aswell as the Intel Atom, Pentium M, Intel Core Duo, Xeon and so on) provided you have the right pin-out and vrm design (and bios obviously) and give it AGP, SDR ram, IDE etc but again WHY BOTHER?
  • 1 Hide
    stingstang , January 5, 2011 6:31 AM
    kcorp2003My next build is in Q1 or Q2 2012. where ivy bridge cpu is eight-core processors for mainstream and quad-core processors at the entry level segment. As of right now i'm sticking to my Q9550 3.4Ghz and HD4870. I can live with the extra few seconds or mins for boot up, loading, compressing, unzip, converting, installing, etc... can waste the time reading some toms articles or other important things like eating. Also most game engines aren't optimize yet to take advantage what I have. except for Dx11. I know frostbite engine 2.0 thats making Battlefield 3 will be optimize for multi core and Dx11.All of my games plays well on 1680x1050 on medium settings. So I'm good. Don't need anything yet. Unless I want to game in 3D. then ill need to invest for a new complete build to play 3D comfortably; GPU (crossfire or SLI), 120Hz monitor, new CPU @ 4Ghz, Window 7, SSD (hopefully), x78 mobo, RAM, and wrap it up with a nice case with lots of air flow and wiring management. which i'm saving up money for in 2012 before the world ends

    I'm right with you on that hardware upgrade. With consoles calling the shots to how graphic intensive games are, upgrading just doesn't make sense at mid-level resolutions. The Q9550 really is an amazing chip that's going to last a good long while.
  • 1 Hide
    Reynod , January 5, 2011 7:04 AM
    kcorp While I would have agreed with you if you said it is not worthwhile pgrading from 65nm Core2 to 45nm Core2 ... or even Nehalem, I do really think jumping from an early core2 65nm or AMD1 based system to a 2600K is a good proposition now, and the gains are good.

    I tend to want to wait a bit to see if the quad drops in price a bit though.

    I just hope Intel release some kind of bios flash to allow QS to run with a discrete card ... then I am there.



  • 3 Hide
    apache_lives , January 5, 2011 7:05 AM
    stingstangI'm right with you on that hardware upgrade. With consoles calling the shots to how graphic intensive games are, upgrading just doesn't make sense at mid-level resolutions. The Q9550 really is an amazing chip that's going to last a good long while.


    Im still chugging along with a Q6600 @ 3.5ghz :B
  • 0 Hide
    d0gr0ck , January 5, 2011 7:45 AM
    Got my Q9550 here too. Still on an X38 even, with all it's 32 lanes of full bandwidth PCIe 2.0 :p 
  • 1 Hide
    pengivy , January 5, 2011 8:32 AM
    It is an interesting motherboard!!! I think Asrock has solved the performance problem of SATA6G. I update the BIOS P1.20 from ASRock website, and the read speed is up to 340 M/b as the P67-extreme6 performed. It is very closed to the real P67.
  • 2 Hide
    bombat1994 , January 5, 2011 8:35 AM
    my current comp is a pentium 4 3.0Ghz and a radeon 9800 pro, 1 GB ddr ram and 80GB hardrive.

    it might be time to upgrade.

    my gaming is limited to counter strike source and half life 2
  • 1 Hide
    Vatharian , January 5, 2011 8:45 AM
    ASRock aslways had something up in their sleeve to make public jawdrop. For example: P4Combo (mobo with LGA775 and 478), 775Dual-VSTA (DDR1&2, AGP, PCI-Express, AGP, SATA, IDE, taking everything from 90nm Celerons to 65nm Quad Cores, best component test platform EVER), K8N Upgrade series (AM2 CPU on s754 anyone?), and nForce 3 AM2 board that has AGP and accepts 1st gen Phenoms. They often make Cheeeeapo boards, but they have some badass engineering skills in the works. I'm upgrading to X58 now (got 980X), and I'm considering their X58 Extreme6 now. Well, its VRM SUCK big time, like in every ASRock board, but feature-wise this mobo is nobrainer to buy. Way to go!
  • 1 Hide
    Onus , January 5, 2011 9:27 AM
    ASRock has become my first choice for decent features at lowest price, while retaining quality items like solid caps. I'm not an extreme overclocker, so possible VRM limits have never been a problem for me.
  • 3 Hide
    amdfangirl , January 5, 2011 10:09 AM
    I never have seriously considered AsRock (I'm just that narrow minded). This board is an engineering marvel on the behalf of defying Intel.
  • -1 Hide
    shortbus25 , January 5, 2011 10:22 AM
    I don't like how the Sandy-Bridge chips are limiting PCI-e Slots only 2 chips support more than 1 X-16 slot and they are the upper scale ones. But they don't even support 2 x16's only 2 8x's for crossfire you would think they would make these chips better than that like making them have support for 2 16's 0r even 3 16's for people that want to run crossfire/sli. maybe offer chips that take the integrated video off and add more pci-e support..
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