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

Test Settings

Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge) LGA 1155 3.4-3.8 GHz, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache
RAMKingston KHX2133C9D3T1K2/4GX (4 GB) DDR3-2133 at DDR3-1600 CAS 7-7-7-21, 1.60 V
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 580 1.5 GB 772 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4008
Hard DriveWestern Digital WD1002FBYS 1 TB 7200 RPM, SATA 3Gb/s, 32 MB cache
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerOCZ-Z1000M 1000 W Modular, ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsNvidia 263.58
ChipsetIntel INF 9.2.0.1019

While we do have a new set of reference hardware for many of our benchmarks, today’s configuration was kept consistent with our previous $150-200 P67 motherboard roundup to enable data comparison by our readers. Not that there’s anything wrong with the old hardware.

For example, Elpida Hyper IC’s made Kingston’s HyperX 2133 some of the best-overclocking memory ever produced. Kingston handled the quality control issue of those IC’s through extended burn-in testing, making these parts true survivors of a bygone overclocking champion. That made these perfect for testing the overclocking capabilities of each motherboard, providing today's motherboards with the same limitations as their predicessors.

We haven’t received our new reference graphics cards yet, but then again we can’t think of a single-GPU card more powerful than Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 580. We certainly wouldn’t want any of our game tests to be GPU-bottlenecked, and the GF110 GPU helps eliminate that potential problem.

High efficiency for OCZ’s Z1000M minimizes the power supply’s impact on global wattage readings, while high-voltage stability assures consistent overclocking results. Our replacement standardized part might have been just as good for this task, but using it would have prevented readers from making accurate comparisons to our previous test results.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Very High Quality, 4x AA
F1 2010V1.01, Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Just Cause 2Version 1.0.0.2, Built-In Benchmark "Concrete Jungle" Test Set 1: Medium Details, No AA, 8x AF Test Set 2: Highest Details, 8x AA, 16x AF
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of PripyatCall Of Pripyat Benchmark version, all options, HDAO Test Set 1: High Preset, DX11 EFDL, High SSAO, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, DX11 EFDL, High SSAO, 4x MSAA
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion:9.0.2.25 x64 Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min Default format AAC
Handbrake 0.9.4Version 0.9.4, convert first .vob file from The Last Samurai (1 GB) to .mp4, High Profile
TMPEGEnc 4.0 XPressVersion: 4.7.3.292 Import File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes) Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX Codec 6.9.1Encoding mode: Insane Quality Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4 Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.2.2Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 KHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS4Version: 11.0 x64, Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version: 11.0 x64, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
WinRAR 3.90Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
7-ZipVersion 9.20: Format=Zip, Compression=Ultra, Method=Deflate, Dictionary Size=32 KB, Word Size=128, Threads=8 Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1.0, Benchmark Only
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1.0 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2011Version 2011.1.17.25, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • rolli59
    Nice article would have been nice to have a Gigabyte board in there as well.
    Reply
  • joytech22
    So glad I grabbed my P8P67 Deluxe!

    It had all the features I was looking for at a low enough price to make it very appealing.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    rolli59Nice article would have been nice to have a Gigabyte board in there as well.Please tell Gigabyte to produce something for this market!

    Tom's Hardware included the UD4 in its $150-200 motherboard roundup, and the UD5 costs more than $250.
    Reply
  • Manos
    How te hell is it possible that a website like this keeps ignoring my question as in WHY its been for so many months if not year or whatever, that they dont fix this *** and I cant click to submit my comment from IE? How can THIS be the only website with issues with IE? I find it rather sad. Its why i quit commenting instead of being forced to open a different browser for this site which I used to love and respect. Till they started ignoring this issue Ive been pointing out ( and not just me ).

    Thank you for the charts tho id love to see one with Maximus IV included x.x ( I edited cause I asked something stupid as in why I dont see it in the chart. Sorry.. Been working all night and no time to read the article. Bits only.And no I obviously hadnt read the title x.x My bad. Happy Easter!
    Reply
  • jerreddredd
    It would have been nice to see if there is a performance gain in these "high end" boards over a value P67 board.

    For an even better article also throw in one of each value rated H67 and H61 boards. ($240 vs $130 vs $70 boards)
    Reply
  • alidan
    jerreddreddIt would have been nice to see if there is a performance gain in these "high end" boards over a value P67 board. For an even better article also throw in one of each value rated H67 and H61 boards. ($240 vs $130 vs $70 boards)this, i would love to see how the high end stacks up with the low end. the low may not have as much as the high end, but performance is really all that matters considering we can just get expansion cards for things we dont have.
    Reply
  • sudeshc
    Nice analysis glad to know ASUS is good to go.
    Reply
  • Hupiscratch
    Great article. Now it´s time for the high-end overclocking oriented boards, like the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme.
    Reply
  • memadmax
    I'm gonna go all out on this chipset when it matures a bit. A cool 5 grand i'm thinking for my next gen build.
    Reply
  • Please tell Gigabyte to produce something for this market!

    GA-P67A-UD7 doesn't count?
    Reply