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

Entering The High End

The prices we expect to pay for PCs don't change much. An entry-level machine is around $500, and has hovered around there for a while. A potent gaming system is completely doable for $1000, and that's a largely static figure, too. But our expectations of what you should get out of PCs at either of those price points is higher than ever.

An ever-increasing number of next-gen interfaces and add-on controllers continue pushing so-called mainstream motherboards well into what most enthusiasts used to consider high-end territory, shoving the cost of a real high-end board beyond $200, even for models that employ what the industry collectively considers mainstream chipsets, like Intel's P67 Express.

Today’s $200 P67-based motherboards are anything but extreme, even lacking Nvidia's NF200 controller, which enhances SLI and CrossFire graphics support. For that, one must go farther into the $250+ market (check out GeForce And Radeon On Intel's P67: PCIe Scaling Explored for more on what NF200 can do for graphics performance).

Yet, these same boards do have a few so-called extreme features, such as improved voltage regulators for increased overclocking capability. All of them also support three graphics cards (though in the least-favorable x8/x8/x4 PCIe configuration we can think of), dual gigabit Ethernet ports, and additional USB 3.0 or SATA 6Gb/s ports compared to mainstream versions.

High-End P67 Motherboard Features
ASRock Fatal1ty P67 ProfessionalASRock P67 Extreme6Asus P8P67 DeluxeAsus P8P67 EVOMSI P67A-GD80
PCB Revision1.021.041.031.032.1
ChipsetIntel P67 ExpressIntel P67 ExpressIntel P67 ExpressIntel P67 ExpressIntel P67 Express
Voltage RegulatorEighteen PhasesEighteen PhasesSixteen PhasesTwelve PhasesTwelve Phases
BIOSP1.70 (03/16/2011)P1.60 (03/16/2011)1502 (03/02/2011)1502 (03/02/2011)A0 (03/21/2011)
100.0 MHz BCLK99.8 (-0.2%)99.8 (-0.2%)100.0 (+0.0%)100.0 (+0.0%)100.0 (+0.0%)
Clock GeneratorP67 IntegratedP67 IntegratedP67 IntegratedP67 IntegratedP67 Integrated
Internal Interfaces
PCIe x163 (x16/x0/x4 or x8/x8/x4)3 (x16/x0/x4 or x8/x8/x4)3 (x16/x0/x4 or x8/x8/x4)3 (x16/x0/x4 or x8/x8/x4)3 (x16/x0/x4 or x8/x8/x4)
PCIe x1/x42/02/02/02/02/0
Legacy PCI22222
USB 2.04 (8-ports)4 (8-ports)2 (4-ports)3 (6-ports)3 (6-ports)
USB 3.01 (2-ports)1 (2-ports)1 (2-ports)1 (2-ports)2 (4-ports)
IEEE-139411111
Serial Port11NoneNoneNone
Parallel PortNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
FloppyYesYesNoNoNo
Ultra-ATA 1331 (2-drives)NoneNoneNoneNone
SATA 3Gb/s44444
SATA 6Gb/s66442
4-Pin Fan22221
3-Pin Fan44324
FP-AudioYesYesYesYesYes
CD-AudioYesNoNoNoNo
S/PDIF I/OOutput OnlyOutput OnlyOutput OnlyOutput OnlyOutput Only
Power ButtonYesYesYesYesYes
Reset ButtonYesYesYesYesYes
CLR_CMOS ButtonJumper-OnlyJumper-OnlyJumper-OnlyJumper-OnlyJumper-Only
Diagnostics PanelNumericNumericNumericPass/Fail LEDsPass/Fail LEDs
I/O Panel Connectors
P/S 222121
USB 2.044864
USB 3.044226
IEEE-139411111
NetworkDualDualDualDualDual
eSATA112 total, 1 powered2 total, 1 powered2
CLR_CMOS ButtonYesYesYesYesYes
Digital Audio OutOptical + CoaxialOptical + CoaxialOptical + CoaxialOptical + CoaxialOptical + Coaxial
Digital Audio InNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Analog Audio66666
Other DevicesNoneNoneBluetooth TransceiverBluetooth TransceiverNone
Mass Storage Controllers
Chipset SATA2 x SATA 6Gb/s 4 x SATA 3Gb/s2 x SATA 6Gb/s 4 x SATA 3Gb/s2 x SATA 6Gb/s 4 x SATA 3Gb/s2 x SATA 6Gb/s 4 x SATA 3Gb/s2 x SATA 6Gb/s 4 x SATA 3Gb/s
Chipset RAID Modes0, 1, 5, 100, 1, 5, 100, 1, 5, 100, 1, 5, 100, 1, 5, 10
Add-In SATA2 x Marvell 9120 PCIe4 x SATA 6Gb/s 1 x eSATA (shared)2 x Marvell 9120 PCIe4 x SATA 6Gb/s 1 x eSATA (shared)Marvell 9128 PCIe2 x SATA 6Gb/sJMB 362 PCIe 2 x eSATA 3Gb/sMarvell 9120 PCIe2 x SATA 6Gb/sJMB 362 PCIe 2 x eSATA 3Gb/sMarvell 9128 PCIe 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s Supports RAID 0, 1
Add-In Ultra ATAVIA VT6330 PCIeNoneNoneNoneNone
USB 3.03 x Etron EJ168A PCIe3 x Etron EJ168A PCIe2 x NEC D720200F12 x NEC D720200F12 x NEC D720200F1 2 x VLI VL810 Hub
IEEE-1394VIA VT6330 PCIe 2 x 400 Mb/sVT6315N PCIe 2 x 400 Mb/sVT6315N PCIe 2 x 400 Mb/sVT6308P PCI 2 x 400 Mb/sVT6308P PCI 2 x 400 Mb/s
Gigabit Ethernet
Primary LANRTL8111E PCIeRTL8111E PCIeWG82579V PHYWG82579V PHYRTL8111E PCIe
Secondary LANRTL8111E PCIeRTL8111E PCIeRTL8111E PCIeRTL8110SC PCIRTL8111E PCIe
Audio
HD Audio CodecALC892ALC892ALC889ALC892ALC892
DDL/DTS ConnectNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
  • 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