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ASRock P67 Transformer: P67 Gets LGA 1156 Compatibility

Bringing LGA 1156 Up To Speed

Introduced late last year, Intel’s LGA 1156 platform was the subject of acclaim (it introduced impressive performance) and complaints (it totally wrecked the LGA 775 upgrade path). Enthusiasts on a budget could finally take advantage of Intel’s Nehalem architecture, but nearly every aspect of the design had a catch.

First, the CPU-based PCIe 2.0 controller had less latency than previous chipset-based controllers, but it only came armed with 16 lanes at full bandwidth (supporting a maximum of two devices). Second, the eight so-called PCIe 2.0 links emanating from its P55 PCH operated at a halved-bit-rate of 2.5 Gb/s. This editor believes that the PCIe limitation was intended to prevent its use with x4 RAID cards in non-mission-critical applications (don’t step on X58’s toes), but the practical effect on its intended market was that SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 controllers were usually limited to half their intended performance levels. At any rate, something had to be done.

That something came to us courtesy of Intel's chief rival, AMD. AMD’s mainstream chipsets already had left-over PCIe 2.0 lanes before Intel even announced the P55, offering proper support for USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s controllers in its legacy product. AMD even designed a new southbridge with integrated SATA 6Gb/s. What's worse is that, as a developer of USB 3.0, Intel knew about the bandwidth issue before it even designed the LGA 1156 platform. Even though LGA 1156 offered magnificent CPU and single-GPU performance, the P55 platform's bandwidth limitation remains an embarrassment.

Thankfully, that chapter in Intel's chipset history is about to close, and we actually have our readers to thank for making this happen. Customers are placing increasing pressure on Intel to include SATA 6Gb/s support in its mainstream platforms, and the firm’s strategy has always been to cave to customer demand about three seconds before organized protesters turn to riot (Ed.: does this mean we should be even more vocal about the crummy state of overclocking outside of the K-series models?).

In addition to improved hard drive performance, Intel’s upcoming P67 Express PCH ups the throughput of its PCIe-based DMI interface, enabling full bandwidth to at least four of its eight PCIe 2.0 lanes simultaneously. That means USB 3.0 controllers will also be capable of reaching full potential, and true support for PCIe 2.0 x4 controller cards will be an option on some motherboard designs.

Yet, as always, there’s a catch: Intel wants you to think you’ll need a new CPU. ASRock disagrees.

  • James296
    Hmmm, I'll be keeping an eye on ASRock for future products that I may buy. especially for my next build
    Reply
  • xxsk8er101xx
    I dunno why you would buy this. Mixing technology never works.
    Reply
  • kcorp2003
    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 :)
    Reply
  • joytech22
    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.


    Reply
  • Reynod
    Thanks crash !!

    :)
    Reply
  • PreferLinux
    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???
    Reply
  • dco
    Sandy bridges sacrifices far out-way its slight performance increase, quite disappointing. I wont be upgrading until both performance and scalability are met.
    Reply
  • joytech22
    PreferLinuxYou mean, like DVD drives, that support CDs as well???
    Or DVD/CD/BD/BDXL/Litescribe as well????? :D
    Reply
  • nekromobo
    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.
    Reply
  • apache_lives
    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?
    Reply