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X58 Roundup: Seven $200-300 Core i7 Boards

P6T BIOS, Software And Accessories

The P6T BIOS has a wide enough range for each setting to achieve the ultimate clock speed of nearly any processor and RAM combination, in small enough increments to allow extreme overclockers to reach component limits without exceeding them.

BIOS Frequency and Voltage settings (for overclocking)
CPU Reference Clock133 to 500 MHz (1 MHz)
Clock Multiplier AdjustmentYes
DRAM RatiosDDR3-800 to DDR3-2133 (266 MHz)
PCIe Clock100 to 200 MHz (1 MHz)
CPU Vcore0.85v to 2.10v (0.00625v),
QPI/DRAM (CPU Uncore) Voltage1.20v to 1.90v (0.00625v)
IOH (Northbridge) Core1.10v to 1.70v (0.020v)
ICH (Southbridge) Core1.010v to 1.40v (0.10v)
DRAM Voltage1.50v to 2.46v (0.02v)
CASLatencyRangetCAS: 3-11; tRCD: 3-10; tRP: 3-10; tRAS: 3-31

CPU core voltage “droop” can be fairly significant under full CPU load, but enabling “Load-Line Calibration” helps. Unfortunately, the setting also boosts base voltage well beyond the intended setting, forcing us to set 1.4375 volts to achieve an actual 1.45 to 1.46 volts.

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The P6T has a variety of memory settings that would be unfamiliar to most overclockers, and allows individual timings to be left in automatic mode.

We enable power-saving features and Intel Turbo mode for our performance and power consumption tests, but disable them for our overclocking assessment.

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Asus EZ Flash 2 supports BIOS flashing from its own command prompt, eliminating the need for bootable media.

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Asus O.C. Profile allows up to two custom BIOS configurations to be saved onboard as profiles, and also supports transferring these profiles externally via USB flash drives.

Accessories

Accessories
Documentation & SoftwareMotherboard Manual
 Asus case badge
 Motherboard driver DVD
Hardware4 x Serial ATA Cable
 1 x 80-conductor Ultra-ATA Cable
 1 x Quick Connector Kit
 1 x I/O Panel Shield
 1 x NVIDIA SLI Bridge
 1 x 3-way SLIBridge

It’s hard to believe that a motherboard priced well over $200 is now considered mid-range, but the “better value” P6T comes with an installation kit typical of the middle market. The only stand-out accessory is its 3-way SLI bridge, which has questionable value when one of the slots employs x4 lane width.

Check prices for Asus' P6T

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • dragonsprayer
    hey guys good info - its 4am i should not be posting with one eye closed to see the screen!
    Warpedsystems has tested a least half of these, my Evga failed out of the box, i would normally let that slide but with all the 680i and 780i issues and failures over the years - beware. So i can not speak of the evga - i will say the 780i FTW is kick butt mobo!

    Asus is asus and 90% or so of my stuff i ship, i switched to the new P6t from the deluxe and have had some issues - i am sitll working on the P6T tonight as i type. Opps- my jr tech set the blk to 180 and over clocked the QPI to max - i think he smoked the mobo ran amd cpu = its first in 5 years if so?

    Some did not make it? no gigabyte? gigabyte is really pushing on asus for number one - really! Ya, all the evga fans are what? I can say how many evga mobos break and fail: pci-e slot fail, pressure around the cpu mounting failure, lock ups - evga lock ups are just accepted as part of life! We all know that evga error code!

    I have to say the gigabyte and the higher end asus deluxe version sure seem a lot more reliable for 4ghz systems - again - we only took 1 evga and it locked up and i said "that is it the last time" - the FTW 780i gives me faith evga will come around on x58.

    what ever you do - do not oc the blk and QPI - poof!

    nice stuff THG!
    Reply
  • Crashman
    dragonsprayerhey guys good info - its 4am i should not be posting with one eye closed to see the screen!Warpedsystems has tested a least half of these, my Evga failed out of the box, i would normally let that slide but with all the 680i and 780i issues and failures over the years - beware. So i can not speak of the evga - i will say the 780i FTW is kick butt mobo!Asus is asus and 90% or so of my stuff i ship, i switched to the new P6t from the deluxe and have had some issues - i am sitll working on the P6T tonight as i type. Opps- my jr tech set the blk to 180 and over clocked the QPI to max - i think he smoked the mobo ran amd cpu = its first in 5 years if so?Some did not make it? no gigabyte? gigabyte is really pushing on asus for number one - really! Ya, all the evga fans are what? I can say how many evga mobos break and fail: pci-e slot fail, pressure around the cpu mounting failure, lock ups - evga lock ups are just accepted as part of life! We all know that evga error code!I have to say the gigabyte and the higher end asus deluxe version sure seem a lot more reliable for 4ghz systems - again - we only took 1 evga and it locked up and i said "that is it the last time" - the FTW 780i gives me faith evga will come around on x58.what ever you do - do not oc the blk and QPI - poof!nice stuff THG!
    One of the companies forgot to send a board and didn't respond in time to the reminder...see the introduction of the article. What makes you think that company wasn't Gigabyte?
    Reply
  • Which ASUS board was actually tested - the plain "P6T" or "P6T SE?" There are subtle differences, like JMB322 in P6T but not in P6T SE. Also, some difference in e.g. back panel IO and advertised overclocking capabilities.
    Judging from the feature list, the board was plain P6T, but all pictures seem to be of P6T SE.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    RipaWhich ASUS board was actually tested - the plain "P6T" or "P6T SE?" There are subtle differences, like JMB322 in P6T but not in P6T SE. Also, some difference in e.g. back panel IO and advertised overclocking capabilities.Judging from the feature list, the board was plain P6T, but all pictures seem to be of P6T SE.
    http://media.bestofmicro.com/7/3/192063/original/asus_p6t_kit.jpg
    Reply
  • wicko
    Sadly, none of the good mobos in this review are sub 300$ in Canada.. what a damn ripoff.
    Reply
  • hardwarekid9756
    Could you expound on "Catastrophic Failure?" I'd be interested to know what all went wrong in the fray. I've been using an ASRock Mobo recently, and noticed it full-out sucked at Overclocking when compared to my MSI board, so I'd like to know what exactly caused the thing to bomb out.
    Reply
  • salavat23
    No Gigabyte.

    Sorry, but you can't make a good review without including one of the top manufacturers of X58 motherboards.
    Reply
  • salavat23
    No Gigabyte.

    Sorry, but you can't make a good review without including one of the top manufacturers of X58 motherboards.
    Reply
  • msdx_bizkit
    Gigabyte EX58-UD3R and MSI X58 Pro are the cheapest X58 motherboards out there at the moment. (~250$ CAD - NCIX) Could you guys give me your input on those two particuliar boards?

    I am not the extreme overclocking kinda guy. In fact, I still am running on default settings on my Core 2 Duo E6750. I don't plan to overclock over 3,2Ghz on my new 920, if I ever do overclock.

    Neither boards support SLI, but I'd be interrested in a dual Radeon 4870 1GB Crossfire config.

    Thanks in advance
    Reply
  • daft
    i was just wondering if the "more on this topic" could be omitted in future articles, i like to skip to the conclusion in the mornings and its annoying to hit more on this topic and get a little window than to go to the conclusion
    Reply