Sandy Bridge, Part 2: Intel DH67BL & Asus P8H67-M EVO H67 Motherboards

CPUs|Motherboards
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Asus' AI Suite

The P8H67-M EVO marks the debut of a revamped version of their AI Suite system utility which allows for sensor monitoring, fan control, and frequency/voltage adjustment from the desktop. Like the new EFI BIOS, it has a much improved look and feel, though the functionality is more or less the same. The biggest advantage is that all the various functions of the old AI Suite are integrated into a single unified interface.


TurboV: overclocking options.


PC Probe: sensor recording.

The PC Probe utility tracks voltage, temperature, and fan speed but its biggest drawback is that the readings are located on different tabs. There is no option to put them all on the same page which limits its value, making it pale in comparison to applications like SpeedFan.

Fan Control: Asus P8H67-M EVO


BIOS: Performance screen.

The P8H67-M EVO's CPU Fan header is controllable with PWM fans only, while its Chassis Fan header can control both PWM and DC fans. Fan speed behavior can be manipulated with presets or complete manual control both in the BIOS and through the FanXpert utility built into AI Suite. FanXpert gives you three duty cycle/CPU temperature points which allow you to adjust the fan speed curve to your liking and in our testing it worked exactly as prescribed. Our only complaint is the Chassis Fan header has a limited minimum fan speed of 40% and SpeedFan, our favorite fan control and monitor application does not yet support this board yet.

Fan Control: Intel DH67BL


Intel DH67BL: SpeedFan screen with correlations inputted.

The fan control experience on the DH67BL is almost the complete opposite. It has zero options in the BIOS but is fully supported by SpeedFan, which can adjust the speed of all of the board's three fan headers, though one of them can cut the fan's power to a minimum of only approximately 6V. For Windows users this is a much better option than putting trust in the board's automated system. The minimum fan speed is too high, running the fans at 60~70% speed. In addition, the speed increases too quickly; the fans reached their maximum speeds less than a minute after activating Prime95.

Cooling

To test the board cooling, we used a Core i5-2500K stressed for ~15 minutes with Prime95. Temperatures of the boards' chipset and VRM heatsinks (if applicable) were recording using a spot thermometer. The highest temperatures were taken for comparison.

Heatsink Temperatures
Board
PCH
VRMs
Intel DH67BL
35°C
80°C (bare)
Asus P8H67-M EVO
47°C
51°C
Core i5-2500K running Prime95, Scythe Kabuto with stock fan @ ~800 RPM.
Ambient temperature: 20°C.

The DH67BL with its bare VRMs measured almost 30°C higher than the heatsinks covering the P8H67-M EVO's VRMs. The Intel board has a better chipset heatsink though with far more surface area than the stylized cooler used by Asus, operating about 12°C cooler.



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