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To test the boards' heatsinks, we stressed the CPU for 15~20 minutes with Prime95. The only extra cooling was provided by a Scythe Kabuto heatsink with its stock fan spinning at approximately 800RPM. Temperatures of the boards' chipset and VRM heatsinks (if applicable) were monitored using a spot infrared thermometer. The highest temperatures were taken for comparison.
Among the P67 boards we tested, the P8P67 series' heatsinks ran hottest when overclocked, but only by 2°C for the VRMs. The Gigabyte P67A-UD4 has a superior heatpipe cooling system, and the Intel DP67BG uses less power, thereby running cooler. The Intel DP67BG showed the greater increase in temperature from stock to an overclocked state, though, so it stands to reason that for higher overclocks, its simplistic VRM heatsinks may be outperformed.
Despite its size, the Asus PCH cooler doesn't distinguish itself. It takes up a large portion of the board, but lacks the surface area of the many-finned Intel DP67BG PCH heatsink which ran 6°C cooler.
Switching from BIOS to UEFI is supposed to cut down boot times, but we didn't see any substantial improvement with the UEFI-equipped Intel DP67BG and Asus P8P67/Pro. The Asus boards got to the Windows loading screen only 1.5~1.7 seconds faster than the P67A-UD4 which has an old school BIOS. The DP67BG on the other hand was significantly slower because our sample always went through a power cycle when it was cold booted, costing it about seven seconds. It has a HyperBoot feature which skips certain startup procedures, but that only shaved off 1.4 seconds.
The Asus P8P67 and P8P67 Pro did not distinguish themselves with regards to energy efficiency, posting results more or less on par with Gigabyte P67A-UD4, and a few watts higher the Intel DP67BG. The DP67BG remains our top recommendation if want to pull as little power from the wall as possible. The P8P67 used slightly less energy than the Pro model, but the main factor seemed to be the CPU voltage assigned by each board, with the P8P67 mysteriously giving a little less juice to our test CPU (something that can easily be changed in the UEFI). The sophisticated DIGI+VRM power regulation feature didn't help the Asus boards in our tests, but perhaps it would be better appreciated by hardcore overclockers pushing higher overclock speeds and voltages.
In our opinion, features are the biggest selling points of the two boards. Pitted against Gigabyte's comparably priced offerings, Asus has a distinct advantage in this area. The P8P67 offers everything the P67A-UD3P does, plus two more SATA 6 Gbps ports, FireWire, and Bluetooth connectivity. The P8P67 Pro stacks up even better against the P67A-UD4, boasting the same advantages plus an Intel gigabit NIC and a powered eSATA port. Based on features alone, the Pro version seems to offer the best value, but it is overpriced if you only need the basics.
The user interface of the Asus UEFI and software package are friendly and pleasing to the eye, especially compared to what Gigabyte has presented so far. However, the P8P67 series earns a couple of small demerits in its Fan Xpert utility. The feature does work wonderfully, with intuitive controls, and the capability to bring the speeds of three fans down to 20%. However, the CPU fan header can only control a 4-pin PWM fan, which is a shame for users who already have a good 3-pin fan on their heatsink. The other issue is that we could not get Fan Xpert to remember its fan control settings on either board, causing the fans to run at full blast after a reboot until settings were re-entered. The BIOS can set only one fan that low; the other two can be slowed to only 60%. This might not be enough for some of our more silence-oriented readers. Hopefully these are minor issues that will be corrected quickly in the next version of the software or in a BIOS update.
Our thanks to Asus
for the P8P67 and P8P67 Pro motherboard samples.
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Articles of Related Interest
Sandy Bridge, Part 4: Core i5-2400, i5-2500K and i7-2600K CPUs
Sandy Bridge, Part 3: Gigabyte P67A-UD4 & Intel DP67BG P67 Motherboards
Sandy Bridge, Part 2: Intel DH67BL & Asus P8H67-M EVO H67 Motherboards
Sandy Bridge, Part 1: Intel GMA HD 3000/2000 Graphics [Updated: 05 January]
Gigabyte H55N-USB3: De Facto LGA1156 Mini-ITX Board?
Zotac H55-ITX-C-E: Stacked LGA1156 Mini-ITX Motherboard
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this article in the SPCR forums.
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