I picked up the P8P67 Pro yesterday as part of my upgrade to Sandy Bridge. Along with it, I picked up a 2600k cpu, 16G of Corsair XMS3 ddr3-1333, Thermalright MUX-120, and an Asus EN210 video card. As a preface, I'm running Ubuntu on this system.
The P8P67 Pro has a lot of features I don't need. I don't game, so the 3 PCIE x16 slots don't do me any good. Call me silly, but the main reason I got this over one of the less expensive boards is that this one has Intel gigabit ethernet, where the rest have Realtek. I also tend to have devices that charge from USB, so having a bazilion USB ports doesn't hurt (right now I appear to have a total of *14* USB ports, including a pair of USB3). Built-in bluetooth is neat, no more super low profile $3 dongle from dealextreme.
Initial impressions are very good. The mounting hardware for the MUX-120 is a tight fit but it fits.The memory slots have enough space between them to actually fill all 4 slots when your memory has a heatsink on it, which was a big improvement over my last system.
I took my time on the installation, this was an upgrade so I'm reusing my Antec P150 case, antec earthwatts 430w psu, a pair of 2tb WD Green drives, and 500g Seagate Momentus hybrid drive. My last system was a q6600, assembled 4 years ago, with some pretense of playing 3D games that never actually happened.
Once I got it assembled, I went straight to the BIOS. Kind of neat, you can use your mouse, and its pretty. They actually have descriptions of the different options now. The bios version was older than the one marked "Initial Release" on asus.com, so I used their in-bios update feature and installed the update from a USB stick. (Thanks for finally taking DOS out of the mix!)
I booted all the way to my OS, all hardware came up as expected, including my dual-screen setup as my previous card was also Nvidia. I did update my kernel to a packaged 2.6.38-020638rc2-generic to make sure I had the most complete support for this new hardware possible.
Couple of hiccups, though.
. lm_sensors doesn't recognize anything by default. `modprobe coretemp` gets CPU tempeatures, I've seen mention of workarounds to get other sensors, fan speeds, and voltages, but at this point I haven't gotten that far.
. If you overclock, I have not yet found a way to measure your actual CPU speed. Normally it would show up in /proc/cpuinfo, and for the SpeedStep speeds it still does. However, when you go above the stock multiplier, it shows stock speed+1mhz, in my case 3401. This makes it quite difficult to test your overclock as you can't be sure what speed you're running at.
. I'm not sure why, but every Intel board I've used in the last 5 years has Virtualization disabled by default. This includes servers, and it includes this Asus board.
. I need better fan speed control. The bios has a fan profile selection, and choosing their Silent profile doesn't quite get you there. The SYS1 fan won't go below 1100rpm, and the cpu fan won't go below 900. This is way more airflow than necessary at idle temps (cores reporting 28c at 1600mhz right now), and it jumps up a step amazingly quickly (about 1 second after starting stress -c 10), although it never jumps a second time, temperatures settle at a reported 65c. I will experiment with other methods of fan control as th fans quickly become the loudest thing in the system.
All in all I call this a success. I upgraded all my virtual machines to 2 cpus and 2G ram. A few more tweaks and it will get a gold star.
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