- P67 Express Platform Controller Hub
- Dual Channel DDR3 Support
- DDR3 2200 (OC) SUPPORT
- Integrated Memory Controller
- Intel Turbo Boost 2.0
- Dual Intelligent Processors 2 with DIGI+ VRM
- Auto Tuning
- OC Tuner
- ASUS BT GO!
- EFI BIOS featuring EZ Mode
- Dual Front and Rear true USB 3.0 support
- Quad SATA 6Gb/second with dual RAID support
- AI Suite II
- HyperDuo support
- Fan Xpert
The P8P67 Pro is based upon Intel’s new P67 Express chipset to support the new Intel Sandy Bridge processors. This chipset supports all Core i7, i5 and i3 processors on the LGA-1155 interface. Unfortunately with every new CPU family launch Intel tends to change the interface for the new CPUs and this is the case with Sandy Bridge.
The new interface has 1155 pins compared to the 1156 on the LGA-1156 Socket. Unlike their AMD counterparts, the LGA-1156 processors will not work on the LGA-1155 interface. Enter Sandy Bridge. Intel is launching a wide array of Sandy Bridge CPUs to work with the LGA-1155 interface on the P67 chipset. While the older LGA-1156 processors will not work, the CPU coolers will as the footprint for the coolers is the same.
The P67 Express Platform Controller Hub is the newest chipset from Intel. This features native support for up to 2 SATA 6Gb/second controllers, and four SATA 3Gb/second controllers. The P67 chipset offers discrete graphics options only, with no support for the GMA 3000 graphics on the Sandy Bridge CPUs (that is provided by the H67 Express chipset.) The memory controller is on the CPU as well as the PCI Express controller, meaning that the need for a Southbridge chipset is alleviated.
The Sandy Bridge CPU has 16 PCI Express lanes available to it. When used in conjunction with the P67 Express chipset, this can be split into two x8 lanes for SLI or Crossfire, both of which are supported by this platform. The P8P67 Pro has three PCI Express x16 slots for this purpose. Two of the PCI Express x16 slots operate in either x16 or x8 mode, depending on whether one or two cards are installed, and the third operates at x4 mode. I’ll discuss this more in the layout section of the review.
ASUS has moved to a Digital VRM+ with Dual Intelligent processors with their P8 series of motherboards. As you know they have been using the EPU to control the energy saving functions of their motherboards. They have also used a TPU (Turbo EVO Processing Unit) to control overclocking. These are separate chips which don’t use CPU resources. So let’s take a look at each processor independently, as they form key components of the overclocking capability and energy saving of the new boards.
DIGI+ VRM is a programmable micro-processor that can accurately match multiple PWM signals without any power transfer loss and thus lower total power dissipation rather than a conventional analog VRM. It offers high system stability, increase OC possibility, most precise adjustment, high power efficiency, and active cooling micro-processor. The result is more consistent power to the system and higher overclocking ability.
The EPU is connected directly to the CPU to detect the exact CPU loading and control active power phase, voltage and multiplier in real time. It is also connected to the chipset and DRAM power circuit to make direct control of the active phase of these two circuits to optimize the power efficiency. The EPU Technology delivers power saving across the CPU, VGA, Chipsets, DRAM, Fan and HDD. The EPU can manage the voltage of the CPU, VGA, Chipset and fan according to the load. The number of active power phases in each power circuit is also intelligently managed with the EPU.
ASUS has improved the EPU with the P8 series of motherboards. Previously, you had to install the AiSuite II to switch between the different modes of the EPU. With the P8 series, ASUS allows the user to change modes with a physical switch or in the BIOS, giving the user much more flexibility with the Sandy Bridge processors. The new EPU control panel allows for one click changes to happen from High Performance to Max Power saving.
The TPU is the second processor of the DIP (Dual Intelligent Processors) group on the P8P67 Pro. This processor provides support for MemOK! Auto Tuning, OC Tuner, Precision Tweaker 2 and the TurboV EVO interface. MemOK! Is a memory compatibility tool that allows the user to set the memory settings to a default setting when it has memory issues on this board. Auto Tuning will automatically tune the system either in Fast Tuning mode or an Extreme Tuning mode. Fast Tuning will tune the system to a high performance but stable state. Extreme Tuning will set the system to the highest level stable during a stress test. OC Tuner will overclock the system automatically by simply clicking OK in the BIOS configuration to automatically auto Tune the system after a few resets. The TPU Switch will overclock the system with the flick of a switch when it is off. Simply power on the computer and the TPU will automatically overclock the system. For those wanting more advanced features, Precision Tweaker 2 will give the TPU the ability to tweak the voltages, the frequencies manually giving the user the ultimate control over overclocking.
BT GO! Is ASUS’s term for their software package to support their Bluetooth 2.1 receiver on the P8P67 Pro board. BT to NET will allow the motherboard to connect the portable device to the Internet via Bluetooth. Shot and Send will allow you to save a screenshot and send it to the desired device via Bluetooth when the hotkey is pressed. BT Transfer allows you to transfer files to friends via Bluetooth. Folder Sync can allow users to sync a folder from a Bluetooth device with storage capability. Personal Manager synchronizes your contacts and schedules with your mobile phone. The iPhone App Store has an app called BT Turbo Remote which allows you to use your iPhone as an overclock tool.