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ASUS P8H67-M EVO Motherboard Review

The ASUS P8H67-M EVO is a very interesting board with a lot of features for the HTPC enthusiast. Based on the H67 chipset, the mATX board utilizes Intel’s Sandy Bridge on-die GPU to provide video connectivity. With the P67 chip set supporting overclocking, split PCIe lines off of the GPU, but lacking the ability to utilize Intel’s on-die GPU, the H67 chip set found on the ASUS P8H67-M EVO positions the board for the HTPC market or others where 3D graphics performance is not required beyond Windows 7′s Aero interface. This particular board intrigued me because it has not just a PCIe x16 slot, but also includes a PCIe x4 slot (with AMD CrossFire support), a PCIe x1 slot, and a legacy PCI slot in the compact mATX form factor.

Before moving forward, Sandy Bridge’s Cougar Point chip set is having some well documented issues at the moment, specifically regarding the four SATA 3.0gbps ports that hang off the chip set. Intel has made arrangements with motherboard manufacturers to recall the defective products out there, however boards are currently not shipping while the Cougar Point revision is being manufactured. While we await the channel availability of P67 and H67 boards, I decided to get a head start on some of the reviews since it seems like this is more of a reliability fix than a feature change. For users of home servers, a very common data storage model is to have an OS drive or two, be they SSD or rotating disk, in the HTPC, notebook, or workstation chassis and the majority of data storage on storage servers. With this in mind, the functioning SATA III 6.0gbps ports are going to be sufficient for many of this site’s users.



Overall, the P8H67-M EVO is a great board for someone looking to build a HTPC system utilizing a Sandy Bridge CPU. For the time being, the Cougar Point chip set bug may make availability difficult, however the relatively low cost of the board, combined with Sandy Bridge’s performance make this a solid offering. I was especially impressed by the 3w draw (using the 300w PSU) when in a low power state which makes this a very tenable HTPC platform. There is plenty of room for expansion on this mATx board alongside a very full feature set. Once the newly updated Cougar Point boards are released, this may be a Sandy Bridge board to look at if building a mATX HTPC.

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