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ASUS P8P67 PRO Sandy Bridge HTPC Motherboard Review

Readers looking to build a new mid-range PC would do well to take a good look at Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors. In fact, we would find it hard to recommend anything other than an LGA1155 (Sandy Bridge) chip and associated motherboard as the guts of a mid-range system.

Now with chipset problems a thing of the past, folk can drop some cash on an LGA1155 platform without worry. HTPC users would be best advised to go with the el-cheapo H61/H67 chipsets and use the CPU’s integrated graphics, while power users/enthusiasts should look toward the P67 models that offer support for multi-GPU graphics cards and a shedload of features.

ASUS has at least nine variants of the P67 (B3 stepping) chipset in its voluminous line-up, including a couple of micro-ATX boards. The cheapest of the bunch, P8P67M, attracts a sub-£100 retail price, while the Daddy board, the Maximus IV Extreme, doesn’t leave much change from £300. Yup, there’s a lot you can do with a base chipset.

The first genuinely enthusiast-orientated motherboard is the $175 P8P67 PRO. Crammed with three PCIe x16 mechanical slots, SLI and CrossFireX compatibility, and a slew of features, let’s take a closer look.

The standard ATX motherboard has a lot going on but doesn’t feel crowded or cramped, helped by the fact that the P67 is a single-chip solution; there’s no northbridge to speak of. The various connectivity plugs – power, SATA, USB – are all laid out at the very edge of the board, which is good thinking.

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