Asus P6T review

£200
Price when reviewed

When the X58 architecture arrived last year, most motherboard manufacturers debuted with fancy, feature-packed boards that reflected the Core i7’s premium market position. Now, more conservative options are starting to emerge, such as the Asus P6T – a cut-down version of the original P6T Deluxe that launched last October.

Asus P6T review

Next to this month’s big beasts, the P6T’s feature list looks a little mean. Where the Biostar and Gigabyte boards boast dual Ethernet ports, the P6T has only one. It offers only six rear-facing USB ports while other boards have eight, and although its maximum RAM capacity of 12GB may sound ample, it’s half what most rivals offer. It’s also worth noting that there’s no support for SAS drives, as found on the P6T Deluxe – although that’s a niche feature that none of this month’s boards offer.

But despite the P6T’s material limitations, what’s left is still a decent spread of connections. In everyday use, we doubt you’ll feel constricted.

Indeed, in plenty of ways the P6T feels like a premium board, sporting a generous eight SATA ports, eSATA on the backplate and plenty of PCI slots. With 36 PCI Express 2 lanes, multi-GPU graphics are perfectly feasible, and both ATI’s CrossFireX system and Nvidia SLI are supported.

It’s a tinker-friendly board too, with onboard power and reset buttons and plenty of BIOS options for fine-tuning system speeds and voltages. RAM frequencies can be ramped up to 2GHz – the fastest of any board this month.

The best part is that by slightly pruning back the features, Asus seems also to have kept the board’s power demands low. In our tests we found a fully loaded P6T system, with a CPU, graphics card, hard disk and RAM, drew just 106W – the lowest of any X58 board here.

The P6T isn’t exactly a bargain: at £174, it’s disappointingly close in price to its more fully featured rivals. In an aspirational market such as this it’s tempting to splash the extra £16 for the more luxurious Gigabyte.

But realistically, unless you’re building a killer workstation, the P6T will serve every bit as well as a more expensive board, save you a few quid, and run a little greener to boot.

Details

Motherboard form factorATX
Motherboard integrated graphicsno

Compatability

Processor/platform brand (manufacturer)Intel
Processor socketLGA 1366
Motherboard form factorATX
Memory typeDDR3
Multi-GPU supportyes

Controllers

Motherboard chipsetIntel X58 Express
South bridgeIntel ICH10R
Number of Ethernet adapters1
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
Audio chipsetRealtek ALC1200

Onboard Connectors

CPU power connector type4-pin
Main power connectorATX 24-pin
Memory sockets total6
Internal SATA connectors8
Internal PATA connectors1
Internal floppy connectors1
Conventional PCI slots total2
PCI-E x16 slots total3
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots total1

Rear ports

PS/2 connectors2
USB ports (downstream)6
FireWire ports1
eSATA ports1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports1
3.5mm audio jacks6
Parallel ports0
9-pin serial ports0

Diagnostics and tweaking

Motherboard onboard power switch?yes
Motherboard onboard reset switch?yes
Software overclocking?yes

Accessories

SATA cables supplied4
Molex to SATA adaters supplied0
IDE cables supplied1
Floppy cables supplied0

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