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 factor ATX
Motherboard integrated graphics no

Compatability

Processor/platform brand (manufacturer) Intel
Processor socket LGA 1366
Motherboard form factor ATX
Memory type DDR3
Multi-GPU support yes

Controllers

Motherboard chipset Intel X58 Express
South bridge Intel ICH10R
Number of Ethernet adapters 1
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
Audio chipset Realtek ALC1200

Onboard Connectors

CPU power connector type 4-pin
Main power connector ATX 24-pin
Memory sockets total 6
Internal SATA connectors 8
Internal PATA connectors 1
Internal floppy connectors 1
Conventional PCI slots total 2
PCI-E x16 slots total 3
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots total 0
PCI-E x1 slots total 1

Rear ports

PS/2 connectors 2
USB ports (downstream) 6
FireWire ports 1
eSATA ports 1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 1
3.5mm audio jacks 6
Parallel ports 0
9-pin serial ports 0

Diagnostics and tweaking

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

Accessories

SATA cables supplied 4
Molex to SATA adaters supplied 0
IDE cables supplied 1
Floppy cables supplied 0

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