In the world of motherboards and manufacturer competition, the idea is to beat your competitor. To develop the product, with more features, more fancy gadgets, and perform better than your competitor at every price point. Today, we pit arguably the two most popular motherboard vendors at a price point that will see a significant number of sales from consumers and enthusiasts alike – the ASUS P8P67 Pro and the Gigabyte P67A-UD4, which were both released during the Sandy Bridge week for $190. Forget all the marketing fluff; this is a showdown!

When a new platform is released, a myriad of motherboards hit the shelves at the same time. Each vendor will usually come out with a few products, targeting their prospective markets. Big motherboard players, like ASUS and Gigabyte, will release motherboards ranging from the cheap low end, to that high-end halo product. They will bombard you with data, ideas, concepts, and reasons why their high-end products are better than their low end – in terms of numbers, features, or what is in the box. Whether you can really trust what each manufacturer says on the box depends on the interpretations of the benchmarks and analyses by review sites like AnandTech.

At the time of writing, Newegg has 56 Sandy Bridge motherboards available – 22 for H67 and 34 for P67. Of those in the P67 range, you can pick up an Intel motherboard for as little as $115, or an ASUS as expensive as $320. So what makes that expensive motherboard worth almost three times as much as the low-end board? What makes a $200 board better than a $150 board? Features? Warranty? Overclockability? Price? All of these points, while valid, carry different weight with every different consumer.

I reviewed the ASRock P67 Extreme4 at the Sandy Bridge release, and they offered a great product that is available online for $153. Today, we have two boards released at $190 by two of the biggest motherboard manufacturers – the ASUS P8P67 Pro, and the Gigabyte P67A-UD4. Firstly, the question is: if you had $190, which one would you buy? Then secondly, we have to ask: are these boards worth the ~$40 difference to the P67 Extreme4? Luckily, at least in my opinion, after using all three of the boards, the answers to both of these questions were self-evident.

Firstly, let us tackle the ASUS P8P67 Pro.

ASUS P8P67 Pro: Visual Inspection
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  • Hogan773 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    No - its 42 dollars more for the Extreme 6 vs Extreme 4.

    If it were 10 bucks like you said, I'd get the 6. But not for 40 bucks.
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    to full fat ATX boards anymore?

    With all the features being crammed in surely 99% of all users were find their needs met with a decent micro-atx board - heck probably 60%+ would be fine with a mini-ITX board.

    Seriously do we really need 3 graphics card slots, 2 way SLI/Crossfire is overkill for the vast majority of people.

    As on board sound gets better and better most people have given up on a sound card.

    The most slots I have populated over the last 5 years is 5 (2 graphics cards, sound card, TV tuner and RAID card) and that was truly the exception. These days all I need is 3 cards for 2 way SLI and a TV tuner
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Would also help if PCI disappeared so there was no question over what slots were included/available with certain cards. For example, the uATX board in my HTPC has 1 PCIe X1, 1 PCIe X16, and 2 PCI, which meant I had to get a PCI wireless card and if I wanted to add any additional tuners would have to get PCI for that as well, would have preferred more/all PCIe.

    Also, the spot in my desk for a tower isn't getting any smaller, no reason to not use a full-size ATX board with that much space.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    Yup. I have the space for a mid/full tower below my desk. It does no good for me to have a m-atx (actually it'd make it worse since it would be lower for the optical drive!). I also hate playing the cram game when trying to build and work on systems that are in such tight confines.

    Sure for people with very limited space or HT setups it's nice to have a smaller form factor, but a LOT (the majority?) of desktop users have a similar setup where space is rarely a real issue and the extra real-estate for cable management, component selection/replacement, and airflow/noise is a much greater factor.
    Reply
  • seamusmc - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Gigabyte's and ASUS' offerings at the $150 price point. The main difference between ASUS' Pro and Non-Pro are SLI support and the Intel Nic.

    Personally I'd love to see a review of cheaper boards. Would it significantly reduce price if they didn't include on-board audio?

    The main reason I'm considering the Pro is the Intel Nic, though I'm not sure if its really a big deal.

    Another reason I am considering ASUS is that Gary Key and his staff are on the Xtreme and HardOCP forums addressing issues folks are encountering, providing OC guides and updated BIOS not available from the official site.

    Not saying that there are no issues with the ASUS line, there are, but it seems many problems with the ASUS line are corrected by a) Using 1.5v memory; b) Fresh install of Win7; c) Over-clocking correctly, some folks are trying things that don't apply to SandyBridge.
    Reply
  • Arbie - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    We are six pages into the discussion with no signs of an idiotic flame war! This must be a recent record for Anandtech. Whatever the reason, it's certainly refreshing. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    Trolls are still sleeping. And since it's not the normal FW companies (Intel vs. AMD, Nvidia vs. ATI). Reply
  • jfelano - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    I don't understand the point of testing just TWO boards at a $190 price point. Makes no sense. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Maybe only Asus and Gigabyte gave $190 boards to review... Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    While this may not be worth it to many, note that the ASUS board has an Intel gig NIC, and the Asrock has a Realtek.

    This also means (for what it's worth) that the ASUS board supports Intel VPro, while the Asrock does not. For many people, that isn't a factor --but it is worth knowing.

    Just looked at that Asrock board --I think it's the first I've seen by them that I found really impressive on paper. I might have to read some reviews on it.
    Reply

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