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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  • James5mith - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    One big giant reason to use the Asus board? Intel® 82579 Gigabit Ethernet

    An Intel PHYS on an Intel board means one less PCIe lane taken up by the NIC. Not to mention, it's Intel not Realtek.
  • Mumrik - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    ‘if I’d rather take a $150 board rather than a $190 board, why are there $300 boards available?’

    No, the question is why you don't focus more on reviewing the lower end boards. Motherboards have become too expensive, especially when you consider how much is being moved onto the CPU. These were Asus' and Gigabyte's midrange boards. I'd love to hear more about the two below them in the two companies' lineups. Let's hear if there's a reason not to pick the 130-150 options.
  • erple2 - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    I think the question is still extremely valid - if the 150 dollar board gives you all of the performance of the 190 dollar boards, where does that leave the 300 dollar boards?

    You also bring up another good question - what can the 150 dollar board buy you that the 100 board doesn't have?

    My assumption is that there are various features that simply don't exist on the sub-100 dollar boards.

    BTW, I'm not sure that motherboards are really all that expensive. At least, not beyond "standard inflation". The same level of features (of the day) cost about the same amount as they do today, I think.
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    If this is standard inflation we are in for a world of hurt....
  • sweetspot - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Just me but id prefer 70fps in my games if sound quality was excellent vs 75-80 FPS and unusable sound mobo parts. And or have to pay additional for add on pci sound card cash which defeats the savings shown using the asrock 150 mobo yet sounds bad so pay 50-70 more for add on card, vs the 2 190 boards sounds are good, So the value set he describes in this review of the 40 dollar cheaper board is totaly stupid since he failed to show the boards major components correctly ( Yes sound on a mobo is consider a major component piece of the many).

    Sure reader can go elsewhere to get the info but the point of the review sites is to cover basic parts so people dont have to web hop all day for those details.
  • faxon - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    I wanna see a review of these vs the P67-GD65 from MSI. its the cheapest 8 SATA port board on the market and other sites have been saying it looks pretty good, wondering what you guys think before i buy it though
  • HauntFox - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    I just built a new system with this Asus board, it is quite nice, except I do not like the sata ports that point to the front. I barely have enough room to plug a sata cable into them with my case because the drive cage is in the way.
  • RussianSensation - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    Legit Reviews did a comparison, which can be found here:

    1) Realtek vs. Intel - Besides a 3% lower CPU performance, the throughput is hardly any better wtih Intel. Also, unless you are networking multiple computers, we aren't going to be hitting 900+MB/sec in Internet speed.

    2) 16x/4x vs. 8x/8x in CrossFire - Since P67 chipset runs PCIe 2.0 at full speed unlike P55 chipset, the PCIe 4x slot off the P67 chipset actually has 2x the PCIe bandwidth compared to P55 16x/4x boards. Overall, when testing with HD6950s in CF, the performance difference is almost nonexistent.

    So overall, the stock P8P67 board looks like the one to get for those running single-GPUs.
  • Exodite - Monday, January 24, 2011 - link

    I'd get the ASUS just for the Intel LAN solution TBH.

    I can't say whether it's hard- or software, or a combination of the two, but Realtek ended up as a real step down from the Marvell solution in my previous motherboard and I'd avoid it in the future if I can.

    Most notably I went from a 30-40ms latency in WoW to 100-120ms with the Realtek. This was only recently rectified, well mostly rectified, with a driver update.

    So for me personally i'd definitely be worth it. It's nice to see a review that tests the LAN solutions but frankly just testing throughput and CPU usage is rather disingenuous as latency and jitter probably play a larger role in most network-related usage.
  • fixxxer0 - Saturday, January 22, 2011 - link

    how come there are no tests showing the SATA 6.0 speed comparisons?

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