P6T deluxe v2 review: ASUS P6T Deluxe — Intel X58 Motherboard Roundup

ASUS P6T Deluxe — Intel X58 Motherboard Roundup

by Gary Keyon December 5, 2008 3:00 PM EST

  • Posted in
  • Motherboards



IndexEVGA X58 SLIGigabyte GA-EX58-UD5MSI Eclipse X58ASUS P6T DeluxeTest SetupMemory PerformanceGeneral PerformanceGaming ResultsSATA, USB, Firewire and Ethernet PerformancePower ConsumptionInitial Overclocking ResultsFinal Words

ASUS P6T Deluxe


ASUS offers the P6T Deluxe in two different versions, one with the OC Palm external display module for $338 and one without for $299. The OC Palm was originally introduced as the ScreenDuo last year and features a 2.5″ QVGA display, four-way directional pad, and four input buttons. It attaches to the motherboard via a USB cable and features a clean, uncluttered, and simplistic interface that allows the user to interface with various ASUS software programs. The user can monitor various hardware functions or do on-the-fly overclocking. The unit allows real-time changes to the processor’s Bclk along with voltages for QPI, memory bus, and the CPU. We would like to see additional overclocking variables along with the ability to save profiles to the BIOS or real-time changes to the BIOS. Overall, it is a unique feature and fun to play with for about 30 minutes, but for most users we would suggest saving the money and buying the base board — A board that we might add is one of our favorites in the lab since it first arrived.

Not to take anything away from our other boards as they are all very good with one bordering on being great, but the ASUS P6T-Deluxe impressed us with its ability to just work as expected out of the box. While we provided several suggestions to ASUS for improvements, they mainly centered on tuning aspects, not getting basic functions to work properly before we could even consider testing. That may seem trivial, but unfortunately it is not if you are an early adopter of high-end motherboards.

The BIOS is designed for a wide variety of users who want to get the most out of a board when overclocking. Some of the voltage ranges are not as wide as Gigabyte’s, nor do you have the ability to control each individual memory channel, but the options available will more than suffice for most users. We also think the ASUS BIOS is more user friendly due to the information provided for each option. However, ASUS continues to use the terminology QPI/DRAM instead of VTT as the other boards do.

ASUS features memory speeds from 800MHz to 2133MHz memory for the i920/i940 processors along with opening up QPI link speeds from a standard 4.800 GT/s up to 6.400 GT/s. We are disappointed with the number of OC profiles in the BIOS. ASUS has three OC profiles compared to up to eight on the other boards.

The board officially supports 12GB of DDR3 memory, although we expect full support for 24GB in a future BIOS release. Running 12GB of memory on this board is extremely easy and it usually requires less voltage while providing tighter timings than the other boards. Our 12GB Patriot and G.Skill DDR3-1600 kits were 24/7 stable at 1600 with 8-8-8-24 1T timings, although we needed about 1.66V for absolute stability. The Gigabyte board offered slightly better latency results with 9-8-8-24 1T timings, but the ASUS board was just slightly faster in most of the benchmarks except for WinRAR. Of course, your mileage will vary with different memory kits and sub-timings, and outside of memory benchmarks the net difference is generally less than 1%.

One last item of note, at least in this first look, is that the three PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots will operate in x16/x16 mode for 2x SLI/CF if the third x16 slot is empty. If you decide to place a PCIe RAID, network, audio, or TV tuner card in the third x16 slot, then the 2x SLI/CF configuration will operate in x16/x8 mode. We did not notice any performance differences between the two modes with our HD 4870 or GTX 260 cards. 3x SLI/CF configurations will run in x16/x8/x8 mode. You can also use the first and third x16 slots for graphics if you need to open up a PCI slot but the board will run in x16/x8 mode. Although the owner’s manual states the three x16 slots are for graphics cards only, we had no problems running our ASUS Xonar D2X or Highpoint Rocket RAID cards in x16 slot two or three.

The Board

Gallery: ASUS X58

The P6T Deluxe carries over the orange and black decor from previous ASUS DDR3 boards along with a blue and white slot motif. While not exactly as colorful as previous Gigabyte boards or as subdued as the MSI board, it does work well enough; we prefer the flagship ROG color palettes. ASUS has constantly improved their layouts over time and the P6T Deluxe reflects this with a design that is virtually free of clearance problems. While not as loaded as the Gigabyte board, ASUS still has a substantial amount of items to squeeze onto the motherboard.

The first item we notice on the P6T Deluxe is the heatsink and thermal pipe setup encircling the CPU socket area. The CPU socket is centered to the DIMM slots as we noticed on the Gigabyte board. The engineers tell us this is to optimize the memory trace paths resulting in higher overclocks and improved stability. The various heatsinks are low-profile designs featuring a completely passive setup in order to keep noise to a minimum. ASUS utilizes a swept fan design for the northbridge, a small but effective fin array for the ICh20R, and a couple of relatively low-profile fin arrays for the PWM area.

All of this equates to a CPU area that is basically void of clearance issues with large air coolers, although the capacitors are little close to the 1366 socket for the more extreme cooling options. The P6T Deluxe features 23 power phases, which certainly sounds impressive, but we are still not sure if quantity is better than quality in this regard. ASUS dedicates 16 for the processor core and another three memory, two each for the memory/QPI controller and chipset. The Gigabyte and MSI boards feature two individual two-phase designs for the memory and QPI systems. 

On the other end of the board we have a bevy of SATA ports and the IDE connector. The six red ports are tied to the ICh20R while the two orange ones attach to a Marvell 88SE6320 Serial Attached SCSI controller. Backwards compatibility built into the SAS standard allows current SATA drives to work. When utilizing a standard SATA drive, performance is close to the ICh20R and definitely a step ahead of the JMicron controllers on the other boards. As a plus, it will do RAID 0 and 1 arrays, and ASUS includes SAS cables in the box. We appreciate the right angle connectors as they ensure there will not be any clearance issues with longer cards. However, ports 5 and 6 use a standard design that results in a very tight fit with a couple of GTX280s installed.

ASUS includes onboard power and reset buttons, but curiously forgot to include a clear CMOS button. After weeks of testing, it is a feature we miss, even though ASUS’ BIOS recovery system rarely let us down. Moving forward, we have three physical x16 slots available for graphics in a x16/x8/x8 configuration with a 3X setup. In order to run a 3X setup, the second GPU will have to be a single slot solution… which sort of defeats the purpose of 3-way support, since the current NVIDIA 3-way SLI cards are all dual slot solutions. Still, you can add in a card for PhysX processing if you’d like. In a 2x CF/SLI setup, the user ends up with a x16/x16/x1 configuration. An additional x4 slot is at the top of the board that can accommodate full length cards. To top it off, two PCI slots are available, but the first one will be blocked by double-slot graphics card.

ExpressGate is included on this board and the riser card is located between the second PCIe x16 and PCI slots. In addition to the riser card, the board features onboard headers for an additional IEEE 1394a port and six USB ports. The user ends up with a total of 14 usable USB ports, two more than the ICh20R supports. That means some sharing is going on between the ports, but we never noticed a problem with the board loaded out.

Finally we get to the IO panel that features a single combo PS/2 port, eight USB ports, two Gigabit LAN ports, a single IEEE 1394a and eSATA port, and optical and coaxial S/PDIF out ports. The audio panel features connection jacks to the Analog Devices AD2000B codec, probably the last time we will see this codec since ADI has exited the PC audio business.

The Application

TurboV is ASUS’ latest Windows based overclocking utility that features the ability to change most major BIOS settings to improve overclocking rates. It features profiles and works quite well, provided the memory timings and CPU multiplier have been set up properly prior to entering Windows. We are still hopeful that one of the major suppliers will offer the same capabilities as AMD’s AOD utility.

The P6T Deluxe features the EPU-6 power savings technology that can be accessed through the EPU software. The program offers five different modes or levels of energy savings. After hours of testing each setting, we found that leaving the application on Auto with a proper calibration worked best. Utilizing EPU-6 resulted in a power savings of 5W at both idle and load settings.

MSI Eclipse X58
Test Setup
IndexEVGA X58 SLIGigabyte GA-EX58-UD5MSI Eclipse X58ASUS P6T DeluxeTest SetupMemory PerformanceGeneral PerformanceGaming ResultsSATA, USB, Firewire and Ethernet PerformancePower ConsumptionInitial Overclocking ResultsFinal Words


ASUS P6T Deluxe OC Palm Motherboard Review — Page 2 of 7

By brian •

Board Layout

The layout of this board is very impressive and looks terrific. With a laundry list of features, it is amazing that they were able to fit it all in! One of the easiest things to miss due to the coloring is that this board has 3 PCI-E 16x (2.0 spec) slots for graphics cards. Despite having those three PCI-E slots the board only supports 2 graphics cards in SLI, although a 3rd card can be added for PhysX. If CrossFire is your choice of poison you can populate all 3 slots for graphics acceleration.

On the top right of the board are the DIMM slots, which completely dominate the view of this motherboard. With 6 slots available you will be able to make use of up to 24GB of memory!

You also can’t help but notice the huge heatsink on the X58 controller, the copper heatsinks on the VRM’s, and the copper heatpipes connecting it all together. Using a swept design on the heatsink near the CPU helps coolers that blow down on the socket area move heat across the other components that need cooling.

In the lower right corner we see the lone IDE connector and the eight SATA connectors. The right-angled SATA connectors really help when you have long graphics cards like the NVIDIA GTX 200 series. Two of those connectors (the orange on the bottom) are attached to the Marvell 88SE6320 SAS controller. SATA drives are based on a subset of the SAS standard, so with this controller you can install some incredibly fast 10k rpm and 15k rpm drives that are normally reserved for server and heavy workstation duty, or you can install SATA drives on these two ports. I think using this type of controller, while slightly more expensive, gives users better options than when manufacturers put on a secondary lower quality SATA only controller.

On the bottom of the board you can see the silver colored power and reset buttons; these are particularly handy for those who use these boards just on a test bench, like extreme overclockers or reviewers. Also, at the bottom we see 3 USB headers. With a total of 14 USB ports available, I would be surprised if you ever ran out!

Tucked in between a PCI slot and PCI-E slot is the Express Gate hardware. For those of you who are not familiar with it, it utilizes Splashtop, a Linux environment to give you nearly instant access to the web using FireFox, Skype, and a few other features — all without having a hard drive hooked up. This is a very handy feature if you don’t always like to wait on Windows to boot just to look something up on the net quickly.

Finally, out back we see the connectivity offered on the ASUS P6T Deluxe, eight USB ports, two NIC’s, eSATA, and Firewire. The two onboard NIC’s utilize the Marvell Yukon 88E8056 controller, which Vista has a preloaded driver for. 8 channel audio out is supported by Coax or Optical S/PDIF, as well as your standard analog jacks.

Questions or comments?
View this thread in our forums!

Big ship i7 — big sailing on x58: ASUS P6T Deluxe


December 3, 2008, Wednesday


for section

Page 1 of 5

  • Introduction
  • Delivery set
  • Board Features
  • BIOS, overclocking functions
  • Practice
  • Software
  • Results

More recently, on November 17, Intel announced a new architecture called Nehalem. I don’t think it’s worth talking about innovations, TaPaKaH already told us about them in his performance testing of pre-production samples of Intel Core i7 processors. Today I want to consider one of the first motherboards that appeared in Russian retail, based on the new Intel X58 Express chipset.

The motherboard comes in a dark and light blue color combination box like most past generation ASUS motherboards:

The box is quite large, it has a carrying handle, for comparison I give a photo comparing the P6T Deluxe box with the ASUS P5Q Deluxe motherboard box:

Has ASUS forgotten about the environment? Hmm, but it looks like I’m wrong, the sticker on the box retains the signature «GREEN», plus on the front side we see the «Climate Savers» logo:


Also on the front side of the box there is information about the system logic used, support for Core i7 processors, high-quality Japanese capacitors, a SAS controller that allegedly improves data storage reliability, a 16-phase processor power system and a 2-phase QPI bus power supply, it also talks about support for the now quite popular nVIDIA SLI technology. ASUS didn’t forget about CrossFireX support either, the board also has ExpressGate, supports EPU-6, and added a new feature — TurboV, which I’ll talk about a little later. The page on the front side is folded back …

…and provides us with more information about the technologies used. The back of the box shows the motherboard itself, again the icons of the technologies used and more information about TurboV technology and 16 + 2-phase power:

Motherboard kit includes:

  • Motherboard
  • User Manual
  • DVD with software and drivers
  • One ATA cable
  • Dual USB 2.0 and FireWire Bracket
  • Eight SATA cables, two with power adapters
  • Cover for the back of the housing
  • Q-connector set
  • Additional fan
  • SLI bridge for connecting two video cards

Pretty good bundle, but for some reason ASUS refused the FDD cable, although the port is present on the board, but this cannot be called a disadvantage, since most of them have already abandoned this type of media. The new platform supports SLI technology, and the bridge for creating SLI systems will be useful to all those who want to build a powerful system with two nVIDIA video cards.