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Asus P6T Deluxe

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Mankz 2nd December 2008, 12:46 Quote
I'd love one, but the costs are still just stupid.

Brilliant review Rich.
StephenK 2nd December 2008, 12:47 Quote
Great review. Looks like this might be the foundation of my i7 box, as soon as I can afford to build a new pc that is :)
Neoki 2nd December 2008, 13:25 Quote
I think you should change the site you got the price from, they are out of stock :( bit unfair on other guys out there
Tim S 2nd December 2008, 13:26 Quote
They were available from there this morning :|
Bindibadgi 2nd December 2008, 13:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neoki
I think you should change the site you got the price from, they are out of stock :( bit unfair on other guys out there

:( It had at least a dozen yesterday evening when I looked it up. It can still be found for around £220-225 elsewhere.
bowman 2nd December 2008, 13:37 Quote
Mine's working fine, but I must agree about the gimmicks. SAS? It's just annoying to have the controller slow the bootup.. And I dare not disable it either because apparently it handles IDE as well, and that's where my DVD is! ExpressGate? Pretty useless.

But the board works flawlessly, you can't ruin a good pizza by pouring two kilos of pineapple on it. Just need to peel it off. :p
Bindibadgi 2nd December 2008, 13:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowman
Mine's working fine, but I must agree about the gimmicks. SAS? It's just annoying to have the controller slow the bootup.. And I dare not disable it either because apparently it handles IDE as well, and that's where my DVD is! ExpressGate? Pretty useless.

But the board works flawlessly, you can't ruin a good pizza by pouring two kilos of pineapple on it. Just need to peel it off. :p

The SAS controller does not handle the IDE, that's a different Marvell controller which handles IDE and eSATA alone.
bowman 2nd December 2008, 14:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowman
Mine's working fine, but I must agree about the gimmicks. SAS? It's just annoying to have the controller slow the bootup.. And I dare not disable it either because apparently it handles IDE as well, and that's where my DVD is! ExpressGate? Pretty useless.

But the board works flawlessly, you can't ruin a good pizza by pouring two kilos of pineapple on it. Just need to peel it off. :p

The SAS controller does not handle the IDE, that's a different Marvell controller which handles IDE and eSATA alone.

Oh, that's a relief. I just saw a similar Marvell screen for the DVD and the SAS and didn't dare touch anything.

I'll try disabling the SAS controller then, see if I can't get rid of that annoying screen during bootup.
Kúsař 2nd December 2008, 14:54 Quote
Great review! I'm glad my MB uses Marvell controller...
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowman
Oh, that's a relief. I just saw a similar Marvell screen for the DVD and the SAS and didn't dare touch anything.

I'll try disabling the SAS controller then, see if I can't get rid of that annoying screen during bootup.

It should reduce boot up time as well. I don't know if it's only me but whenever I have installed RAID drivers I noticed Windows boot up time increased significantly.
lewchenko 2nd December 2008, 14:54 Quote
At that price, no thanks.

It is over twice (if not nearly x3) the price I paid for my Abit IP35 Pro motherboard when I moved from AMD to Core2Duo.

The price of this motherboard (and other i7 boards) is just ridiculous.


And yet it is awarded an 8 out of 10 for value. Maybe so related to its peers, but when compared with the previous generation of motherboards the value score should be closer to 4 out of 10.
Bindibadgi 2nd December 2008, 15:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko
At that price, no thanks.

It is over twice (if not nearly x3) the price I paid for my Abit IP35 Pro motherboard when I moved from AMD to Core2Duo.

The price of this motherboard (and other i7 boards) is just ridiculous.

And yet it is awarded an 8 out of 10 for value. Maybe so related to its peers, but when compared with the previous generation of motherboards the value score should be closer to 4 out of 10.

It's a completely different market - this board was evaluated on the high end and people attribute a different kind of value. It was compared to other boards in its own market.

You cannot plug in a Core 2 into a Core i7 board and any comparison would mean there would be absolutely no point to any X58 review. Just because something is expensive, doesn't mean it offers low value, the usage model is simply different :)
djDEATH 2nd December 2008, 15:28 Quote
i so want one of these, and fir the firt time, its pretty clear that there's just one motherboard that i want, not just a chipset or particular mfr.

maybe mummy will give me enough money for christmas :)
zr_ox 2nd December 2008, 15:31 Quote
The value is based on the cost to features benefit on the new platform.

Whilst the features may be expensive, it's bleeding edge. This means that you get the newest socket, upgraded memory and a host of other features.

This is the cost of progress and is no different from the 680i motherboards a while back. When you think about that it should be clearer of just how much your getting for your money. I paid £250 for the Striker 2 years ago, the Asus P6T Deluxe certainly represents better value for money in my eyes. But then again that's purely based on the fact this this is bleeding edge hardware today.

Remove the SAS features and add 4 more run of the mill SATA ports and I'm sure this would be a more convincing option for everyone. Oh yeah and ditch the IDE port and add 2 IDE to SATA converters in the bundle and it would be an even better deal.

Not a bad motherboard, If I had not upgraded recently then this or the Gigabyte alternative would be mine.
Tulatin 2nd December 2008, 15:50 Quote
Agreed on the costs still being absolute bollocks.

One major qualm I have to the layout is the IDE port. Seriously ASUS. Get rid of the stupid thing, and quit wasting our time with the shitty JMicron support.

If you're going to spend $1000 on a new machine, then whine about spending $20 on a new DVD Drive then you deserve to be hit with that same drive.

Mayhaps a better controller or two is in order, and the IDE replaced with another 4 SATA after the ICH ports are moved back into position.

Speaking of layout crimes - that's one ASUS is particularly good at. It's reasonable to assume that (almost) all of the ICH ports are going to the same place, so why do they keep insisting on splitting the damn things up, with a few angled, then a few flat?
Bindibadgi 2nd December 2008, 15:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulatin
Agreed on the costs still being absolute bollocks.

One major qualm I have to the layout is the IDE port. Seriously ASUS. Get rid of the stupid thing, and quit wasting our time with the shitty JMicron support.

There's no JMicron on the Asus, it's all Marvell.
Quote:
Speaking of layout crimes - that's one ASUS is particularly good at. It's reasonable to assume that (almost) all of the ICH ports are going to the same place, so why do they keep insisting on splitting the damn things up, with a few angled, then a few flat?
Space, see IDE port placement.

And some people *might* want them facing outwards because it's easier to go up and down - some cases have the HDDs lower than the motherboard.
Tulatin 2nd December 2008, 15:54 Quote
Ah they've actually gone wi

Wait what? The Marvell does E-Sata, SAS, and IDE? That's a fairly impressive chip. Though I still object to that far former port's existance.
Bindibadgi 2nd December 2008, 19:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulatin
Ah they've actually gone wi

Wait what? The Marvell does E-Sata, SAS, and IDE? That's a fairly impressive chip. Though I still object to that far former port's existance.

No there are two Marvell chipsets - one for SAS only, and one for IDE and eSATA.
TheEclypse 2nd December 2008, 20:53 Quote
Im glad you didnt conclude its a load of rubbish as mines in the post.
bowman 2nd December 2008, 21:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kúsař
Great review! I'm glad my MB uses Marvell controller...
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowman
Oh, that's a relief. I just saw a similar Marvell screen for the DVD and the SAS and didn't dare touch anything.

I'll try disabling the SAS controller then, see if I can't get rid of that annoying screen during bootup.

It should reduce boot up time as well. I don't know if it's only me but whenever I have installed RAID drivers I noticed Windows boot up time increased significantly.

That's exactly the point. It would boot really fast if it wasn't for the SAS controller loading BIOS and checking for nonexistent SAS drives every time. I'll try disabling it next time I reboot..
unclebulgaria 3rd December 2008, 00:09 Quote
"First of all, the CPU area; not only does it have the usual over abundance of PWMs - 16 phases to be exact - it's paired off with an extra two for the Uncore area which handles the L3 cache, memory controller and QPI. For the most part we still feel Asus is playing the numbers game, where "more is better", but it neglects to point out it uses smaller ferrite core chokes, which therefore hold less power. Plenty of MOSFETs will help with accurate switching but then why not go for Digital PWMs instead?"

Sorry, this is almost total tosh. It uses smaller ferrite chokes because they are cheaper per total power load than fewer big chokes. It will call for 16 phases to handle the (frankly insane) power requirements of the new chips. It is *much* cheaper to use more phases than add fewer big phases. Also, the average discrepancies between devices will tend to average out, meaning one of fewer phases has less opportunity to throw the delivered power significantly out of whack. Think about it - if you have 3 phases at 0.5, 0.5 and 5% accuracy, and the 5% is the outlier, you need more phases at 5% out to cause a big change in regulated output, the chances of which drop exponentially the more phases you use.

And Digital PWM? I'm sorry, you really will need to explain this one! For once Wikipedia is actually fairly accurate ...
Splynncryth 3rd December 2008, 07:11 Quote
There really is very little difference between the dual socket server boards and the single socket x58 boards in terms of the core chipset. This really isn't a board for those looking for cheap perfromance. The price is a bit steep when compaired to some othe boards, but with the extra storage controllers, and some of the other bits and pieces, the proce isn not bad when lined up against similar products.

For a more mainstream priced but still enthusiast focused product, I think you will have the wait for Lynnfield next year.

The SAS controller is not totally worthless, you can use it to add SATA drives as the contoller handles those too (thanks for mentioning it in the article). There are a few things I can think of that it would be good for. If you use sleep rather than hibernate or powering the system totally off, will cut down on boot times. But not all boards are equal when it comes to that.

Is it too late to ask for comments on sleep mode, like how well it works, and power draw in sleep (perhaps along with hibernate, and 'off' states)?
Sublym3 3rd December 2008, 09:14 Quote
All the X58 boards are disappointing and full of crap, not to mention they cost way to much for what they are.

Asus Rampage 2 is about ~800 aussie dollars.

Gigabyte GA-EX58-DS4 goes from about 380 to 440 aussies dollars which is the cheapest X58 mobo available.
Bindibadgi 3rd December 2008, 11:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splynncryth
Is it too late to ask for comments on sleep mode, like how well it works, and power draw in sleep (perhaps along with hibernate, and 'off' states)?

It's now packed away so I can't tell you power, but it goes in and out of AI Nap just fine.
Bindibadgi 3rd December 2008, 12:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by unclebulgaria
Sorry, this is almost total tosh. It uses smaller ferrite chokes because they are cheaper per total power load than fewer big chokes.

We're equating the same point. Smaller holds less power, but the total power delivery will be equivalent to that of other brands. Asus is playing a numbers game - 16 is better than 12, yet our 16 are smaller than others 12.
Quote:
It will call for 16 phases to handle the (frankly insane) power requirements of the new chips.

This is BS. For starters - the Uncore area has 2 phases to itself - that's QPI, memory controller and L3 cache sorted. The Cores, four of which, are actually less transistors than Core 2 because of the smaller L2 cache. In addition, it has a per-core power control which gifts a great finesse in power control and delivery for the four cores. Core i7 is 130W TDP, but that's northbridge + CPU, unlike Core 2 which was without the Uncore area. If anything, those 16 phases have to handle LESS power than they did in Core 2, especially Kentsfield CPUs, but what they do offer is greater available power delivery on demand. You say it will call for 16 phases - then how can Gigabyte do it in 6 (a virtual 12 since there are only 6 driver ICs) and MSI does it in "6" too? The ECS I have here has 6 as well for *everything*.
Quote:
It is *much* cheaper to use more phases than add fewer big phases.

Wrong, I'm afraid. while big chokes cost more than little ones - chokes to NOT equal power phases. A power phase consists of a driver IC, an up and down MOSFET (basically) and an inductor coil (choke) - some companies vary the amount of hardware, but extra total phases cost respectively more because they require the additional extra hardware, whereas the cost difference between large and small chokes will be cents at most when these guys are buying millions at a time. Lets also not forget economies of scale - Asus is a manufacturing BEHEMOTH, so it can buy its hardware cheap. No one pays the same price, it's all negotiated - the TWese, like the Chinese, are notorious for being cheap ***** (in the nicest sense of the word) and everything is cost down if possible to make the extra buck. That is, UNLESS it has a positive marketable effect that can drive further sales.
Quote:
Also, the average discrepancies between devices will tend to average out, meaning one of fewer phases has less opportunity to throw the delivered power significantly out of whack. Think about it - if you have 3 phases at 0.5, 0.5 and 5% accuracy, and the 5% is the outlier, you need more phases at 5% out to cause a big change in regulated output, the chances of which drop exponentially the more phases you use.

This I agree with entirely: should 1 phase fail, then there are more to cover it. However, on the other side, more components mean more chance of failure. We've had one X58 go pop already because a singular MOSFET decided it wanted to burn up in blue smoke, despite it being a "multi-phase design".
Quote:
And Digital PWM? I'm sorry, you really will need to explain this one! For once Wikipedia is actually fairly accurate ...
Digital PWM control it notorious for allowing a greater degree of voltage accuracy and greater power per phase, because the power switching is more tightly controlled. However, it takes a strong degree of design and knowledge to get it right: most companies don't employ people who know how to do it or have enough time to research it (which costs money = less profit = basic cost:benefit ratio).

In the early versions there was a large vDrop (or Droop I cant remember) and they were seriously hot running, however the latest versions are much, much better but the accuracy still needs to be appropriately calibrated. It's also expensive which is why DFI and EVGA have gone for it (enthusiast: DFI knows already, EVGA just employed a load from Foxconn, Abit, EpoX) but given the super tight time constraints of product development no one else has.

What I was wondering was why Asus don't consider it, considering it's such a diverse comapny employing many talented people, including some ex-Abit staff that must have some knowledge of digital PWMs... perhaps. The cost:benefit should be better for Asus that designs a lot of different computer hardware.
Kúsař 3rd December 2008, 15:32 Quote
So what's the biggest difference between digital PWM and "analogue" PWM that makes digital PWM much better? "...power switching is more tightly controlled...". I thought that "analogue" PWM responds to changes in CPU voltage immediately as it's using part of CPU voltage as feedback comparing it to set reference voltage(and adjusting mentioned MOSFETs accordingly).
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