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Motherboards based on the Intel H67 chipset are the best option if you are building a basic PC with integrated video using an Intel processor, or need an affordable motherboard using the microATX form factor for building a small form factor (SFF) PC. Currently, ASUS has six motherboards based on this chipset. Let’s take a look at the P8H67-M PRO/CSM, which is a microATX solution featuring two PCI Express x16 slots.
Of course, if you want more performance, you will probably pick a motherboard based on the Intel Z68 chipset, so you can enjoy the Intel Smart Response Technology (SRT), which allows you to speed up disk performance by using an SSD unit as a cache unit for your conventional (i.e., mechanical) hard disk drive. This technology works by storing in the SSD the programs and data you access the most. Also, the Intel Z68 chipset allows you to use the Virtu technology, which allows the computer to dynamically switch video cards, depending on what you are doing with your computer. In a typical scenario, this software will make the system use the CPU’s integrated video engine when you are not playing games instead of using your add-on video card. This allows you to save energy, since the CPU integrated video consumes less power than add-on video cards.
With so many options from ASUS, we decided to create the table below, listing the main differences between all its H67-based motherboards.
|P8H67-M PRO/CSM||P8H67-M EVO||P8H67-M LE||P8H67-M LX||P8H67-V||P8H67-I DELUXE|
|PCI Express x16||2||2||1||1||2||1|
|PCI Express x4||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|PCI Express x1||0||1||1||0||2||0|
The ASUS P8H67-M PRO/CSM motherboard is shown in Figure 1.
The ASUS P8H67-M PRO/CSM comes with two PCI Express x16 slots and two standard PCI slots. The first PCI Express x16 slot (blue) always works at x16 speed, while the second one (black), always works at x4 speed, supporting CrossFireX. The presence of two PCI Express x16 slots is a very unique feature for a microATX motherboard, because motherboards based on this form factor usually have only one. This allows you to build a high-end gaming system with two video cards in a very small case. The first PCI Express x16 slot supports a dual-slot video card, but if you want to install a dual-slot video card in the second slot, you will have to make sure that your case has five expansion slots. (Some small cases have only four.) Also, you will block the USB headers located on the motherboard edge.
The Intel H67 chipset doesn’t support standard PCI slots anymore, so the support for these slots is provided by an ASMedia ASM1083 bridge chip.
[nextpage title=”Memory Support”]
Intel socket LGA1155 CPUs have an embedded memory controller, meaning that it is the processor, not the chipset, which defines what memory technologies you can have and the maximum amount of memory that is possible. The motherboard, however, may have a limitation as to how much memory can be installed.
The integrated memory controller from socket LGA1155 processors supports DDR3 memories up to 1,333 MHz under dual-channel architecture.
The ASUS P8H67-M PRO/CSM has four memory sockets and, since DDR3 memory modules can now be found in capacities up to 8 GB, you can have up to 32 GB with this motherboard if you use four 8 GB modules.
The first and third sockets are blue, while the second and fourth are black. In order to achieve the maximum performance, you should install two or four memory modules in order to enable dual-channel architecture. When only two modules are used, install them in the blue sockets; otherwise, your computer won’t turn on.
As it occurs with other motherboards from ASUS, the P8H67-M PRO/CSM comes with the “MemOK!” button, which allows you to test the compatibility of the memory modules that are installed.
[nextpage title=”On-Board Peripherals”]
The Intel H67 chipset is a single-chip solution which is also known as a PCH (Platform Controller Hub). This chip supports two SATA-600 ports and four SATA-300 ports, supporting RAID (0, 1, 10, and 5). These ports are located at one of the corners of the motherboard, and the installation of a long add-on video card
in the second PCI Express x16 slot (black) will block the two SATA-600 ports.
The product has one ATA-133 port, controlled by a VIA VT6415 chip.
This motherboard has 14 USB 2.0 ports, four soldered on the rear panel and 10 available through five headers located on the motherboard. It also supports two USB 3.0 ports, controlled by an ASMedia ASM1042 chip.
This motherboard supports 7.1+2 audio format, i.e., eight channels plus two independent channels for audio streaming. On this motherboard, the audio is generated by the chipset using a Realtek ALC892 codec. The specifications for this chip include 97 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the analog outputs, 90 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the analog inputs, up to 192 kHz sampling rate for both inputs and outputs, and 24-bit resolution. These specifications are good for the mainstream user, but if you are looking into working professionally with audio editing, you should look for a motherboard that provides an SNR of at least 97 dB for the analog input.
This motherboard has independent 7.1 analog audio outputs, meaning that you won’t need to use the “line in” or “mic in” jacks when installing a set of analog 7.1 speakers. The motherboard has an on-board optical SPDIF output, and you can add a coaxial SPDIF output by installing an adapter on the available “SPDIF_OUT” header.
The portrayed motherboard has one Gigabit Ethernet port, controlled by a Realtek RTL8111E chip.
In Figure 6, you can see the motherboard rear panel, with PS/2 keyboard and mouse shared connector, four USB 2.0 ports, optical SPDIF output, HDMI output, VGA output, DVI-D output, two USB 3.0 ports (blue connectors), Gigabit Ethernet port, and independent 7.1 analog audio jacks.
[nextpage title=”Other Features”]
The ASUS P8H67-M PRO/CSM has a legacy serial port, available on a header labeled “COM1,” and a legacy parallel port, available on a header labeled “LPT.” If you want to have these ports available, you will have to buy the necessary adapters, since the product doesn’t come with them. It also allows you to install a Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which increases security by encrypting data handled by the computer.
In Figure 7, you can see all the accessories that come with this motherboard.
[nextpage title=”Voltage Regulator”]
The CPU voltage regulator circuit of the ASUS P8H67-M PRO/CSM has four phases for the CPU main voltage (Vcc a.k.a. Vcore), one for the CPU VCCSA voltage (integrated PCI Express controller and memory controller), and one for the CPU VAXG voltage (integrated video controller). Therefore, it uses a “4+1+1” configuration.
This motherboard uses solid capacitors and ferrite-core coils, which provide less energy loss, improving efficiency up to 20 percent. However, only half of the transistors come with a passive heatsink installed, as you can see in Figure 8.
If you want to learn more about the voltage regulator circuit, please read our tutorial on the subject.
[nextpage title=”Overclocking Options”]
The ASUS P8H67-M PRO/CSM has a few overclocking options. We list them below (1003 BIOS):
- CPU ratio: From x16 to x34 in x1 increments (for unlocked CPUs)
- CPU base clock: From 80 MHz to 300 MHz in 0.1 MHz increments
- CPU core voltage: From -0.315 V to +0.635 V in 0.005 V increments
- CPU VCCIO voltage: From 0.735 V to 1.685 V in 0.005 V increments
- CPU PLL voltage: 1.80 V or 1.90 V
- Memory voltage: From 1.185 V to 2.135 V in 0.005 V increments
- Chipset voltage (“PCH”): From 0.735 V to 1.685 V in 0.005 V increments
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the ASUS P8H67-M PRO/CSM include:
- Socket: 1155
- Chipset: Intel H67 Express
- Super I/O: Nuvoton NCT6776F
- Parallel ATA: One ATA-133 port controlled by a VIA VT6415 chip
- Serial ATA: Two SATA-300 and two SATA-600 ports controlled by the chipset (RAID 0, 1, 10, and 5)
- External SATA: None
- USB 2.0: 14 USB 2.0 ports, four soldered on the motherboard rear panel and 10 available through five headers on the motherboard
- USB 3.0: Two USB 3.0 ports on the rear panel, controlled by an ASMedia ASM1042 chip
- FireWire (IEEE 1394): None
- On-board video: Yes, controlled by the CPU, VGA, DVI-D, and HDMI outputs
- On-board audio: Produced by the chipset together with a Realtek ALC892 codec (eight channels, 24-bit resolution, up to 192 KHz sampling rate for both the inputs and outputs, 90 dB signal-to-noise ratio, on-board optical SPDIF output
- On-board LAN: One Gigabit Ethernet port controlled by a Realtek RTL8111E chip
- Buzzer: No
- Infrared interface: No
- Power supply required: EPS12V
- Slots: Two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (16x/4x, supporting CrossFireX) and two standard PCI slots, ASMedia ASM1083 bridge chip
- Memory: Four DDR3-DIMM sockets (up to DDR3-1333, 32 GB maximum)
- Fan connectors: One four-pin connector for the CPU
cooler and one three-pin connector for an auxiliary fan
- Extra features: Legacy serial port, legacy parallel port, support for TPM
- Number of CDs/DVDs provided: One
- Programs included: Motherboard utilities
- More Information: https://usa.asus.com
- Average price in the US*: USD 115.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The ASUS P8H67-M PRO/CSM can be successfully used for two different applications. If you want to build a basic PC based on an Intel processor, you will be happy with it, even though there are cheaper products out there with fewer features. But we believe that the main application of this motherboard is to build a powerful gaming PC inside a small form factor (SFF) case, thanks to the presence of two PCI Express x16 slots supporting CrossFireX mode. We think that, for this application, the price of this motherboard is right.