ASUS P8P67 5-Way Motherboard Roundup
Welcome Sandy Bridge
Intel’s development follows their "tick-tock" strategy; that is, one swing represents a new architecture, and the next focuses on process improvements. This development cycle is about 2 years each, so here we are in 2011 with the new architecture: Sandy Bridge. It’s the least best-kept secret around, and it’s now arrived.
With Sandy Bridge comes a new socket 1155. This new 32nm architecture brings the new P67 chipset for the performance products, and an H67 chips for integrated graphics. We’ll be reviewing several P67 boards today in greater detail.
A block diagram is a quick and clean way of showing the P67 features.
As to the architecture itself, Sandy Bridge is an evolution of what was started in Bloomfield with an integrated memory controller, continued with Lynnfield in the form of a PCI Express bus controller, then Clarkdale brought an integrated graphics core. Sandy Bridge takes these to a new level of refinement by bringing them all under one roof now onto one chip. CPU cores, integrated memory controller, PCI Express bus controller, and finally graphics cores are now together. One ring to rule them all, as it were.
There are a some significant changes for Sandy Bridge, as you’ll see in the Overclocking section of this review, which are the combination of lower bus and higher multiipliers than previous generation chips. The Bus Speed (BCLK) is set to 100 while the multipliers vary, thereby distinguishing the different clock speeds of each model.