H67 Motherboard Roundup
When it comes down to the motherboards with the H67 chipset, it can get quite difficult to distinguish between them, at least in overall ability and usage. Each have similar layouts and features for the most part, and much of the differences can be attributed to the various form factors, from mini ITX to micro ATX, and finally to the full-size ATX. The significant differences, then, are the component options, as the mini ITX board requires SODIMM memory while the others don’t, and the Gigabyte ATX board has the most room to work with.
All the motherboards shared a UFI/EFI BIOS, with the exception of the Gigabyte board which hasn’t incorporated that here. Out of the pack, the ASUS BIOS is clearly ahead of the competition, in terms of organization, ease of use, and features; it’s very refined and robust. The ASRock BIOS is quite good, while the ECS BIOS falls behind, though it’s a good step in the right direction.
In terms of accessories, the ASRock package was excellent, offering outstanding value for the money, and going so far as to include a USB 3.0 front panel device, a full Media Center remote, and 3D glasses. No other manufacturer came close to offering such features.
Moving onto actual board features, the ASUS mini ITX Deluxe-I is clearly geared to home theater enthusiasts, and with such a small form factor, it’s easily the best suited to a small footprint in a home space. However, if you’re a gamer, then the Gigabyte board offers the opportunity for mutiple graphics card setup in an ATX form factor, while the ASUS EVO board manages to accomplish the same feat on a micro ATX design. The ASRock and ECS boards can’t quite match either of these ends of the spectrum, acting as capable boards but nothing distinguishing.
In terms of performance, the boards each perform very capably, and should easily handle the workload requirements of this platform. That said, there were a few surprises, as the ASUS P8H67-I Deluxe was a pleasant surprise in most tests, though it fell behind in the overall system test of PCMark Vantage. The ASUS EVO board also finished near the top, very good for a micro ATX board. While the Gigabyte board sat near the bottom in the synthetics, it rose to the challenge in the system test, redeeming itself to a degree. The ASRock and ECS boards, meanwhile, performed acceptably but didn’t manage to distinguish themselves, instead sitting in the middle of the pack for the most part.
In the final assessment, however, the most versatile and impressive board in the roundup that stood out in terms of overall features, refinement, and performance was the ASUS P8H67-M EVO. At a price of $125, It’s a good investment for a micro ATX powerhouse that can fulfill just about any need including gaming.