The new boards are designed for Intel’s upcoming Sandy Bridge-class of Core CPUs, expected to be announced in the next couple of weeks.
The new boards, which include the P8P67Pro and P8P67 Deluxe, will feature two PCI-E 8x slots for dual-card gaming but they’ll also feature new SATA 3.0 ports, offering up to 6Gbps data transfer speeds.
Dovetailing on the back of this, ASUS will be releasing the P67 boards with UEFI support. Unified Extensible Firmware Interface has been common on Apple computers for some time but these are the first Intel boards to feature UEFI from launch.
UEFI will be an important addition and a must-have for anyone wanting to jump to new 2.5TB and 3TB hard drives. These drives, already available from the likes of Western Digital, cannot be used as bootable drives on existing BIOS-based boards that use LBA (logical block addressing). LBA has a limit of access to 2.19TB, which basically means it cannot “see” drives with storage beyond this mark without help.
It’s one of the reasons why WD is shipping its larger drives with PCI-E adapter cards. Even so, users will need to have the 64-bit version of Windows Vista or Windows 7 in order to access these drives as boot devices.
The mainstream H67 chipsets will come with only a single PCI-E x16 graphics card slot and will come in at a lower price, although, expect to see motherboard makers push P67 boards in the first instance.
At this stage, there is no word on availability or pricing from ASUS on any of its new P67/H67 boards. We’ll bring you more info as it comes to hand.