The Asus P6T Deluxe is possibly the best motherboard we have seen so far this year, partly due to the evident hard work put in by Asus, and partly because the Core i7 platform is just so darn impressive. Asus helped make this motherboard special by including features such as the true 16+2 phase power design, Express Gate SSD, onboard SAS support, and many others.
The current Core i7 platform which includes the new Intel X58 chipset brings jaw dropping performance, but also SLI and CrossfireX support, and triple-channel DDR3 using 6 DIMM slots. Although we have yet to explore both Crossfire and SLI capabilities profoundly on the Core i7 platform, this is something that will be tested in the near future. For now the ability to use either technology on the Asus P6T Deluxe does exist and should peak the interest of gamers without tight budgets.
When spending around $300 on a high-end motherboard, it is nice to get a few luxury features such as the Asus Express Gate SSD. It takes a mere 5 seconds to get online from boot up. The Express Gate can be a very useful tool for quick access to email and instant messaging programs like MSN, Skype, Google talk, and Yahoo. It's also a good addition not only for power conscious users but because we expect the P6T Deluxe to be part of a high-end and potentially power hungry gaming system, turning it off when not in use could save you a few greens in the long-run as well.
The list of integrated features is impressive as we've evidenced throughout this article. If there is one area that could be improved is storage. The eight onboard SATA ports should be ample for most users, but including at least ten ports could be desirable in certain circumstances. For example, if you were to use two SATA optical drives and four hard drives, that would leave just two free slots. We may be nitpicking, but let's not forget what's the target base for this high-end motherboard.
Other storage areas should be more than covered with 14 USB 2.0 ports, dual Gigabit LAN, and two PCI Express x16 slots.
The Asus P6T Deluxe proved to be an excellent overclocker with both the Core i7 920 and 965 Extreme Edition processors reaching 3.80GHz and 4.0GHz, respectively. This was made easy by changing six settings in the BIOS, but for extreme overclockers the "Precision Tweaker2" option gives users the ability to adjust the vCPU PLL voltage in 36-steps, and the vNB-PCIe voltage in 65-steps.
The Asus P6T Deluxe is a remarkable Core i7 motherboard, that despite of being the first production-level product to come our way, makes us confident enough to call it one of the best X58 motherboards money can buy in the foreseeable future. Those that can afford moving to the Core i7 platform immediately will easily be able to justify the price to pay for this motherboard.