What's new
  • Please do not post any links until you have 3 posts as they will automatically be rejected to prevent SPAM. Many words are also blocked due to being used in SPAM Messages. Thanks!

ASUS P7H57D-V EVO LGA1156 Motherboard Review

Status
Not open for further replies.

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,087
Location
Montreal
P7H57DVEVO_1.jpg

ASUS P7H57D-V EVO
LGA1156 Motherboard Review





Manufacturer's Part Number: P7H57D-V EVO
Price: $220CDN+ Price Comparison
Manufacturer's Product Page: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
Warranty: 3 year limited warranty (with 1st year advanced RMA service)
Buy From: NCIX | BestDirect | DirectCanada



As you all undoubtedly know Intel recently released the first CPU+GPU hybrid processors on the market in the form of the Clarkdale LGA1156 family, which is comprised of the i5-600 series, i3-500 series, and Pentium G6000 series. These new models cater to the mainstream PC market, with a slant towards budget systems and home theater PC's (HTPC). Specifically, these are the chips that Intel plans to replace the venerable Core 2 Duo series with.

With the release of the processors, Intel also unveiled three new chipsets (H55/H57/Q57). The two chipsets that consumers are likely to encounter in the retail market are the H55 Express and H57 Express. For all extent and purpose, both chipsets are identical, with the H57 distinguishing itself from the H55 with 2 additional USB 2.0 ports and 2 additional PCI-E x1 slots. Not a significant difference by any means.

However, while nearly all H55 motherboards are sub-$150 models, the H57 chipset has given motherboard manufacturers a reason to create some higher-end motherboards sporting more PCI-E x16 slots, SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0. The P7H57D-V EVO is one such product. While designing a premium motherboard around an affordable processor series might seem counter-productive, the simple fact of the matter is that most Clarkdale's really aren't that cheap, yet that hasn't stopped them from selling well.

Coming in at around $220CAD, the P7H57D-V EVO is priced more along the lines of a fully featured P55 motherboard. This makes sense though since this model has exactly the same layout and feature set as the $200CAD P7P55D-E PRO, and can also support the Lynnfield LGA1156 processors. An extra $20 for DVI/VGA outputs is not unreasonable, but can this Clarkdale-oriented motherboard distinguish itself enough to warrant its high price? Well that's what we are here to find out.

P7H57DVEVO_2.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,087
Location
Montreal
Specifications

Specifications



P7H57DVEVO_3.jpg

When the Lynnfield platform was launched, we saw the first new 'Ibex Peak' 5-series chipset, the P55 Express. However, the Ibex Peak family also consists of the H55, H57, and Q57 chipsets. Unlike all previous Intel chipsets which featured both a northbridge and a southbridge (eg. X58 Express + ICH10R), the Ibex Peak are one-chip solutions. As such, Intel have come up with the new designation of Platform Controller Hub (PCH). Intel has managed to transition to a one-chip design since all LGA1156 processors have a memory controller and PCI-Express controller built into the CPU package, therefore rending the northbridge obsolete. The PCH communicates to the CPU via the Direct Media Interface (DMI), a 2 GB/s point-to-point connection, which is roughly equivalent to a PCI-E x4 1.0 link. By the way, the DMI is by no means new, it has long been used as the link between the northbridge and southbridge.

The model we are particularly interested in today is the H57 Express. Unlike the P55 Express, this chipset does not natively support dual mechical PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots for CrossFire and SLI. However, motherboard manufacturers can still add second slot on H57 models since they have devised a way of making CrossFire and SLI work with Lynnfield processors, but not Clarkdale ones. This is bothersome since it's an artificial block on Intel's behalf, proven by the fact that CrossFire and SLI work fine on P55 motherboards with Clarkdale processors.

On the plus side, the H57 is one of three chipsets (H55, H57, Q57) that supports the Flexible Display Interface (FDI). This interface allows the IGP in the Clarkdale processor to channel its graphics data to the display controller in the H57 PCH, which can then be outputted via DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, or the venerable VGA.

On the connectivity front, the H57 supports up to 14 USB 2.0 ports, 8 PCI-E x1 lanes, 4 legacy PCI slots, and 6 SATA II ports. This is mere 2 more USB ports and 2 more PCI-E x1 lanes than the lower-end H55 Express chipset. Unlike the H55, the H57 chipset also supports the successor to Intel's Matrix Storage Technology, now known as Rapid Storage Technology. This is a software-based RAID feature that supports RAID 0,1,5,10 and gives you access to Intel's storage management utility. To rounds things off, this chipset also features one native Gigabit LAN port and Intel's HD Audio Technology.

Like all modern Intel chipsets, the H57 PCH is manufactured on the 65nm process and it has a low default voltage of 1.0V. As a result of this low voltage, and the simple fact that the H55 does not actually do much, it does run quite cool with a 5.2W max TDP. It is also tiny. The H57 package size is just 27mm x 27mm and the actual die is a minuscule 8mm x 8mm.


While that is all there is to know about this new chipset, here is the specifications list for the ASUS P7H57D-V EVO motherboard itself. Despite this platform's supposedly mainstream roots, you will definitely see that this model's specs sheet compares quite favourably with most new high-end P55/X58 motherboard s:



Next let's take a closer look at some of the interesting features ASUS have built-in this model.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,087
Location
Montreal
Features

Features


1.jpg

ASUS has a new design philosophy that is called Xtreme Design, and it incorporates 3 elements: performance, safety and reliability. There are too many new innovations to list in this piece, but we will go over a few of the more interesting aspects.

<div style="float:left;margin:8px;">
2.jpg
</div>The P7H57D-V EVO has been outfitted with the new Xtreme Phase design, which on this model is an 8-phase power design. The benefits of this design is the reduction of the average power load for each phase through real-time phase switching in relation to the system load. In coordination with the new T.Probe and PEM hardware controllers, this theoretically leads to lower temperatures and improved reliability, more stable power delivery at high frequencies and better power efficiency. Speaking of efficiency, this motherboard also features enhanced EPU technology, which helps improve energy efficiency by moderating power in real-time based on the system load. Needless to say the design also features high quality capacitors with 50,000-hour lifespans.


<div style="float:right;margin:14px;">
3.jpg
</div>The ASUS Turbo Key is an exclusive feature that transforms the PC power button into a physical overclocking button, very much like the Turbo buttons of 386/486-era. This provides novice users a one-touch solution to boost system performance whenever they need it, even during a game. Meanwhile, the more experienced enthusiast users will instead benefit greatly from the TurboV EVO and Turbo V technology. The TurboV EVO is a new hardware controller dedicated solely to system overclocking and it can do both intelligent auto-tuning and real-time hardware overclocking. Also new with this motherboard is the TurboV remote, which is a physical controller that allows you to select between three auto-overclocking presets, permits real-time adjustments to the BCLK and system voltages and even allows manipulation of the EPU settings. Lastly, there is the TurboV overclocking utility that ASUS first introduced with their X58 motherboards, but it now been updated with more precise voltage adjustments, improved functionality and better stability.


<div style="float:left;margin:8px;">
4.jpg
</div>One of the main aspects of the Xtreme Design initiative is improved safety. What this means is the reduction of potential EMI-based issues, improved static discharge tolerance and over current protection. This is achieved through better layout, design, component choice and overall design symmetry, particularly in the CPU and I/O ports area where EMI issues are most likely to occur. ASUS have also worked to reduce the likelyhood of static discharge damage which is caused by the accumulated electrical charge of your body “jumping” into the system through your fingers, by protecting each USB port on the motherboard. Last but not least is the improved the over current protection. In this case there are small circuits scattered throughout the motherboard that act like fuses and circuit breakers preventing your components and devices from getting damaged in the event of an over current condition.


<div style="float:right;margin:14px;">
5.jpg
</div>On the P7H57D-V EVO, ASUS have improved upon the StackCool Technology (copper cooling + cooling design implementations) that they first introduced in 2004. The focus of StackCool has always been to consistently refine motherboard design to improve overall cooling for both the motherboard itself and the onboard components, with the ultimate aim of improving stability and reliability. This can be seen by the extensive cooling solutions for power phases, MOSFETs, chipsets and the integration of cooling via the motherboard PCB itself. With the new StackCool 3+ design, ASUS implemented an additional two 2oz copper PCB layers to their existing 6 layer PCB design which when combined with better circuit design and placement, helps to release heat from critical points more efficiently.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,087
Location
Montreal
Package & Accessories

Package & Accessories


Now that we have taken a quick look at some the P7H57D-V EVO's unique features, it is time to take a look at the packaging and the included accessories. At $215CDN+ this motherboard is at the upper-end of the mainstream segment, so we expect a decent amount of included goodies. Let's check it out:

P7H57DVEVO_31th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_32th.jpg

P7H57DVEVO_33th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_34th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Right off the bat we couldn't help but notice that the P7H57D-V EVO is packaged in the thinnest box that we have ever seen for a motherboard, a mere 2 inches tall. The box itself has a new baby blue theme that emphasizes the Xtreme Design features highlighted in the Features section. The box is adorned with logos illustrating this model's numerous features and specifications, and you will find quite a bit of additional information about all of the interesting ASUS-specific features that this model comes with. Essentially, if you take a few moments to look and read the box, you will know exactly what you are getting with this product.

P7H57DVEVO_35th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_36th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The accessories bundle is a little light, but there's nothing important missing. There are four SATA cables, two of which have a 90-degree connectors and the customary IDE cable, no floppy as this motherboard doesn't have a floppy port. There is the I/O panel and Q-Connectors, which make attaching the case cables to the system panel connector a much easier process. ASUS have also included an SLI bridge and a USB/eSATA PCI expansion bracket.

Here is a break down of the included items:

  • IDE Cable
  • 4 SATA Cables
  • 3-port eSATA/USB PCI Expansion Bracket
  • 2-Way SLI bridge connector
  • I/O Panel
  • Manual
  • Installation CD
  • Q-Connector

P7H57DVEVO_37th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_38th.jpg

P7H57DVEVO_39th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_40th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Now that we have taken a closer look at the accessories, let's do the same for the motherboard.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,087
Location
Montreal
A Closer Look at the ASUS P7H57D-V EVO

A Closer Look at the ASUS P7H57D-V EVO



P7H57DVEVO_41.jpg


Upon first glance this motherboard's layout is nearly perfect. The 8-pin CPU power connector, overvoltage jumpers, 24-pin ATX power connector, IDE connector, SATA ports, USB and FireWire headers and onboard power/reset buttons are all ideally located on the edges of the motherboard. We do wish the white SATA 6Gb/s ports were placed with the other SATA ports though. The TurboV remote connector is a little hard to reach, and the CPU fan header is in a slightly unusual position, but none of these are deal-breakers. We definitely like the black PCB and it looks great with the new blue & white theme, especially with the striking low profile chipset cooler.

P7H57DVEVO_42th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_43th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The P7H57D-V EVO uses the now familiar LGA1156 socket, which is surrounded by the 8 + 3 phase power design, as evidenced by the 11 sealed chokes. 8 + 3 signifies that there are 8 phases for the CPU and 3 phases for the Uncore (IMC/IGP).

The MOSFET heatsinks are aluminium and are not connected to each other by a heatpipe. They are fairly low profile, so interference problems are highly unlikely with any well-designed CPU cooler. There are a few capacitors close to socket, but generally those seeking to insulate the socket for sub-zero overclocking shouldn't have too much difficulty.

P7H57DVEVO_44th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_45th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

For those who are curious, the P7H57D-V EVO is outfitted with both a LOTES socket and retention module. There has been no mention of burnt/melted pins with Clarkdale, so this a moot issue on this platform.

P7H57DVEVO_46th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_47th.jpg

P7H57DVEVO_48th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_49th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The DDR3 memory slots support overclocked memory frequencies up to DDR3-2133, and are fed by a 2-phase power design. We are glad to see that the Q-DIMM memory slot design, which is clipless on one end, has found its way on to this model. The reason for this innovative design is to prevent the memory clips from coming into contact with the back of the graphics card.

To the right of the 24-pin ATX power connector is the MemOk! button, which can fix any compatibility issues between the motherboard and the memory and allow the system to boot. We are very pleased to see that ASUS have outfitted this motherboard with a removable BIOS chip. This is not quite as good as a dual BIOS approach, but if there's a mishap, it is a heck of a lot simpler to simpler to change a BIOS chip than it is to ship a motherboard back to the manufacturer.

P7H57DVEVO_50th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_52th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The H57 PCH heatsink has a weird irregular shape, but it does add a little positive edge to the motherboard's overall appeal. Since the H57 chipset has such a low 5.2W TDP, this low-profile cooler has no problems dissipating the heat output.

Tucked underneath the heatsink is a Marvell 88SE6111 controller, which supplies the UltraDMA 66/100/133 IDE port.

P7H57DVEVO_53.jpg


This motherboard features the standard array of six right-angle SATA II (3Gb/s) ports, which are supplied by the H57 chipset, and support Intel Matrix Storage Technology in the form of RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10.

P7H57DVEVO_54th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_55th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_56th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Near the bottom-right, you can spot the antiquated blue jumper which is used to clear the CMOS.
The Winbond W83667HG-A is Super I/O & hardware monitoring controller, nothing too exciting. On the other hand, the TurboV EVO chip is a real-time hardware overclocking processor dedicated solely to system overclocking and it is designed for both intelligent auto-tuning and real-time manual hardware overclocking.

P7H57DVEVO_57th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_58th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_59th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Here we have the two SATA 6Gb/s ports, which are courtersy of the Marvell 88SE9123 controller. This is a feature that distinguishes this model from every other H55 and H57 motherboard on the market.

Now the LGA1156 platform does not natively have enough free PCI-E lanes to support both full speed SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 at the same time. Therefore, motherboard manufacturers have had to resort to some clever tricks to resolve this issue. ASUS have integrated a PLX PCI-E bridge on the motherboard. This chip acts like a PCI-E amplifier, taking four PCI-E 1.1 x1 lanes from the H57 PCH and effectively doubling them, to put it very simply. With this approach, both SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 can used at the same time, at full speed, and there is no need to divert any of the processor's 16 PCI-E lanes away from graphics duty.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,087
Location
Montreal
A Closer Look at the ASUS P7H57D-V EVO pt.2

A Closer Look at the ASUS P7H57D-V EVO pt.2



P7H57DVEVO_60th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_61th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The overall expansion slot layout and assortment is definitely above average for an H55/H57 motherboard. There are two mechanical PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots, three PCI-E x1 slots, and two legacy PCI slots.

Now although this motherboard does support CrossFire and SLI, they are Lynnfield-only features since Intel crippled Clarkdale's integrated PCI-Express controller by preventing its 16 PCI-E 2.0 lanes from being split...on H55 and H57 motherboards. Clarkdale can only support two graphics card on the P55 chipset. Don't ask us why, it is merely marketing run amok.

Just to be clear this is purely Intel's fault, not ASUS. Officially, the H57 doesn't even support two PCI-E x16 slots, but ASUS went ahead and put those four PCI-E switches to split the 16 PCI-E lanes coming from the processor, as long as it is a Lynnfield model.

P7H57DVEVO_62th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_63th.jpg

P7H57DVEVO_64th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_65th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Starting clockwise from top-left, the Realtek ALC889A is an 8-channel HD audio codec. The VIA VT6308P is a IEEE1394/FireWire controller. The Realtek RTL8112L is a Gigabit LAN controller. Last but certainly not least is the NEC D720200, which is a USB 3.0 controller that supplies the two USB 3.0 ports on the rear I/O panel.

P7H57DVEVO_66th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_67th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_68th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

In the last image we have three different chips. The well-known EPU2 chip has been enhanced with newer functions, but it continues to work to help maximize energy efficiency based on the system load. The T.Probe and PEM ICs are the brand new power phase management controllers. These chips manage the VRM area in real-time to balance load across the power phases and ensure the best possible efficiency and temperatures.

P7H57DVEVO_69.jpg


On the rear I/O panel, ASUS have placed a PS2/ keyboard port, two USB 2.0 ports, an optical S/PDIF Out port, an HDMI port, VGA and DVI ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port, an eSATA port, a Gigabit LAN port, two USB 3.0 ports, and the six audio jacks. We have liked to see a DisplayPort to round out the display connectivity.

P7H57DVEVO_70th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_71th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

There are no back-mounted MOSFETs on this motherboard. We are glad to see that the PCH heatsink is held in place with proper mounting screws.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,087
Location
Montreal
Hardware Installation

Hardware Installation


In the Hardware Installation section we examine how major components fit on the motherboard, and whether there are any serious issues that may affect installation and general functionality. Specifically, we are interested in determining whether there is adequate clearance in all critical areas.

P7H57DVEVO_72th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_73th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_74th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

When installed in the traditional North-South orientation, our Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme CPU cooler did prevent the installation of a memory module with tall heatspreaders in the first memory slot, but only when we used Thermalright's 120MM fan holder. If we removed the fan shroud, we could install a DDR3 module in the first memory slot but the clearance between the module and the fan was minimal. Installing the fan on the other side of the heatsink is obviously an alternative, but at the expense of blowing the hot air inside of your case.

P7H57DVEVO_75th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_76th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_77th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Even when we rotated the cooler to the East-West orientation installation remained tricky. As you can see, in this orientation the CPU cooler overhangs the first memory slot and comes very close to the second slot. Close enough that the heatsink actually makes contact with the memory heatspreaders. You will need to use memory modules with heatspreaders no taller than 5CM if you plan to install your CPU cooler in this orientation and avoid any contact.

P7H57DVEVO_80th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_78th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_79th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Thanks to the expansion slot layout and the Q-DIMM connectors, you won't have to worry about having to remove the graphics card just to install/remove the memory modules.

The 24-pin ATX power connector and the 8-pin CPU power connector are both ideally placed, no worries there.

P7H57DVEVO_81th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_82th.jpg

P7H57DVEVO_83th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_84th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Thanks to a well thoughtout expansion slot layout, when you install two dual-slot graphics cards on this motherboard you retain access to one PCI slot and two PCI-E x1 slots. Also, none of the USB or FireWire headers are blocked, nor the all-important white SATA 6Gb/s ports.

P7H57DVEVO_85.jpg

The six 90-degree SATA and IDE ports are obviously accessible no matter how many graphics cards are installed.

P7H57DVEVO_86th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

There is really nothing on the back of the motherboard that would give us cause for concern regarding clearance issues with an aftermarket CPU cooler mounting bracket.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,087
Location
Montreal
BIOS Rundown

BIOS Rundown


A well designed, feature-rich motherboard can easily be rendered mediocre by a subpar BIOS. Thankfully, as you will see below, ASUS has outfitted the P7H57DV-EVO with an intuitive, user-friendly BIOS. This is BIOS version 0503.


P7H57DVEVO_87th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_88th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Here we have full screen logo that appears everytime the system is powered on. Thankfully, it can be disabled for those who want to shave some seconds from the bootup time.


P7H57DVEVO_89th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_90th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_91th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

When we first enter the BIOS, we are presented with the Main tab, it lists the standard storage devices and some basic system information. This System Information section lists some rudimentary specification info, including the BIOS date & version, the type of processor and the amount of memory installed.


P7H57DVEVO_92th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_93th.jpg

P7H57DVEVO_94th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_95th.jpg

P7H57DVEVO_96th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_97th.jpg

P7H57DVEVO_98th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_99th.jpg

P7H57DVEVO_106th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_107th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Anyone who has used a non-RoG ASUS motherboards knows that the Ai Tweaker tab is where all the fun happens. Once the manual option is selected in the Ai Overclock Tuner setting, the BIOS opens up to reveal all of the essential system clock control options: CPU multiplier, BLCK frequency, PCI-E frequency, memory frequency, QPI frequency, OC Tuner utility, memory timing options, and all the voltage options. As you can see from the iGPU voltage option, you can even select how much voltage to feed the IGP, which is useful since it is in fact overclockable.

One really great addition is the "Current XXX Voltage" readouts. As their names suggests, they tell you what the actual voltage output is for each voltage setting. Two thumbs up for this!


P7H57DVEVO_100th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_101th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The OC Tuner utility is BIOS-based overclocking feature that ASUS have recently begun implementing. Once you select the overclocking profile you want, it will automatically reboot the system and the overclock will be set. It takes about 5 seconds and it works surprisingly well as you can see in our Overclocking Results section.


P7H57DVEVO_102th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_103th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Once you select the DRAM Timing Control option, you enter a seperate sub-menu where the relatively abundant primary and secondy memory timings are revealed. An upcoming BIOS will soon be released that unlocks a wide range of additional memory timings, which is important since proper timings are crucial to tweaking the best possible memory overclock from Clarkdale's complex and unique integrated memory controller.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,087
Location
Montreal
BIOS Rundown pt.2


P7H57DVEVO_108th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_109th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_110th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The Advanced Tab is where you can enable/disable all the CPU-specific features like C1E, SpeedStep, Turbo Mode, C-STATE, etc.


P7H57DVEVO_111th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_112th.jpg

P7H57DVEVO_113th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_114th.jpg

P7H57DVEVO_115th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_116th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

When the GPU onboard the Clarkdale processors is being utilized, some previously hidden GPU-related options are revealed. You can select whether to boot from the IGP or a discrete GPU, how much memory to allocate to the IGP, and you can set the IGP frequency. This latter option serves two purposes. For one, you can downclock or overclock the IGP based on your needs, but more importantly it allows you to set the IGP multiplier. This is crucial since as you increase the BCLK the IGP frequency increases as well. The formula is: Real IGP Frequency = Selected IGP Frequency X (BCLK/133). Keep that in mind and your Clarkdale overclocking endeavours will be infinitely easier.


P7H57DVEVO_117th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_118th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The Advanced Tab is also where you can enable or disable the various onboard controllers like as well as all the onboard devices like audio, LAN, FireWire, eSATA, and most importantly SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0.


P7H57DVEVO_119th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_120th.jpg

P7H57DVEVO_121th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_122th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The Power section contains the power management settings linked to the power-saving sleep modes, it allows you to enable/disable the new EuP standard, and it leads to the Hardware Monitor. The Hardware Monitor has very basic temperature & voltage reporting. Usually we would say that we would like to see additional readouts, but the voltage is listed in real-time in the Ai Tweaker section.

ASUS have outfitted the P7H57DV-EVO with a pretty solid fan control functionality, so if you want to get all your fans spinning just right, this should be right up your alley.


P7H57DVEVO_123th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_124th.jpg

P7H57DVEVO_125th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_126th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The Boot tab is essentially where you set storage device priority and select the boot drive, where you can set supervisor and user passwords, and also disable the full screen logo.


P7H57DVEVO_127th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_128th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The ASUS O.C Profile feature gives users the option to save and switch between BIOS profiles, for example an everyday profile and a benchmarking profile. Not only is this infinitely quicker than manually inserting every setting, but the profiles can be saved and shared among other P7H57DV-EVO owners.


P7H57DVEVO_129th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_130th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

ASUS EZ-Flash 2 is a built-in utility that greatly simplifies the BIOS updating process. You can easily update your BIOS from a ROM file located on your hard drive(s), USB flash drive(s), or even a CD. It's quick, painless, and it takes the worry out of BIOS flashing.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,087
Location
Montreal
Included Software

Included Software


Now that we have the motherboard unpacked and installed, it is time to take a look at some of the software utilities that ASUS has included with the P7H57D-V EVO.

P7H57DVEVO_131th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

Here we have the familiar setup screens for the included software CD. It contains all the drivers or ASUS-specific utilities that you will need to get your system up & running. However, we obviously recommend that you visit the ASUS website to get the very latest software revisions.


PC Probe II

P7H57DVEVO_132th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_133th.gif

Click on images to enlarge

PC Probe II is a system monitoring utility that displays information regarding fan speeds, component temperatures and voltages, as well as alerting users once preset thresholds have been surpassed. As always we like to see some additional voltage readouts, VTT/IMC and memory voltage at the very least. We also wouldn't mind seeing some integration with Vista's sidebar, just to help clean up the desktop area a bit.


AI Suite

P7H57DVEVO_135.jpg

The AI Suite provides basic system information, but its main function is to host shortcuts to five other ASUS utilities and features, namely the EPU-6 Engine, AI NAP, CPU Level Up, Fan Xpert, and TurboV. The AI NAP is an advanced sleep feature that allows users to put their computers to sleep without terminating any tasks. Fan Xpert allows users to select from 7 fan speed profiles that can be individually applied to any fan.


TurboV EVO

P7H57DVEVO_136.gif

ASUS have recently unveiled TurboV EVO, a new version of their popular overclocking utility. This application allows users to adjust all essential system parameters from within Windows, namely the base clock frequency, CPU voltage, VTT/IMC voltage, memory voltage, and even then CPU voltage and PCH voltage when you click on 'more settings'. All these settings can be tweaked without the need to reboot. This program also allows users to also save profiles and load them from within Windows. As usual, we had a good experience with the program, and we have come to rely on it to make quick on-the-fly adjustments in order to find stable overclock settings in various benchmarking applications.

TurboV EVO also contains the Auto Tuning feature, which will automatically overclock your system by going through five tweaking and stability testing phases. As you will see in our Auto Overclocking Results section, Auto Tuning proved to be quite competent, and since ASUS are continually improving this feature, it will get better and better at safely squeezing extra performance from the available components.

This utility allows you to program some functions for Turbo Key, which can turn the PC power button (or selected keyboard keys) into a physical overclocking button, very much like the Turbo buttons of 386/486-era. This provides novice users a one-touch solution to boost system performance whenever they need it.


T.Probe

P7H57DVEVO_137.gif

The T.Probe utility allows users to see how many MOSFETs are being utilized on the fly, as well as get a representation of the MOSFET temperatures. Ultimately, we find this particular piece of software to be more of a novelty than anything else, especially since it doesn't actually report temperatures in a tangible °C/°F manner.


EPU-6 Engine

P7H57DVEVO_138th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

First showcased on the P5Q series, the EPU-6 Engine has been one of ASUS's most highly touted features. This utility works in coordination with the EPU (Energy Processing Unit) controller in order to minimize your system's energy consumption. It does this by continuously monitoring and altering the speeds and voltages of the CPU, VGA card, hard drives and fans. There are four manually selectable modes and an automatic mode that varies settings according to system load. Regrettably, unlike Gigabyte's Dynamic Energy Saver (DES) technology, EPU-6 will not work when your system is overclocked, which obviously makes it a less attractive proposition from our power user point-of-view. Can it provide tangible energy efficiency gains? We will verify that in our Power Consumption section.


Express Gate

P7H57DVEVO_139th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_140th.jpg

P7H57DVEVO_141th.jpg
P7H57DVEVO_142th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Last, we have the ExpressGate “instant-on” operating system. This SplashTop Linux mini-OS allows for quick access to basic functions. In mere seconds, users can web browse, view photos, chat via Pigdin, and even make internet calls through Skype. As you can see in the image that is directly above, ExpressGate features an application dock somewhat similar to that which can found in recent Apple OS X versions. It is a convenient way to layout the four included applications. There are also a configuration panel with some very basic setup options.

It was painless to setup thanks to its completely automated installation procedure, and very easy to use. It resides on the hard drive, and prompts you to use it or continue booting normally everytime you start your computer, unless you disable it in the BIOS.

Overall, ExpressGate is useful for those instances where your PC is off and you need the internet or Skype right away, but otherwise it quickly becomes a novelty feature due to its inherent software limitations.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top