|Intel DH67BL H67-Express Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Monday, 03 January 2011|
Page 17 of 18
H67-Express Final Thoughts
The new Sandy Bridge platform is a game changer. The DH67BL and all other H67 series motherboards are meant for entry-level users. The DH67BL is set to release for $107, becoming a cost-effective way to break into the new Sandy Bridge platform. There are a lot of new changes that came along with the Sandy Bridge release, most of them based in the CPU, and most of them media-centric.
The Sandy Bridge CPUs have changed the way they handle arithmetic processes, there has been updates to the AES-NI encryption and decryption, media encoding has been advanced. In addition to that, new 32nm GPU architecture has been released, along with a redesigned bus for the entire die. The results are in and, as far as the CPU is concerned, they are quite impressive. In our testing we found that the mid-ranged Core i5-2500K outperformed its AMD counterpart by a staggering margin in most of the tests. Not only that, it also beat out the very popular Core i7-920 in many areas, and for a lower cost. All the areas that were changed, encoding, compression, arithmetic processes, were improved upon. After all is said and done, the Sandy Bridge CPUs, at least the Core i5-2500K, is a huge improvement and a great processor for its price.
That being said, the H67 chipset and the DH67BL motherboard, not to mention the new Intel HD Graphics, were a big disappointment to me. The days of Intel and AMD locking users out of any type of performance tuning were over, or so we thought. The Black Edition and K series processors have come to be a welcome respite for the enthusiast market. Pushing your hardware to the absolute limits of its ability is exciting and fun. Intel has all but killed those desires for anyone not able to afford an enthusiast platform. Even then, your abilities are severely limited.
One of the reasons I can see for limiting performance tuning is that many CPUs have become obsolete due to lower end processors having such massive overclocking headroom. For example, why would buy a 3.2GHz version of the same processor that comes in a 3.1, 3.0, 2.9, and 2.8GHz version when the slower, and lower cost, CPUs all overclock to about the same speed as the faster ones. If the overclockability is taken away, you can sell CPUs to every step of the market. I don't know the reasons behind hampering overclocking in the Sandy Bridge platform, but I do know that I don't like it.