Inside the retail box is the motherboard, user's guide, two Q-connectors, rear I/O panel shield, SLI bridge, dual USB 3.0 add-in card, two SATA 3Gb/sec cables and two SATA 6Gb/sec cables. The two SATA 3Gb/sec cables are worth nothing as other boards we have looked at include a full set of backwards-compatible SATA 6Gb/sec cables instead of the older versions.
As mentioned in the introduction, ASUS is aiming for a consistent layout across all of their mainstream P67 boards, so this is the general layout / color scheme that you will see on all products except the specific segmentation products (Sabertooth, Maximus IV Extreme). The black / blue / white color scheme is traditional ASUS, virtually identical to what we saw on the P6X58D-E.
At the top of the board we find three large heatsinks, two of which are connected via a heatpipe. At the very top left is the 8-pin CPU connector, a 4-pin chassis fan header, 4-pin CPU fan header and a 3-pin power fan header. Additionally we find the four memory slots - two black and two blue - that support up to 32GB of DDR3 1066 / 1333 / 1600 / 1866(OC) / 2133(OC) / 2200(OC) in dual channel configuration.
Directly to the right of the memory slots is the MemOK! button and EPU switch.
The MemOK! feature allows your motherboard to boot even if there might be some compatibility issues between the board and the memory you are using. I have personally run into this issue in the past and had no choice but to boot with different memory then relax the timings in the BIOS in order to accept the original memory.
If your memory won't boot in the board, the LED beside the MemOK! button will light up red. Press and hold down the MemOK! button until the red LED beside the button begins flashing, meaning it is entering the compatibility tuning mode. During this process the system loads and tests failsafe settings. The system may reboot a few times as it cycles through its battery of tests. If successful, the system will boot up. If not, the LED will change to solid red and you need to try different memory.
The EPU switch activates the real-time PC power saving chip on the board which automatically detects workloads and moderates power consumption. The default position for this switch is "off".
More just ahead.