The layout of this board is very impressive and looks terrific. With a laundry list of features, it is amazing that they were able to fit it all in! One of the easiest things to miss due to the coloring is that this board has 3 PCI-E 16x (2.0 spec) slots for graphics cards. Despite having those three PCI-E slots the board only supports 2 graphics cards in SLI, although a 3rd card can be added for PhysX. If CrossFire is your choice of poison you can populate all 3 slots for graphics acceleration.
On the top right of the board are the DIMM slots, which completely dominate the view of this motherboard. With 6 slots available you will be able to make use of up to 24GB of memory!
You also can’t help but notice the huge heatsink on the X58 controller, the copper heatsinks on the VRM’s, and the copper heatpipes connecting it all together. Using a swept design on the heatsink near the CPU helps coolers that blow down on the socket area move heat across the other components that need cooling.
In the lower right corner we see the lone IDE connector and the eight SATA connectors. The right-angled SATA connectors really help when you have long graphics cards like the NVIDIA GTX 200 series. Two of those connectors (the orange on the bottom) are attached to the Marvell 88SE6320 SAS controller. SATA drives are based on a subset of the SAS standard, so with this controller you can install some incredibly fast 10k rpm and 15k rpm drives that are normally reserved for server and heavy workstation duty, or you can install SATA drives on these two ports. I think using this type of controller, while slightly more expensive, gives users better options than when manufacturers put on a secondary lower quality SATA only controller.
On the bottom of the board you can see the silver colored power and reset buttons; these are particularly handy for those who use these boards just on a test bench, like extreme overclockers or reviewers. Also, at the bottom we see 3 USB headers. With a total of 14 USB ports available, I would be surprised if you ever ran out!
Tucked in between a PCI slot and PCI-E slot is the Express Gate hardware. For those of you who are not familiar with it, it utilizes Splashtop, a Linux environment to give you nearly instant access to the web using FireFox, Skype, and a few other features — all without having a hard drive hooked up. This is a very handy feature if you don’t always like to wait on Windows to boot just to look something up on the net quickly.
Finally, out back we see the connectivity offered on the ASUS P6T Deluxe, eight USB ports, two NIC’s, eSATA, and Firewire. The two onboard NIC’s utilize the Marvell Yukon 88E8056 controller, which Vista has a preloaded driver for. 8 channel audio out is supported by Coax or Optical S/PDIF, as well as your standard analog jacks.