The layout of the P7H57D-V EVO is quite good. It has a design similar to the P7P55D Deluxe and P7P55D Premium. It features a pair of x16 PCIe slots that can support CrossFire or SLI in an x8/x8 configuration when paired up with a Lynnfield CPU. Clarkdale CPU’s can only use a single discrete graphics card due to the on-die HD Graphics processor.
The area around the CPU socket is clear of obstructions so that you can mount just about any heat sink you can imagine. Something you might notice is that there are two grey colored SATA ports at the bottom of the motherboard which are for SATA 6G operation.
The main function of motherboards with the H55 and H57 chipsets are to provide connectivity to the Intel HD GPU on the Core i3 and Core i5 600 series processors. Here you can see the DVI, VGA, and HDMI ports. You can also see a PS2 port, 6 USB ports in which the two blue ports are USB 3.0. Firwire, eSATA, and a single Network adapter port round out the data connectivity. On the audio side there are outputs for analog 8 channel sound as well as a TOSLINK out.
USB 3.0 is provided by an NEC controller and SATA 6G is provided by a Marvell 88SE6111 controller which is similar to how others manufacturers are providing support for these two new technologies. Where ASUS goes the extra mile is with the PLX chip shown above. While it does add cost to the motherboard, it also provides concurrent full speed USB 3.0 and SATA 6G operation when the IGP is used. The PLX chip is a PCIe 4x bridge chip that can switch between using the PCH controller’s PCIe lanes and the CPU’s when a graphics card is used. Note that when a graphics card is used, USB 3.0 performance will be slightly lower, but similar to other boards performance.
In the photo above you can see the MemOK button. The main function of MemOK is to help initialize low margin memory or memory that may not yet be fully supported. It can go through three stages, 1. Memory Frequency reduction, 2. Timing adjustments, 3. Voltage cycling and if needed can apply all three. Essentially it is focused to ensure that if you are having memory related issues you can complete a post/boot safely.
The bundle for the ASUS P7H57D-V EVO is what we have to come to expect from ASUS. Four SATA cables, a USB slot expansion, the Q-Shield, IDE cable, Q-connectors, and SLI bridge are all included.
On the back of the box we see descriptions for some of the features on the motherboard. Highlights include the TurboV EVO software, the Hybrid Phase technology, SATA 6G, USB 3.0, and the T. Probe.