As we mentioned earlier Sandy Bridge comes in an LGA 1155 socket design. This means a new motherboard and chipset to support this 2nd Generation Core series processor. Intel supplied us with their highest end P67 motherboard offering for review, the DP67BG. Also known as Burrage, this motherboard fully supports the K series line and has ample power to get a respectable overclock from a Core i5 2500K or Core i7 2600K.
Of special note is that Burrage is completely devoid of legacy PS/2, IDE, and Floppy ports!
There are no components on the back side of the motherboard to interfere with the case. The back plate for the CPU socket is similar to what we saw on LGA ll56 and should pose no issue with after market CPU coolers.
Sandy Bridge supports dual channel DDR3 with up to 4 DIMM’s of memory and a total capacity of 32GB. The heat sinks around the CPU socket do a great job of keeping heat of the components down. Note that this is one of the first Intel designs that we’ve seen to use all solid capacitors.
In this photo you can see the BIOS chip and post code reader. Also along the right side are Power and Reset buttons. Intel has come a long way with their enthusiast motherboards over the years!
Intel Burrage supports CrossFireX and SLI graphics options with a pair of x16 PCI-E slots (x16/x8 electrically). A trio of x1 slots are available for upgrading things like a dedicated sound card or a second network adapter. 2 PCI slots remain for backward compatibility of older components. For a detailed review on CrossFireX/SLI performance check out our P67 Chipset review.
At the bottom of the board you can see several LED’s that can help you determine exactly what you might be having a problem with. If a particular function fails to initialize its LED will light up red. For normal functionality they will be green.
Six SATA ports are available. The four black ports support SATA 3Gbp/s while the two blue ports support SATA 6Gbp/s. SATA 6
As mentioned before there are no PS/2 ports on this board. On the left we have a single eSATA connection, a Firewire port and two USB 2.0. The small button between the next four USB ports is the “Back to BIOS” button. In the event your system is not able to boot due to setting too high of an overclock, simply enable this on/off button (it lights up red when enabled) and the board will boot off of default settings and allow you to make changes. I really prefer this to having the clear CMOS button on the back, which can easily be pushed by accident. The two blue USB ports are Super Speed USB 3.0. Finally we have the audio out options. There are the standard analog out connections and the S/PDIF for digital audio. HD audio duties are handled by a Realtek ALC892 controller.
USB 3.0 support is provided by this NEC D720200F1 controller.
Intel also sent along their BXXTS100H CPU cooler
that will be shipping with is designed to work with the Intel Core i7 2600K processor. The aluminum finned heat sink has a two speed fan with selectable switch on the top. Labeled “Q” for quiet and “P” for performance, you’ll want to stick with the Q setting as long as you can! The cooler provided excellent cooling throughout our testing and all the way up to 4.3GHz on the Q setting. At 4.5GHz the Core i7 2600K was starting to reach 70C under load so we switched from Q to P. Those looking to go beyond 4.5GHz will want to look into a more robust aftermarket solution.
There is no mistaking the quality of this heatsink. It’s a great looking and functioning unit for a factory supplied cooler. The copper base of the BXXTS100H has one of the best finishes I’ve ever seen! In the reflection you can actually make out the model and part of the serial number of one of our Intel X-25E 64GB SSD’s!