ASRock P67 Pro3
The ASRock P67 Pro3 has a simple yet useful and configurable UEFI setup utility. The UEFI is separated into main, OC Tweaker, advanced, hardware monitor, boot, security, and exit sections. From the OC Tweaker area are optimized CPU settings at 4.0, 4.2, 4.4, 4.6, and 4.8GHz, at least for the Intel Core i5 2500K processor.
Besides the easy overclocking capabilities, there are also various options that are exposed from voltages to the multiplier to DRAM timing for further tweaking by those enthusiasts wishing to optimize their system's performance. ASRock motherboards are not generally known for amazing overclocks like ASUS or Gigabyte motherboards, but ASRock's overclocking abilities and BIOS/UEFI options have certainly improved compared to a few years back.
The UEFI setup utility also exposes various other configuration options along with an ASRock Instant Flash utility for easily updating the UEFI from a flash drive. The "instant flash" support from a USB drive is becoming quite common among modern motherboards, which is quite good so Linux (and Solaris / BSD users) can easily update their systems without worrying about any Windows-only utilities or having to deal with creating FreeDOS disks/CDs.
Running Ubuntu 10.10 with the Linux 2.6.35 kernel had worked fine from the ASRock P67 Pro3. Booting up the Ubuntu 10.10 LiveCD from a USB drive had worked just fine and there were no major problems encountered. As mentioned in several articles now, the only real Linux compatibility problems have been with the Sandy Bridge graphics when dealing with a buggy ASUS H67 motherboard and for everyone else just ensuring you have an updated Intel Linux graphics driver stack (Linux 2.6.37+, Mesa 7.10 or ideally Mesa 7.11-devel, xf86-video-intel 2.14.0+). Ubuntu 10.10 had worked fine on the ASRock P67 Pro3 motherboard along with other Intel P67 motherboards in our tests.
ASRock does provide the "ASRock eXtreme Tuning Utility" for configuring the UEFI from within Windows, but obviously, this is not available for Linux users.
For benchmarks of the ASRock P67 Pro3, visit our OpenBenchmarking.org web-site where there are dozens of test results available for this motherboard and other Linux test information.
The ASRock P67 Pro3 isn't back to shipping in large quantities yet since the Intel chipset recall, but this modestly priced motherboard should be back on the market from most Internet retailers in the coming weeks. The retail price on the motherboard should still be around $130 USD, which makes it one of the more modestly priced P67 motherboards. While the price may be less than some P67 motherboards from the likes of ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte, it offers a good feature set with all of the core features (USB 3.0, SATA 3.0, PCI-E 2.0 x16, etc) plus modest overclocking abilities and should work with the latest Linux distributions.
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