Legit Motherboard Reviews
ECS, eVGA, Gigabyte, MSI P55 Motherboard Roundup
|Product:||Intel P55 Express Motherboards|
|Date:||Mon, Dec 21, 2009 - 12:00 AM|
|Written By:||Chris Morrell -|
Given how diverse the lineup was for this roundup it would be unfair to outright declare one board best. In reality each board has traits that define it and should be considered when comparing the lineup. So rather than have one monolithic conclusion I'll break this up into short blurbs and try to concisely sum up each board.
The ECS P55H-A priced at $140 USD is by far the cheapest motherboard and this shows in features, quality, and ease of use. Regarding warranty, ECS has a 3 year warranty on all their ATX motherboards so you are covered with that. If you are shopping for a budget motherboard the ECS P55H-A is a great option given how it performed acceptably and it is priced accordingly.
The MSI P55-GD65 was the most average of motherboards and the first motherboard I would consider if I were an enthusiast. The quality jump between the MSI P55-GD65 and the ECS P55H-A is worth the $10 price jump. Priced at $150 USD and equipped with a 3 year warranty, the P55-GD65 is a very attractive option. Considering how well it fared through the stock performance tests and how it raised the bar through the overclocking tests, this is a solid choice for what I'd consider to be an enthusiast with a budget.
The EVGA P55 FTW is the serious overclocking contender of the roundup with plenty of features targeting the overclocking enthusiast niche. Factor in the ECP module, E-LEET, and the ease of overclocking and the P55 FTW is my choice. Priced at an acceptable $205 and equipped with a 3 year warranty, the P55 FTW is a well rounded enthusiast option.
Last up is the Gigabyte P55A-UD6 sitting on top of the roundup in price and features. Compared to the other boards you do get a few unique features. However, if that is worth $245 is a tough call. Some outstanding features were the USB3.0 and SATA-III support, unique to the roundup. Secondly was the best organized BIOS and the most overclocking friendly board of the roundup. The EVGA was easier to overclock due to E-LEET but the P55A-UD6 was the most user friendly given how well laid out the BIOS was and the ease of saving BIOS profiles. Perhaps a few parts of the P55A-UD6 were a bit over the top such as the CPU PWM, but in the end the board was the most stable, consistently sat at the top of the benchmarks, and was incredibly easy to overclock.
Now that we've highlighted each board, I can now go against what I said and declare a winner. The winner, due to it catering to exactly what I enjoy, is the EVGA P55 FTW. I'll be holding on to all the boards in anticipation of the 32nm LGA1156 processor launch next month but the EVGA P55 FTW will be the board of choice for me. If you need a budget board grab the ECS P55H-A. If you need a solid well-rounded board, grab the MSI P55-GD65. If you want to overclock LGA1156 processors grab the EVGA P55 FTW. If you want SATA-III/USB3.0 support and an easily overclocked board grab the Gigabyte P55A-UD6.
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Page 1 - The Intel P55 Express Mobo Roundup
Page 2 - ECS P55H-A BIOS, Board, and Bundle
Page 3 - eVGA P55 FTW BIOS, Board, and Bundle
Page 4 - Gigabyte P55A-UD6 BIOS, Board, and Bundle
Page 5 - MSI P55-GD65 BIOS, Board, and Bundle
Page 6 - Test Configuration
Page 7 - Test Results
Page 8 - Overclocking Results
Page 9 - Conclusion