Intel Core i5-750 and Core i7-870 ProcessorsTue, Sep 08, 2009 - 12:00 AM
The P55 Express Chipset
The new Intel P55 Express chipset supports 8 PCI Express 2.0 x1 Ports (2.5GT/s) for flexible device support. Dual graphics cards are supported in a “2×8″ configuration. The chipset also supports 6 SATA 3 GB/s Ports with Intel Matrix Storage Technology providing RAID levels 0/1/5/10. Up to 14 USB 2.0 Ports can be supported with the chipset’s integrated USB 2.0 Rate Matching Hub, along with Intel High Definition Audio for premium digital sound. The new processors are the first to be supported by the new Land Grid Array (LGA) 1156 package and socket technology.
Intel P55 Express Chipset:
- Support for 6 SATA ports at 1.5 Gbps and 3Gbps with Intel Matrix Storage Manager providing RAID 0/1/5/10
- Intel HD Audio, 8 PCI Express 2.0 (2.5 Gbps) x1 ports and 14 USB 2.0 ports with 2 independent EHCI controllers
- The P55 Express chipset connects to the processor through a 2GB/s interface
Some Intel P55 Express Motherboards We’ve Been Using:
We’ve already brought you reviews on the Gigabyte P55-UD6 and P55M-UD4 motherboards today, so let’s take a quick look at a couple of the boards we have been using for CPU testing.
The Intel Extreme Series DP55KG ‘Kingsberg’ motherboard is the highest end motherboard that Intel will be offering with the P55 Express chipset.
The board has a very clean layout and features six phase power management.
The board features a x16 PCI Express slot and a x8 PCI Express slot for graphics cards and has been licensed to support both ATI CrossFire and NVIDIA SLI multi-GPU technology. The motherboard also features on-board Bluetooth and has a location for an antenna to be attached.
The rear I/O panel on the Intel DP55KG ‘Kingsberg’ motherboard is packed full of goodies. Starting from the left you’ll see two eSATA headers, which is a nice touch. Just to the right of that is a little button. This is the Back-to-BIOS switch, which can be used to recover the BIOS if your overclocked settings fail to work out for you. After that, you can see the S/PDIF in/out connectors, eight USB 2.0 headers, 1334 Firewire and then all the audio jacks for the Intel High Definition Audio (7.1 Dolby Home Theater support).
ASUS sent out the P7P55D Deluxe motherboard, which is one of their top P55 motherboards when it comes to both features and pricing.
P7P55D Premium: $279
Maximus III Formula: $259
P7P55D Deluxe: $229
Sabertooth P55: $219
Maximus III Gene: $209
P7P55D EVO: $199
P7P55D Pro: $179
P7P55D LE: $139
This board is loaded with features like additional ESD protection, Stack Cool 3/+ with two 2oz copper layers, Xtreme Phase, T-probe and Turbo V/EVO.
The board also has 16+3 phase VRM circuits, so it is solid for sure!
The ASUS P7P55D Deluxe motherboard has three x16 PCI-E slots with support for both Crossfire and SLI, two x1 slots and two PCI slots.
The rear IO panel has a pair of PS/2 ports for both the mouse and keyboard, a clear CMOS button, the optical and Coax digital sound output, eight USB 2.0 ports, dual Gigabit LAN, 1394 and ten channel surround sound.