I'm spec'ing out a new SFF P55 machine that will have a Gigabyte P55M-UD2 at the heart of it. Seems like a great value, and good performance. I'll be using a Core i5 750 at stock clocks, with a Thermalright MUX 120 and Scythe SFlex-E in an Antec P180 case. I have a few questions, though:
I will not be doing any overclocking
Specifically, I'm wondering:
1. Will the Thermalright + 120mm Fan assembly block the first RAM slot on the Gigabyte MB? (In case I want to upgrade down the line).
2. Anyone have experience with the Gigabyte P55M-UD2 - specifically, is the barebones cooling system for the VRMs adequate for a stock 750? I've always thought those elaborate heatpipe cooling systems on VRMs were utterly unnecessary unless you're running a really hot/demanding/overclocked system.
3. Does the power saving features (DES2 or whatever it's called) require anything running in the desktop (an application or process) to function? Or are they all initiated/configured/run from the board/BIOS itself?
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I'm running an i7 860 on the GA-P55M-UD2. This chip tends to run hotter than the i7 750 because of its increased speed and (more so) because of hyperthreading. I have not had any heat related issues through multiple, long runs of Intel Burn Test and Prime 95. My case has some ventilation and my cables are under control, but I do not consider either to be too great. At stock, as long as you have some ventilation in your case I'm sure you'll be fine. I have never checked the VRM specifically, if there's something I can test for you just let me know.
As to the Thermalright, it will definitely be tight. Especially if the RAM has a larger profile / heatsink. I'm hoping tonight to install the Hyper 212+. Obviously not the same but check back in with me, I can tell you how much room is left and you can compare the difference in the size of the two HSFs, if we don't hear from someone with a Thermalright and UD2.
DES2 is software. To use it, it must be installed and setup once. You can then put it in 'stealth mode' and it will keep your settings even when you restart the machine. To me, that should be a give-me, but they make a point of calling that out. If you download the manual, the software is described starting on p. 73.
I have not used DES 2. I just turn on EIST and watch my computer idle at around 1.19GHz (133 x 9). DES 2 may provide additional details, but I haven't had time to install and play with it yet. I just ran some temperature and power tests last night in preparation to move from stock HSF to the 212+. I believe the idle draw was around 63W. My machine is in my sig, plus I've added a Seagate 1TB 5900 LP that hasn't made it to the sig yet.
I installed a Hyper 212+ on this board tonight. While the CPU was bare, I measured ~52.5mm from the center of the CPU to the edge of the first RAM slot. So, assuming you have the fan in push mode, take half the width of the Thermalright and add the width of your fan. Is it longer than 52.5mm?
The CM Hyper 212+ is 51mm, and the fan is 26mm. So if I measured accurately, I have 52.5 - (51/2 + 26) = 1 mm of space between the edge of my cooler and the first RAM slot. It's too tight to get a good measurement, but I'd say that's probably pretty accurate.