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Gigabyte P55-UD3P vs P55-UD4P

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January 31, 2010 10:03:53 PM

Which motherboard should I get?? I don't care that much about overclocking any longer. Don't need firewire. Main concern is that the UD3P apparently only has 8x PCI-E? Is this correct? I'm pairing this board with i7 860. In any event, I don't use firewire. I like it has USB 3.0 support they both do, the UDP4 also has dual lan, but this is not a server machine. I don't see the need?
My main concern was the PCI-E channel, is it true the UDP3 is only 8x, or is it full 16x? I've found the video card is the only thing I've really upgraded over the years 3x's no less. As well as memory from 1GB to 2GB. You guys can recommend other mobo's 2, I am partial to Gigabyte, got almost 7 years out of my current one.

I'm replacing, system I built in 2003, Norwood P4 2.8GHz overclocked to 3.2GHz for a few years, started giving me problems a couple years ago, so I run it at 2.8, P875, motherboard. I considered x58 mobo, and i920, but I figure by the time I actually do another upgrade it will be like 5 years, and I doubt the x58 will be much of anything, at that point.
a b V Motherboard
February 1, 2010 1:02:43 AM

Neither of those have USB/SATA 3 support, so I assume you are referring to the P55A versions.

So, here is what is going on.

Intel did not design the P55 chipset with USB3/SATA3 in mind. While the chipset has sufficient lanes for this, they are divded up and thus unusable in stock form.

The CPU has two main connections, one to the chipset and one to the Graphics cards (16 lanes).

So, to implement USB/SATA 3, Gigabyte chose to take 4 lanes from the GPUs (and disable the other four, or use them for something else) thus making the graphics only 8x. Asus however used a chip to combine the P55 lanes so it does not have to steal from the GPUs. This results in slightly lower USB3 performance, but full graphics bandwidth.

At this point, the effect of 8x PCI-E is negligible for all but extreme GPUs. However, it could become more of an issue in the future (and does not allow dual cards, if dual are installed, USB/SATA 3 is disabled in the Gigabyte board).
a b V Motherboard
February 1, 2010 1:06:30 AM

Another note, all P55 boards have a maximum of 16 PCI-E lanes because the PCI-E controller is now on the CPU, and it has 16 lanes. On mid to high end boards, this can be split into 8x/8x for SLI/Crossfire. On low end boards, this only does 16x/4x.
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a b V Motherboard
February 1, 2010 1:09:47 AM

And finally, that is the major difference between those two boards, the UD4P can do 8x/8x, while the UD3P can only do 16x/4x.
February 1, 2010 2:22:47 AM

EXT64 said:
Another note, all P55 boards have a maximum of 16 PCI-E lanes because the PCI-E controller is now on the CPU, and it has 16 lanes. On mid to high end boards, this can be split into 8x/8x for SLI/Crossfire. On low end boards, this only does 16x/4x.


That's a little confusing? How can you split into 16x/4x? Does that mean when using the 4x slot, the 16x is disabled? Or that you can't do crossfire in the low end boards. I don't plan on going dual cards, I'd just get a more powerful single card as I'm not a huge gamer, only game I plan on getting when it's released is starcraft 2, last one I bought was warcraft 3 and doom 3, to give you an idea?, but I can't see starcraft 2 being that graphic intensive, could be wrong though.

So, basically, ud3p crossfire is out. On ud4p it's in but only at 8x/8x.

I'm pairing this board with ati 5770, I don't see myself getting another card to go dual, any time soon, I'd likely upgrade whole system at tha tpoint, or just get more powerful single card
With this card, would I still get the usb3 support ud3p?

And thanks, very informative response.

So, with i860, and 5770 , everything should run at spec on either ud3p or ud4p , so long as I don't add USB 3.0 device? Meaning non-crossfire configuration shouldn't have a performance degredation?
a b V Motherboard
February 1, 2010 2:40:06 AM

It is confusing. I believe that (4x) comes through the chipset's connection, and thus is shared with other components (thus it is at max 4x, but if the HDD needs bandwidth, that 4x will give up some to the HDD). The same way Asus does there USB3/SATA3 (and thus why theirs is a little slower).
February 1, 2010 11:41:12 AM

Thanks, hmmm ... now I guess I'm stuck between the P7P55D-E Pro, and the UD3P and UDP4, I wanted to keep the cost of the motherboard down. Anyway, thanks decisions ... decisions.
a b V Motherboard
February 1, 2010 7:30:26 PM

A 5770 isn't likely to see much of a performance drop at all going from 16x to 8x, though if that concerns you, Asus is the way to go. Also of note, it looks like (for the Gigabyte boards) you have either USB3 or SATA3, but not both simultaneously (though you can set it to auto, so maybe they can share). I think each needs 4x PCI-E 2.0, yet only 4x PCI-E 2.0 is allocated to both. The UD3P also goes down to 8x for the GPU if either USB3 or SATA3 is activated.

But, in the end I think any of the three boards you listed would be excellent for your needs. I'd probably drop the UD4P since you don't need to dual card (I got the P55-UD4P just to keep that option open, though I doubt I will ever use it) and thus save a little money.
a b V Motherboard
February 1, 2010 7:32:47 PM

And one more quick note, page 51 of the P55A-UD3P's manual has the information I just wrote above outlined. You can download the manual for it from Gigabyte's website. Asus should have the manual for their board on their website. I'd recommend reading both before you buy to reduce the risk of any surprises.
February 1, 2010 9:50:21 PM

EXT64 said:
And one more quick note, page 51 of the P55A-UD3P's manual has the information I just wrote above outlined. You can download the manual for it from Gigabyte's website. Asus should have the manual for their board on their website. I'd recommend reading both before you buy to reduce the risk of any surprises.




Yes, from what it seems main issues are the crossfire support as you pointed out, the more I think about it, the less I think I need USB 3.0 support, I should just get the board without 3.0 support, and crossfire support, because reality I'm not going 2 likely by 2 graphics cards, maybe 1 graphics card with 2 chips, that's the only scenario I could think of. But, in any event, by the time, I actually will have 2 do that, I'll probably be upgrading my mobo anyway, and it will come with a more proper USB 3.0 solution. What do you think??? I just tend to hold onto machines for a quite a while, this one as stated is P4 Norwood 2.8GHz and that's some 7 year old machine. It's still pretty good, just in multitasking it's not up 2 snuff anymore, and I think 4 cores, will do me nicely. I don't see another build until maybe 8 cores come out at earliest, by then obviously I'll need to change the mobo, but in between 3.0 usb devices will probably proliferate and that was my only concern with wanting 3.0 support.
a b V Motherboard
February 1, 2010 10:38:15 PM

Well, I'd say for you don't worry about Crossfire support. As for USB3/SATA3, even this somewhat odd implementation doesn't hurt. When I got my board, the A versions were just coming out. And because they cost more and did not have free shipping and did not have good combos, the difference between A and non-A was huge (maybe $40-50). To me the new techs aren't worth that much to me (at least not now and probably for a few years) so I didn't get them. If the price has come down so the two are about equal, then you might as well get USB3/SATA3, if the difference is still high, I'd say skip it for this build.
February 2, 2010 12:12:09 AM

EXT64 said:
Well, I'd say for you don't worry about Crossfire support. As for USB3/SATA3, even this somewhat odd implementation doesn't hurt. When I got my board, the A versions were just coming out. And because they cost more and did not have free shipping and did not have good combos, the difference between A and non-A was huge (maybe $40-50). To me the new techs aren't worth that much to me (at least not now and probably for a few years) so I didn't get them. If the price has come down so the two are about equal, then you might as well get USB3/SATA3, if the difference is still high, I'd say skip it for this build.



UD3R 16x/4x no 3.0/6.0 support is 139.99 on newegg, UD3P 16x/4x, 3.0/6.0, no firewire (have never ever used), no 8x/8x is 159.99 and UD4P is 184.99 8x/8x, 3.0/6.0, plus firewire, and dual lan.

I almost feel like paying $25, for the UDP4 version, but then it's looking like $200 board to me, and defeats purpose of me going 1156 2 begin. I think UD3P it will be.
a b V Motherboard
February 2, 2010 12:19:44 AM

Sounds good. Be sure to post back with how the build goes.
February 2, 2010 4:37:24 PM

I caved and bought the ud4p. I know I'm not going to update this computer for a little while, and while i know I won't need crossfire or sli, atleast , if I ever change my mind, ... plus it was 25 difference between the ud3p and ud4p.

NOticed, prices are going up 2, crucial memory I ordered was 105.99 friday, and 135.99 today, WTF!???!???

P.S. I think I'm going to start staying away from newegg, I remember, in their earlydays they were some of the best CS, not so good anymore at all, actually, they are horrible now. I remembered my last experience wasn't so good now, but I forgot, it's been so long, should have just went with Fry's and just went to the store and picked up, cost me a little more, but it's local.
a b V Motherboard
February 2, 2010 7:39:08 PM

I haven't had any bad experiences with them very recently. in fact, I was pleasantly surprised when my last order came double boxed and snugly packed with packing peanuts.

As for their prices, they do vary a lot and oddly. I ordered the bulk of my parts around black Friday, so I got some pretty good deals. Though I did buy several of my parts from Microcenter for their i5 deal (and because they had some parts Newegg did not).

From my experience with the non-A UD4P, I think that you will really like the A version. A BIOS quirk here or there, but all in all a solid and fast board. Decently well laid out, and the dual BIOS is an excellent feature.
February 3, 2010 3:14:04 AM

acadia11 said:
I considered x58 mobo, and i920, but I figure by the time I actually do another upgrade it will be like 5 years, and I doubt the x58 will be much of anything, at that point.

Well, the LGA 1366 X58 is a higher end chipset than the LGA 1156 P55. If anything, I would think the X58 would do better in five years than a P55. I could be wrong though.
a b V Motherboard
February 3, 2010 10:40:31 AM

No, you are right that X58 should last longer than P55, but whether either will be optimal for new chips in 3-5 years is uncertain, so I usually recommend just getting whatever seem best for you now. If you can upgrade it later, great. If not, you still had the best computer you could for those 3-5 years.
February 3, 2010 11:31:53 AM

andrew_234 said:
Well, the LGA 1366 X58 is a higher end chipset than the LGA 1156 P55. If anything, I would think the X58 would do better in five years than a P55. I could be wrong though.



YEs, but x58 will be obselete, in about year and half as well as will be x55, imho, and I rarely ever upgrad the processor, actually, I've never updgraded the process in this current 875p motherboard. The only reason for really getting a new chipset/mobo is that the processor in reality (unless they come up with something to replace pci express otherwise you have nothing to worry about). And by the time I go to upgrade the processor, the x55 and x58 won't be adequate at all.

The 1366 will do no better than the 1156 in this scenario. It only makes sense to get 1366 if you upgrade your processor often, which I don't, as 1366 will be used for 1st gen 6 core, but I'd bet my money after that , intel is going to a new chipset and likely socket, actually, I believe it's called 1542 or soemthing and that will be in next year and half. Point being by the time I go to upgrade the processor again, I'd be throwing out the 1156 or 1366. I'm waiting for 8-core at the earliest, even if it was 2nd gen 6-core chips doubt they could be used in 1366. My 875p, which was the high-end chipset, at the time was obsolete in about 15 months and it's socket wasn't compatible with anything worth upgrading to.
a b V Motherboard
February 3, 2010 4:12:25 PM

Yep, and chances are those first six cores will be horrendously expensive, at least with their current roadmap.
February 3, 2010 7:17:32 PM

EXT64 said:
Yep, and chances are those first six cores will be horrendously expensive, at least with their current roadmap.


Exactly, they are already known to be well in the 4 digit range, we aren't talking like $1099, but considerably more especially as computing prices are set to increase. I wouldn't be suprised if those first 6 core prices aren't starting at $1999 for the extreme editions. And by the time pricess come down, they willlikely be in the new socket format to do so, and on a transistor shrink. So, the issue of upgrading a 1366 seems mute to me. I think the 1156 was the way to go hands down, unless, you have gobs of money to throw out the window, and even then I still wouldn't do it.
a b V Motherboard
February 3, 2010 8:11:48 PM

Well, there are some flaws in the 1156 design, most notably being only 16x PCI-E to the GPUs (if you have two, or three, etc. high end GPUs this is an issue) and that you need a little more voltage to OC (but they still OC quite well) and the limited CPU => Southbridge connection (but this is only an issue for USB3/SATA6 and it is partially solvable) and if you need 12GB or more of ram, having more ram slots (and bandwidth) is nice. Obviously though, these criteria are only necessary for a minority of buyers, hence why 1156 is so popular.
February 3, 2010 8:24:16 PM

EXT64 said:
Well, there are some flaws in the 1156 design, most notably being only 16x PCI-E to the GPUs (if you have two, or three, etc. high end GPUs this is an issue) and that you need a little more voltage to OC (but they still OC quite well) and the limited CPU => Southbridge connection (but this is only an issue for USB3/SATA6 and it is partially solvable) and if you need 12GB or more of ram, having more ram slots (and bandwidth) is nice. Obviously though, these criteria are only necessary for a minority of buyers, hence why 1156 is so popular.



All very true, but by the time I need 12gb of ram, or even 3 gpu's, then I'll have bigger issues than just the mobo. Unless, you are doing video edition/encoding, hosting a monster server, all that power really would sit idle. I mean ok, I could see it if you are rendering Avatar realtime as they did for the movie, actually, you probably need far more powerful machines, but I cna't see the average person, unless, with very specific needs requiring that kind of power. At least for me, it's not a problem, this 7 year old box, is still kicking, just sucks at multi tasking. I mean I very much see a niche for the 1366 platform, but only for a very few, just as the case with 6core processors. Asoide from bragging rights I don't think very many people would take advantage of that kind of power.
a b V Motherboard
February 3, 2010 8:50:27 PM

Yep, exactly what I'm saying. I do know several on the forums who actually use every bit of that 12GB (or more), but like you said, that is for things like CFDs, FEA, etc. which is not something the average user does.
February 5, 2010 8:36:03 AM

Have 2 say initial impression is not good. This system is highly unstable? so, I'm trying to do windows install repair, initially, when it got to restart and try to boot windows, system would just shut off, no erro rmessage, i mean litearlly just shuts off. Changed memory settings from 1600 to 1333 and then it would get through install sort of , it keeps giving me error saying can't read file D:\i386 and that if I'm installing from CD, clean the CD. So, ok, clean the CD get's farther, but now just hung durint set up will complete in X out of minutes portion at 34 minutes.

So, here are maybe cultiprits.

1) Need new bios?
2) Board actually no good
3) CPU no good (doubt that it's)
4) Memory is no good, using crucial ballistex with leds 1600
5) Should do a complete install of windows, not just repair of installation
6) Use a different DVD reader?
7) Video Card (doubt this is the issue)

Anyway, seems like I'm in for some work ahead :( 

February 5, 2010 8:47:07 AM

Very annoying get's to the Installing devices portion of the windows install and just hangs out , I mean it doesn't freeze or anything, it just doesn't complete, I left over night and still didn't complete thinking maybe I was just not being patient. I can still move mouse around and stuff ... it asks me about some driver (TruePro 32, or something ... hasn't come up again) that hasn't been verified that's where the work seems to stop happening. Maybe I'll just click no to that driver.
February 5, 2010 9:20:11 AM

Well it seems to have gotten farther this time, getting through the install screen, and booting windows but then get's me at the please wait ....
February 5, 2010 10:37:12 AM

Ok now back in business, have to tweak and clean up, and see if we have full stability!!! And then onto getting alittle extra performance.
a b V Motherboard
February 5, 2010 11:14:22 AM

Did you set the exact voltage and timings for the ram?

Try running bootable memtest86+ (just put on a CD) to see if the ram is bad.

Try one stick at a time.
February 5, 2010 11:33:37 AM

I am definitely thinking the RAM is no good. 2x's it's frozen in windows with long beep! After, I started opening many programs. I've upgraded to the latest bios.

But, yes, test the ram next.

If it's no good and shipping back to newegg we go.

NO, I did not set ram settings manually.
a b V Motherboard
February 5, 2010 11:41:14 AM

If all the settings are still at default, then try the 1066 setting. To go any higher than that will likely require timing and/or voltage changes.
February 5, 2010 11:53:55 AM

Wow, I would think that atleast this memory could do 1333 it's , crucial 1600, ... so much for listening to tom! Trying to create memtest on usb drive, to boot from.
February 5, 2010 2:34:53 PM

Definitely seems to be the memory is a dud, I run at 1066 and 1.60 v, cas 9-9-9-24, and it still dies in windows, and simply restarts when running memory test after about 5 seconds. Boooooooo, 2 crucial. This was my first time with crucial coming from corsair, corsairs always been good to me. And you know what? These bad boys are going back to newegg and I'm grabbing some corsairs from frye's now!
February 5, 2010 5:48:52 PM

Hmmmm ... I don't know if memory is culprit, I switched out to the corsair, and everything seemed ok, was running fine for like 5 minutes go to install the video card driver, and it eventually fails like it did before , saying some error. And then machine locks up, but this time I get no memory beep, ... restarted and then eventually got blue screen of death. I started thinking my my cpu is running hot, I have case cover etc ... off, looking at mobo bios right now it says my temp syste 38 C , and cpu temp 42 C. Should it be this high for even doing any work right now, just looking at bios?
a b V Motherboard
February 5, 2010 6:29:47 PM

BIOS actually loads the CPU up a bit (and doesn't let it go into power saving) so that doesn't sound too hot.

Have you gone through the entire boot problems and building instructions sticky just to ensure everything is in correctly (and try reseating things even if they are).

Do you have the latest BIOS? Then set "optimized Defaults".
February 5, 2010 6:53:26 PM

Have tried fail safe defualts, but not optimized. So, now, I'm just re-installing windows to a different drive, I'm thining maybe the re-install from the old hardware was too much of a nightmare for windows, although, I should be able to technically do it, perhaps ... it was too much of a difference, and the registry, etc ... system cleanup wasn't proper. In any event, I'm trying to this to see if it's software related, if it runs stable, then I know it's software related, if not ... then who knows!!!! Perhaps, a bullet to the head.

Also, the crucial memory did pass memtest when I did 1 stick at a time.

I mean at worst, it it's not the software, then, it could be the mobo, but who knows?

Was going to wait on my SSD drive and then upgrade to 7 Ultimate anyway, but I guess might be sooner than I wanted.

160GB SSD though is so darn expensive!
And 80GB just doesn't seem like much of anything. I had about 52GB used on my 160gb raptor, and 80gb doesn't seem to leave enough free space for windows to operate efficiently.
!