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P55 Motherboards, so many options, so little reviews

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a b V Motherboard
September 25, 2009 9:18:36 PM

I've been reading way too much. After a week's worth of research I was all set to get the Asus P7P55D from MicroCenter. Then today they jacked up the price $10. Add taxes to that and it's the same as the cost of the P7P55D PRO from other places.

So I went out to order the board online, and after seeing one I hadn't seen before (Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3L), I ended up comparing the available boards all over again. Now I'm caught in information overload and can't make a decision.

These boards are so similar in specs. Other than price, how does one decide - rationally - between motherboards?

The 3 in particular I've narrowed it back down to are:
ASUS P7P55D LE $134.99 shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD3R $139.99 shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P7P55D $149.99 shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

*I've narrowed it to these b/c I don't plan to do CrossFire/SLI. By that decision alone I knocked out the upper end boards. Now I'd like to get bang for the buck but, as you can see, am struggling. I also don't plan to OC anymore than is push-button-easy, if at all.
September 25, 2009 9:24:07 PM

Any of those boards would be good, get the cheapest, even if you plan on overclocking later all of these boards will be able to get you a decent overclock.
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September 25, 2009 9:34:39 PM

First, as someone shopping for a system now in a similar price range, I would suggest you consider a cheaper chipset than the i5. It's great for the price, but unless you do a lot of hardcore multimedia editing or some other CPU-intensive application, an i5 is overkill. Even for a gaming system, you will see virtually identical performance if you drop down a couple notches and get a Core 2 or a Phenom chip of some sort. I'm looking at the Phenom II x3 720 right now; for $120 you get a 3 core chip that can unlock to 4 cores if you're lucky on the right motherboard, and even stock it is plenty fast for most applications. You can get a good AM3 motherboard for under $100, easily, especially if you don't want Crossfire.

Here's a newegg combo I'm probably going to buy if it's still being offered next week: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

For less than the cost of an i5 you get a CPU and a quality Gigabyte motherboard. Despite its low cost it is rated quite well. The CPU is also absurdly easy to overclock - it would pretty much just involve changing a number in BIOS.

If you've already bought a Lynnfield chip, of course, that won't do you any good, but I would recommend considering AMD for the best price/performance ratio. I'm no AMD fanboy (I have been using Core and Core 2 chips since they debuted), but they are simply the better option right now IMHO.

I got to a similar point in my research before giving up on P55 mobos. Here's a page that compares all the Asus P7P55D boards, so that's a place to start: http://hothardware.com/News/ASUS-Introduces-P7P55D-Seri...
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a b V Motherboard
September 25, 2009 10:51:00 PM

solistus said:

For less than the cost of an i5 you get a CPU and a quality Gigabyte motherboard. Despite its low cost it is rated quite well. The CPU is also absurdly easy to overclock - it would pretty much just involve changing a number in BIOS.

If you've already bought a Lynnfield chip, of course, that won't do you any good, but I would recommend considering AMD for the best price/performance ratio.
That is only true at the PhIIx3 720 price point and below. As soon as you hit PhIIx4 945 and up the price/performance is very debatable. It depends on your budget.

There is no guarantee on unlocking the 4th core of the 720. You are as likely to have a 3 core as a 4 core when you are done.
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September 26, 2009 12:09:53 AM

You should get the cheapest board you can with the features you need. If the specs are mostly the same, other than maybe a feature or two that you'll never use, buy the $135 Asus board or $140 Gigabyte one. You don't need to spend $150 on a board when you can save $10-15 for something very similar.
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a b V Motherboard
September 26, 2009 12:23:25 AM

I already have a Lynnfield chip. Went through the analysis & pricing and had determined that was my best route. I just hadn't picked up the mother board yet & today's local price change through me for a loop.

Thanks all for the feedback. I think I'm going to step away for a bit to clear the old head. I'm going to take your advice and come back and review specs again starting with the cheapest one. If it meets my needs and if so I'll be done with the decision. I have a hunch I'll end up with the ASUS P7P55D LE.
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a b V Motherboard
September 26, 2009 12:25:35 AM

I think the LE cant do x8/x8 crosfire/SLI so it may be worth going to the next model up if you are considering 2 GPUs in the future.
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Best solution

September 26, 2009 12:28:25 AM

dndhatcher said:
I think the LE cant do x8/x8 crosfire/SLI so it may be worth going to the next model up if you are considering 2 GPUs in the future.


That's about the only difference between P55 motherboards, aside from 10.000 useless power and overclcoking features that you'll never use, just like you'll probably never SLI/Crossfire on this board, so just get the cheapest.
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a b V Motherboard
September 26, 2009 2:18:46 PM

Definitely have no need for CF/SLI. Leaning towards the LE. But I decided to re-evaluate the Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2 this morning. Originally had ruled out mATX b/c I wanted plenty of room to work with. I had been operating under the assumption that bigger = better but I know that's not necessarily true.

So now, how to decide between the ASUS P7P55D LE and the Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2? UD2 wins in price. What else ....
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a b V Motherboard
September 26, 2009 4:51:16 PM

Decision made. I opted for the GA-P55M-UD2. Off to pick it up now. Then I get to start my build. Wish me luck.
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January 13, 2010 6:37:34 AM

paranoidmage said:
You should get the cheapest board you can with the features you need. If the specs are mostly the same, other than maybe a feature or two that you'll never use, buy the $135 Asus board or $140 Gigabyte one. You don't need to spend $150 on a board when you can save $10-15 for something very similar.



What's $10 - $15 more or less on a motherboard!? Not trying to talk badly. But really? 10 - 15 bucks?
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a b V Motherboard
January 14, 2010 1:42:08 AM

When you're trying to stay under budget, $10-15 adds up. I watch people all the time end up going way over their original goal because they look at each individual component and figure, eh, 10 or 20 bucks on this one item isn't a big deal. PSU, GPU, RAM, motherboard, heh what's another $50 for a better CPU? If you want to stay on budget you have to watch each individual component, maybe even step down in one so you can step up in another. It's called discipline. And it got me my rig at what I consider a very reasonable price.

Now if you weren't trying to talk badly, was it really worth commenting on a thread almost four months old? Really? 4 months?
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January 14, 2010 1:55:52 AM

ekoostik said:
Now if you weren't trying to talk badly, was it really worth commenting on a thread almost four months old? Really? 4 months?


didn't even realize that! :o  HA! That's funny... Just joined the forum yesterday. Gotta watch the dates I guess... lol
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