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Good P55 boards, a newegg browse

Last response: in Systems
November 4, 2009 10:18:07 PM

Anandtech on the P55 socket issue

TH on the poor voltage regulation on P55 boards

Here is what I think I know.
Although I have not seen an official in-writing announcement, word seems to be that the issue with burned sockets in P55 boards comes from the plastic Foxconn was using. Just how many Foxconn sockets were involved or how quickly they will disappear from the market is a mystery.
We do know that the majority of motherboards made use Foxconn LGA 1156 sockets. There are a few exceptions apparently, but:
Just because a motherboard seems to have a different socket in the picture is no guarantee that it will arrive with the same socket.

While it may be true that this only becomes an issue under higher overclocks, this is still unacceptable to me. Engineering is all about margin, and it's completely reasonable to buy a motherboard on OC potential, even if you never overclock.

But wait, there's more:

i7 CPUs seem to need more power than the old Core 2 Duos and Quads. Since the demand is higher, we apparently have the voltage regulation failing on many lower priced P55 boards when overclocked. So, we also have to be careful about the quality of the parts used, and heatsinks also.
Again, it's my opinion that this is true whether you are going to OC or not. You want a robust board that will have some longevity.

Lotes socket shown in pic:
EVGA P55 LE 123-LF-E653-KR

Then we start looking at other factors. Voltage regulation, heat spreaders, true crossfire/SLI ability.

The ASRock board Crashman reviewed really does stand out:
Hefty looking voltage regulation, heatspreaders, known to have over-voltage protection with BIOS update.

and is only $120 at newegg
But it is NOT a good CF board and it DOES have a Foxconn socket

Then we have the Gigabyte UD2, that reviews well, and has no known issues to date:
No heatsinks, but good looking voltage regulation. No CF of course but it's probably another good budget choice. Just that Foxconn socket again.

Then we start climbing the cost ladder, and we really don't see a board that meets all the criteria until we get pretty expensive.

This board seems to have the Lotes Socket, hefty voltage regulation, hefty heatsinks, SLI support (X8, X8 of course), and quite a few other features. If your MAIN focus was overclocking, this would be a good choice.

However, you can get great voltage regulation, heatsinks, no socket issues, and true SLI/SF at X16/X16 on an X58 board, for less:

ASRock X58 Deluxe

Gigabyte X58 UD3R

I just have a lack of confidence right now in most P55 boards. If I could have some certainty that any particular Foxconn socket was good, then I would be happier with several boards.
November 7, 2009 10:28:05 PM

Do others think this is a non-issue now?
November 9, 2009 10:45:20 PM

This subsequent Anandtech article talks more about it in the conclusion. No satisfactory answers and everyone seems to be ignoring it. Since anandtech seems to be the only one talking about it, its not getting much attention. I hope it doesnt turn into a long term durability issue for all those i5s and i7 850s people are buying.
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November 9, 2009 10:53:35 PM

November 9, 2009 11:25:51 PM

Well yes in general its a problem, but for the average consumer/gamer, no. Of course, as you mentioned a bit the higher end boards SHOULD have enough voltage regulations/heatsinks/high end capacitors to solve that issue, but it still might blow some, who knows? As far as the sockets go, yes its still a faulty socket, but as of now it doesn't affect anyone but bench testers, so let them worry about it. On the same lines, we still don't know if the faulty scoring marks will be a long term issue. I actually just got my Asus 1156 board in today with the Foxconn socket and I'm not too worried.