Was hoping the hardware gurus here could help out...
I'm looking for the most reliable/stable ASUS P55/H55 motherboard at the most cost-effective price range. Will be purchasing a Lynnfield i5 750 CPU, running discrete graphics so ASUS P55 would be the best match, but I don't mind a H55 since it is within the same price range.
I guess I'm pretty simple compared to most hardware enthusiast, I do not overclock or need fancy overclocking tools. I don't need to run RAID on my motherboard too. I am running a single GPU and have no intentions on SLI or Crossfire. SATA 6GB/s and USB3.0 is not necessary, and not desired if it comes with a steep price increase. My only requirement is a reliable motherboard that will not breakdown within the first 3 years. I understand that reliability is heavily influenced by the quality of components used to construct the motherboard.
I'm having trouble sorting out all the P55 variations out there. I did a quick search but I still have questions
P7P55D-M ($109 at Newegg)
Seems to be the most basic model. Should I get it since I don't OC and have other specialized requirements? Does purchasing the lower end model comes at a cost of reliability (i.e. does ASUS use sub-standard capacitors)? Will the product lifespan be compromised?
P7P55D LX ($128 at Newegg)
It looks like the P7P55D-M with SLI and Crossfire support. It uses fanless cooling, which can be advantageous, I once had an ASUS mobo chipset fan fail within 6 months
P7P55D ($143 at Newegg)
Seems to be the "standard model", with major improvements from P7P55D-M/LX like firewire support and 8.1 audio hardware. Many have recommended this. It comes with "ASUS Hybrid 12+2 Phase Power Design" - I assume it's some kind of feature to make/device it OC friendly? What does it do exactly? Does this also improve the reliability of the motherboard, making it less prone to failure? In addition, the website mentions it uses "100% Ultra Long Life Japan-Made Solid Capacitors", so does that mean that cheaper models uses lousy capacitors that are prone to failure?
P7P55D PRO ($170 at Newegg)
Looks like a clone of P7P55D but it has no fanless cooling and the capacitors are not stated as japan-made. Is this a lousier version of the P7P55D? The price would seems to suggest otherwise...
P7P55D EVO/Deluxe/Premium ($170/$185/$??? at Newegg)
Premium models that come with more OC features and Drive Xpert (which I do not need). Most of them are also beyond my price range.
From my analysis the P7P55D seems to the best match from a price and reliability standpoint. It has some features like SLI/Crossfire which I do not need, but it's the cheapest board built with Japan capacitors. Was wondering if my analysis is accurate?
I've also realized only the P7P55D and P7P55D Premium is stated to use Japan capacitors. Does that means that all other models uses cheap/lousy capacitors?