I'm building a new i5-750 gaming system here (full description: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/287076-31-1000-build-...), and I'm wondering about which P55 motherboard to get. I'm looking for at least dual PCI-E 2.0 slots that can be run at x8/x8, since I'm considering getting another ATI 5850 in a year or two so I can Crossfire with the one I already have. Otherwise, I'm planning on using DDR3 1600 RAM, only looking for modest overclocking capabilities, and don't care much about USB 3.0. I mainly want to get the least expensive board with a good reputation for reliability and build quality.
Here are the ones I'm looking at now - most were reviewed here on the "Enthusiast P55 motherboards from $150-$200" article, but I'm hoping to get more opinions from people who have any of these. Prices are with S+H from either Newegg or Mwave.com, which has better prices for some:
So to get this straight - the advantage of the P7P55D-E PRO is that it has support for 6GB/sec SATA and USB 3.0? I think the AsRock has 6GB SATA function but using an odd add-on card approach (which seems to not work well based on the reviews); and apparently the UD4P has both 6 GB SATA and USB 3.0.
Since I'm new to buying motherboards, could someone tell what the benefits of having these two options are? What will use the higher speed SATA and USB connections - and is it worth the extra $30 or so to get them on the ASUS PRO ($180 at http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-P7P55D-E-Pro-Intel-Motherboa...), versus the AsRock or Asus EVO boards at about $155?
The UD4P may have the new features but it and alot of the other mobos will revert back to USB2.0 as soon as you crossfire because they are using the same lanes
The Asus P7P55D-E PRO has the PLX chipset so it's not effected when in crossfire
If this is not a major concern to you buy the Asus P7P55D Deluxe or a P55-UD5 like i did they're first gen 1156 and are being sold cheap now
When USB3.0 becomes a must have thing i'll just add an expansion card
If i were to buy today though it would probably be the E-PRO
The E-Pro just sets you up for future upgrades with USB 3.0 and SATA III once they come the norm. It isn't a must but keeps you from having to buy a new board in a year or so or an expansion card. If you are building new, I just highly recommend getting these new features as part of the motherboard.
As it stands currently it's the only full feature p55 board under $200. As a benefit it also offers the exceptionally difficult to find spacing for crossfire. You'll notice there are a full 2x lanes separating the x8/x8 lanes meaning your cards will have breathing room.
On a side note, and perhaps I'm biased, I love my i55 Sabertooth. It doesn't offer onboard SATA/USB 3 standards but lets be honest. SATA 6Gb/s is a nothing more than a marketing ploy, and USB 3.0 currently doesn't even compare to E-SATA. This is by far the most stable board I've ever used.
The overclocking process was a snap, when I did push it too far it responded perfectly, by just rebooting to bios. Anyone that's ever botched an overclock with a lesser mobo can appreciate what a godsend it is to have a board that knows how to handle it.
It runs exceptionally cool and it looks great to boot. I personally wouldn't trade it for any other p55 board.