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Back To Dual-Channel

Asus' P7P55D EVO Motherboard: Core i5 Finds A Home
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Back To Dual-Channel

Lynnfield (Core i5) and Bloomfield (Core i7) are different animals. While the latter supports triple-channel DDR3 memory configurations, the former loses one channel, bumping us back to the days of dual-channel configurations (officially at speeds of up to DDR3-1333, in the case of our setup here). Not that we're worried--Core i7 has more throughput than it can currently utilize, and we anticipate that this platform will similarly have plenty of memory bandwidth.

Specific to Asus' implementation are a couple of memory-oriented extras. The first is called MemOK!, which facilitates one-touch fail-safe presets whenever compatibility is a perceived issue. We don't have much information on what MemOK! does exactly (and we continued to have issues with one set of modules in particular), but we'll certainly dig deeper into the inner workings of this value-add when it comes time to review the retail hardware.

The second innovation is called Q-DIMM, though this one wasn't available on our pre-production engineering sample. But the concept is easy enough to imagine. You have two "clips" per DIMM slot, which lock the module in place with a snap. On the side closest to your graphics cards, the retail P7P55D Evo won't have the clips you see in our picture. Instead, the modules will slide into place and clip-in on the side closest to the board's edge. As a result, you won't need to yank your video card to swap/add modules. We've seen this issue avoided altogether by vendors shifting memory slots toward the edge a little more, freeing up room between DIMMs and the first PCI Express slot. However, this workaround does the trick, too.

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  • 0 Hide
    dmv915 , July 9, 2009 4:43 AM
    Sweet post. I always wondered how the new locking mechanism worked.
  • 6 Hide
    burnley14 , July 9, 2009 5:41 AM
    I'm still a little curious why Intel released 2 new sockets so close together. I'm sure there has to be a good reason why i5 was not released on 1366, since it certainly makes things less convenient.
  • -1 Hide
    cangelini , July 9, 2009 5:46 AM
    burnley14I'm still a little curious why Intel released 2 new sockets so close together. I'm sure there has to be a good reason why i5 was not released on 1366, since it certainly makes things less convenient.


    Think of i7 as Xeon 5500-series and it makes a little more sense. That was Intel's high-performance breakout of what it was planning in the workstation/server market, really.
  • -2 Hide
    anamaniac , July 9, 2009 5:49 AM
    I love you Angelini.
    I want a i5 now. =D

    The board is very clean looking. Hope they keep up the perfect professional look (such as the 15 phase power, which looks very sexy all neatly organized, and the colour scheme).
  • -1 Hide
    cangelini , July 9, 2009 5:51 AM
    LOL, cheers, friend!
  • -1 Hide
    doomtomb , July 9, 2009 6:05 AM
    Thank you for this look over on the board. It appears as though the P55 boards have plenty of features but lack in the PCI-Express department which is rather disappointing for even people looking at two-way SLI or Crossfire (like myself).
  • -1 Hide
    falchard , July 9, 2009 6:37 AM
    Where is the southbridge?
  • 3 Hide
    dmv915 , July 9, 2009 6:44 AM
    falchardWhere is the southbridge?


    That basically is the south bridge that you see. P55 is a single chip motherboard. Most if not all of the north bridge has been moved onto the cpu.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 9, 2009 6:45 AM
    Losing one memory channel isn't too bad, benchmarks show Nehalem gets enough bandwidth from dual channel. But it's disappointing to think that most P55 boards will have only 4 dimms. I was waiting for i5 to build a workstation running SQL Server and wanted to put at least 12 GB of RAM inside (2GB DDR3 sticks are a lot cheaper than 4GB sticks).
  • 0 Hide
    cimtaurus , July 9, 2009 12:05 PM
    doomtombThank you for this look over on the board. It appears as though the P55 boards have plenty of features but lack in the PCI-Express department which is rather disappointing for even people looking at two-way SLI or Crossfire (like myself).

    This was exactly my reasoning for NOT waiting for the i5 and instead building an i7 machine.
    When the new 40nm cards come out I want to put triple SLI into my rig, and i5 just wouldn't handle that well.
    Still, for a mid range machine this looks promising. If/when they develop some micro boards for the i5 I can see it making a nice HTPC.
  • 5 Hide
    WyomingKnott , July 9, 2009 12:48 PM
    No ESATA? Disappointing in this day and age.
  • -1 Hide
    scook9 , July 9, 2009 1:02 PM
    So does this mean that the integrated graphics are no longer on the cpu package now? As I see no graphic output, or will that be a G55 chipset? If that is G55, is it part of the CPU package or the PCH chip? This feature was one of my main turnoffs for this series of chips.
  • 0 Hide
    freak77power , July 9, 2009 1:08 PM
    i5 is waste of money cause it wont see 6 and 8 core CPU. Socket 1366 is a way to go. It is better investment on the long run and i920 is fairly cheap cause that thing goes up to 4.0Ghz with no problem.
  • -1 Hide
    jonpaul37 , July 9, 2009 1:08 PM
    So, what can Core i5 (if it's going to be called that) be compared to? in terms of other CPU's?
  • 4 Hide
    freak77power , July 9, 2009 1:12 PM
    I don't want to sound like i am spamming here but I really don't know what the hell Intel is thinking. If you planning to burn money on this socket and buy i5 CPU whose certain models will be more then what i920D0 costs, you are out of your mind. You just made the worst investment. I use i7 coupled with evga x58 and now i am even more happy i did get that setup especially considering the fact that upcoming 6 and 8 core CPUs will be 100% compatible with it.
  • -1 Hide
    freak77power , July 9, 2009 1:18 PM
    What Intel should do is to introduced 2.2, 2.4 Ghz i7 CPUs and new x56 chipset with dual memory channel, less number of SATA plugs basically cheaper version of x58 board but still having 1366 socket. Also introduce dual core version of i7 and completely eliminate LGA775 socket.
  • 6 Hide
    freak77power , July 9, 2009 1:20 PM
    i5 performace is going to be between Core 2 and i7. Basically AMD is a better solution in that case. To be honest i5 has no its place at all. I predict to be a biggest failure. People will go with AMD or i7.
  • -1 Hide
    juncwil , July 9, 2009 1:44 PM
    Intel will have to introduce some CPUs for LGA 1156, or else there is no point buying that mobo which has no other cpus that it can use.
  • 0 Hide
    chripuck , July 9, 2009 2:00 PM
    freak77powerI don't want to sound like i am spamming here but I really don't know what the hell Intel is thinking. If you planning to burn money on this socket and buy i5 CPU whose certain models will be more then what i920D0 costs, you are out of your mind. You just made the worst investment. I use i7 coupled with evga x58 and now i am even more happy i did get that setup especially considering the fact that upcoming 6 and 8 core CPUs will be 100% compatible with it.


    Only reason I would consider the i5 better than my i7 rig is if it's considerabley cooler running. In the summertime my i7 heats up my entire office and with the thermostat on the otherside of my downstairs I have to keep the rest of the house at 68 degrees just to hit 74-76 in my office.
  • 0 Hide
    JeanLuc , July 9, 2009 2:01 PM
    The X58 and LGS1366 is heading towards the server market, Intel haven't kept this a secret and have been open about it, so if you want to enjoy 6 and 8 core CPU's you will have to by CPU processors at $1500 a time.
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