Simple, Smart, Inexpensive
Intel is positioning the P55 chipset as a mainstream alternative to the X58-based boards out there today. Thus, it's somewhat strange to us that so many vendors are building high-end P55 platforms that overlap in price with the least-expensive X58 solutions already reviewed. Elaborate voltage regulation, bridge chips, complex cooling--it all seems overkill when you think about the enthusiast who held off on Core i7 for LGA 1366 because he didn't want to pay more than $200 for his motherboard.
That's why we think ASRock is playing things smart here by keeping the price down, even on its highest-end P55 board. Intel's first PCH doesn't need much to keep it cool--it's a 4.7W component, after all. A passive cooler monopolizes minimal board space and costs less than a heatpipe-based solution, but it gets the job done all the same.
We'll be curious to see what the P55 Deluxe sells for on the street, especially if MSI's P55-GD80 is competitive (with its fancier cooling and more overclocking-oriented value-adds).