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The P55H-AK motherboard proves that even the fastest three-way SLI configurations need not suffer for the LGA 1156 platform’s shortage of PCIe 2.0 lanes, thanks to its inclusion of Nvidia’s NF200 bridge. With performance that usually matches and occasionally beats that of a similarly-priced X58 solution, this motherboard opens up a broader range of high-performance, high-efficiency, and cost-effective processors.
Inclusion of a second PCIe 2.0 bridge allows the P55H-AK to support several high-speed devices, including two SATA 6Gb/s and two USB 3.0 controllers over a 20 Gb shared connection, and the board even comes with a USB 3.0 front panel adapter bay. Yet, most surprising of all might be that this $300 product comes from ECS, a company long known for its budget-oriented, limited-feature products.
The P55H-AK is probably the boldest move ECS has ever made towards entry into the enthusiast market, but its success could depend on the company’s ability to overcome a most difficult task: changing the minds of buyers who are already committed to their favorite brand is a tall order. But as the sun sets on many of ECS' competitors, we can only wish the best of luck to every firm that takes up this task.