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P55 On Boost: Five LGA 1156 Boards Between $200 And $250

EVGA’s top CPU overclock was followed closely by Asus, with the Intel DP55KG’s third-place CPU overclock and leading base-clock making it a potentially better candidate for multiplier-restricted processors such as the Core i5-750. Perhaps a look at the overall performance difference could settle the debate?

Asus wins in overall performance, but its 0.11% lead over Intel is more than cancelled out by its 0.28% default overclock. And while EVGA fell to the bottom, its motherboard sets a 1.09% underclock by default. Since our performance charts reflect base clock massaging more than real-performance differences, we can’t quite base our final analysis on these.

This is normally where we would instead compare features to price on boards that finished so closely in other disciplines, yet buyers in the $200 and pricier P55 market tend to be a little less price-sensitive than many of our editors. When further considering each motherboard’s strengths, here is a list of how each of these could potentially be your winner:

EVGA’s P55 FTW had the highest CPU overclock and dual-EPS12V connectors that could make the board the best for extreme overclocking.

At only a few megahertz behind EVGA, Asus’ P7P55D Deluxe includes the company’s TurboV Remote, which probably makes the board best for habitual tuners.

Intel’s DP55KG has the highest base clock, but we’re certain it will appeal just as much to the legacy-free crowd as it does to mid-market overclockers. Yet two other features, Bluetooth support and first-class efficiency, will likely combine with Intel’s reputation for stability to win over a variety of computing professionals.

Gigabyte’s P55A-UD6 did everything well but nothing splendidly, and will likely attract the majority of buyers for its USB 3.0 and SATA 6.0 Gb/s controllers. Unfortunately, those controllers are deactivated in CrossFire or SLI modes, so the board can only be considered either a high-end gaming or top-featured power-user product, but not both, depending on what type of hardware is installed.

MSI’s P55-GD80 performed well, overclocked competitively, and offered many features, but didn’t win anything. As rebates come and go, it might be the best value of today’s contenders, depending on where and when it’s purchased.

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