Enthusiast P55: Eight LGA 1156 Boards Between $150 And $200

Features Overview

Sub-$200 Core i5/i7 Motherboard Features

 

ASRock
P55 Deluxe

Asus
P7P55D EVO

Biostar
TPower I55

EVGA
P55 SLI

PCB Revision

1.06

1.06G

5.1

1.0

Chipset

Intel P55 Express

Intel P55 Express

Intel P55 Express

Intel P55 Express

Voltage Regulator

18 Phases (16+2)

14 Phases (12+2)

12 Phases (8+4)

10 Phases (8+2)

BIOS

1.70 (09/15/2009)

0711 (09/24/2009)

080015 (09/05/2009)

080016 (10/02/2009)

133.3 MHz BCLK

139.6 MHz (+4.7%)

133.7 MHz (+0.28%)

133.3 MHz (+0.0%)

133.2 MHz (-0.10%)

Clock Generator

ICS 9LPRS140CKLF

ICS 9LPRS140CKLF

RTM85N-914

ICS 9LPRS139AKLF

Internal Interfaces

PCIe 2.0 x16

3 (x16/x1/x4, x8/x8/x4)

3 (x16/x1/x4, x8/x8/x4)

2 (1 x x16 or 2 x x8)

3 (x16/x1/x4, x8/x8/x4)

PCIe x1/x4

1/0

2/0

1/1

1/0

Legacy PCI

3

2

2

2

USB 2.0

3 (6 ports)

3 (6 ports)

3 (6 ports)

3 (6 ports)

IEEE-1394

1

1

1

1

SerialPort

1

1

None

None

ParallelPort

None

None

No

No

Floppy

Yes

No

Yes

No

Ultra-ATA 133

1 (2-drives)

1 (2 drives)

1 (2 drives)

None

SATA 3.0Gb/s

6

8

6

6

4-Pin Fan

2

2

1

1

3-Pin Fan

3

2

2

5

FP Audio

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD Audio

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

S/PDIF I/O

Output Only

Output Only

Output Only

Both

Power Button

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Reset Button

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

CLR_CMOS Button

Jumper Only

Jumper Only

Jumper Only

Yes

Diagnostics Panel

Numeric

Pass/Fail LEDs

Numeric

Numeric

I/O Panel Connectors

P/S 2

2

2

1

1

USB 2.0

8 (1 Shared w/eSATA)

8

8

6

IEEE-1394

1

1

1

1

Network

Dual (with teaming)

Dual (with teaming)

Dual

Dual

eSATA

1 (Shared with USB)

1

2

2

CLR_CMOS Button

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Digital Audio Out

Optical+Coaxial

Optical+Coaxial

Optical+Coaxial

Optical+Coaxial

Digital Audio In

None

None

None

None

Analog Audio

6

6

6

6

Mass Storage Controllers

Chipset SATA

6 x SATA 3.0Gb/s

6 x SATA 3.0Gb/s

6 x SATA 3.0Gb/s

6 x SATA 3.0Gb/s

Chipset RAID Modes

0, 1, 5, 10

0, 1, 5, 10

0, 1, 5, 10

0, 1, 5, 10

Add-In SATA

JMB363 PCIe
1 x eSATA 3.0Gb/s

JMB363 PCIe
1 x eSATA 3.0Gb/s
1 x SATA to JMB322
JMB322 to 2x SATA

JMB363 PCIe
2 x eSATA 3.0Gb/s

88SE6121 PCIe
2 x eSATA 3.0Gb/s

Add-In Ultra ATA

JMB363 PCIe

JMB363 PCIe

JMB363 PCIe

None

IEEE-1394

VT6308S PCI
2 x 400Mb/s

VT6308P PCI
2 x 400Mb/s

LSI L-FW3227-100 PCI
2 x 400Mb/s

TSB43AB22A
2 x 400Mb/s

Gigabit Ethernet

Primary LAN

RTL8111DL PCIe

RTL8112L PCIe

Intel WG82578DC PHY

88E8057 PCIe

Secondary LAN

RTL8111DL PCIe

RTL810SC PCI

RTL8111DL PCIe

88E8057 PCIe

Audio

HD Audio Codec

ALC890B

VIA VT1828S

ALC888S

ALC889


Setting a 133 MHz base clock on the ASRock P55 Deluxe enables the firm's Intelligent Overclocking Technology function, even when that function has been disabled. Instead choosing a 134 MHz base clock disables I.O.T., but gives ASRock a slight speed advantage in the benchmarks. We’ll keep that slight advantage in mind when discussing result charts.

Sub-$200 Core i5/i7 Motherboard Features

 

Foxconn Inferno
Katana GTI

Jetway
HI05

Gigabyte
P55-UD4P

MSI
P55-GD65

PCB Revision

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

Northbridge

Intel P55 Express

Intel P55 Express

Intel P55 Express

Intel P55 Express

Voltage Regulator

10 Phases (8+2)

8 Phases (7+1)

10 Phases (6+4)

7 Phases (6+1)

BIOS

080015 (09/17/2009)

080015 (09/04/2009)

F4r (09/18/2009)

1.3 (09/03/2009)

133.3 MHz BCLK

133.7 MHz (+0.28%)

133.3 MHz (+0.0%)

132.9 MHz (-0.32%)

133.7 MHz (+0.28%)

Clock Generator

ICS RS4105BL

ICS 9LPRS919HKL

ICS 9LPRS914EKLF

MSI LRS4116AL

Internal Interfaces

PCIe 2.0 x16

3 (x16/x1/x4, x8/x8/x4)

2 (1 x x16 or 2 x x8)

2 (1 x x16 or 2 x x8)

2 (1 x x16 or 2 x x8)

PCIe x1/x4

2/0

2/0

3/0

2/1

Legacy PCI

1

3

2

2

USB 2.0

3 (6 ports)

3 (6 ports)

2 (4 ports)

3 (6 ports)

IEEE-1394

None

0

1

1

SerialPort

None

1

1

1

ParallelPort

None

1

1

None

Floppy

No

No

Yes

Yes

Ultra-ATA 133

1 (2 drives)

1 (2 drives)

1 (2 drives)

1 (2 drives)

SATA 3.0Gb/s

6

6

8

7

4-Pin Fan

1

1

2

1

3-Pin Fan

5

2

3

3

FP Audio

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD Audio

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

S/PDIF I/O

Output Only

Output Only

Both

Output Only

Power Button

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Reset Button

Yes

Yes

No

No

CLR_CMOS Button

Jumper Only

Yes

Jumper Only

Jumper Only

Diagnostics Panel

Numeric

Numeric

No

No

I/O Panel Connectors

P/S 2

1

1

1

2

USB 2.0

8

8

10

8 (1 Shared w/eSATA)

IEEE-1394

None

None

2

1

Network

Single

Dual

Dual (with teaming)

Dual

eSATA

None

1

2

1 (Shared with USB)

CLR_CMOS Button

Yes

Yes

No

No

Digital Audio Out

Optical+Coaxial

Optical+Coaxial

Optical+Coaxial

Optical+Coaxial

Digital Audio In

None

None

None

None

Analog Audio

6

6

6

6

Mass Storage Controllers

Chipset SATA

6 x SATA3.0Gb/s

6 x SATA3.0Gb/s

6 x SATA3.0Gb/s

6 x SATA3.0Gb/s

Chipset RAID Modes

0, 1, 5, 10

0, 1, 5, 10

0, 1, 5, 10

0, 1, 5, 10

Add-In SATA

None

JMB363 PCIe
1 x eSATA3.0Gb/s

JMB363 PCIe
2 x SATA3.0Gb/s
JMB362 PCIe
2 x eSATA3.0Gb/s

JMB363 PCIe
1 x SATA3.0Gb/s
1 x eSATA3.0Gb/s

Add-In Ultra ATA

88SE6111 PCIe

JMB363 PCIe

JMB363 PCIe

JMB363 PCIe

IEEE-1394

None

None

TSB43AB23 PCI
3 x 400Mb/s

VT6315N PCIe
2 x 400Mb/s

Gigabit Ethernet

Primary LAN

RTL8111DL PCIe

WG82578DC PHY

RTL8111D PCIe

RTL8111DL PCIe

Secondary LAN

None

RTL8111DL PCIe

None

None

Audio

HD Audio Codec

ALC888S

ALC888

ALC889A

ALC889

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60 comments
    Your comment
  • enzo matrix
    interesting
    -4
  • skora
    There's two market segments. Once you get the features you need, there's overclockers, and stock users. I've never seen a mobo recommended based on its application performance and all thats looked at is how well it OCs. Hopefully, people read the article and don't just go buying biostar expecting the regular quality of gigabyte or asus though the asus is a little overpriced here for my taste. That $25 can go towards a better GPU, but I'm a gamer.
    3
  • Crashman
    enzo matrixinteresting


    Gigabyte had some additional interesting news about the new P55A-UD4P, where the addition of the letter "A" supposedly means "Advanced" and refers to the addition of SATA 6.0 Gb/s and USB 3.0 controllers. Unfortunately, it wasn't ready when the comparison was written. The "A" also cost slightly more.
    2
  • ibnsina
    For $15 more is best to go for the newly released Giga-byte GA-P55A-UD4P, the extra’s you get are:-

    2 x USB 3.0
    2 x SATA 6Gb/s.

    $184.99 on newegg.
    5
  • Crashman
    ibnsinaFor $15 more is best to go for the newly released Giga-byte GA-P55A-UD4P, the extra’s you get are:-2 x USB 3.0 2 x SATA 6Gb/s.$184.99 on newegg.


    $15 for all that sounds great, unless those features are useless to you. SATA 6.0 Gb/s will remain completely useless until long after the board is outdated, and USB 3.0 is nothing more than an eSATA substitute at the moment.
    1
  • apache_lives
    Why do we bitch about IDE and FDD connectors? If your using windows xp and IDE hdd/dvd drives your should be ashamed, and even then you can get USB floppys etc, and if you are using those fittings you are not getting the true performance out of your modern system, and IDE also makes boot times longer thanks to detection and legacy delays - cudos to those who ditch those ports in an effort to modernise modern systems, and to those who keep them - its like adding ISA ports to the board - times up.
    3
  • cahl
    The new P55A-UD4P has better power phasing, 12+2 vs 8+2 on the old gigabyte UD4P, and probably more stuff aswell, like the LOTES socket, well worth the extra $15 to me.
    4
  • bigballinggpr
    You don't bring up MSI's board at all in the conclusion. . . i'm a little curious as to what your final thoughts are on it.
    5
  • Crashman
    apache_livesWhy do we bitch about IDE and FDD connectors? If your using windows xp and IDE hdd/dvd drives your should be ashamed, and even then you can get USB floppys etc, and if you are using those fittings you are not getting the true performance out of your modern system, and IDE also makes boot times longer thanks to detection and legacy delays - cudos to those who ditch those ports in an effort to modernise modern systems, and to those who keep them - its like adding ISA ports to the board - times up.


    You mean complain? Like you're complaining right now? It's all a matter of logic: There are probably more Windows XP users carrying over their old OS into a new build than there are Ultra ATA users carrying over their ancient hard drives. Therefor, the floppy interface, as outdated as it is, is more useful than the Ultra ATA interface.

    The problem as described is that you PAY for an Ultra ATA controller. Why bother? Even if you're an XP devotee you probably don't WANT to pay for an Ultra ATA connector.

    But for most motherboards, the floppy interface is free. It doesn't slow down boot times or performance either, if you don't need it you can ignore it.

    Well, maybe you can't ignore it, but a logic dictates over emotion in reviews.

    THG has no reason to love or hate the floppy connector, no stake in the legacy OS game, but anyone reader who wants to play the hater deserves to be called out for it. As for the manufacturers, honest reporting is Tom's Hardware's goal. Personally, I like the fact that some manufacturers provide legacy features and others don't, both types of products work well.
    -3
  • doomtomb
    Quote:
    with only a single PS/2 port left behind to support the older mice occasionally preferred by seasoned gamers


    This is from the page on the EVGA P55 but you can clearly see it is a purple PS/2 port which is for keyboards... lol
    3
  • zeuscgp
    Anyone else jump on that $130 Halloween deal on NewEgg for the GD65? :)
    3
  • zeuscgp
    Anyone else jump on that $130 Halloween deal on NewEgg for the GD65? :)
    -5
  • gaiden2k7
    that was the best looking picture for an article on TH this year! how i wished that was a single mobo... cant stop staring at it!
    3
  • Anonymous
    I'm a little annoyed that this is a look at enthusiast-level boards, yet they make no comparisons to any X58 boards.

    If I'm considering an enthusiast-level board, I'd like to see what I'm losing (if anything) by saving an extra $100 and going with the cheaper platform.
    -4
  • Anonymous
    @gaiden2k7:
    I agree. All those multi-colored mobos lined up next to each other are mesmerizing. I'd give you a +1, but I'm anonymous :(
    2
  • terr281
    Regarding the floppy vs IDE interface debate...

    The solution to the lack of a floppy interface for Win XP raid configuration users is to slipstream the drivers into the Win installation. (Yes, you have to "copy" the Win XP disk, at the cost of a blank CD, and you have to have a functional computer with a burner and the ability to run copy software. But, most builders have this.)

    I, personally, am one of the people that will continue to buy MBs with an IDE connector. Why? I have a very quiet, high quality IDE DVD-Burner that will be carried over into any new system I build from my old system. I rarely used the burner on the currently installed pc, thus it is "like new."

    The same model burner, installed in my mate's computer, will also be moved to that new system. (Thus, IDE required.)

    It is a "cost added" part, and many people don't use it anymore. But, to each their own. (I don't use Firewire, Esata, or more than 4 rear and 1 front USB 2.0 port on any computer. I still have to pay for those.)

    As Crashman said, manufacturers provide different features on their products based upon different consumer wishes.
    2
  • Anonymous
    Hmmm, based on Gigabyte's specs page for the GA-P55A-UD4P, SATA3/USB3 capability is lost if you have two video cards:

    "* When dual graphics cards are used in 1st and 2nd PCIex16 slots, SATA3 / USB 3.0 (Marvell 9128 /NEC USB 3.0 Controllers) will work at normal mode."

    http://www.gigabyte.us/Products/Motherboard/Products_Spec.aspx?ClassValue=Motherboard&ProductID=3250&ProductName=GA-P55A-UD4P
    2
  • Crashman
    nopointpayingextraHmmm, based on Gigabyte's specs page for the GA-P55A-UD4P, SATA3/USB3 capability is lost if you have two video cards:"* When dual graphics cards are used in 1st and 2nd PCIex16 slots, SATA3 / USB 3.0 (Marvell 9128 /NEC USB 3.0 Controllers) will work at normal mode."http://www.gigabyte.us/Products/Mo [...] -P55A-UD4P


    That sounds like "normal mode" is refering to PCIe x1, which is 250MB/s (2.5 Gb/s).
    1
  • Gedoe_
    paying $150 for a mobo

    haha o wow what a joke. I would spend my money at the CPU or GPU, where it matters.
    -3
  • Br4v0guy
    Some day, there will be a roundup for uATX mobos for the 1156 platform. Until then.... mehhhhhhhhhhhh.
    -2