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Foxconn P55MX

Compact P55: Four MicroATX Motherboards Tried And Tested
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Board revision 1.0; BIOS P05

Foxconn’s P55MX is a fairly typical microATX motherboard, clearly designed with tight budgets in mind. The board comes only with bare essentials. For example, while everyone else fits finesses four memory slots onto their microATX boards, Foxconn goes with two, meaning future upgrades will force you to replace your memory.

This is also the only product we reviewed that does not feature two full size x16 PCI Express slots. Rather, Foxconn offers a x16 and a x4 connector. Yet, we have to mention that the other boards discussed in this piece, which do have a second x16 slot, only route four electrical lanes to those slots. Two standard PCI expansion slots are available. 

Foxconn implements all 14 USB 2.0 ports, but only six of these come installed on the I/O panel. The panel shows two open spaces for HDMI and DVI connectors, so Foxconn will probably use this same board layout for its integrated graphics-enabled H55, H57, or Q57 offerings.

The voltage regulator has the usual five phases, but this turned out to be our most power-efficient motherboard. It has the lowest system idle power and still relatively low peak power readings. This is particularly amazing, since the board comes with no power-saving features at all. Apparently, reducing complexity yields efficiency (who would have thought?). Still, the relatively low power consumption numbers were not sufficient to dominate our efficiency test. MSI’s board delivers higher performance, putting it in first place. Gigabit Ethernet, six SATA 3 Gb/s ports with AHCI and advanced RAID support, and 7.1-channel audio are all made available.

We were disappointed to see that the board doesn't support any overclocking features whatsoever. Of course, we checked with Foxconn that this is indeed intended and received the company's confirmation. Apparently, there are BIOS versions that do support basic overclocking, but the latest official release does not. The three other boards in this roundup all were capable of running our Core i5-750 at 4 GHz reliably. And we found another issue: if you install a two-slot graphics card, such as the GeForce GTX 260² with which we tested, you will not be able to use all six SATA connectors (see platform image on the bottom of this page).

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    dirtmountain , January 29, 2010 6:15 AM
    Cool! So far that's only 26 P55 motherboards tested. You're only about 1/3 of the way through testing every P55 board available at Newegg. Keep up the good work.
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    tacoslave , January 29, 2010 6:10 AM
    Intel should have made a universal socket so you could put a i3 or an i7 in the same board. Just want to throw that out there.
  • 11 Hide
    dirtmountain , January 29, 2010 6:15 AM
    Cool! So far that's only 26 P55 motherboards tested. You're only about 1/3 of the way through testing every P55 board available at Newegg. Keep up the good work.
  • 0 Hide
    notty22 , January 29, 2010 7:59 AM
    Theres a mistake about the MSI board, SLI certification is NOT given to this hardware . From what I've read, its a minimum of 8x 8x to qualify.
    http://us.msi.com/index.php?func=prodmbspec&maincat_no=1&cat2_no=170&cat3_no=&prod_no=1890#menu
    SLI certification also adds to the cost of the board.
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , January 29, 2010 8:18 AM
    Wow an MSI low end board that didn't die. If they can keep this up they will be ASUS's main competitor.
  • 0 Hide
    micky_lund , January 29, 2010 9:59 AM
    woot for gigabyte..too bad they didn't test the ud4 a while ago, with the budget boards >:( 
  • 0 Hide
    foody , January 29, 2010 10:10 AM
    tacoslaveIntel should have made a universal socket so you could put a i3 or an i7 in the same board. Just want to throw that out there.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115214&cm_re=i7-_-19-115-214-_-Product

    I know what you meant but still, technically you were wrong.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 29, 2010 12:18 PM
    I see that the max power requirement with overclocking was 256w.
    Does this mean that the 750w psu used was a overkill?
    Or more importantly- could this setup work with a 400w psu with sufficient
    amp. on 12v rail?
  • 0 Hide
    icerock , January 29, 2010 12:59 PM
    Very nice, keep up de good work. But it would be nice to see some h55/h57 motherboards tested in the near future.
  • -2 Hide
    Reynod , January 29, 2010 1:53 PM
    Good point icerock

    +1
  • 3 Hide
    thejerk , January 29, 2010 3:31 PM
    Another win from Gigabyte. Awesome!
  • 0 Hide
    tpi2007 , January 29, 2010 4:04 PM
    I helped my computer illiterate cousin set up a relatively affordable computer but with decent components and brand new technolgy running a brand new Core i3 530 and the motherboard of choice was this Gigabyte model being reviewed here.

    And although the board is only supposed to support the new new dual-core Core i3's and i5's from Bios version F6, I was able to boot it using the factory F3! So no hassles in trying to get the neighbours i5 750 to boot it up and upgrade the bios.

    I know articles like this are normally written sometimes weeks in advance, but I wonder if Bios F6 or even F7c have any impact on lowering power consumption ?

    Anyway, I find it a very good board for the money, very nice touches like eSata, lots of internal Sata ports, and all the Ultra Durable 3 quality features; it's got everything a person could want (except if you have lot of add-on cards and/or want to run Crossfire or SLi.)

    But I'm left with a question: the first photo that shows all the motherboard bozes on top of each other has and Asus model, but you didn't review it. What happened ?
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , January 29, 2010 5:12 PM
    Good article. Looks like we are heading toward a more complete form of standardization. As usual, thanks for inlcuding mainstream benchmarks.
  • -1 Hide
    etrnl_frost , January 29, 2010 5:30 PM
    It's about time. Now I can start looking at a PC update... my mini p180 case awaits Windows 7! I feel like I need to get with the times :) 
  • 0 Hide
    lothdk , January 29, 2010 5:47 PM
    As others have said, what happened to the Asus board you have pictured?
    Also, on page 6 you have the ASRock listed as having 2 PS/2 Mouse ports.
  • -3 Hide
    chechak , January 29, 2010 5:48 PM
    i just wait for NVIDIA NEW CHIPSET
  • -1 Hide
    chechak , January 29, 2010 5:49 PM
    i 'll just wait for new nvidia chip also new nvidia GPU card ...like it or not
  • 0 Hide
    masterasia , January 29, 2010 6:25 PM
    Out of all these boards, I would pick the MSI GD-45. It has a lot of features from it's big brothers GD-65 and GD-80. I'm currently using the GD-65 and it's pretty stable. Although, if I were to build another P55 board, I would choose the ASUS Maximus GENE III. The onboard sound on that board is pretty good.
  • 0 Hide
    tacoslave , January 29, 2010 9:40 PM
    chechaki 'll just wait for new nvidia chip also new nvidia GPU card ...like it or not


    me too usually the ati's prices drop by 25% after nvidia releases there new cards and ive had my heart set on a 5870.
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , January 29, 2010 11:50 PM
    zipzoomflyhighI've owned 4 MSI board and none of them have died.


    I own an MSI board and video card too. I love them, but I also accept the fact MSI hasn't been known for their board quality. Its been increasing in recent years.
  • 0 Hide
    jojesa , January 30, 2010 2:59 AM
    They are able to cram all these in this small form factor but they cannot make a BIOS that post in less than 10 seconds.
    With Windows 7 and SSD the BIOS is becoming the bottleneck in the system, since it takes more time in the BIOS than loading the OS.
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