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Feature Table And Test Setup

Compact P55: Four MicroATX Motherboards Tried And Tested
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ManufacturerASRockFoxconnGigabyteMSI
ModelP55M ProP55MXP55M-UD2 P55M-GD45
SocketLGA 1156LGA 1156LGA 1156LGA 1156
Voltage Regulator5-phase5-phase6-phase5-phase
ChipsetIntel P55 ExpressIntel P55 ExpressIntel P55 ExpressIntel P55 Express
RAM4 x DDR3, no ECC2 x DDR3, no ECC4 x DDR3, no ECC4 x DDR3, no ECC
Ethernet IRTL8111DL gigabit LANRTL8111DL gigabit LANRTL8111DL gigabit LANRTL8111DL gigabit LAN
Panel connectors1 x Ethernet
6 x USB
1 x FireWire
2 x eSATA/USB
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
1 x PS/2 Mouse
1 x Ethernet
6 x USB
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x RS232
1 x Ethernet
10 x USB
1 x FireWire
1 x eSATA
1 x PS/2 for Keyboard or Mouse
1 x Ethernet
10 x USB
1 x FireWire
2 x eSATA
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
Expansion Slots1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
1 x PCIe x16 (x4 mode)
1 x PCIe x1
1 x PCI
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
1 x PCIe x1
2 x PCI
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
1 x PCIe x16 (x4 mode)
2 x PCI
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
1 x PCIe x16 (x4 mode)
1 x PCIe x1
1 x PCI
Onboard Connectors4 x SATA
1 x PATA
1 x Floppy
6 x SATA
1 x Floppy
7 x SATA
1 x PATA
1 x Floppy
6 x SATA
1 x PATA
1 x Floppy
Pin-Header3 x USB
1 x FireWire
1 x IR
1 x LPT
1 x RS-232
3 x USB
1 x FireWire
1 x IR
1 x RS-232
2 x USB
1 x FireWire
1 x RS-232
2 x USB
1 x LPT
1 x RS-232
Fan1 x CPU, 2 x Sys1 x CPU, 2 x Sys1 x CPU, 1 x Sys1 x CPU, 2 x Sys
AudioVia VT1708S
7.1 Channel
6 x RCA Jack
S/PDIF Optical + Electrical
1 x Front Panel Audio
Realtek ALC888S
7.1 Channel
6 x RCA Jack
S/PDIF Optical
1 x Front Panel Audio
Realtek ALC888B
7.1 Channel
6 x RCA Jack
S/PDIF Optical + Electrical
1 x Front Panel Audio
S/PDIF In Header
Realtek ALC889
7.1 Channel
6 x RCA Jack
1 x Front Panel Audio
S/PDIF In Header
Accessoires2 x SATA
1 x SATA Power
1 x PATA
1 x Floppy
2 x SATA
2 x SATA Power
2 x SATA
1 x PATA
2 x SATA
1 x SATA Power
1 x PATA


Test Setup

System Hardware
HardwareDetails
Performance Benchmarks
Motherboard I
(LGA 1156)
ASRock P55M Pro (Rev. 1.02)
Chipset: P55
BIOS:   1.9 (11/06/2009)
Motherboard II
(LGA 1156)
Foxconn P55MX (Rev. 1.0)
Chipset: P55
BIOS:   P05 (10/30/2009)
Motherboard III
(LGA 1156)
Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2  (Rev. 1.0)
Chipset: P55
BIOS:   F5 (11/20/2009)
Motherboard IV
(LGA 1156)
MSI P55M-GD45 (Rev. 1.0)
Chipset: P55
BIOS:   1.3 (11/12/2009)
CPU IntelIntel Core i5-750 (45 nm, 2.66 GHz, 4 x 256KB L2 and 8MB L3 Cache, TDP 95W, Rev. B1)
RAM DDR3 (dual-channel)2 x 2GB DDR3-1600 (Corsair CMD4GX3M2A1600C8)
GraphicsZotac Geforce GTX 260²
GPU: Geforce GTX 260 (576 MHz)
Graphics RAM: 896MB DDR3 (1998 MHz)
Stream Processors: 216
Shader Clock: 1242 MHz
Hard DriveWestern Digital VelociRaptor, 300GB (WD3000HLFS)
10,000 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 16MB Cache
Power SupplyPC Power & Cooling, Silencer 750EPS12V 750W
System Software & Drivers
Operating SystemWindows Vista Enterprise Version 6.0 x64
Service Pack 2 (Build 6000)
Drivers and Settings
AMD Chipset DriversRadeon 9.4
Intel Chipset DriversChipset Installation Utility Ver. 9.1.1.1019
Intel Storage DriversMatrix Storage Drivers Ver. 8.8.0.1009
Nvidia GeForce DriversForceware 185.85
3D-Games Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
Far Cry 2Version: 1.0.1
Far Cry 2 Benchmark Tool
Video Mode: 1280x800
Direct3D 9
Overall Quality: Medium
Bloom activated
HDR off
Demo: Ranch Small
GTA IVVersion: 1.0.3
Video Mode: 1280x1024
- 1280x1024
- Aspect Ratio: Auto
- All options: Medium
- View Distance: 30
- Detail Distance: 100
- Vehicle Density: 100
- Shadow Density: 16
- Definition: On
- Vsync: Off
Ingame Benchmark
Left 4 DeadVersion: 1.0.0.5
Video Mode: 1280x800
Game Settings
- Anti Aliasing none
- Filtering Trilinear
- Wait for vertical sync disabled
- Shader Detail Medium
- Effect Detail Medium
- Model/Texture Detail Medium
Demo: THG Demo 1
Audio Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
iTunesVersion: 8.1.0.52
Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min.
Convert to AAC audio format
Lame MP3Version 3.98
Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min.
convert WAV to MP3 audio format
Command: -b 160 --nores (160 kbps)
Video Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
TMPEG 4.6Version: 4.6.3.268
Video: Terminator 2 SE DVD (720x576, 16:9) 5 Minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital, 48000 Hz, 6-channel, English
Advanced Acoustic Engine MP3 Encoder (160 Kbps, 44.1 KHz)
DivX 6.8.5Version: 6.8.5
== Main Menu ==
default
== Codec Menu ==
Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Enhanced multithreading
Enabled using SSE4
Quarter-pixel search
== Video Menu ==
Quantization: MPEG-2
XviD 1.2.1Version: 1.2.1
Other Options / Encoder Menu -
Display encoding status = off
Mainconcept Reference 1.6.1Version: 1.6.1
MPEG-2 to MPEG-2 (H.264)
MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec
28 sec. HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2)
Audio:
MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, 2-channel, 16-bit, 224 Kbps)
Codec: H.264
Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Profile: Settings for eight threads
Adobe Premiere Pro CS4Version: 4.0
WMV 1920x1080 (39 sec.)
Export: Adobe Media Encoder
== Video ==
H.264 Blu-ray
1440x1080i 25 High Quality
Encoding Passes: one
Bitrate Mode: VBR
Frame: 1440x1080
Frame Rate: 25
== Audio ==
PCM Audio, 48 kHz, Stereo
EncodingPasses: one
Application Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8Version: 8.5.287
Virus base: 270.12.16/2094
Benchmark
Scan: some compressed ZIP and RAR archives
Winrar 3.9Version 3.90 x64 BETA 1
Compression = Best
Benchmark: THG-Workload
Winzip 12Version 12.0 (8252)
WinZip Commandline Version 3
Compression = Best
Dictionary = 4096KB
Benchmark: THG-Workload
Autodesk 3d Studio Max 2009Version: 9 x64
Rendering Dragon Image
Resolution: 1920 x 1280 (frame 1-5)
Adobe Photoshop CS 4 (64-Bit)Version: 11
Filtering a 16MB TIF (15000x7266)
Filters:
Radial Blur (Amount: 10; Method: zoom; Quality: good)
Shape Blur (Radius: 46 px; custom shape: Trademark sysmbol)
Median (Radius: 1px)
Polar Coordinates (Rectangular to Polar)
Adobe Acrobat 9 ProfessionalVersion: 9.0.0 (Extended)
== Printing Preferenced Menu ==
Default Settings: Standard
== Adobe PDF Security - Edit Menu ==
Encrypt all documents (128 bit RC4)
Open Password: 123
Permissions Password: 321
Microsoft Powerpoint 2007Version: 2007 SP2
PPT to PDF
Powerpoint Document (115 Pages)
Adobe PDF-Printer
Deep Fritz 11Version: 11
Fritz Chess Benchmark Version 4.2
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.02
Options: Performance
Graphics Test 1
Graphics Test 2
CPU Test 1
CPU Test 2
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.00
PCMark Benchmark
Memories Benchmark
SiSoftware Sandra 2009Version: 2009 SP3
Processor Arithmetic, Cryptography, Memory Bandwith
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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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