Similar Bang For Fewer Bucks?
The great news for enthusiasts who chose to wait for LGA 1156 before taking the plunge into Intel’s Nehalem architecture is that these boards cost around $100 less than similarly-equipped LGA 1366 platforms. Buyers can forget what they knew about former high-end build prices and instead refer back to the glory days of high-end LGA 775 price structures. And while this kind of pricing competitiveness isn’t doing any favors for manufacturers, even the slimmest profit margins should look great in light of anticipated sales volumes.
That means our so-called “budget” P55 motherboard round-up of a month ago, in fact, was loaded with mainstream products similar in added features to $200+ X58-based models, while this month’s $150+ round-up of P55 boards compares added features to X58 products that cost roughly $250-$300.
Yet one feature missing from all P55-based products is the second 16-lane PCI Express (PCIe) 2.0 slot, which has been available to Intel buyers exclusively through X58 and earlier X48/X38 chipsets. Some die-hard technology extremists might say that this disqualifies any P55 product from being considered enthusiast-class, but we won’t go that far. Just as the budgets of some auto enthusiasts compel them to buy custom-tuned economy cars, the budgets of many PC enthusiasts will lead them to explore their P55 options.
We consider a few of those options beginning with page two's feature comparison list.
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 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 SATA 6.0 Gb/s will remain completely useless until long after the board is outdated, and USB 3.0 is nothing more than an eSATA substitute at the moment.
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 Therefor, the floppy interface, as outdated as it is, is more useful than the Ultra ATA interface.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.
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