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Compact P55: Four MicroATX Motherboards Tried And Tested

Feature Table And Test Setup

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 Ethernet6 x USB1 x FireWire2 x eSATA/USB1 x PS/2 Keyboard1 x PS/2 Mouse1 x PS/2 Mouse1 x Ethernet6 x USB1 x PS/2 Keyboard1 x RS2321 x Ethernet10 x USB1 x FireWire1 x eSATA1 x PS/2 for Keyboard or Mouse1 x Ethernet10 x USB1 x FireWire2 x eSATA1 x PS/2 Keyboard1 x PS/2 Mouse
Expansion Slots1 x PCIe 2.0 x161 x PCIe x16 (x4 mode)1 x PCIe x11 x PCI1 x PCIe 2.0 x161 x PCIe x12 x PCI1 x PCIe 2.0 x161 x PCIe x16 (x4 mode)2 x PCI1 x PCIe 2.0 x161 x PCIe x16 (x4 mode)1 x PCIe x11 x PCI
Onboard Connectors4 x SATA1 x PATA1 x Floppy6 x SATA1 x Floppy7 x SATA1 x PATA1 x Floppy6 x SATA1 x PATA1 x Floppy
Pin-Header3 x USB1 x FireWire1 x IR1 x LPT1 x RS-2323 x USB1 x FireWire1 x IR1 x RS-2322 x USB1 x FireWire1 x RS-2322 x USB1 x LPT1 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 VT1708S7.1 Channel6 x RCA JackS/PDIF Optical + Electrical1 x Front Panel AudioRealtek ALC888S7.1 Channel6 x RCA JackS/PDIF Optical1 x Front Panel AudioRealtek ALC888B7.1 Channel6 x RCA JackS/PDIF Optical + Electrical1 x Front Panel AudioS/PDIF In HeaderRealtek ALC8897.1 Channel6 x RCA Jack1 x Front Panel AudioS/PDIF In Header
Accessoires2 x SATA1 x SATA Power1 x PATA1 x Floppy2 x SATA2 x SATA Power2 x SATA1 x PATA2 x SATA1 x SATA Power1 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, StereoEncodingPasses: 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