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ECS P55H-AK: P55/NF200 Versus X58 In 3-Way SLI

Test Settings And Benchmarks

Test System Configuration
LGA 1156 CPUIntel Core i7-870 (2.93 GHz, 8 MB Cache) Overclocked to 4 GHz at ~1.36 V, 200 MHz BCLK
LGA 1366 CPUIntel Core i7-920 (2.66 GHz, 8 MB Cache) Overclocked to 4 GHz at ~1.40 V, 200 MHz BCLK
P55+NF200 MotherboardECS P55H-AK, BIOS v.1.0 (08/04/2010) Intel P55 Express, Nvidia NF200, LGA 1156
X58 MotherboardMSI Big Bang-XPower, BIOS v.1.2 (06/09/2010) Intel X58 Express, LGA 1366
RAMKingston KHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GX (6 GB) DDR3-2000 at DDR3-1600 CAS 7-7-7-21 2 x 2 GB on P55, 3 x 2GB on X58
Graphics3 x MSI GeForce GTX 480 1.5 GB, SLI 3 x 700 MHz GPU, GDDR5-3696
OS Hard DriveWestern Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS, 300 GB 10 000 RPM, SATA 3Gb/s, 16 MB cache
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerOCZ-Z1000 1000 W Modular ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
GeForce GraphicsNvidia GeForce 258.96
ChipsetIntel INF 9.1.1.1020

No surprises are found in our test settings, since we already described the overclock configuration used for each motherboard. Increasing the CPU to 4 GHz allows us to minimize CPU bottlenecks, while disabling Intel Turbo Boost allows us to eliminate any performance differences this technology imposes.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Aliens Vs. Predator BenchmarkAlien Vs Predator Benchmark Tool Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 sec. FRAPS) Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool Test Set 1: Highest Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Highest Quality, 4x AA
DiRT 2Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of PripyatCall Of Pripyat Benchmark version Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x MSAA
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1, GPU and CPU scores
Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • TheRockMonsi
    Well, if I'm shocked at anything, it's that the P55 platform actually outdid the x58 on some benchmarks. From a pure video card usage's perspective, you really won't be missing out on anything going for the P55 over the x58.

    And while this makes the P55 look good, what really sucks - if you're looking into the longevity of the P55 motherboards anyway - is that the new "Sandy Bridge" CPU's coming out in 2011 will feature a 1155 socket instead of an 1156, which means upgrading to a new motherboard.
    Reply
  • rmmil978
    Very interesting reading, a bit shocked at the outcome. P55 can really be a viable alternative to X58 after all, even for the enthusiast crowd.
    Reply
  • adbat
    Yes the 1156 platform is going bye bye it's realy sad.
    But i think that it shows that moving PCIa to CPU die is not a good idea as P55 with additional chip wins in the end - even the power usage test.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    adbatYes the 1156 platform is going bye bye it's realy sad.But i think that it shows that moving PCIa to CPU die is not a good idea as P55 with additional chip wins in the end - even the power usage test.Remember that in this case, the additional chip is acting as a signal repeater. That is to say, you really don't need more than sixteen lanes from the CPU, for optimal SLI performance you only need those same 16 lanes to feed all graphics cards simultaneously.
    Reply
  • tacoslave
    TheRockMonsiWell, if I'm shocked at anything, it's that the P55 platform actually outdid the x58 on some benchmarks. From a pure video card usage's perspective, you really won't be missing out on anything going for the P55 over the x58.And while this makes the P55 look good, what really sucks - if you're looking into the longevity of the P55 motherboards anyway - is that the new "Sandy Bridge" CPU's coming out in 2011 will feature a 1155 socket instead of an 1156, which means upgrading to a new motherboard.yeah i hate how they took of one pin just to f@#$ with us.
    Reply
  • compton
    What an awesome board ECS has put together. I'd like to see a full review of this board - I'm intrigued with the effort ECS has put it to make what seems like a excellent piece of gear. Perhaps this will result in the trickle down effect if ECS is successful, that is, maybe starting at the high end will result in better mid- and low- range boards.
    Reply
  • Nvidia does not seem to be bothered by continuing production of 65nm NF200. Would like to know if there is any R&D into a die-shrink to 40nm or less.
    Reply
  • martel80
    tacoslaveyeah i hate how they took of one pin just to f@#$ with us.IIRC they didn't just take out one pin but they also redesigned how clocking of the CPU works. 1155 CPUs will have their own clock generator (as opposed to 1156's board-generated clock) and the board needs to support this. They could possibly hack-around this but why would they bother? Sheep will always buy the latest Intel stuff no matter what. :)
    Reply
  • BoxBabaX
    This is an excellent article, nice analysis that I enjoyed reading before bed :).
    Reply
  • dogman_1234
    Now let all the trolls come out about the LGA 1155 release!
    Seriously, as a respective consumer to Intel, i have began to dislike their practices. Why do I not want SB? Hmmm...good question, same reason I do not want P55..short live and full of disaster!
    Reply