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Motherboards P55 Motherboard Recommendation

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Somatic, 12 Jun 2010.

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Which of these P55 boards?

Poll closed 17 Jun 2010.
  1. Asus P7P55D-E

    9.1%
  2. Asus P7P55D Evo

    27.3%
  3. EVGA P55 LE

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Gigabyte GA-P55-USB3

    4.5%
  5. Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3R

    36.4%
  6. MSI P55-GD65

    22.7%
  7. Other (please comment)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Somatic

    Somatic What's a Dremel?

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    Hello bit-techers and random search engine personage,

    I'm currently in need of a full-sized ATX P55 motherboard. The monthly buyer's guide recommends the micro-ATX GA-P55M-UD2. What I'm roughly looking for is a reasonably priced 1156 socket board that can run the listed components below. Upgrade paths and "future proofing" are not a huge concern as I'll probably build a new system in a few years (hexacore?)

    The intended usage for this build is gaming and moderate overclocking (under 4GHz, less than 1.4v, hopefully dynamic).

    Intel i5-750 (w/ Titan Fenrir)
    <motherboard goes here>
    G.Skill RipJaw 2x2GB DDR3 1600MHz
    ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU 1GB
    Corsair HX 750
    Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB & 1TB
    Samsung SH-S223 DVD-RW
    Cooler Master CM-690 II Advanced
    Windows 7 Professional x64


    I'm aware of the limitations regarding Crossfire/SLI and the newer USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps specification, specifically the PLX bridge chip on ASUS boards and the "Turbo Mode" on Gigabyte boards borrowing from the PCIe 2.0 x16 lane. I can't decide which of the two technologies (since it seems to be a choice) are more suitable in this current tech climate. I will likely run a single card (based on past routine) and currently have no use out of the 'faster' USB/SATA.

    Will the newer generation (25nm) SSD saturate 6Gbps SATA? Apart from external hard drives, will any other storage devices make effective use of USB 3.0?

    The main thing I've been cautious about is the space needed to successfully mount the Titan Fenrir without obstructing too many DIMM slots and mounting the 120mm fan in a push configuration. The Gigabyte P55(A)-UD4 and later series have a passive cooler between the socket and first PCIe lane. With my previous board, I had to mount the Fenrir in a south-to-north push configuration (there's an 120mm exhaust fan on the top of the case) and I'm unsure whether this would be possible with one of the newer Gigabyte boards. The G.Skill RAM has blue heatspreader (combs) on the top, to make matters worse...

    I added a poll to make the selection a little easier. Taking into consideration most of these points, these seem like the best choices to go with around the £100-£140 price mark. I can annotate each with the pros/cons, if that helps, just trying to keep the wall of text down! I've personally had experience with Asus and Gigabyte on older platforms.

    Anyone have any experience with these boards? What's the UK Warranties like with the manufacturers?

    Asus P7P55D-E
    http://uk.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=9i872VNaAILRp8bS

    Asus P7P55D Evo
    http://uk.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=YhNWZrOT1OWycIgo

    EVGA P55 LE
    http://www.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=123-LF-E653-KR

    Gigabyte GA-P55-USB3
    http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3440

    Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3R
    http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3438

    MSI P55-GD65
    http://eu.msi.com/index.php?func=proddesc&prod_no=1846

    If you got this far, thanks for reading. Feel free to just pick a selection from the poll (if it works) or comment on others. The plan is to keep the price of the board below a cheap (<£150) X58/1366 price tag, preferably around the same cost as the processor (~£135). The other reason for paying less is the newer sockets coming out next year, although that'd require more dough to switch and I'm lazy. Save now, spend later. :hip:
     
  2. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    P7P55D-E cos you don't seem to need SLi. and Asus are awesome :)
     
  3. bagman

    bagman Minimodder

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  4. nathanddave

    nathanddave What's a Dremel?

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    Asus all the way, I am loving your build btw :)

    That might be because I have built nearly the exact same computer today, and omg I love it, it is f****** awesome. The case is great, and so is just about everything else really, you are going to have a great time.

    But yh I bought the Asus P7P55D Deluxe, it's a tad expensive but I really like it :)
     
  5. Somatic

    Somatic What's a Dremel?

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    Hello everyone, thanks for posting/voting.

    From the look of the results, it's between the P7P55D EVO and GA-P55A-UD3R, with the most votes on the ASUS board. There's a distinct difference between the two; the EVO supports 8x/8x PCIe 2.0 Crossfire/SLI while the UD3R has SATA and USB 3.0.

    Between those two capabilities, which do you think is the best beneficial feature to have on a current P55 motherboard?

    I don't intend to buy one of the costly boards that feature both, as there's limitations with processor PCIe lane speed (Gigabyte method) or bottlenecks using chipset PCI bridging chips (Asus method). For both, it looks like the best option is to invest in a different socket or wait for the next chipset refresh.
     
  6. SlowMotionSuicide

    SlowMotionSuicide Come Hell or High Water

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    I can only give advide regarding the MSI board as I have it myself, and I can't really recommend it.

    The board won't wake up from sleep state when bclk is set over 190MHz , and it has issues with handling vdroop on higher voltages/overclocks. And it lacks the clearcmos-button. Also, My TRUE overlaps the DIMM slot closest to processor socket, which will prevent using memory with tall heatsinks, i.e. my G.Skill Ripjaws won't fit there.

    Other than those it's been a solid performer, but I think you'll be better off with Asus/Gigabyte boards.
     
  7. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    MSI! Even if they have a bit of an issue, the underdog is champ.

    Although I will admit, the Asus EVO is pretty good if you want SLI, the UD3R has USB as Somatic said, has USB3/ SATA6GBPs.

    So, feature wise go with those two. Although I'd go with MSI since I just have had great luck with their stuff.
     
  8. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

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    I'd get the gigabyte board ud3r. Never had a problem with any gigabyte board :)
     
  9. Marine-RX179

    Marine-RX179 What's a Dremel?

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    What about the Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4? From what I recall it does 8x/8x Crossfire/SLI and have SATA 6Gb/s and USB3.0...think it's around £150. But for that price, you'd probably be better off getting a Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R at around £150 and grab a i7 920 instead :D
     
  10. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    MSI GD65, Asus Evo or Gigabyte UD3R.
     
  11. 13eightyfour

    13eightyfour Formerly Titanium Angel

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    Ill say GD65 because thats what i have, I havent had any problems with mine running my i5 750 at 3.8, (will go higher but i like to keep temps reasonable)
     
  12. Somatic

    Somatic What's a Dremel?

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    Based on the current results, does anyone know any online e-tailers that can supply the newer revisions of motherboards?
    Most of the Gigabyte boards list board rev 2.0, I can't see what's changed though. I miss the old product comparison, not this new flash-based one!

    Apart from price, which isn't too bad for the P55A-UD4, the UD4 has a passive cooler between the socket and top-most PCIe lane. I'm unsure whether the Titan Fenrir will clear it with the fan mounted in a south-to-north push configuration. It's mostly the layout of the newer boards that's a concern.

    Feature-wise, the addition of Crossfire/SLI is welcomed. From the looks of the specification, it runs 16x (PCIEX16) on the first lane and 8x (PCIEX8) on the second. Any idea how the board manages to run 16x/8x? How does that affect performance? Most benchmarks tend to run the same speeds on both cards.

    I had been considering the 1366/X58 platform previously (first post here!). After the information of new sockets next year for both platforms, I decided to go with the i5-750 since the sole purpose of the system was gaming. I can always upgrade to an i7-860 or "K" unlocked multiplier series with this socket.

    After some thinking, the USB/SATA specifications look like a better investment over Crossfire/SLI, although that sounds odd on a purposely built gaming rig. The Gigabyte implementation is reasonable - 16x graphics or 8x graphics with Turbo USB3/SATA3 - based on the P55 chipset constraints.
     
  13. abezors

    abezors Lurking since '08

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    From a side-by-side comparison of the pictures, the Rev 2.0 uses NEC USB3 chips, whilst I'm assuming the Rev 1.0 uses the Gigabyte chip (or whatever it was originally, I forget) - which according to reviews had issues with low USB bandwidth IIRC. The easy way to tell is that Rev 2.0 has a red USB header at the bottom of the board (vs original rev 1 is blue), and also has NEC writing advertising the feature just next to the southbridge.
     
  14. geoboy333

    geoboy333 Sometimes I say something bright...

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    Ditto, i have had absolutely no problems with my GD65 and as for not being able to use DIMMs with large heatsinks on; not true, i've got my ripjaws and freezer 7 pro together fine admittedly it is a tight squeeze but my havin slender fingers helped during the build.

    GO WITH THE MSI, IT WONT LET YOU DOWN!!!
     
  15. Marine-RX179

    Marine-RX179 What's a Dremel?

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    From what I recall...you there's barely any performance loss on 8x/8x because of PCI-E 2.0 standard instead of the old PCI-E 1.0. I think someone mentioned you would probably lose about 3-4% performance at most crossfiring high-end card such as 5870, but for lesser card the performance loss is hardly noticable.

    On a different subject...OcUK this week's special offer include a Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5 for £114.99 instead of its usual price of £139.99:
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-203-GI
    It might not have Sata 6Gb/s or USB3.0 ports, but a 8x/8x Crossfire/SLI socket 1156 board for just under £115 is a real bargain I think (as even AMD's cheapest 8x/8x Crossfire/SLI AM3 socket board cost around £90) .
     
  16. abezors

    abezors Lurking since '08

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    For the benefit of any future Google searches:

    Improvements made with Revision 2.0 of the Gigabyte P55 series include various tweaks, but I do not know how substantial these improvements are. Bare in mind that it's a lot of hassle for the manufacturer to change tooling etc for a new revision, so the new revision may well be worth looking for versus rev 1.0.

    Upgrade includes:
    • Replacement of Gigabyte USB3 chips with NEC (as I mentioned in above post, possibly better bandwidth and avoiding issues with PCI-e lanes?)
    • On-Off charge in S3/4/5 states
    • Improved power management: "New power delivery design and phase switching" (not sure exactly what's changed here, maybe different mosfets area or similar?)

    And anecdotally, via a different forum, a revised board apparently stays stable even with loss of a power phase. No more details provided other than P55A-UD6 used.

    Oh, and the UD3R has stability with a 5.19ghz OC on LN2, which is astonishing for a budget range of motherboards. I was considering a higher series board but may save my money and go for that instead.
     
    Somatic likes this.
  17. Somatic

    Somatic What's a Dremel?

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    The P55A-UD3 sounds like a great board for overclocking and the UD3R has the extra power phases that may help. Thanks for all the useful information about the board revision. :thumb:

    I went with the GA-P55A-UD3R which was delivered today. It's not the rev 2.0 version, sadly, hopefully the earlier board works fine. Anyone already have the rev 1.0, any issues?

    I'll probably be building sometime this weekend since it's been a hectic week. The poor components have been sat in a box for quite some time.
     

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