|Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD6 USB-3 SATA-6G Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 24 December 2009|
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Intel P55 Express Platform
The Gigabyte P55 and P55A-series motherboard platform is designed for the Intel Core i5/i7 LGA1156 'Lynnfield' processor (CPU) and Intel P55 Express Chipset (IOH). New to the P55 platform is a Direct Media Interface (DMI) that connects between the processor and chipset. This replaces the Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) that is used between the X58 and the i7 CPU. The chipset supports 8 PCI Express 1.1 x1 Ports (2.5GT/s) for flexible device support. The chipset also supports 6 SATA 3Gb/s Ports with Intel Matrix Storage Technology providing RAID levels 0/1/5/10. Up to 14 USB 2.0 Ports can be supported with the chipset's integrated USB 2.0 Rate Matching Hub, along with Intel High Definition Audio for premium digital sound.
The Lynnfield CPU incorporates the system memory controller (as it did beginning with Nehalem) and accesses DDR3 memory through two independent memory channels. Dual graphics cards are also supported directly from the CPU, in a "1x16" or "2x8" configuration. The IOH connects to the CPU via the Direct Media Interface (DMI) bus, and allows only 2 GB/s bandwidth. The P55 chip then provides support for the SATA, USB and other system interfaces that are normally handled by the ICHxx Southbridge chip on most other Intel boards.
All motherboard busses and components are driven from a single 133.33 MHz base clock. The resulting component speed values are generated by applying a multiplier value to this base clock. There are four multipliers on the motherboard which are used to set the system speed:
Intel P55 Express Chipset Features
Intel Management Engine Ignition Firmware Support
Provides essential platform functionality such as clock maintenance and thermal reporting
Intel Matrix Storage Technology
With additional hard drives added, provides quicker access to digital photo, video and data files with RAID 0, 5, and 10, and greater data protection against a hard disk drive failure with RAID 1, 5, and 10. Support for external SATA (eSATA) enables the full SATA interface speed outside the chassis, up to 3 Gb/s.
Intel Rapid Recover Technology
Intel's latest data protection technology provides a recovery point that can be used to quickly recover a system should a hard drive fail or if there is data corruption. The clone can also be mounted as a read-only volume to allow a user to recover individual files.
Intel High Definition Audio
Integrated audio support enables premium digital surround sound and delivers advanced features such as multiple audio streams and jack re-tasking.
Universal Serial Bus (USB)
Hi-Speed USB 2.0, provides greater enhancement in performance with a design data rate of up to 480 megabits per second (Mbps) with up to 14 USB 2.0 Ports.
USB 2.0 rate matching hub
Enables lower power requirements and manages the transition of the communication data rate from the high speed of the host controller to the lower speed of USB full speed /low speed devices.
Serial ATA (SATA) 3 Gb/s
High-speed storage interface supports faster transfer rate for improved data access with up to 6 SATA ports.
SATA interface designed for use with external SATA devices. It provides a link for 3 Gb/s data speeds to eliminate bottlenecks found with current external storage solutions.
SATA port disable
Enables individual SATA ports to be enabled or disabled as needed. This feature provides added protection of data by preventing malicious removal or insertion of data through SATA ports. Especially targeted for eSATA ports.
PCI Express 2.0 interface
Offers up to 2.5GT/s for fast access to peripheral devices and networking with up to 8 PCI Express 2.0 x1 ports, configurable as x2 and x4 depending on motherboard designs.
USB port disable
Enables individual USB ports to be enabled or disabled as needed. This feature provides added protection of data by preventing malicious removal or insertion of data through USB ports.
Intel integrated 10/100/1000 MAC
Support for the Intel 82578DC Gigabit Network Connection
Manufactured with lead-free and halogen-free component packages