ASUS P7P55D-E Pro Motherboard E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards
Written by Bruce Normann   
Thursday, 24 June 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro Motherboard
Intel Lynnfield LGA1156 CPU
Intel P55 Express Chipset
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro Features
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro Specifications
Closer Look: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro Detailed Features
ASUS BIOS and Overclocking
Motherboard Testing Methodology
EVEREST Benchmark Results
PCMark Vantage Test Results
CINEBENCH 11.5 Benchmark
Passmark Performance Test Benchmark
Crysis Test Results
Aliens vs. Predator Test Results
Final Thoughts
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro Conclusion

Intel P55 Express Chipset

The ASUS P7P55 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. The chipset supports 8 PCI Express 1.1 x1 Ports (2.5GT/s) for flexible device support. Dual graphics cards are supported by the CPU directly, in a "2x8" configuration. The chipset also supports six 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, direct memory channels. The CPU also provides support for the two PCIe graphics slots via the Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) bus, and is limited to 16 lanes. The DMI connection between the Intel P55 Express chipset (IOH) and Lynnfield CPU is based on a PCI-e x4 connection and allows for only 2 GB/s of bandwidth. This limited bandwidth is not an issue, since the P55 only provides support for the legacy SATA, USB and other system interfaces, all low-speed functions that used to be performed by the Southbridge (ICH).

intel_p55_chipset_block_diagram

All motherboard busses and components are driven from a single base clock with a standard clock speed of 133.33 MHz; this is known as the B-Clock or BCLK. The individual 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 clock rates for:

1. CPU Speed: When multiplied by the system base clock speed (default 133.33 MHz), gives the CPU frequency. Four multipliers are used to define different speeds based on the number of active CPU cores.

2. Memory Speed: When multiplied by the system base clock speed, gives the memory frequency. For example a memory multiplier of 10 times the base clock of 133.33 MHz results in a memory frequency of 1333 MHz.

3. Direct Media Interface (DMI) Speed: Selectable transfer rate of data transferred between the CPU and the IOH. (Note: Many BIOS programs and monitoring utilities (CPU-z, etc.) will report this as QPI. This is the interface used between the LGA1366 CPUs and the X58 Chipset.)

4. Uncore Speed: This multiplier applies to the non-CPU related items in the processor. The limit on this multiplier is set by the memory multiplier.

Intel P55 Express Chipset FeaturesASUS_P7P55D-E_Pro_Motherboard_P55_Express_Chipset.jpg

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.

eSATA - 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

Green technology - Manufactured with lead-free and halogen-free component packages



 

Comments 

 
# Which p7p55d-e motherboard?David Joyce 2010-08-04 06:40
Great review, thank you.

I'm a little confused by the choice of ASUS p7p55d-e motherboards: standard, lx, pro, evo, deluxe, premium.

Is there is real reason to choose the deluxe version over the pro version reviewed above (I'm not an overclocker, so not sure if all the power lanes will make a difference, and the only other differences I see are the variety of audio ports and an extra LAN port)?

Thanks for any advice.
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# RE: Which p7p55d-e motherboard?Olin Coles 2010-08-04 06:43
I agree... the product line seems to get spread a bit thin.

If you're not overclocking, then search for the best price to fit your needs. All P55 motherboards, regardless of manufacturer, will produce roughly identical performance results (minus OC). Just make sure that it has the extra features you might need down the road.
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# RE: RE: Which p7p55d-e motherboard?David Joyce 2010-08-04 07:16
Thanks for the advice, I'm conscious of the fact that perhaps a couple of years on I may need something that I didn't buy into initially, just to save some money at the time.

Putting it another way, is there a disadvantage of the Deluxe over, say, the Pro version (e.g. power consumption), apart from the price?
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# RE: RE: RE: Which p7p55d-e motherboard?Olin Coles 2010-08-04 07:18
Power consumption is too close to declare any substantial difference. The biggest differences are in the features: heatpipe cooling, overclocking tools, additional NIC, ports, etc.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Which p7p55d-e motherboard?David Joyce 2010-08-04 07:35
Thank you for your quick respones - I didn't see the extra cooling features of the Deluxe version, so that is a nice bonus.
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# Minor differencesBruce Normann 2010-08-04 07:43
Audio CODEC (VIA VT2020) has more features.
Dual LAN Controllers with "Teaming" feature.
TurboV remote control included with Deluxe.
16+3 PWM phases v. 12+2.

If you're not overclocking, and you don't need the two extra audio channels and you don't need dual NICs, then don't spend the extra money. I don't see any of the included features helping to future-proof your system. The USB 3.0 and the SATA 6Gb/s are the keys for that, and both boards have that.
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# RE: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro MotherboardMACK 2011-05-18 10:15
Amazing review. Good to see the AMD board in comparison.
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