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

ASUS P7P55D-E Pro Detailed Features

A common feature of ASUS' many P55-based boards is this multi-color "snowflake" of a heatsink mounted on the P55 Express Chipset. It's solid aluminum and the intricate pattern actually does serve to increase the surface area for improved cooling. It looks like it takes up valuable real estate, but it sits high enough that there are all sorts of SMD components resting in its shadow.

ASUS_P7P55D-E_Pro_Motherboard_P55_End_02.jpg

The basic functions of the motherboard are taken care of by these five support chips. The ICS 9LPRS140CKLF is the clock generator for most of the auxiliary clocks on the board. The VIA Vinyl VT1828S is a 10-channel audio codec, compatible with Intel High Definition Audio specification. Plus it supports stereo 24-bit resolution and up to 192 kHz sample rate for both the DAC and ADC sections; the SNR is 110 dB for the DAC and 100dB for the ADC. The Realtek RTL8112L onboard NIC supports 10/100/1000 Mb/s Ethernet and AI NET for enhanced functionality.

ASUS_P7P55D-E_Pro_Motherboard_Clock_CODEC_NIC_Merge.jpg

The VIA VT6308 provides IEEE 1394 Firewire capability, and the Winbond chip provides for the basic I/O functions like Keyboard, Mouse, and front panel controls.

ASUS_P7P55D-E_Pro_Motherboard_Firewire_SuperIO_Merge.jpg

The three ICs below are responsible for all the fancy footwork associated with energy management and overclocking. The TurboV chip handles all the high-level application programs like Auto Tuning, TurboV , CPU Level UP and Turbo Key. Any performance improvements that are not done manually in BIOS are handled by this IC. The EPU-2 IC (PEM ASP0800) handles the high level energy management tasks, like the ASUS 16 Hybrid Phase, T.Probe Technology for Active Cooling, and Fan Xpert. The control outputs from the EPU-2 direct the PEM ASP0801 to perform the low-level PWM control of the power MOSFETS and their driver ICs. Between the two devices, they have the ability to control 16 phase of PWM voltage regulation.

ASUS_P7P55D-E_Pro_Motherboard_TurboV_EPU_PEM_Merge.jpg

These next three ICs work together to provide the USB 3.0 connections as well as the SATA 6Gb/s ports on the motherboard. The PLX Technology chip on the left (PEX8608) takes the PCI-e 1.1 lanes that the P55 dishes out and converts them to PCI-e 2.0 lanes. That's what the two chips from NEC and Marvell are designed to interface with, and they need the extra capacity of the PCI-e 2.0 connection to provide the specified data rates. Even with this higher-bandwidth interface to the P55, the SATA connection is still limited to 5Gb/s because that's all the PCI-E 2.0 spec is good for. This is a very common situation right now, and we'll have to wait for the next generation (6 Series) hub controller from Intel to get native SATA 6Gb/s support on an Intel platform. AMD recently released their SB850 Southbridge with native support for six full-speed SATA 6Gb/s ports, so they're a bit ahead of the game. In case you missed it elsewhere in the article, the NEC chip provides two ports of USB connectivity, and the Marvell SE9123 provides two ports of SATA 6Gb/s.

ASUS_P7P55D-E_Pro_Motherboard_PLX_USB_SATA6_Merge.jpg

One of the useful touches that ASUS has introduced lately is the MemOK! button. Every now and then, as you are fine tuning the base clock, the memory clock will get a little overboard. BAM, now you have to recover from a failed overclock. By pressing this button, you can be assured that the memory modules will pass POST, and there's a good chance all your other settings will be saved. The same thing goes for when you're trying to find a reasonable voltage for your RAM. You HAVE to get down to the point of instability in order to find the lowest possible voltage that works, and is stable. The only way to find that point is to go past it and then double back. Once again, this little button will allow you to get through POST on your first restart. It doesn't make the board perform any better, per se, but it sure helps to accelerate the process of tuning for maximum performance.

ASUS_P7P55D-E_Pro_Motherboard_DRAM_OK_01.jpg

Speaking of the trials and tribulations of overclocking, let's look at that next.



 

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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