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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Monday, 18 October 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
ECS P55H-AK Intel P55-Express Motherboard
ECS P55-Express Features
ECS P55H-AK Specifications
ECS P55H-AK Motherboard
ECS P55H-AK Detailed Features
ECS P55H-AK Overclocking
Motherboard Testing Methodology
Everest Benchmarks
PCMark Vantage Benchmarks
CINEBENCH R11.5 Benchmark
Passmark Performance Test Benchmark
Street Fighter IV Benchmark Results
ECS Motherboard Final Thoughts
ECS P55H-AK Conclusion

ECS ELITEGROUP P55H-AK Black Series Motherboard Review

It is common knowledge that today's Intel Core i5 and i7 series of LGA 1156 CPU's are capable of achieving the 4GHz milestone. You should also know that to push past that milestone, and remain stable, you will need a high end motherboard designed specifically for that task. ECS EliteGroup have been around for many years but have never really been seen as an enthusiast brand. That may be about to change today, as Benchmark Reviews brings you the ECS P55H-AK Motherboard (P/N 89-206-Y66100), which is part of the Black Series offerings from ECS.

The P55H-AK is at the cutting edge of enthusiast PC technology offering support for USB 3.0 5.0Gb/s and SATA 6Gb/s at the same time as offering Tri-SLI / Tri-CrossFire @ 16/8/8. ECS has doubled up on support chips (2x Marvell SATA 6Gb/s controllers, 2x NEC USB 3.0 controllers and 2x Realtek Ethernet controllers) and has utilized a PLX PEX 8608 PCIe Gen 2 switch and an NVIDIA nForce 200 PCI-Express switch chip with an extra 32 PCIe lanes to bring support for all of these latest features on the P55 platform.

Cramming all of those technologies into one board is by no means cheap though, but if you want to futureproof yourself and have a decent overclocking platform, or maybe you have lots of cash to burn and you want one of the best looking / most feature rich P55 motherboard available, then you should definitely read on and discover what the ECS P55H-AK is capable of.


As is the norm at Benchmark Reviews, we overclock the ECS P55H-AK to its limits and find out just what it is capable of achieving. Today we will be using an Intel Core i5 760 and a 4GB G.Skill RipJaws PC3-12800 CL9 RAM kit with the P55H-AK motherboard, and comparing it to a budget Gigabyte motherboard (GA-P55-US3L) and a previous generation Intel socket 775 Quad Core DDR2 system. Before we get into the brass tacks of this review, please scan through the following pages to learn the features and specifications of the ECS P55H-AK Motherboard, and also get an in depth look at the board itself.

Manufacturer: ECS EliteGroup
Product Name: P55H-AK (V1.0)
Part Number: 89-206-Y66100
Price As Tested: $299.99

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by ECS EliteGroup.



# RAM frequency multiplierServando Silva 2010-10-17 19:51
Hi Steven. I saw you talked about a 2:12 multiplier and you even listed it in the pros. Isn't it the case for every P55 motherboard? As long as your CPU uses that multiplier it will appear (with the proper BIOS update). You can find higher dividers with an Unlocked processor, but 1600MHz seems pretty general for me. Even ITX motherboards handle this multiplier as far as I know. Let me know if you've tested a P55 motherboard without a 2:!2 divider.
Thanks for the article.
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# RE: ECS P55H-AK Intel P55-Express MotherboardMefist0 2010-10-18 02:04
Memory controller is in processor, why you are asking about MB? Only Core i7 8xx support ratio 2:12, other desktop soc1156 processors doesn't support this ratio.
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# Memory MultiplierSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2010-10-18 03:32
With my Gigabyte GA-P55-US3L Mobo I could only choose from a 6,8 or 10 multi, so I was suprised to see the P55H-AK offer 2:12 also.
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# Spend Less,..........RealNeil 2010-10-18 06:31
The 1156 platform seems to be coming into it's own recently. At first, I was disappointed in the PCI-E bandwidth limitations they possess, making an SLI or Crossfire setup work in a limited way. I bought an ASRock P55-Pro Mainboard for $99.00 and put an i5-750 in it with some Ripjaws RAM in it. While it always worked well, it wasn't that easy to OC until the latest BIOS came out. The new BIOS has an auto-magic setting that does all of the tweaking for you. (sort of a lazy-man's OC) It gives you a choice of a 40% or a 50% overclock and as I said, it does everything for you. So now my 2.67GHz. CPU is running at 3.8GHz. (40%) and is completely stable. I think ASRock has it going on, because there is absolutely nothing to it and a $99.00 board that performs so well is a steal.
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# No word on temps!PSM 2010-10-18 13:51
Hi Steven, thanks for this fine review. But to be honest I'm a bit disappointed that there is not any thermal/power report on this promising motherboard. It's becoming a bit of a trend for reviewers not to include temps and wattage of mobos recently. Yes this p55 and it doesn't get hot like x58 boards but it still needs cooling. And this ECS one has lots of extra chips that dumps even more heat than a regular p55 mobo. Just having pretty looking heatpipes is not enough for a highend board because there are boards like EVGA classified 4-way sli and MSI eclipse x58 which have sinister looking cooling solution, but heats up beyond comfort level. Some highend Asus boards have the same problame. So it would've been nice if you provided some temps along the way. Also power consumptions should've been mentioned for such a heavily loaded board. Regards.
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# RE: ECS P55H-AK Intel P55-Express MotherboardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2010-10-18 15:16
Temps here;
As for power consumtion, I dont have the proper test equipment.
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# RE: ECS P55H-AK Intel P55-Express MotherboardPSM 2010-10-21 08:59
Thanks for the temps. Though 70c+ is still out of my comfort Zone. But that can be understood. Anyway this is a good sign that companies like ECS are coming up with highend parts. But they've to consider this as a longtime practice. ECS should follow the path of ASUS and reserve their black series for enthusiasts. And if they can keep the price down reasonably, that's the way to do it. Else one odd highend mobo in a while won't fetch much attention. Regards.
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# USB 2?Testy01 2010-10-18 15:45
Thought it strange that under the features on page 2, USB2 still has an old definition calling it the "Latest connectivity standard" Meh.
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# RE: USB 2?Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2010-10-19 02:56
Well since USB 3.0 has not become the "Standard" yet I guess this dialog is still valid....
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# RE: ECS P55H-AK Intel P55-Express MotherboardStan 2010-10-19 00:46
One more idiotic design.

Overcrouded southbridge with rebranded PCIe v.1.1 NVIDIA NF100

Once again: NONE of the moderd GPU needs even 1GB/s bandwidth
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