Asus P7P55D EVO P55 Motherboard Preview

Introduction

A New Breed
 
P55 (code name Ibex Peak) is just around the corner but thanks to our friends at Asus, they have given us a sneak preview of their P7P55D 'EVO' motherboard based on Intels LGA1156 socket designed for Intel Lynnfield Processors or Core i5 to you and me. As the socket type suggests, Core i5 will need a different socket type and will not work with current X58 motherboards as the architecture is quite different from Core i7 as we will see later in the review. I'm not sure this is the best move for Intel as it will inevitably prevent cross platform upgrading but we will reserve judgement on performance until we put the new processors and chipset through their paces.
 
Intel have been busying themselves with a new line up of CPU's to complement the already successful Intel Core i7. These new processors will be called Intel Core i5 (mid-level) and Core i3 (entry level) for the desktop using the 45nm process. This is in addition of  the mobile revision of the Core i7 (Clarksfield). This is not to say that the Pentium (basic) and Celeron (value) brands will be finally brushed aside nor will the Atom processor which will still be used for netbooks and smartphones, rather the 'Core' name will be reserved for the best Intel currently has to offer.
 
Missing from P55 is the QPI bus (Quick Path Interconnect), still lovingly referred to as the Northbridge, which will likely have a detrimental effect on performance compared to the i7/X58 chipset. Also missing is triple channel DDR3, replaced instead by dual channel DDR3 supporting a maximum 16GB which, if you have read our article on the benefits of 3GB vs 6GB vs 12GB is no big deal and the increase in performance triple channel currently offers over dual could be written on the back of a postage stamp so there's no great shakes there.
 
I was however intrigued to learn that the P55 chipset will restrict the bandwidth of PCI express to 8 lanes if you intend on using a dual card set. While this is the same as it's P45 brethren I would have appreciated an upgrade in this department. Not that it will concern anyone apart from those lucky enough to be running dual GPU cards such as the 4870x2 or GTX295. If you are just using one card though then the full benefits of PCIe 2.0 are available. Information regarding SLI compatibility is sketchy at present but you can be assured that Crossfire will at least work on P55, much the same as P45.
 
Specification
 
Before we take a sneak preview of the Asus P55 Evo motherboard let's take a peek at it's specification which, is subject to change being that it is a very early sample:
 
  Asus P7P55D
CPU
LGA1156 Socket for Intel Lynnfield PRocessors
 Supports Intel Turbo Boost Technology
Chipset Intel P55 Express Chipset
Memory
4xDIMM, max. 16GB, DDR3 1600(OC)/133/1066MHz, non-ECC,unbuffered memory
Dual Channel memory architecture 
Expansion Slots
2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (single at x16 or dual at x8/x8 mode)
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16slots (at x4 mode, 2.5GT/s)
2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 (2.5GT/s)
2 x PCI
Storage
Intel P55 Express Chipset
- 6 x SATA 3.0 GB/s ports
- Intel Matrix Storage technology supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10
LAN
Dual Gigabit LAN controllers
Realtek 8112L/8110SC Gigabit Lan controller featuring AI NET2
Audio
VIA VT1828 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- DTS Surround sensation UltraPC
IEEE 1394
Via 6308P controller supports 2 x IEEE 1394aports (one on the mainboard, one at the backplate)
USB 14 x USB 2.0 ports (6ports on board, 8 ports on the back panel)
Asus Features
MemOK!
Asus EPU
Express Gate
Asus Q-LED (CPU,DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
Asus Q-Slot
Asus Q-DIMM
 
As the specification above suggests, this is going to be one feature packed motherboard and with a massive 14 possible USB ports, the ultra in connectivity. I was interested to see that Asus are not including their Xonar sound package with the board, instead relying on VIA to provide your Aural pleasure.
 
That's enough spiel for the time being, time to take a look at the motherboard itself...
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Most Recent Comments

30-06-2010, 18:25:57

FragTek
Damn son, real nice. Can't wait to see the temps once you get the evap on it.

30-06-2010, 21:26:35

Bungral
Dude... That thing is massive. Gonna get chilly in there!!

01-07-2010, 06:06:18

tinytomlogan
starting to look like a mad scientist!

02-07-2010, 07:03:40

AlienALX
Imagine. A PC that cools the room. Now he is onto something ! :D

02-07-2010, 16:10:52

Diablo
Bad news with phases is they really heat the room, second law of thermodynamics. Love to see the temps you get on this.

06-07-2010, 00:32:07

NoL
I shall name it Squishy, and it shall be my squishy!

Run caps and R507 decided to show up (that cylinder took 3 weeks to get here from Hawaii, but brand new for $85 was hard to pass up).

So what did I do? Checked my micron gauge, and after a week sitting, she still read 185 microns. Amazing; that meant charging time.

A burst of r290 (brought up to 20psi) to handle the oil, and then flipped to r507a. After I had maxed out the CPEV, I realized I was getting little adjust-ability, the rotary is just huge and doing it's job. More charge and I got adjust-ability back. I hit critical charge and the temperature started dropping. At four minutes the back end of the goal had snow. And six, it was all nice ball. By eight minutes the accumulator was showing signs of blizzard conditions.
She has a nice purr to her too, vibrating against the table it's on isn't helping but the 1/3hp thing on the condenser is working. The first coils are warm if a bit hot, but by coil loop two it's only 2C over ambient. That will change with load, but I doubt by much.

Onto the sexy pictures.

[IMG]http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/1604/downsized0705002356.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/3350/0705002357.jpg[/IMG]

06-07-2010, 08:19:43

FragTek
Have you picked up an evaporator yet?

06-07-2010, 09:37:33

Steve-O-
This is awesome stuff!

06-07-2010, 10:06:04

noobieocer
the mix of engineering terms, weather repots and animal comments got me so confused i just gave up reading your posts and just look at pics lol

21-10-2010, 16:43:58

yggdrasil
God loving the work, I would love to do some thing like this, Maybe not so bit tho lol
Loving your dedication to.
Can't wait for some stats.
Reply
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