P55 Motherboard Round-up: Asus, EVGA, GB, Intel, MSI
Some might say that there has never been a better time to be a PC enthusiast. Compelling new products fighting for our attention abound, as the computer hardware scene is bursting at the seams with upgrade options. For example, it wasn't long ago that AMD launched the world's first DX11 videocard and now the company features a full lineup of products at a wide variety of price points. NVIDIA's answer to the Radeon HD 5000 series has just arrived as well, and the battle for dominance in the graphics market is as fierce as ever. SSDs are also becoming increasingly more affordable, while the release of SATA 6Gbps opens the door to a new generation of faster drives. Equally important, huge 1TB hard drives can be purchased for less than $100, allowing us to backup and store copious amounts of data without breaking the bank.
No matter which of the aforementioned breakthroughs piques your interest, we all have specific reasons for choosing and buying one product over another. But during these difficult economic times, consumers need to be smarter than ever and demand more value for their money. PC hardware companies are left with the task of creating products that provide the performance we seek, while also offering compelling value.
Consequently, the demand for affordable, high performance computing components has brought about Intel's P55 chipset. Initially launched in September 2009, P55 based motherboards are attractive options for those looking to build a new, mainstream system. Its no secret that this platform was created in order to target mainstream consumers that balk at the high overall cost of a flagship X58-based system, but still want the features and performance of Intel's Nehalem microarchitecture. The demand for such products was so high that motherboard makers seemingly had no choice but to saturate the market with multiple P55-based boards that cater to almost every type of PC consumer.
We understand that shopping for a motherboard can be arduous and complicated. In particular, the mountain of choices available only adds to the challenge, especially when you analyze the different features of each board and various price points. Fret not system builder, HotHardware has recruited a small army of P55 motherboards in order to compare the features and performance of each.
||Asus P7P55D Deluxe
|EVGA P55 SLI
||EVGA P55 Classified
Our round up features boards with a wide range of price points, from the affordable Intel DP55WG to the extravagant EVGA P55 Classified. But they all sport Intel's P55 chipset platform with processors that feature integrated memory controllers, on-die PCIe 2.0 connectivity, enhanced Turbo Mode performance, dual channel memory, and plenty of expansion options. With motherboards, companies usually offer models at several price points in order to provide options to different types of consumers. This empowers buyers--like you--to make the optimal choice for your specific situation. So, let's take a closer look at each product to see what sets them apart from the rest of the pack.