Asus LGA1156 P7P55D-E Pro Motherboard Review - HotHardware

Asus LGA1156 P7P55D-E Pro Motherboard Review

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When we published our comprehensive P55 motherboard roundup back in early April, one of the boards we discussed and really liked was the Asus P7P55D Deluxe. At $220, that particular board was priced significantly higher than some of the other LGA1156 options we considered. Fast forward a few months and we've got the LGA1156-based P7P55D-E Pro on the table. Its MSRP is considerably lower than the P7P55D Deluxe's ($179.99 vs. $219), and it offers features like USB 3.0 and SATA 6G, both of which aren't available on the other board. The P7P55D-E Pro's features and price make it an attractive option, but does it stand up against the newer LGA1156 boards from other manufacturers? Let's find out...


ASUS P7P55D-E Pro

ASUS P7P55D-E Pro
Specifications & Features

Processor Support 
LGA1156 Socket for Intel Core i7/i5/i3 Processors
Supports Intel TurboBoost Technology

Chipset
 Intel® P55 Express Chipset
   
Memory 
4 x DIMM, Max. 16 GB, DDR3 2200(OC) 16/1333/ 1066MHz Non-ECC, Unbuffered RAM
Dual Channel memory architecture
   
Expansion Slots 
2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (single max @ x16,dual @ x8 speed)
3 x PCIe 2.0 x1 slots (2 at 5GT/s [blue]; 1 at 2.5GT/s [gray])
2 x PCI Slots
 
Multi-GPU Support:
Supports  NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI Technology
Suports ATI Quad-GPU CrossFireX Technology

Storage
Intel P55 Express Chipset
6 xSATA 3 Gb/s ports
Intel Matrix Storage Technology Support RAID 0,1,5,10

JMicron® JMB363 PATA and SATA controller
1 xUltraDMA 133/100/66/33 for up to 2 PATA devices
1 xExternal SATA 3.0 Gb/s port
1 xSATA 3.0 Gb/s port

Marvell PCIe SATA 6.0Gb/s Controller
2 x SATA 6.0 GB/s ports (gray)
 
Audio
VIA VT1828S 8-channel HD Audio CODEC
Absolute Pitch BD192/94
DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC
Supports Jack-Detection, Multi-streaming, and Front Panel Jack-Retasking
Coaxial/Optical S/PDIF out

LAN
Realtek 8112L Gigabit LAN Controller 

USB
12 USB 2.0 ports (6 ports at back I/O, 6 ports onboard)
2 x USB 3.0 ports (blue)
Unique PCIe x4 Bridge Chip for Ultra Performance
True USB 3.0 Support
True SATA 6.0 Gb/s

IEEE-1394
2 x 1394a ports (1 port at back I/O, 1 port onboard)


Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x PS/2 keyboard port (purple)
1 x PS/2 mouse port (green)
1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Out
1 x Optical S/PDIF Out
1 x IEEE 1394a port
1 x External SATA port
1 x LAN RJ-45
2 x USB 3.0 / 2.0 ports
6 x USB 2.0 / 1.1 ports
8-channel Audio I/O ports
 
Internal I/O Connectors
3 x USB connectors supports additional 6 USB 2.0 ports
7 x SATA 3.0 connectors (blue / black)
2 x SATA 6.0 connectors (gray)
1 x IDE connector for two devices
4 x Fan connectors: 1 x CPU / 2 x Chassis / 1 x power fan
Front panel audio connector
System Panel connector
1 x IEEE1394a connector
Front panel audio connector
1 x S/PDIF Out Header
24-pin ATX Power connector
8-pin EATX 12V Power connector
1 x MemOK! button
 
BIOS
16 Mb Flash ROM
AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI2.0a Multi-Language BIOS 

Overclocking Features
Precision Tweaker 2
SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection)
Overclocking Protection

Form Factor
ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30 cm x 24.4 cm )


   

Asus' bundle contains the company's documentation, a single USB2 external backplate, two SATA cables, a CrossFire connector, the motherboard's I/O plate, and a pair of headers that simplify attaching the various activity lights and power switches. There's nothing extraordinary here, but all of the basics are included with the P7P55D-E Pro to help users get the board set up and running easily and without the need to purchase additional cabling.

Article Index:

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The price of that board (and the Quad LGA1156 chips) is why I never understood getting one of these.  Paying nearly $400 for this board and an i5-760 (to make it clock for clock, a 750 will save you $10) is kinda crazy when you can get an i7-930 with x58 mobo for +$100 or less.

A little extra memory bandwidth, the ability to run two full speed x16 PCI-e slots if you want XFire/SLI, and a much more powerful upgrade path.

As a side note, what is up with the crazy number of Micro ATX x58 boards out there?

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Cool Review!
 
This is the board in my new HotHardware/Cyberpower RigGeeked
 
I am getting used to all the features and how to set them up!  I am unfamiliar with this whole overclocking thing to begin with. Like the review said, I have run into instability issues if I go above certain Hurts:P
 
I have all the BIOs settings set to auto. When I run the Turbo V, and the EVO6, it then turns into a balancing act. It seems to go crazy if the settings get to high. You tend to have to keep adjusting until it goes wrong, then go back and set those to what worked right before the shutdown. The Auto tune feature seems to work on a lower end, if you let it go to long, it then starts to crash the system.  There never seems to be a problem of getting it back, that is a good sign!
 
once I have things set to Turbo, I have noticed that things like HD video plays Alot smoother! The Viewports in Max are smoother as well.  Yet with the 8800, it becomes difficult to know what to attribute to the board or the GPU. The whole system is a whole lot faster with DDR3 and with this awesome board it is hard to tell because everything is working faster and more stable than before!
 
I'll let you know if I figure out this Overclocking thing! Since I am supposed to be able to do it with the GPU, CPU, RAM, and MoBo. The layout is really nice and it definitely deserves its Pro name!
 
Either way,...I am Loving it! Thanks DaveBig Smile

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Not sure I undestand the calculation here. This board retails for $179. Also, did you factor in RAM?

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Dave,
I was doing board + cpu, with a quad core cpu required.  The cheapest I could find the 760 for was around $210, so about $390 for it and this board.  Just shy of $400 as I said, depending on if you get free shipping or not.  You can get a X58 board from $160+ and a i7-930 for $280.  That is $440 at the cheapest, though I would take one of the better outfitted boards and why I said a $80 difference.  I didn't include ram because your going to pay roughly the same between the boards for total amount of ram.

My point was this board is nice, but I'm not going to buy or recommend a high end board for the core cpus unless it is for the 9XX series.  This ones price is thankfully lower then a lot of 1156 high end boards, but I never understood paying more for something that is a tier or two down from the top end.

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Correct me if I am wrong but the 1156 processors have an integrated memory controller. Now assuming this is correct how does your memory tests work with this MB, the only thing I can see is power and the bus that would have a direct impact on the stability, not much to do with anything else as the rest is pretty much CPU bound.

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Archer:
the rest is pretty much CPU bound

It all goes to the motherboard and RAM that you use. Yes, 1156 socket based CPU's have the memory and the PCI-E controller on the CPU itself, (so it's a standard across the platform) but some motherboards seem to be able to squeeze just a little more performance out of the system as a whole. Maybe it's the way that the board is designed that makes a difference. Some boards use higher quality parts on them when they build them, such as Japanese Solid Capacitors, and Heavier Copper PCB's to name a few. The design of the power handling circuitry makes a huge difference too.


I had had good luck with an ASRock board, the P55-Pro, with a i5-750 in it. It's easy to setup and tweak too. My Intel DP55KG Extreme mainboard with the i7-870 is a good one too.

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As to my $99.00 ASRock P55-Pro Mainboard,.....I just became aware of a new BIOS that's been released for it. So I downloaded it and installed it. Looking it over, I found an "Auto-Tweak" function that overclocks the board and components for you. You do nothing, set nothing, it does it all. So I thought I would try it out to see how it worked.

Below is a picture of my latest run of the Final Fantasy Benchmark. Note the default speed of the CPU and to the right look at what it's running smoothly at.

Getting 3.8GHz. from my 2.67GHz CPU works for me.  Not bad at all for a $99.00 board!

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