It appears the Intel P55 motherboard previews are all the rage the past couple of days. Despite the fact that we showed off one of Asus' higher-end P55 motherboards way back in early June, we thought we'd get into the mix as well and give you faithful HotHardware readers a gander at a couple of Gigabyte-built motherboards that also feature Intel's upcoming P55 chipset for LGA1156 processors, codenamed Lynnfield.
First up is the Gigabyte GA-P55-UD4P. We can't offer any information about performance just yet, but are able to give you a glimpse at the hardware and what it has in store.
As you can see, the GA-P55-UD4P is built around Gigabyte's signature blue PCB, it features seven expansion slots (2 x PEG, 3 x PCIe x1, 2 x PCI, and aluminum coolers on the VRM and chipset. If you look close at the heatsinks, you'll nothing that the one about in the middle of the board--in the traditional Northbridge location--isn't really mounted to anything. It's sort of just floating there, connected to the VRM heatsink via a heatpipe. Because upcoming Lynnfield based processes move virtually all of the historic Northbridge functionality, including PCI Express connectivity and a memory controller, onto the CPU die itself, there's no need for a Northbridge chip.
The board's dual PEG slots support SLI and CrossFire multi-GPU configurations and a couple of its SATA ports are labeled as SATA 6Gbs, but rumor has it support for the new SATA standard will be nixed before the board hits retail channels. There's also plenty of connectivity in the I/O backplane--Gigabit LAN and HD Audio support come by way of Realtek chips and the Firewire ports are powered by a TI controller.
Next up is the higher-end GA-P55-UD6. Connectivity in the I/O backplane is identical, and it too sports aluminum cooling on its VRM and chipset, but the cooling apparatus is much more elaborate and substantial. The UD6 is also outfitted with more SATA ports (10 vs. 8), more DIMM slots (6 vs. 4), and it has a much different slot configuration which includes a trio of PCI Express x16 graphics slots.
The Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6's claim to fame, however, is its 24 phase power design. If you look around the CPU socket you can plainly see the 24 phase design and count the components for yourself. In fact, you'll count 27 phases, but three of them are dedicated to the memory slots.
Stay tuned to HotHardware for more information regarding P55 motherboard and Intel's upcoming processors as it becomes available. We promise, it won't be long now.