P55 Motherboard Round-up: Asus, EVGA, GB, Intel, MSI

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EVGA P55 Classified

The Classified 200 motherboard is EVGA's flagship P55 product and the most expensive board in our round up. It borrows from the look and design of their X58 Classified by sporting a red and black theme with large, nickel plated heatsinks surrounding the CPU socket area. There are actually two 8pin CPU power connections, along with a gold infused CPU socket that promotes lower inductance and better power delivery for superior overclocking. 


EVGA P55 Classified 200 Motherboard

 Model 160-LF-E659-KR
 Layout and Features

Processor
LGA-1156 i5 / i7 Processors

Memory
Four 240-pin DDR3 SDRAM DIMM sockets
Supports DDR3 2600MHz+
Up to 16 GB max
   
Expansion Slots
5 x PCIe 2.0 (x16 / x8 slots)
1 x PCIe 2.0 (x4)
1 x PCIe 2.0 (x1)

RAID
SATA 1-6 support Intel Matrix Storage Technology
AHCI / RAID 0/1/5/10
  
Audio
Realtek® HD audio codec
8-channel audio with jack sensing

Networking
Dual LAN (10/100/1000)
Back Panel I/O
6 x USB 2.0 ports
2 x RJ45 LAN jacks
1 x IEEE1394a port
2 x eSATA ports
1 x PS/2 keyboard port
6 audio ports

Accessories
Rear I/O panel shield
SLI bridge
2 x SATA data cables
USB / 1394a expansion bracket
SATA power adapter cables
Visual installation guide
Drivers and utilities disk


Form Factor
EATX 12 x 10.375 inches ( 30.5 cm x 26.4 cm )

Warranty
3 years limited (requires registration within 30 days)
90 day Step-Up program eligible

Price
$340


Without a doubt, the Classified 200's asking price of $340 is the highest of any P55 board on the market. If you're familiar with EVGA's Classified line of products, this shouldn't come as a surprise. But for those that aren't, here's the scoop. The Classified line up is a lot like Intel's Extreme processors in that they were designed for a niche group of extreme enthusiasts that demand components that can be pushed to the limit. Sub-zero cooling and dangerous doses of voltage are the focus here and the Classified 200 carries on the tradition of over-the-top capabilities.

The Classified 200 also provides mounting holes for both Socket 1156 and 775 coolers, like the P55 SLI. Further inspection reveals other features like onboard reset and power buttons, a clear CMOS switch, POST code LED, triple BIOS, and Show-Volt. The Show-Volt feature is an integrated volt meter that displays voltages probed from contact pads along the top edge of the motherboard. 

The size of a motherboard bundle usually sets apart the budget and high end models within a lineup. EVGA provided a truck load of accessories with the Classified that deserve mention. The board comes with an installation manual, drivers and utilities disk, six SATA 3.0Gbs cables, three SATA power adapters, USB/Firewire expansion bracket, an IDE HDD cable, three SLI bridges, an I/O shield, and an EVGA Control Panel (ECP).

The board's I/O panel houses a PS/2 keyboard port, a Firewire port, two eSATA ports, a clear CMOS switch, six audio ports, and six USB 2.0 connections. Located between the CMOS switch and eSATA connector is the interface for EVGA's EVbot, the optional handheld overclocking tool designed for tweakers to maximize system performance and allows on-the-fly adjustments. Like the P55 SLI we covered on the previous page, this board offers two eSATA ports while removing the PS/2 mouse connection.


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