ASUS P7P55D Deluxe Reviewtacohunter52 - September 29, 2009
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A motherboard needs good drivers to run properly. There is no sense buying a super expensive board that looks great, only to later find that it sucks due to faulty drivers. Almost as important as the drivers are the programs that come on the same disk. Come on, who doesn't like a program that can automatically overclock your system!
Installing the P7P55D Deluxe's drivers is extremely easy, thanks to "Asus Install All". Simply click the "InstAll" button when the first screen appears. Then you'll be prompted with another screen allowing you to select what you want installed. For whatever reason, I was not allowed to install the VIA audio drivers, and I chose not to install Norton. Why Norton was included in the driver section is beyond me, but whatever. If you don't want an irritating, less than perfect anti-virus on your new rig, then go ahead and uncheck the box. Otherwise, just click "Go".
Installing the included programs is just as easy. Simply switch to the utility section and click "InstAll". Again, there may be some pesky programs that you don't want installed, so I encourage you to check only what you want. In my case I did not want Adobe reader. Once the installation has been completed, you'll be asked to restart your computer.
At this point you'll probably want to know what you just installed on your new rig. Let's begin with the Asus AI Suite. The AI Suite itself will give you some basic information about your system. This includes temps, voltages, and fan speeds. You'll also see your CPU's total speed. The AI Suite has three buttons that will take you to different programs, the first of which being the Fan Xpert. This will let you adjust fan speeds, although many users just run their fans at max speeds. If you're one who likes your system quiet, this program would be the ideal way to adjust RPMs on the fly.
Next up is a great little program called Asus Update. Many users like keeping everything up to date, but hate updating things. One of the most irritating of these things is the BIOS. Why? Because flashing the BIOS just plain sucks, and if you don't know what you're doing, you can seriously mess things up. Thankfully, Asus has made it extremely easy to update the BIOS. The Asus Update will update your BIOS for you from the Internet. It will also allow you to save your current BIOS to a file. This way, if for some reason you want to revert to what you had before, it can be easily done.
Next on the chopping block is the TurboV EVO. This is one of the coolest in OS overclocking tools I've ever used. The only quirk is that I'm not sure why you'd use it when you've got the TurboV remote. The TurboV EVO has three different options, the first being manual. When in manual mode, you'll be able to adjust the four basic things needed to overclock. These are, of course, the BCLK, CPU voltage, IMC voltage, and Memory voltage. Easy mode is pretty close to auto mode in the sense that you'll only be increasing the BCLK. I'd use this for some fine tuning right before a benchmark. The third mode is auto, which is pretty self explanatory. It will go through a four step process in order to give you the highest stable overclock it can. The TurboV EVO will also allow you to adjust the profiles of the TurboV remote. This way you can easily overclock your setup by the touch of a button. Only there will be three different buttons for three different occasions on which you might want to auto overclock your setup.
Drive Xpert is a great program for users looking to set up RAID arrays. You'll be able to view information on your arrays, switch between three different profiles, and view events in an event viewer. For users not looking to use any form of RAID, well this program just isn't for you.
Next up is the EPU6 Engine. This is a program that was made for all you users that hunger for power savings. With 4 different profiles and an Auto setting, this is one beast of a power saver. You can choose to use performance mode, or be environment friendly and go with max power savings. If that's not enough info for you. You'll also be able to see how much C02 emission you've reduced by using this utility. This definitely shows that Asus is taking steps to improve the environment. Or at least develop products that pollute less, depending on whether or not the user decides to save power.
Asus's Express Gate is one of the coolest features I've ever seen on a motherboard. In short, it's a mini-OS that comes up before the splash screen. Asus refers to it as the Hybrid OS, but I'm going to just call it cool. This great little feature opens in just five seconds and will allow you to do stuff you'd never think possible without booting into Windows. However, you'll need to do some configuring first.
My favorite part about the Express Gate is that you'll be able to instantly use the Internet. This can be helpful if you're on the run and need to quickly get some information. Instead of waiting for Windows to boot, you've just got to power on the computer and BAM!, you've got Internet. The Express Gate is a mini-OS, so you will be able to adjust things such as background, language, and sound. There's also a section that will allow you to play Internet games. However, I thought this was a little bit silly. But I guess some people might be in a hurry to play "Bloons", in which case this is an awesome feature!
If you want to get way into this Hybrid OS, you can upload images, use the chat function, or even use your Skype profile. Keep in mind, even though I've been showing these features one at a time, you can easily have them all running at once. Upon exiting the Express Gate, it will ask you if you want to switch to the Primary OS.
Now that we've seen what's included with the board, let's take a look at what we can do in the BIOS.