ASUS P7P55D Deluxe Review

tacohunter52 - 2009-08-12 22:31:43 in Motherboards
Category: Motherboards
Reviewed by: tacohunter52   
Reviewed on: September 29, 2009
Asus
Price: $219.99

Introduction:

When we first heard news of the i5s, there was much speculation that they'd perform worse than the i7s. However, after seeing the scores, it's easy to see that the i5s aren't your little brother's CPU. This means, if you decide to purchase an i5, you can't just pair it with a generic run of the mill motherboard. You'll need something capable of unlocking the new CPU's full potential, as well as supporting your complete arsenal of hardware. Asus has got a board that should be able to do just that!

The Asus P7P55D Deluxe is chock full of some of the coolest features I've seen on a motherboard. It's easy to see that when Asus was designing this board, it wanted it to be the most awesome thing in existence. Ranging from special "MemOK" button to a Hybrid Processor, this board has got just about everything you could want. This is thanks to Asus's Xtreme Design.

Xtreme Design is Asus's new method for designing products, and it brings us several very cool features, one of them being the Hybrid processor. This TurboV chip will make it much easier for users to get the best overclock on their hardware. The Xtreme Design doesn't only deal with overclocking features, it also brings us Asus's new Hybrid Phase. This allows for a super multi phase design and real time load balancing, which will result in cooler temperatures. Along with these hybrid features, we'll also be presented with a Hybrid OS. Enough talk, let's take a look at the new features Asus has designed for us.

Closer Look:

As always, packaging is important. Paying $200 and then receiving some smashed up pieces of PCB is never fun. In order to prevent this, manufacturers have taken extra steps in packaging its components. The Asus P7P55D Deluxe came in a very shiny blue box. The front of the box lists a few of the P7P55D's features. These consist of the 16+3 power phase design, a TurboV Remote, and TurboV EVO. The rear end of the box gives a complete set of specifications and features. It also gives a more detailed description on the TurboV Remote, as well as some information on the auto-overclock features.

 

 

  

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Lifting the front cover reveals further information on some of the P7P55D Deluxe's features. These include the Express Gate, which is basically a mini-OS in the BIOS, the EPU, which is supposed to be a superior energy saving utility, the onboard power switch, and Asus's Q-Design. There is also information on the MemOK! button, TurboV EVO, T.Probe, and Drive Xpert.

 

The sides of the box are almost identical. The only difference between the four is that one of the longer sides shows the UPC.

 

 

Opening the box reveals the motherboard manual, as well as the accessories. The P7P55D Deluxe lies directly beneath the accessories. It's securely placed in an anti-static bag to ensure you don't receive a fried motherboard.

 

 

Now let's take a look at the accessories!

Closer Look:

When you purchase a motherboard, the only thing better than receiving the board, is receiving the accessories that come with it. Why? Because it makes you feel like you're getting more for your money. Asus certainly didn't hesitate on including things with the P7P55D Deluxe. You'll receive all sorts of goodies to ensure that your new motherboard works well with your hardware. You'll also receive a relatively thick user manual and a driver CD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running low on SATA cables? Asus has included four of them with the P7P55D Deluxe, and they aren't your average red cables. Instead, you'll get four nice black SATA cables. Two of them are angled, which can be very helpful when trying to hide wires. I was also pleased to see that Asus opted for the lock-in-place cables. It's very rare that a SATA cable will suddenly become disconnected, but the knowledge that it has been locked in place is always nice. Asus also included an expansion bracket complete with e-SATA and two USB ports. I find that I usually don't use these extra brackets, but if you're short on USB ports, or can't find a cover for your expansion port, you can sleep soundly knowing that Asus has got you covered.

 

 

This next accessory is pretty much the best thing ever! There are a few reasons for this, but my favorite is that it's an overclocking remote. Yeah, you read that correctly. The TurboV remote is actually a remote that will let you overclock with the push of a button. Right now many of you are thinking, "Who needs a remote to overclock? I've got the BIOS!" Well for one thing, this remote allows you to overclock in Windows without having to restart. It's also got three auto-overclock buttons, so you'll be able to easily switch between modes. Another great thing about this remote is that it allows us to overclock farther. How so? Many of the more experienced overclockers know that just because you can't boot with certain settings, doesn't mean you can't use those settings in Windows. The TurboV remote will allow you to increase your core speed in Windows, so you'll be able to game or benchmark with a faster chip. Plus it's got the "Auto Button" that will auto-overclock for you.

 

The P7P55D Deluxe will allow you to run multiple graphics cards. For this reason, Asus has kindly included a CrossFire Bridge, but where's my SLI bridge?. Asus also included a front header riser, which makes it easier to install the front header connectors. That second riser is for the included expansion port. Asus has also included the padded shield that we've seen included with many of its motherboards.

 

 

 

Last, but not least, the IDE cable. Yep! Asus knows that many users, including me, refuse to dispose of their old optical drive. For this reason, Asus has included an IDE cable to use with the P7P55D Deluxe. Thanks, Asus!

 

Now that we've seen what comes with the board, let's take a closer look at the P7P55D Deluxe itself.

Closer Look:

It's time to give you a close look at the sexiest motherboard ever. Alright, the P7P55D Deluxe may not be sexy, and there are many things Asus could have done to make it look sexier – centerfold anyone? The P7P55D Deluxe does, however, have a lot of really great features that you won't find on other boards. One of my favorites is the EMI diodes to prevent a static discharge from killing your board. The back of the motherboard is exactly what you'd expect the back of a motherboard to look like. There is even a reminder that the P7P55D Deluxe uses Stack Cool 2 cooling... wait a minute! According to Asus's specifications on the P7P55D Deluxe, the board uses Stack Cool 3+. Looks like Asus made a typo on the board. Stack Cool 3+ spreads the heat more evenly across the motherboard, which will prolong its lifetime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a look at the board's rear panel reveals just about every connector you could want. There are eight USB ports, one S/PDIF Port, and one optical audio port. For those of you that are still using older keyboards and mice, there are two PS/2 ports. Also on the rear panel are the standard audio ports and one IEEE 1394 port. A great, but not so uncommon, feature of the P7P55D Deluxe is that it has dual Gigabit LAN. So you'll be seeing two LAN ports on the rear panel as well. Those of you with keener eyes will have noticed a small black button as well. This is so you can easily reset the CMOS without having to pull that pesky coin battery. The opposite side of the board isn't as interesting, but the layout works very well. Every SATA port on this side has been angled, as well as the IDE port.

 

 

The left and right sides of the boards again show that Asus thought carefully about the P7P55D Deluxe's layout. The auxiliary power port is right at the edge of the motherboard, which will make it much easier to hide your wires. I also noticed that all the USB connectors are located in a group at the lower end of the board. This will again make it easier for you to bundle your wires.

 

 

One of the first things I noticed when examining the P7P55D Deluxe, is that the DIMM slots look slightly different. At first I couldn't quite put my finger on the difference. Then I realized half of the latches are missing. The reason behind this is actually pretty cool. The board's rear-most PCIe x16 slot, when in use, would make it extraordinarily hard to remove your memory. With these new slots, you only need to unlatch one side of your DIMMs in order to remove them. Another nifty little device Asus included on the P7P55D Deluxe is the MemOK! button. Most users know that sometimes your motherboard just doesn't want to work with your memory. If this is the case, the red LED next to the DIMM slots will light up red. Simply hit the MemOK! button and you should be good to go. When the button is pressed, the motherboard will automatically set the memory settings in the BIOS as low as possible. This is a very cool feature, but I'd still suggest checking if your memory is compatible with your motherboard before making a purchase.

 

 

Taking a look at the P7P55D Deluxe's PCI slots, you'll notice a very clever layout. Instead of the usual PCIe x1 slot, a PCIe x16 slot occupies the first section of the motherboard. Then we see two PCIe x1 slots. This means that even if your GPU covers one of the PCIe x1 slots, you'll still have another, regardless of whether or not you SLI. Most users don't use more than two GPUs, so you should have a PCI slot available at all times as well. You also may have noticed the fancier latches on the PCIe x16 slots. According to Asus, this will make it easier to remove the GPUs, although when in SLI/CrossFire mode, you'll still have to shove your hand in between a tight space to do it.

 

I mentioned earlier that there were six SATA ports, but six ports might not be enough for you. Asus included three more ports in the usual vertical position. If nine SATA ports still isn't enough, you'll need to lose those 80GB drives and pick up a few 2TB units.

 

 

I really like the way the P7P55D Deluxe's front panel connections were laid out. Instead of the usual grouping of pins, the connectors have been spread out. You'll notice that the power switch jumper, instead of being located behind the reset jumper, is located beside it. There is at least a one-pin gap in between each set of jumpers. In my opinion, this makes connecting cables even more idiot proof. As I mentioned earlier, there is one IDE port located near the horizontal SATA ports. Many people are surprised as to why motherboard manufacturers still include IDE ports on motherboards. The reason is because people, such as this reviewer, still use their old IDE burners. Thanks for the support, Asus!

 

 

In terms of power connectors, the P7P55D Deluxe has the now standard 24-pin connector. The auxiliary power is supplied by a slightly less standard 8-pin connector. Although, if your PSU doesn't have an 8-pin AUX power cable, a 4-pin will work just fine. Make sure you only use the 4-pins not covered by the black cap though.

 

 

Just about every motherboard has a different design, or at least a different variation on its heat spreaders. The P7P55D Deluxe's southbridge, however, has the most interesting heat spreader I've seen. Instead of the usual finned chunk of copper, we're presented with a plastic rectangle sporting the Asus logo. The actual heat spreader is located beneath this plastic cover. Also under the plastic cover is a blue LED. When powered on, this LED shines through the plastic, which illuminates the P7P55D's logo.

 

We just spent some time focusing on the larger parts of the board, so let's take a look at the smaller bits. The first thing I noticed was the VIA chip next to the crystal oscillator. Not because it's an extremely important part of the motherboard, but because it's nice to see VIA is still making parts for new technology. You'll also notice that there are three dip switches located near the DIMM slots. If you won't be overclocking, then you don't need to worry about them. For everyone else, these switches are important. When the switches are set to the left, they'll limit the voltage the corresponding hardware can get. Many overclockers want to push a lot of Vcore into their CPU, and if this is the case, you'll need to flip the OV_CPU switch. In case you didn't notice, the OV stands for over-volt. If you're looking to only overclock while in Windows, I recommend you use the TurboV remote. This plugs into a small connector located near the LGA 1156 socket.

 

 

You may also notice that the retention plate on the LGA 1156 socket doesn't look quite right. Instead of it lowering onto a second piece of metal, it connects only to a small metal knob. The metal lever still exists, but instead of clipping the retention plate to the board, it pushes the plate into the knob. Once pushed down, the plate can only be pulled up, but the ledges of the knob hold it down.

 

 

The heat spreaders on the MOSFETs have an intricate design as well. It does have fins to create more surface area, although it's not your conventional cooler. They remind me of mountain tops, although I'm not sure what they are actually supposed to be.

 

The P7P55D Deluxe has some great overclocking features. The TurboV chip uses some pretty advanced algorithms in order to get you the best overclock possible. Although, manually overclocking will still give you better results. The P7P55D Deluxe also comes with a nifty little chip called the EPU. This of course stands for Energy Processing Unit. This little chip can save you an extreme amount of power. According to Asus, using the EPU allows you to save up to 35+%. I'm not sure how accurate these statistics are, but I sure do like them.

 

 

Earlier I said that the new DIMM slots would make it easier to remove the memory when a GPU is installed. It does in fact help a lot. If the usual latches were in place you wouldn't be able to push them down.

 

Now that we're familiar with the board, let's take a look at the BIOS.

Closer Look:

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.

Closer Look:

The P7P55D Deluxe uses American Megatrends BIOS. The Asus Maximus III also uses American Megatrends BIOS, but there are differences that I will explore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Main:

The first section in the BIOS is titled Main. This is of course the section that will allow you to change date, time, and language. You'll also be able to configure drives, and view system information.

 

 

AI Tweaker:

Possibly the most important part of the BIOS is the section where the overclocking happens. We'll find all our favorite settings under the AI Tweaker tab. Here you can increase the speed of your hardware. However, I'll go into more detail about all this a little later.

 

 

 

Advanced:

The Advanced tab has three main sections, the first of which is CPU configuration. Under this tab, you'll be able to enable and disable power savings features, hyper-threading, and oddly enough, the temperature monitor. You'll also be able to adjust the amount of active cores. I wouldn't suggest changing them, but if you want to, you can. There's not much under the PCI configuration, but you do have the option to enable or disable memory remapping. Under onboard device configuration, you'll be able to configure onboard devices, such as audio. The USB configuration tab is again self-explanatory. The remaining tab will let you choose whether or not to enable plug and play OS.

 

 

 

 

Power:

Under the Power tab, you'll be able to adjust settings that have to do with power. You'll also find the hardware monitor, which will give you detailed system information.

 

 

Boot:

Under the Boot section, you'll be able to adjust settings that have to do with booting up your computer. These include changing the priority of boot devices, adjusting things such as the flash screen or the Post LEDs, or adding a password to your BIOS. If you live in a place where you're actually afraid someone will mess with your BIOS, you might want to think about moving to a safer area.

 

 

 

Tools:

The Tools category offers you basic tools. These include the Asus EZ flash, which allows you to easily flash your BIOS. You'll also be able to save up to eight different BIOS settings. This way you can have eight different overclock profiles. You'll also be able to configure your Drive Xpress, and test your LAN status.

 

 

 

Exit:

I don't have much to say about the exit section, other than that it's where you exit the BIOS. You can also use it to restore default settings.

 

Now that we've seen the BIOS, let's take a closer look at the AI Tweaker section.

Closer Look:

The biggest section of a motherboard's BIOS is almost always the section where the overclocking happens. For this reason, I'll go into much greater detail about it. The P7P55D's overclocking settings can be found under the AI Tweaker tab. Before you can start overclocking, however, you'll need to decide which "Overclock Tuner" you'll be using. The first choice is manual, which will only allow you to increase and decrease some of the minor settings. Next up is auto, but that will just keep you on the auto settings. This isn't any fun, so most users will be using one of the next two options. D.O.C.P. and X.M.P. are the choices that will give you a slightly better overclock potential. I prefer D.O.C.P. because it gives you the most control, but some users may not be looking for this. In D.O.C.P., you'll be able to adjust BCLK, CPU Ratio, and memory parameters. XMP will automatically set the BCLK, CPU ratio, and Memory parameters. In other words, it's pretty much like the Auto setting. When in D.O.C.P. mode, you'll be allowed to choose a DRAM OC Profile. This will automatically overclock your memory, but be aware it will lower your other settings to do so. I suggest leaving it on whatever speed your memory happens to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CPU Ratio acts the same as what most users call the CPU multiplier. In other words, multiply your BCLK by your CPU Ratio and you'll get your CPU speed. You'll be able to increase the CPU Ratio to 21 by pressing the + button on your keyboard. If you're looking to lower the CPU Ratio, you'll need to hit the - button. Both Intel SpeedStep and the Xtreme Phase Full Power Mode can be enabled or disabled. When overclocking, I'd suggest disabling SpeedStep, but to try the Full Power Mode enabled. The latter will supposedly get you the best possible overclock for your CPU. More importantly, it will disable the EPU's auto power saving feature. BCLK is easily increased by pressing the + button on the keyboard, and decreased by pressing the - button.

 

 

 

The PCIe Frequency can also be increased by pressing the + button. However, I'd suggest locking this in at 100 from the start. DRAM Frequency can't really be changed unless you're increasing the BCLK. That's right, there's no longer a changeable memory multiplier. You will, however, be able to select between three speeds for each given BCLK. I found that selecting a lower speed didn't really help overclockabilty. In other words, if you can run your memory at the faster speed, run it at the faster speed. You'll have two different choices for the QPI frequency, and four different choices for the CPU Differential Amplitude. Adjusting the amplitude has the possibility to increase overclockablity, so I'd suggest trying out a few different settings when overclocking. I won't be going into the DRAM Timing Control, but under this section you'll be able to adjust your memory timings.

 

 

 

Much like amplitude, different Clock Skews may help increase overclockability. If you've got a lot of time on your hands, feel free to play around with different settings and see which works best for you. To adjust the voltage, you'll have to choose between doing it manually or offset. I prefer manual, but in both cases you'll be increasing the voltage with the + button, and decreasing it with the - button. The IMC voltage can also be adjusted. Again you'll be using the + and - buttons to do so.

 

 

 

Speaking of increasing and decreasing voltage, every setting in the BIOS that says voltage can be adjusted using the + and - buttons on the keyboard. Load line calibration, when enabled, can help improve Vdroop. I'd suggest the user try it out and see what happens. CPU Spectrum is just irritating and should be disabled when overclocking.

 

 

 

 

 

Now that we've had a good hard look at the BIOS, let's overclock this baby and see how she performs.

Specifications:

 
CPU
Intel® Socket 1156 Core™ i7 Processor/Core™ i5 Processor/
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
Chipset
Intel® P55 Express Chipset
 
 
 
Memory
4 x DIMM, Max. 16 GB, DDR3 2200(O.C.)*/1600/1333 Memory
Dual Channel memory architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
*Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs. Some hyper DIMMs only support one DIMM per channel. Please refer to Memory QVL for details.
**Refer to www.asus.com or this user manual for the Memory QVL(Qualified Vendors Lists).
 
Expansion Slots
2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (single at x16 or dual at x8/x8 mode)
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (at x4 mode, 2.5GT/s)
2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 (2.5GT/s)
2 x PCI
Multi-GPU Support
Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology
Supports ATI® Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
 
 
 
 
Storage
Intel® P55 Express Chipset built-in
6xSATA 3.0 Gb/s ports Intel Matrix Storage Technology Support RAID 0,1,5,10

JMicron® JMB363 PATA and SATA controller
1 xUltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices
1 xSATA 3Gb/s port (black)

JMicron® JMB322 (Drive Xpert Technology) :
 - 2 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports (navy blue and gray)
 - Supports EZ Backup and SuperSpeed functions
*Drive Xpert function is available only when the hard disk drives are set as data drives.
LAN
Dual Gigabit LAN controllers Realtek® 8112L / 8110SC Gigabit LAN controller featuring AI NET2 and Teaming
 
 
Audio
VIA® VT2020 10-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Absolute Pitch BD192/24 featuring ENVY HD
- DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC
- BD audio layer Content Protection
- Supports Jack-Detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-Retasking
- Coaxial / Optical S/PDIF out ports at back I/O
IEEE 1394
VIA® 6308P controller supports 2 x 1394a ports (one at mid-board; one at back panel)
USB
14 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (6 ports at mid-board, 8 ports at back panel)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Asus Unique Features
ASUS Hybrid Processor - TurboV EVO
- Auto Tuning, TurboV and Turbo Key
- TurboV Remote
ASUS 24 Hybrid Phase Design*
- T.Probe Technology for Active Cooling
- 16+3 Phase Power Design
*24 Hybrid Phase = 16+3 Phase x T.Probe
ASUS Hybrid OS - Express Gate
ASUS Xtreme Design
ASUS Exclusive Features
- ASUS Drive Xpert
- MemOK!
- ASUS EPU
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution
- ASUS Fanless Design: Heat-pipe solution
- ASUS Fanless Design: Stack Cool 3+
- ASUS Fan Xpert
ASUS Crystal Sound
- ASUS Noise Filter
ASUS EZ DIY
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-Connector
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS MyLogo 2
- Multi-language BIOS
ASUS Q-Design
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
 
 
 
 
Overclocking Features
Precision Tweaker 2
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.00625V increment
- vIMC: Adjustable IMC voltage at 0.00625V increment
- vDRAM Bus: 81-step DRAM voltage control
- vPCH: 2-step chipset voltage control
- vCPU_PLL: 4-step reference voltage control
SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection)
- PCI Express frequency tuning from 100MHz up to 200MHz at 1MHz increment
- Internal Base Clock tuning from 80MHz up to 500MHz at 1MHz increment
Overclocking Protection
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
 
 
 
Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x IEEE 1394a
2 x LAN(RJ45) port
8 x USB 2.0/1.1
10 -Channel Audio I/O
1 x Clr CMOS switch
1 x PS/2 Keyboard (Purple)
1 x PS/2 mouse port (Green)
1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
1 x Optical S/PDIF Output
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Internal I/O Connectors
3 x USB connectors support additional 6 USB ports
1 x IDE connector
7 x SATA connectors
1 x IEEE 1394a connector
1 x CPU Fan connector
1 x Power Fan connector
2 x Drive Xpert SATA connectors (navy blue and gray)
2 x Chassis Fan connector (1x4-pin, 1x3-pin)
Front panel audio connector
1 x S/PDIF Out Header
1 x CD audio in
1 x 24-pin ATX Power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
System Panel(Q-Connector)
1 x TURBO_CON header (for TurboV Remote)
1 x MemOK! button
1 x Power on switch
1 x Reset switch
BIOS
16 Mb Flash ROM , AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.5, ACPI 2.0a, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 2, ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
Manageability
WfM 2.0,DMI 2.0,WOL by PME,WOR by PME,PXE
 
 
 
Accessories
1 x TurboV Remote
1 x 2-port USB and eSATA module
ASUS Q-Shield
1 x ASUS SLI bridge connector
User's manual
1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
6 x SATA cable(s)
2 in 1 Q-connector
 
Support Disc
Drivers
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
ASUS Update
ASUS Utilities
Form Factor
ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

Features:

Chipset Features

Multi-GPU Technology

Memory Feature

ASUS Xtreme Design - Hybrid Processor

ASUS Xtreme Design - 24 Hybrid Phase Design

ASUS Xtreme Design - Hybrid OS

Asus Exclusive Features

ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution

ASUS Crystal SoundSound

ASUS EZ DIY

Industry Standard

RoHS

All information on this page courtesy of: http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=yZD4yFdLw1l3gZ35&templete=2

Testing:

Sure it's all well and good to say that one motherboard is better than another, but without constructing proper tests, there is no way to tell for sure – unless of course you're judging on how cool the board looks, or how awesome the extra features are. In order to test the P7P55D Deluxe, I will be running it through the OverclockersClub suite of benchmarks. All power savings features and turbo mode will be disabled. All video card settings will be at default, unless otherwise noted. Hopefully the P7P55D Deluxe will perform just as good as it looks!

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Motherboards:

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked Settings:

I personally feel that it is easier to overclock the i5 750 than the i7 920. At first I just decided to see how far I'd be able to go and still boot into Windows. Much to my surprise, this put me at around 4.4GHz with Vcore slightly above 1.5V. However, trying to actually run a benchmark, or anything for that matter, resulted in a blue screen. I then began lowering the BCLK, but something wasn't right. As the clock speed rapidly decreased, I was still not able to run any benchmarks. I began to suspect my memory was the problem. After upping the DRAM voltage a bit, everything worked out. I began upping the BCLK again. I found that with the 21 multiplier, I was able to push the BCLK higher. However, with each increase in BCLK, the memory needed more voltage. At a BCLK of 200, the memory was pushing 1.7V. This was getting a bit high for my liking, so I decided to stop at what I had. I was able to run through every benchmark at the 200x21 speeds. After going through the benchmark suite, I decided to try and up the clock speeds again. Much to my dismay, I wasn't able to increase 5MHz without going unstable. I was able to run a few benchmarks, but not all of them. After playing around with the benchmarks, I was able to guess which ones I could run and which ones I could not. Then, using the TurboV remote, I was able to decrease or increase the BCLK depending on the benchmark. However, because this method didn't create completely stable clock speeds, I'll be doing my overclock testing at 4.2GHz.

 

Benchmarks:

  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. Office 2007 Excel Number Crunch
  4. POV Ray 3.7
  5. PCMark Vantage Professional
  6. Sandra XII
  7. ScienceMark 2.02
  8. Cinebench 10
  9. HD Tune 2.55
  1. Far Cry 2
  2. Crysis Warhead
  3. BioShock
  4. Call of Duty: World At War
  5. Dead Space 
  6. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II
  7. Left 4 Dead
  8. 3DMark 06 Professional
  9. 3DMark Vantage

Testing:

The first part of our testing will be the system specific benchmarks.

 

Let's get started with Apophysis. This program is used primarily to render and generate fractal flame images. We will run this benchmark with the following settings:

 

The measurement used is time to render, in minutes, to complete.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lower is Better

 

WinRAR is a tool to archive and compress large files to a manageable size. We will use 100MB , 500MB files and test the time needed to compress these files. Time will be measured in seconds.

 

ZIP:

 

Lower is Better

 

RAR:

 

Lower is Better

 

The P7P55D performed pretty much as expected. In other words, almost dead on with the competition. We saw some very significant increases after the CPU had been overclocked.

Testing:

Office 2007 Excel Big Number Crunch: This test takes a 6.2MB MIcrosoft Excel speadsheet and performs about 28,000 sets of calculations, including many of the most commonly used calculations in Excel. The measure of this test is how long it takes to refresh the sheet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lower Is Better

 

POV Ray 3.7: This program features a built-in benchmark that renders an image using Ray Tracing. The latest versions offer support for SMP (Symetric MultiProcessing), enabling the workload to be spread across the cores for quicker completion.

Higher Is Better

 

PCMark Vantage x64 is used to measure complete system performance. We will be running a series of tests to gauge performance of each individual CPU to see which CPU, if any, rises above the others.

 

Again, we saw great performance from the P7P55D Deluxe. The overclock increased the performance in Excel by almost 50%. In POV Ray and PCMark Vantag,e the increases weren't as big, but they were still very significant.

Testing:

SiSoft Sandra is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. Sandra allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful. For this benchmark, I will be running a broad spectrum of tests to gauge the performance of key functions of the CPUs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Processor Arithmetic

 

Multi-Core Efficiency

 

Memory Bandwidth

 

Memory Latency

 

Cache and Memory

 

File System

 

Physical Disks

 

Power Management Efficiency

 

The boards all performed very close in Sandra. When the P7P55D Deluxe was overclocked, we saw a range of improvements. Some of these improvements were large, and others were quite small.

Testing:

ScienceMark tests real world performance instead of using synthetic benchmarks. For this test, we ran the benchmark suite and will use the overall score for comparison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

 

 

Higher is Better!

 

CineBench is useful for testing your system, CPU and OpenGL capabilities using the software program CINEMA 4D. We will be using the default tests for this benchmark.

 

Higher is Better

 

HD Tune measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers.

 

Higher is Better

 

 

Lower is Better

 

Once again, the boards all performed very close. We again saw fairly large increases after the P7P55D Deluxe had been overclocked. That is, of course, with the exception of the Average Read of the HDD.

Testing:

Far Cry 2:

Featuring a new game engine named Dunia, this game looks to be another one to stress your video card. Built specially for Far Cry 2, this engine allows for real-time effects and damage. This next generation first-person shooter comes to us from Ubisoft, surprisingly - not from Crytek. The game is set in a war-torn region of Africa where there is a non-existent central government and the chaos that surrounds this type of social environment. If you have seen the movie Blood Diamond, you know the setting. Ubisoft puts the main storyline of the game into focus with these statements: "Caught between two rival factions in war-torn Africa, you are sent to take out "The Jackal," a mysterious character who has rekindled the conflict between the warlords, jeopardizing thousands of lives. In order to fulfill your mission you will have to play the factions against each other, identify and exploit their weaknesses, and neutralize their superior numbers and firepower with surprise, subversion, cunning and, of course, brute force." In this Far Cry game, you don't have the beautiful water, but instead the beauty and harshness of the African continent to contend with. Most games give you a set area that can be played through, while Ubisoft has given the gamer the equivalent of 50km2 of the vast African continent to explore while in pursuit of your goals. The settings used are just a few steps below the maximum in-game settings and offer a good blend of performance vs. visual quality.

 

Settings:

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

At this point, you're probably sick of hearing it, but the boards all performed about the same. When overclocked, the P7P55D Deluxe gained a few extra FPS. Not enough to make a significant difference, but enough to count.

Testing:

Crysis Warhead is a standalone expansion pack situated in time with the storyline of the original Crysis. As Sergeant "Psycho" Sykes, you have a secret mission to accomplish on the far side of the island. Along the way there are EMP blasts and Aliens to contend with, as you hunt down the KPA chief. This game uses an enhanced version of the CryEngine 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crysis pretty much depends on the video card. For this reason, every board performed the same, and overclocking had almost no effect on the FPS.

Testing:

BioShock is one of the creepier games you can play. The building of a perfect Utopian society undersea gone horribly wrong. Its inhabitants driven mad with the introduction of tonics and genetic modifications. Now Rapture is just a shadow of its former glory with little girls looting the dead of what little they have left while being shadowed by guardians known as "Big Daddies". It is a demanding game that will make your hardware scream for mercy. This first-person shooter allows for an infinite number of weapons and modifications to provide a unique experience each time it is played. The environment, as well as the storyline, will wrap you up for hours on end.

 

Video Settings:

 
 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The results again were more or less the same among the motherboards. As the resolution got higher, the scores got even closer together. This includes the overclocked scores as well.

Testing:

Activision's Call Of Duty: World at War goes right back to the bread and butter of the franchise - WWII FPS action. In this rendition, you start off in the South Pacific and move through a series of missions that flip back and forth between the Russian front and the island hopping advance toward the Imperial Japanese homeland. Included is a mission on Peliliu Island, arguably one of the more difficult and costly battles in the Pacific theater. The gameplay in the single player mode is rather short, but the game makes up for this shortcoming in online gameplay. If you thought COD4 looked nice, this game is amazing with the graphics maxed out playing at a large resolution. This game just may be my reason to move to a 30-inch monitor. I will use Fraps to measure a section of gameplay in the Semper Fi map on Makin Island to compare performance of these video cards.

Settings:

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up until the last resolution, the P7P55D showed a fairly large performance increase over the Intel board. With the overclock we saw minimal performance increases.

Testing:

In Dead Space, as part of the crew of the USG Kellion you are headed on a repair mission to repair a ship in distress. Things go from bad to worse, starting with the crash landing of the seemingly silent and "dead" ship, the USG Ishimuru. Offering a non-traditional, over-the-shoulder viewing angle, the game gets right into the action as soon as the ventilation systems are activated. From there things get worse with the appearance of the Necromorphs. Survival now becomes a primary concern for the primary character Isaac Clarke. Survive and you may find the loved one that was aboard the Ishimuru.

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We again saw minimal performance differences among the boards. The overclock rewarded us with a mere 1-2 extra FPS.

Testing:

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is a real-time strategy game that is significantly different than its predecessor, with improved AI and an improved physics engine. You can either play single-player in campaign mode, or in a multiplayer game where Microsoft's Live ranking system can be used.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher Scores = Better Performance

 

We saw huge improvements with the P7P55D Deluxe in the lower resolutions. As the resolutions got higher, the performance difference got smaller. We also saw a huge increase in performance when overclocked.

Testing:

Left 4 Dead is a new release from Valve that leaves you as part of a group of survivors in a world where an infection has rapidly turned the populace into a zombie horde. Your goal is to make it to a rescue point, all while fighting what seems like overwhelming odds. Along the way there are safe houses where you can replenish your weapons and health. The movie "I Am Legend" comes to mind to set the stage for this game. But unlike the movie, there are four characters and not just a lone gun and his faithful companion. The horde is not at all like the typical slow walking, foot shuffling zombies. These zombies are quick and work with pack mentality. You have but one job; survival!

Settings:

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The P7P55D Deluxe, like the other boards, gave very playable FPS on all four resolutions. When overclocked, we saw a pretty decent increase.

Testing:

3DMark06 is one of the benchmarks that always comes up when a bragging contest begins. 3DMark06 presents a severe test for many of today's hardware components. Let's see how these boards fare. The settings we will use are listed below.

 

Settings:

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The P7P55D gives very respectable scores in 3DMark06. When overclocked, we saw a very generous increase across the table.

Testing:

Featuring all-new game tests, this benchmark is for use with Vista-based systems. "There are two all-new CPU tests that have been designed around a new 'Physics and Artificial Intelligence-related computation.' CPU test two offers support for physics related hardware." There are four preset levels that correspond to specific resolutions. "Entry" is 1024x768 progressing to "Extreme" at 1920x1200. Of course, each preset can be modified to arrange any number of user designed testing. For our testing, I will use the four presets at all default settings.

 Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The P7P55D Deluxe performed on par with the competition. When overclocked, we saw significant performance increases.

Conclusion

Obviously one motherboard isn't going to outperform another by a huge amount, but there are almost always performance differences. Almost as important as these differences in performance are the board's layout and features. To me, layout is actually more important than performance. If I was offered two boards, one with a great layout and one that was a complete mess, only the messy board performed better, I'd still take the board with the nice layout.

The P7P55D Deluxe is not a board I'd pass up because of a faulty layout. Just looking at the board, you can tell that Asus put a lot of thought into the design. The funny thing is, Asus is not embarrassed to let you know this. Right on the box is Asus's "Xtreme Design" Logo. This is not a criticism – I believe that the P7P55D Deluxe deserves this logo on the box. It's got just about everything you could want. You want to overclock in Windows? BAM! Asus gives you TurboV and the TurboV remote. You want a board that is hard to kill with static? BAM! Asus gives you anti-EMI diodes. You want a motherboard that runs cooler and lasts longer? BAM! Asus gives you the Stack Cool 3+ technology and uses Xtreme Durable Capacitors rated at 5000 hours of run time. Asus even went as far as to make sure the entire motherboard was symmetrical. Don't believe me? Take a look at how the memory modules align with the CPU socket. It's almost as if the designers just hit the "center" button, only it worked in the real world. Asus also included the nifty MemOK! button.

The P7P55D Deluxe offers more than just cool features. Its performance was great, and it offered delicious overclockability. I can't think of a single con for this board. With that being said, I'd recommend this board to anyone wanting to utilize the new LGA 1156 socket. Great job, Asus!

 

Pros:

 

Cons: