ASUS P7P55D Premium and P7P55D-E Pro Reviewccokeman -
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Intel dropped the socket 1156 Core i5/Core i7 and P55 Express chipset into the market back in September of 2009 to try and steal some of that mid-range thunder from AMD's lineup, to allow the masses to enjoy the benefits of the Nehalem architecture for a price point below that of the socket 1366 top dogs in the class. ASUS was right there with motherboards available to take advantage of these new processors. The ROG line was covered with the Maximus III Formula, with the P7P55D series for the rest of the crowd. Now as technology improves, we have the P7P55D Premium that was the first board from ASUS to offer an on board SATA 6Gb/s solution and Hybrid 48 Phase power design. The P7P55D-E Pro goes a step further with True USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s functionality. Each of these boards from ASUS are built using the Extreme design concept that promotes Safety, Reliability, and Performance. From the Q-Design elements to the on-board energy savings with the hardware controlled EPU-6 engine, the list of features is expansive. You have the Stack Cool 3+ fanless cooling that uses 2oz copper layers in the PCB for improved cooling by spreading the thermal load over the board that works with the TProbe hardware, which dynamically levels the load across the power phases. You get diodes that prevent static discharges from harming the board and components. You get the TurboV EVO processor to help reach a safe stable overclock by using the auto and manual tuning features of the software and more. Each of these boards from ASUS is feature packed with a large software suite. Let's see how they perform when compared to other boards in the P55 performance class.
Getting a look at the packing it looks like ASUS has gone all out to get the message across when the boards are sitting on the shelf that these boards are feature packed. The P7P55D Premium comes in a flashy metallic blue box that highlights the 48 Hybrid Phase power design, SATA 6Gbps capabilities, the inclusion of the Turbo-V remote, the use of Japanese made solid capacitors and the fact that the board is certified Windows 7 Ready. The P7P55D-E Pro is no slouch in the messaging department with the fact that this board is built using the Extreme Design philosophy that is based on Performance, Safety, and Reliability. The use of a "True USB 3.0 solution", SATA 6Gbps, SLI and Crossfire Plus Physx support, as well as the all important Windows 7 support. The rear panels push home the message on the feature set for both boards with the Premium expanding on the Turbo-V and Auto Tuning functionality while the P7PP55D-E Pro pushes the Hybrid message home with the Hybrid Technology design, Hybrid Processor TurboV Evo, TProbe, True SATA 6Gb/s and the MemOK functionality. Additionally, the Premium uses a flip up panel on the front panel to include additional information on the features. Like I said, each of these boards is feature rich. Message received!
Opening the packages, you get a look at how the boards are packaged. The substantial bundles are held in the upper compartment with the lower compartment housing the motherboards in anti-static bag. Even so, the ASUS board have built in ESD protection as part of the package.
Let's take a look at the bundle included with these boards, as well as the features of each one in turn.