ASUS P7P55D Premium and P7P55D-E Pro Review

ccokeman - 2009-10-08 19:47:28 in Motherboards
Category: Motherboards
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: January 28, 2010
Price: $189-$269

Introduction:

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.

Closer Look:

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.

Closer Look:

As you can imagine, both of these boards come with a bundle that is pretty much identical.  This is because the feature set that is offered by both of them dictate what is needed to get the end user up and running. As with higher end boards, the bundles are pretty substantial and in no way are slim. What you get with each bundle is the ability to use all the functionality of the board, without having to buy any additional parts. The Premium board in this class, the the P7P55D Premium, has just that one or two items more than the ample bundle included with the Pro. Both boards come with the manual and driver disk to start with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The I/O panel of Q-Shield is included with each board. What this design has going for it is that it is so much more than just the I/O panel. First, it does not have the fingers that normally cause a fair bit of frustration during the install by hanging in the ports. The design also helps prevent static discharges from reaching the motherboard and provides a level of EMI protection.

 

 

The drive cabling package included with each of the boards is identical and includes SATA cables for both SATA 3Gbps and 6Gbps devices with 90 degree locking ends and a single IDE cable for those still using drives with this connection type. The SATA 6Gbps cables are clearly labeled with the specification printed right on the cable covering. You also get an expansion bracket that includes two additional USB 2.0 ports on the back panel, plus an eSATA connection.

 

 

Easily one of the coolest features of the ASUS lineup are the Q-connectors. These are used to allow you a quick simple 1-plug connection to the front panel and Firewire connections on the boards. Many cases come with the front panel connections that are all jumbled up and putting those single wire connections on the board when it is installed in the chassis is one way to test your patience. This takes away all that anxiety by allowing you to make the connections out in the open and then just plug the Q-Connector to the board. Since both boards support Nvidia's multi GPU solution, a bridge connection is included with the bundle. Crossfire bridge connections usually come with the video cards.

 

 

The one true point of difference with the bundle between the P7P55D Premium and the P7P55D-E Pro is that the Premium comes with the ASUS Turbo-V remote. This handy little remote mounts to the motherboard PCB through the I/O panel and allows you to configure your overclock, EPU-6 settings in real time, and on-the-fly for a performance or energy savings boost. There are a total of eight function buttons on the remote, Power on, Turbo Key overclocks for level A-B-C, bclock up or down and EPU-6 manual or automatic mode. This little tool was actually quite easy to use and is functional allowing for quick overclock testing before going into the BIOS. This unit interfaces with the Turbo-V software.

 

 

Let's see what each of the boards have going for them. With the similarity of the bundle, will the boards feature sets be this close?

Closer Look:

The P7P55D Premium was the first board in ASUS stable to include SATA 6Gbps functionality. This board from the front and rear views looks much like the rest of the boards in the series, but thats about where many of the similarities end. The P7P55D Premium uses a Hybrid 48 Phase power circuit that is a true 32+3 design with the additional Hybrid phases going to the T-Probe. The board is built using ASUS' latest Extreme design philosophy and incorporates Q-design elements, uses Stack Cool 3+ technology that uses 2-oz copper layers in the PCB for improved heat transfer to promote better cooling and lower impedance through the board circuitry, and is built with 100% Japanese long life Solid capacitors. The front view shows off the heatsink design that covers the VRM and PCH. The back side of the board shows the socket manufacturer to be Foxconn vs. the Lotes design on the P7P55D-E Pro. The back side also is equipped with an additional heat sink that does double duty as a back plate for the front heatsinks, as they are a bolt-on design instead of being attached via push pins. The P7P55D Premium is built for use with Intel's Socket 1156 processor line-up and, as the name suggests, is based off of the P55 Express chipset.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connectivity on the I/O panel covers the whole range of what you normally see on a high end motherboard. The P7P55D Premium is equipped with a P/S2 port for both the keyboard and mouse, a Clear CMOS button (A must have option), Optical and coaxial digital sound output, eight USB 2.0 ports, two RJ-45 GB LAN ports, a single IEEE 1394 port and the 10-channel sound solution provided by the VIA VT2020 audio controller. For expansion, you get a total of six possible slots with two 16x slots that support both Nvidia's SLI and ATI's CrossfireX technologies. These ports run at 16x when a single discrete graphics card is used and they drop to 8x each when running two cards.  Additionally, there are two PCIe 1x slots (2.5GT/s) and two PCI slots that really won't be of much use with some of the larger graphics solutions out there today.

 

 

Hidden right under the bottom PCIe 16x slot is the memory that holds the Express Gate operating system. This is a small Linux distribution that lets you get online within seconds of turning on the computer. You get plenty of functionality with this quick launching system, from email to going online or viewing the data stored on the HDD.  "The P7P55D Premium uses the Marvell 88SE9123 controller as the means of adding SATA 6Gb/s support.  By itself, it does not offer the bandwidth needed through its single PCIe interface with the P55 chipset, offering a maximum bandwidth of 250 MB/s. That's not even close to what is needed for the 600MB/s throughput of the SATA 6Gb/s interface. ASUS has used a PLX Pex8613 bridge chip to add an additional PCIe 2.0 1x lane to the P55 chipset to increase bandwidth to 500MB/s, still 100MB/s short of the standard, but better."

 

 

Along the bottom, you have added connectivity ports and connections.  From the left, you have the analog front panel connections, CD sound input, IEEE 1394 port for a total of two, on-board start and reset switches, two USB 2.0 headers to bring the total amount of ports possible to twelve, two SATA connections controlled by the P55 chipset and the front panel I/O connections. The on-board switches are a big plus for the people that use a tech station or just are really too lazy to hook up the front panel connections. When you leave the case side panels off, it really is a moot point. The value of these cannot be understated as they come in handy as I fall into the 'too lazy to hook them up crowd.'

 


Moving up the right side of the board, you have the SATA drive connections. The four blue connections are are controlled by the P55 Chipset and support RAID 0,1,5,10. The grey ports are controlled by the Marvell 88SE9123 controller and are the SATA 6Gbps ports to use with the latest 6Gbps drives from Seagate. Further up, you run into the IDE port and 24-pin ATX power connection. Right between the 24-pin and Com port, you have the Mem Ok button. This button is used to reduce any memory incompatibility to allow the system to boot by applying different voltages and timings in an effort to start the system. One touch and wait for the system to do its thing. Behind the Com port, you have the Turbo-V chip that is used to facilitate on-the-fly overclocking from within the Windows environment. Wrapping around the top of the board, you have a trio of overvoltage switches. These, for most users, won't come out of the default position, but for those who want to push the limits, you can use these to open up the voltage levels you can apply to the installed components - such as the CPU and memory. Last but certainly not least, on this side are the DIMM slots that can hold up to 16GB of DDR3 2133(OC) memory in a dual channel configuration. These slots use the Q-dimm feature that allows the modules to be installed without causing interference to the installed graphics card. This is a problem for those who benchmark.

 

 

 

 

As you can probably figure out, the socket area is going to be a bit crowded with the Hybrid 48 Phase VRM. The 48 Phase is a bit misleading with 32 going to the CPU+ 3 going to the memory controller and the balance going to the T-Probe to load balance the current over the 35 phases. The socket is made by Foxconn and is designed for use with Intel's socket 1156 lineup.  It features a 3-point system to secure the CPU into the socket. The cooling used on the P7P55D Premium consists of a heatpipe connected set of heatsinks covering the MOSFETs for the VRM and the PCH is covered with a large aluminum heatsink.

 

 

Now let's see what the P7P55D-E Pro has to offer, by way of comparison.

Closer Look:

The P7P55D-E Pro differs in a few ways from the P7P55D Premium. Both are built for use with Intel's Socket 1156 processor line-up and, as the name suggests, are based off of the P55 Express chipset. The P7P55D-E Pro uses a Hybrid 16 Phase power design and has both true USB 3.0, as well as SATA 6Gbps capabilities all rolled up into one board. The P7P55D-E Pro is built using ASUS' Xtreme design concepts, centered around Performance, Reliability, Safety, and a Unique set of features. The board uses Stack Cool 3 construction that uses 2oz copper layers to better transfer heat through the board, cooling the components as well as the T-probe chip to dynamically level the load on the MOSFETs in the VRM circuit to keep from overheating one circuit. That's pretty cool stuff when you think about it. The cooling used on the VRM circuits looks similar to that used on the Premium, while the cooling for the PCH is a more radical design that looks like it would work better due to the cutout design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The I/O panel contains pretty much all the connectivity you can use. You get PS/2 ports for both the mouse and keyboard instead of a single port that can be used for either one, a total of six USB 2.0 ports(four black, two red), two USB 3.0 ports (blue), one S/PDIF out port, one RJ-45 GB LAN Port, a single IEEE 1394 Firewire port, a single eSATA port and the 8-channel sound connection. Expansion capabilities on this board include two 16x PCIe 2.0 slots that operate at 16x with a single discrete video card and at 8x each when two cards are used, a total of three PCIe 1x slots, the two blue slots operate at up to 5GT/s while the gray slot operates up to 2.5GT/s and two PCI slots. CrossfireX and SLI multi-GPU solutions are supported on the P7P55D-E Pro.

 

 

Along the bottom of the board, you have a wealth of connectivity. From the left you have the Analog front panel connection, the Digital audio out, the Clear CMOS Jumper, three additional USB headers for an additional six ports, the front panel connection, and a SATA port controlled by the Jmicron JMB363 controller. In between the USB headers and the clear CMOS jumper is a PLX Technologies bridge chip used to add an additional 8 PCIe 2.0 lanes to support the bandwidth needed for SATA 6Gbps and the additional PCIe 1x slot.

 

 

Moving up the right side of the board, you have six SATA ports and the JMB363 controlled IDE port. The two gray ports are controlled by the Marvell SATA 6Gbps controller, while the four blue ports here (as well as the two further up the board) are controlled by the Intel P55 chipset and support Raid 0,1,5 and 10. Moving up the board, you get the last two of the SATA ports, controlled by the P55 chipset to give you a total of nine on-board ports. The ATX 24-pin connector is flanked by the Mem Ok button. This button is one of the Extreme Design Elements that you can use to ensure your memory will boot, by running through a series of adjustments that include relaxing timings and increasing voltage to the memory to shoot for a successful boot and eliminate any memory incompatibilities. If you look at the memory sockets, something looks a little amiss on the left side. This design element is called Q-dimm. What this does for you is allow the memory to be swapped out in cases where you have a large video card. At times the distance between the video card and retention brackets can make it difficult to reinstall the modules. Not anymore!. One last item of note on the top of the P7P55D-E Pro is a small switch that is for when you really feel like pushing your memory clocks. It opens up another higher level of voltage that can be applied to the modules for extreme overclocks.

 

 

The socket area is much less crowded than the socket area on the P7P55D Premium, but the difference in the power circuitry explains that. The P7P55D-E Pro features a Hybrid 16 Phase control circuit that, in reality, is a 12+2 design with 12 phases going to the CPU cores, two to the memory controller and two more to the T probe circuit to dynamically balance the load to keep temperatures in check, as well as delivering a more stable power curve. The board uses 100% solid Japanese capacitors and low RDS(on) MOSFETs as part of the package. The socket used on this board is built by Lotes and my guess is this change from the Foxconn socket has been precipitated by the backlash against motherboard makers for using a socket that has the potential to burn up during extreme use. The jury is still out on that one. The backplate is also Lotes as well, so I see no evidence of the Foxconn branding on the socket.

 

 

The heatsinks used on this board are both stylish and functional. The sinks around the socket are identical to the ones used on the P7P55D Premium and Deluxe. The heatsink on the PCH is a bit more aggressive looking with the heatsink cut out to mirror the graphic rather than just having a sticker make a square heatsink look like it is shaped differently.

 

 

There are a few chips on the board that really add the additional functionality to the system: the NEC USB 3.0 controller, the EPU - a hardware controller for the energy savings features and is used by the EPU 6 engine, the T-Probe controller to dynamically level the load across the 12+2 Hybrid power circuit, and the Marvell controller that brings the SATA 6Gbps functionality to this board. The PLX Bridge chip is shown earlier.

 

 


 

Closer Look:

Once you have the hardware installed and the case buttoned up, you need to install the operating system and drivers so that all of the hardware works as it is intended to. ASUS includes a driver and utility disc that includes all of the drivers, as well as a slew of utilities that you can use to make the experience more satisfying. No need to go anywhere else, as there are utilities for monitoring the hardware (Probeit), managing the energy footprint (EPU 6), overclocking and tweaking (Turbo V), as well as a few others. To get them installed, you need to start by inserting the driver disc and letting the install GUI open up.

Once the GUI is open, there are a total of six tabs that can be viewed each with a purpose. The first being the drivers tab that contains all of the drivers you need for the P7P55D series. The second is the Utilities tab that contains the monitoring tools and, of course, Adobe reader. The third tab is the Make Disk tab so you can make the driver disc if you need to run the HDDs in RAID followed up by the Manual tab in case the paper one is not enough. I'll skip the Video tab but show some more from it later.  The last tab is the contact information for ASUS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EPU-6 is a program that manages the energy efficiency of the system. It has several preset levels that you can further tailor your needs. As seen in previous reviews, the technology works quite well and offers significant energy saving if you choose to use it. One word of caution though, if you will be running a big overclock then either turn off or uninstall the software to allow you to reach for the stars. As you can see through the progression of the images, the CO2 saving continue to mount when using the EPU-6 technology with the max energy saving giving the most benefit of the four selections. The amount of energy saved is wholly dependent on the profile selected.

 

 

 

Turbo V Evo is the heart of the overclocking features of the ASUS P7P55D boards. You have three modes, as well as the Turbo Key function that allows you to load a preset overclocked profile at the touch of a button - much the way that the CPU Up function does. Whereas the CPU Up feature does all the work for you, the Turbo V software is a bit more hands on. The Manual mode is where you can play with the bclock and voltages for the CPU, IMC, and DRAM. The Easy Mode only allows the bclock to be adjusted, meaning you will only go so far without tweaking the voltages. By using the TurboV remote, you can make these changes on-the-fly for that quick performance boost. The TProbe software works to even the load on the power phases, keeping them from overheating and becoming overloaded. This view shows the 48 Phase design on the Premium during the high performance mode as well as the energy saving mode.

 

 

 

The Auto Tune section of Turbo V will run and adjust parameters such as the voltages and memory timings to reach a good, safe, and stable overclock. When you start the software it warns that there will be several reboots throughout the auto tuning process, so if you see that BSOD then you know the overclock being tested was not stable. What I did while the auto tuning process was running was just walk away and come back in about 30 minutes to see what the results were and found an overclock of just over 3.7GHz on Premium and close to 4.1 GHz on the Pro. Not too shabby, as some folks get lost and have a hard time reaching even this overclock. At 3.7GHz, the overclock achieved was over 700MHz with the touch of a button. Now, this overclock can be saved as a profile and set to load with the Turbo Key for performance when you need it! The latest revision of the software is quite a bit more robust in terms of the stability of the overclocks gained with each board. However, to get Prime 95 stable, I did need to tweak the voltage on the CPU - not much but some.

 

 

 

ASUS Update is a program that can be used to auto update drivers and the utilities on your system. BIOS updates can be downloaded and flashed in Windows. While flashing a BIOS in Windows can be done using the EX Flash utility, the AMI BIOS is a much better option. PC Probe is a tool that you can use to monitor voltages and temperatures that is easily configured for your tastes. The only downside is that there are three optional sensor headers that can be used on the board, but there were no sensors to attach them to in the bundle whereas in the past the sensors were included. My Logo is a program you can use to customize your own boot screen. AI Suite is still included but much of the functionality is linked to other programs but forms the basis for them it seems.

 

 

 

 

Asus includes another handy little bit of hardware/software on the P7P55D Premium and P7P55D-E Pro. Some of you may have seen it and others have not, but Expressgate is a tool that allows access to the internet, your pictures, a voice over IP program and some online games without booting into your main OS. The application is accessed as soon as the motherboard boots and features a small Linux distribution that literally is the OS on a flash drive. This tool helps you out when you need access to the internet but do not want to spend the time waiting for the primary OS to install or boot before you can get online. Five seconds to boot is a little ambitious but it is much faster than going all the way into the OS if you need to get online quickly. Even so, in case you get held online, you can access the included IM client and Skype if you need to hear someone's voice, besides the ones that you already hear in your head!

 

 

 

 


Not only do you get performance and monitoring tools, but a fully functioning way to get to the web in mere moments.
 

Closer Look:

The BIOS on both the P7P55D Premium and P7P55D-E Pro are almost identical, except for a few items so I will only show the one BIOS. The BIOS used is an American Megatrends BIOS stored on a 16MB flash ROM. The BIOS is divided into seven sections including the Ai Tweaker section that contains all of the overclocking and performance enhancing tools in this BIOS. I will take a look at each section in turn and discuss what is found in each section.

Main:

The Main section of the BIOS contains the time, date, language of choices and storage configuration. The bottom two tabs offer up some top level system information such as the BIOS revision, processor type and clock speed plus the ability to configure the SATA drive interface and disk detection time out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ai Tweaker:

In this section you can set all of the performance parameters to allow you to manually overclock your hardware with both full manual control of by using the OC Tuner utility or CPU Level up functions. The voltages, bclock and DRAM settings are all in this section. I will devote an entire page to this section with just the quick look here.

 

 

Advanced:

In this section, you can configure the P-n-P, USB, CPU and onboard device functionality. Under the CPU configuration tab you can set all of the Core i5/i7 energy saving features such as C1E, Intel Speed Step and the Thermal monitor function. Under the on board device configuration you can set the drive configuration for the Marvell SATA controller and enable or disable the LAN ports.

 

 

 

Power:

This section is where you chose the suspend mode, enable or disable ACPI support, view and configure the fan speed rules as well as monitor CPU voltage, 3.3V, 5V and 12V readings. The CPU and motherboard voltages can be viewed here as well.

 

 

Boot:

In this section, you have the ability to choose which devices you can boot from and what sequence they will be checked in the boot device priority tab. Under the Boot Configuration, you can choose to disable the full screen logo, enable or disable quick boot and whether you want to stop the post process if there are any errors.

 

 

Tools:

Tools is where you enable or disable the ability to use ExpressGate the included Hybrid OS that allows you to boot into a small footprint Linux distribution to gain access to the internet or files on your computer without waiting for the window boot and log on process to complete. In the past this tool has proven to be quite useful. Using ASUS EZ Flash 2 BIOS flash tool is one of the simplest ways to flash the BIOS on an ASUS board and has yet to let me down with a bad flash. ASUS OC Profile lets you store your overclock or perfect system settings so that you can easily return back to a safe point after a night of pushing the limits.

 

 

The exit function is pretty self explanatory and is your way out of the BIOS either by saving your setting or not saving the changes you have made. Additionally, you can load setup defaults if you really went off the deep end and are lost with the changes you made. You can either use the OC Profile or the load setup defaults to get back to a good baseline. Now let's look at the Ai Tweaker section to see where the magic happens.

 


 

Closer Look:

Ai Tweaker:

This is the section where you configure the performance settings, voltages, memory sub timings, and more. The Ai Tweaker section of this BIOS is setup so that you have the ability to use some pre-configured utilities like the Ai Overclock Tuner and OC Tuner utility. Under the Ai Overclock tuner, you can use Manual to put your hands on each setting to maximize the performance of these boards, Auto to give you the optimal settings.  DOCP (DRAM OC Profile) overclocks the memory by increasing the bclock and XMP(Extreme Memory Profile) sets the memory based on the XMP profile located on the SPD of the installed modules if they support XMP profiles. CPU Ratio Setting allows you to increase or decrease the bclock multiplier based on what CPU you have installed. Of course, Intel Speedstep technology allows the CPU clock speed to by dynamically controlled by the OS when enabled. Xtreme Phase Full Power Mode allows the most stable voltage supply for the CPU and for overclocking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bclock frequency can be adjusted up to 500Mhz, a level that so far is unattainable, but can be set. PCIE frequency can be adjusted upwards to 200MHz and usually has a benefit to a point when pushing the bclock speeds. DRAM Frequency can be set to speeds that correspond to the memory multipliers available with your CPU. QPI frequency can be left at the auto setting or manually adjusted. ASUS/3rd party Utility UI is used to specify whether you want to use ASUS utilities or aftermarket utilities such as SetFSB for overclocking.

 

 

 

OC Tuner Utility starts the TurboV tuning process to give you an overclock with minimal input required. The OC Tuner Limit Value give you 3 preset levels for performance tuning. DRAM timing Control is where you set the memory sub timings for increased performance or stability.

 

 

CPU Differential Amplitude and Skew are two settings that can help with increasing the highest bclock setting you are able to get but will take some trial and error on your part as each CPU will need a little something different. Settings for the Amplitude adjustments range from Auto to 700 to 1000mV while the skew settings include auto and a delay of 100 to 1500ps.

 

 

Close to the bottom of the page you finally get to the voltages that can help you reach your overclocking goals. CPU Voltage can be adjusted in two ways, with an offset increase over the base voltage or by manually setting the voltage to be applied to the processor. Among the voltages you can tweak in addition to the CPU are the IMC (Integrated Memory Controller), PCH, PLL and DRAM voltages. You can use the DRAM ref voltages to tweak the voltage applied to each DIMM for a higher overclock.

 

 

 

 

Last but not least, you get Loadline Calibration that will help eliminate vdroop under load. It, however, can lead to overshoot at idle speeds. When disabled, you get voltage characteristics based on Intel's design specifications. CPU and PCIE Spread spectrum can be left to Auto, Enabled, or Disabled.

 



 

Specifications:

ASUS
P7P55D Premium
P7P55D-E Pro
CPU
Intel® Socket 1156 Core™ i5 Processor/Core™ i7 Processor
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
Intel® Socket 1156 Core™ i7 Processor/Core™ i5 Processor/Core™ i3 Processor
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
Chipset
Intel® P55 Express Chipset
Memory
4 x DIMM, Max. 16 GB, DDR3 2200(O.C.)*/1600/1333/1066 Non-ECC,Un-buffered 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 the 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)
2 x PCIe 2.0 x 1 (2.5GT/s)
2 x PCI
2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (single at x16 or dual at x8 / x8 mode)
2 x PCIe 2.0 x 1(5GT/s, blue slots)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x 1(2.5GT/s,gray slot)
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
6 xSATA 3.0 Gb/s ports
Intel Matrix Storage Technology Support RAID 0,1,5,10
JMicron® JMB368 PATA controller
1 xUltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices
Marvell® 88SE9123 SATA controller:
- 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports (gray)
Intel® P55 Express Chipset built-in
6 xSATA 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 xExternal SATA 3Gb/s port
1 xSATA 3Gb/s port (black)
Marvell® PCIe SATA6Gb/s controller:
- 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports (Gray)
LAN
Dual Gigabit LAN controllers Realtek® 8112L / 8110SC Gigabit LAN controller featuring AI NET2 and Teaming
Realtek® 8112L Gigabit LAN controller featuring AI NET2
Audio
 
VIA® VT2020 10-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Absolute Pitch BD192/24 featuring ENVY HD
- DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC
- Supports Jack-Detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-Retasking
- Coaxial / Optical S/PDIF out ports at back I/O
VIA® VT1828S 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Absolute Pitch BD192/24
- DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC
- 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 port(s) (one at mid-board; one at back panel)
USB
12 USB 2.0 ports (4 ports at mid-board, 8 ports at back panel)
NEC USB 3.0 controller
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports (Blue, at back panel)
Intel® P55 Express Chipset
- 12 x USB 2.0 ports (6 ports at mid-board, 6 ports at back panel)
ASUS Unique Features
ASUS Hybrid Processor - TurboV EVO
- Auto Tuning, TurboV and Turbo Key
- TurboV Remote
ASUS 48 Hybrid Phase*
- T.Probe Technology for Active Cooling
- 32+3 Phase Power Design
- 100% Ultra Long Life Japan-Made Solid Capacitors
*48 Hybrid Phase = 32+3 Phase x T.Probe
ASUS Hybrid OS - Express Gate SSD
ASUS Xtreme Design
ASUS Exclusive Features
- 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
               
Unique PCIe X4 Chip for Ultra Performance
- True USB 3.0 Support
- True SATA 6Gb/s Support
ASUS Xtreme Design:
ASUS Hybrid Processor - TurboV EVO
- Auto Tuning, TurboV , CPU Level UP and Turbo Key
ASUS 16 Hybrid Phase
- T.Probe Technology for Active Cooling
- 12+2 Phase Power Design
* 16 Hybrid Phase = 12+2 Phase x T.Probe
ASUS Hybrid OS - Express Gate
ASUS Exclusive Features
- MemOK!
- ASUS EPU
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution
- ASUS Fanless Design: Stylish Heatsink
- 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)
Precision Tweaker 2
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.00625V increment
- vIMC: Adjustable IMC voltage at 0.00625V increment
- vDRAM Bus: 104-step DRAM voltage control
- vPCH: 36-step chipset voltage control
- vCPU_PLL: 56-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 PS/2 Keyboard port (Purple)
1 x PS/2 mouse port (Green)
1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
1 x Optical S/PDIF Output
1 x Clear 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
1 x IEEE1394a
1 x eSATA port
1 x RJ45 port
2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (blue)
6 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
8-channel Audio I/O
Internal I/O Connectors
2 x USB connectors support additional 4 USB ports
1 x IDE connector
1 x TPM connector
1 x IEEE 1394a connector
1 x CPU Fan connector
1 x Power Fan connector
1 x COM connector
6 x SATA 3.0Gb/s connectors (blue)
2 x SATA 6.0Gb/s connectors (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
3 x USB connectors support additional 6 USB ports
1 x IDE connector
1 x IEEE 1394a connector
1 x CPU Fan connector
1 x Power Fan connector
7 x SATA 3.0Gb/s connectors (blue/black)
2 x SATA 6.0Gb/s connectors (gray)
2 x Chassis Fan connector (1x4-pin, 1x3-pin)
Front panel audio connector
1 x S/PDIF Out Header
24-pin ATX Power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
System Panel(Q-Connector)
1 x MemOK! button
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
User's manual
1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
1 x TurboV Remote
2 x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/s cables
4 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s cables
1 x 2-port USB and eSATA module
ASUS Q-Shield
2 in 1 Q-connector
1 x ASUS SLI bridge connector
User's manual
1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
2 in 1 Q-connector
2 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s cables
2 x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/s cables
1 x 2-port USB and eSATA module
1 x SLI Bridge
ASUS Q-Shield
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:

P7P55D Premium

CPU, Chipset and Graphics features

Memory Features

Next-gen Storage Technology

ASUS Xtreme Design - Hybrid Processor


ASUS Xtreme Design - 48 Hybrid Phase*

ASUS Xtreme Design - Hybrid OS

ASUS Exclusive Features

ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution


ASUS Crystal Sound

ASUS EZ DIY

S/PDIF-out on Back I/O Port

RohS

 

P7P55D-E Pro 

CPU, Chipset and Graphics features

Memory Features

Unique PCIe X4 Chip for Ultra Performance

ASUS Xtreme Design - Hybrid Processor

ASUS Xtreme Design - 16 Hybrid Phase*

ASUS Xtreme Design - Hybrid OS

ASUS Exclusive Features

ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution

ASUS Crystal Sound

ASUS EZ DIY

Industry Standard 


RoHS

 


All information courtesy of ASUS@ http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=kvkzMAsYAaWQ0z8M&templete=2 and http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=T2FxW2fXGZQgSn2V&templete=2

Testing:

Testing is the only way to prove whether or not one motherboard is better than the others when it comes down to performance. Some groups like all the whiz-bang features, while the hardcore enthusiasts just want good solid reliable performance. To find out which one gives that last little bit of clock speed, or has the right options in the BIOS, means you have to test the motherboards out one at a time. Quite an arduous task when you get down to it, but it's the only way. To test out this pair of P55 based boards from ASUS, I will be running them through the OverclockersClub suite of benchmarks, to see if it distinguishes itself from the comparison boards. The only deviations from the default BIOS settings will be that the energy saving features as well as Turbo technology are disabled so that the motherboard can be tested with a measure of repeatability. The video card control panel settings are left at factory defaults except where noted. Since each motherboard company has its own design philosophy it will be interesting to see which of the designs wins out.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Motherboards:

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

What you get with this pair of boards from ASUS is a suite of software utilities that allows the novice to reach into the ranks of the enthusiast and pull out a respectable overclock with not much work or understanding of how to get there. Both of the boards delivered respectable overclocks when setting the parameters manually or using the TurboV software. When I used the software, the overclocks on the P7P55D Premium reached right around 3.8 GHz while the P7P55D-E Pro reached a bit higher and set the clock speed at just over 4 GHz When using the Extreme OC function. Unfortunately, I had to do some manipulation of the vcore to get them Prime95 stable at those speeds. After the voltage tweaking, the clocks were stable. The only thing I do not like with the Extreme OC tuning is that it is time consuming. The fast tuning feature on the other hand worked on the first try and gave me a stable 3.8GHz overclock that was stable for a couple of hours at least. This seems to be an improvement in the software to combat the MSI One Touch OC concept. It worked! To manually tune the board, there is no real difference from tuning motherboards as you have the same basic options available to you. By using a combination of bclock, clock multiplier, DRAM multiplier and voltages I was able to reach a clock speed of 4252Mhz with a combination of a bclock of 213 and a multiplier of 21. The Pro on the other hand would give up a 210 bclock but only when using the 19 multiplier for a final speed of 4002Mhz. The vcore, vtt and memory voltages were adjusted to reach these goals.

 

 

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 test the time needed to compress 100MB and 500MB files. Time will be measured in seconds.

 

ZIP:

 

Lower is Better

 

RAR:

 

Lower is Better

 

At the stock clock speeds, the results in Apophysis are consistent showing that at least at stock speeds with identical components you will get identical performance. The WinRar results show the two P7P55 boards performing almost the same at stock speeds, with the overclocked results differing based on the overclocked speed.

Testing:

Office 2007 Excel Big Number Crunch: This test takes a 6.2MB Microsoft Excel speadsheet and performs about 28,000 sets of calculations, representative of commonly used numerical operations 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 (Symmetric MultiProcessing), enabling the workload to be spread across the cores for a 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.

 

In the Office 2007 Excel Big Number Crunch testing, the P7P55D variant deliver identical performance at stock speeds, just slightly slower than the comparison boards. For the POV Ray testing, the two board perform the level of the comparison boards while in the PCMark Vantage testing the The P7P55D Premium delivers performance on par with the Maximus III and the P7P55D-E Pro is the lower scoring board.

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

 

For the most part, the performance delivered by the ASUS boards is comparable in all but two areas. In the File System tests, the P7P55D Premium and P7P55D-E Pro are significantly slower with a higher access time. Another clean install did not solve the problem. The other difference was in the memory bandwidth tests, where the two boards delivered higher memory bandwidth than the rest of the comparison boards.

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

 

In Sciencemark, the two P7P55D boards from ASUS deliver the highest average scores that scale upwards when you overclock. In Cinebench, the scores of the P7P55D outperform the comparison boards with the Pro model taking the performance lead at stock speeds and giving up the lead when overclocked, based on the difference in the overclocked speeds. Average reads, CPU utilization, and access speeds are very similar across the comparison motherboards, while the burst speeds are a mixed bag.

Far Cry 2:

Featuring a new game engine named Dunia, this game looks to be another one to stress your video card. Built especially 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 version of the 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:

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

As expected, the two boards in the P7P55D series performed almost identically through the Far Cry 2 testing. This is the expected result, but sometimes you get surprised.

Testing:

Crysis Warhead is a standalone expansion pack situated in time with the story line 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.

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The results in this benchmark are limited by the GPU and even the 1+GHz CPU overclocks do not help increase the performance.

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 story line, will wrap you up for hours on end.

 

Video Settings:

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

The performance delivered by the boards used in this comparison are similar, with the overclocked results showing small performance gains.

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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the first three resolutions, the P7P55 variants show comparable performance to all the boards but the Max III. Once the testing reached 2560x1600, the performance was similar to that of the MSI and Gigabyte offerings.

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 as starting with the crash landing and 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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The performance margin at stock speeds is less than 5 FPS between all of the comparison boards. Overclocking does show small performance gains in this game.

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 play either as a single player in campaign mode, or in a multiplayer game where Microsoft's Live ranking system can be used.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher Scores = Better Performance

 

The performance of the P7P55 boards from ASUS fall into the expected range and were neither the worst, nor the best. At 1680x1050, the ASUS boards shined, outpacing the rest of the comparison boards.

Testing:

Left 4 Dead is a now not-so-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. You goal is to make it to a rescue point, all the 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 zombie. These zombies are quick and work with the pack mentality. Your job: survival!

Settings:

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The GPU is the limiting factor in Left 4 Dead, as overclocking the system by over 1GHz has a very small effect on the end result.

Testing:

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

 

Settings:

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again, you get results that show with similar components, you get similar performance. Overclocking does show gains in performance, making it a worthwhile endeavor. The higher overclocked scores delivered by the P7P55D Premium over the Pro are due to the difference in the overclocked speeds.

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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have performance in a very narrow band when you look at the numbers delivered by each of the boards. However, the P7P55D Premium delivers the highest score in all four resolutions, while the P7P55D-E Pro follows close behind.

Conclusion:

When it comes down to it, both of these boards offer great performance, looks, and some outstanding overclocking credentials. Both of these boards were able to get my i7 870 to well over 4 GHz with a minimum amount of work. In fact, it was pretty easy. The BIOS are configured similarly except for the USB 3.0 functionality on the Pro and each has all of the options you need to push for your overclocking goals. Both the overclocks I have reached are quick and dirty, reached by going after the low hanging fruit to get the most bang right off the bat, but with some tweaking time more should be able to be realized. Both boards would let my 870 boot and screenshot at 4.4GHz, but really that's not useful for me as I want to know what they can deliver in terms of a 24/7 stable OC. That matters! If plugging away in the BIOS is too technical, ASUS has built these boards to be overclocked by "Joe Six Pack" with the TurboV software and hardware configuration you can bypass all the black magic and just work from within the Windows environment, to get a good solid performance boost. Just make sure you do the stability testing afterward, as that is the only beef I really have with the board's software tools. I had two revisions of the TurboV software to play with and the newest implementation was far superior in regards to the overclocks gained. The Extreme option let you push for the highest clock speed and delivered on that count, but took a bit of time to accomplish as it makes adjustments and then tests for stability. However, the Fast tuning option on the newer software worked like a champ. It looks like ASUS has taken on MSI's one touch overclocking and made it work as this overclock was fully stable. This is a plus for ASUS since it shows they are taking the feedback gained from the field and putting it to good use.

These boards, if nothing else, are full featured motherboards that offer the latest in technology with SATA 6GB/s on both boards, with the P7P55D-E Pro getting a True USB 3.0 implementation via NEC's USB 3.0 controller. The EPU hardware energy management processor and software is functional and does the job it is designed to do by allowing the system to run with lower power consumption, based on how you set up the power profiles. This allows you to do your part to go green! The MemOk feature on both boards is a way around the problems of memory compatibility. One touch and it will put the board through a diagnostic routine to adjust timings and voltage to get your system up and running. At this point, the Memory QVL is pretty large so finding modules that work should be no problem. The Express gate feature works like a charm and really reduces the time to get logged in as well as access your files on the HDD.

When it comes down to price, I would have to give the edge to the P7P55D-E Pro. Its feature set and performance are a match for the P7P55D Premium, but it just can't reach the same clock speeds with the stability I require, most likely due to the difference in the power circuits. Both boards are are full featured boards - each with a little something special. You can't go wrong with either of the boards if you choose to join the masses that have migrated to the Intel Core i5/i7 socket 1156 platform. Performance, looks, software and hardware tools, overclocking credibility, and the latest features make the P7P55D series boards the perfect platform. All you have to do is decide on the features you want!

 

P7P55D Premium

Pros:

 

Cons:

 

P7P55D-E Pro

Pros:

 

Cons: