The Intel P55 Express Mobo Roundup
The P55 platform was recently released as a more economical alternative to the enthusiast X58 platform. However, these budget roots have not stopped motherboard manufacturers from releasing products that include everything underneath the sun. For this roundup I've lined up four motherboards that try to cover the $100 to $250 spectrum in roughly equal price jumps. The results are quite interesting in both the stock clock tests and the maximum overclock tests, so hold on for a book of a review.
Present for this review are products from ECS, EVGA, Gigabyte, and MSI. ECS represents the budget option with their P55H-A which has a budget price but enthusiast features. MSI steps up the price with their P55-GD65 which sits closer to the average price, quality and feature-set for a P55 motherboard. EVGA bumps the price up into the enthusiast price-range while offering a board geared primarily towards overclocking enthusiasts in the EVGA P55 FTW. Finally, Gigabyte sits on top with price and features and is the only board to feature USB3.0 and SATA-III connectivity with the P55A-UD6 motherboard.
Each of the following pages is a mini-review in itself with a short segment on the BIOS, a collection of photos covering the board and bundle, and then any important bundled software. The important trends we'll be looking for is performance consistency, features, and overclocking performance. I've organized the boards by manufacturer name and we'll be starting off with the ECS P55H-A.