|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: Gigabyte P55 USB3 Motherboard|
|Posted by Will Smith|
|Saturday, 24 July 2010 03:43|
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With such a versatile chipset, its no wonder manufacturers like Gigabyte have produced a whole new range of motherboards based around the P55 chipset. Last year, I managed to take a look at their P55 UD6 motherboard ... and can I tell you, it's an excellent motherboard offering plenty of features and performance to match. A year later, Gigabyte have managed to improve their P55 motherboard by incorporating new technologies such as USB3.0, USB on/off charge, Smart 6 software utilities, as well as their innovative Ultra Durable 3, Dynamic Energy Saver 2 and of course their much talked about 2oz copper PCB.
In this review, we'll be taking a look at the Gigabyte P55 USB3 motherboard. And as I mentioned above, it contains all of the above features and new technologies. It's based on the LGA 1156 platform suitable for all Intel processors including Core i7, i5 and i3. The motherboard takes dual channel DDR3 memory, but more interestingly it also supports XMP profiles, which can enable in the BIOS for any DDR3 memory modules that supports it.
Not saying I'm a complete novice, but I recently realised that Intel's NEW entry level Core i5 - 650 (LGA 1156) processor is actually based on 32nm technology. What's more, I was surprised to find out that the Gigabyte P55 USB3 motherboard natively supports this processor straight out of the box! Another interesting feature is the On/Off Charge technology, which allows iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices to draw more current from the motherboard USB ports.
We'll be testing this motheboard using an Intel Core i5 - 650 (LGA 1156) running at 3.2Ghz, cooled by a Noctua NH-D14 cooler, along with Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1600 4Gb kit, a Geforce GTX 460 and Silverpower 650W power supply.
It will be interesting to see how this motherboard will compare to other P55 and X58 motherboards from Gigabyte, which we already tested using an Intel Core i7 - 920 (LGA 1366). As far as I can see, we can expect the P55 USB3 to perform similar to Gigabyte's other P55 motherboards. However, what makes the P55 USB3 different is the addition of NEC's new USB3.0 controller, which is a great feature to have, but will it attract the consumers?
Right, Let's not waste any more time and take a closer look at the motherboard and its specifications ...