Monday, 09 November 2009 14:39

Roundup: Five P55 mainboards - 4 Intel DP55KG

Written by Eliot Kucharik

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Review: From €88 to €175


Intel DP55KG:

Features:

Intel P55
6+2-phase VRM
CHiL CHL6316 VRM controller
Intel i82578DC PCIe Gb LAN controller
Marvell 88SE6145 PCIe SATA II controller
Texas Instrument TSB43AB22A PCI firewire controller
Winbond W83677HG super I/O controller
Realtek ALC889
Silego Technology SLG505YC264CT clock generator
passive cooling of chipsets/VRM
16Mb BIOS, version: various, 3878 
Mainboard Revision: 1.00

Slots:
2x PCIe 2.0 x16, 1x x16 or 2x x8
1x PCIe 2.0 x4 @ x2 speed
1x PCIe 2.0 x1 @ x0.5 speed
2x PCI

Memory:
4x Dual-Channel DDR3-slots for PC3-10667U memory up to 16GB

Storage:
6-Port SATA II featuring RAID 0, 1, 5, 0+1, JBOD
2-Port SATA II featuring RAID 0, 1, 0+1, JBOD

Backpanel ports:
1x Gb LAN
8x USB 2.0
2x eSATA II
1x Firewire
7.1 analog audio
1x optical audio out
1x optical audio in
1x backup BIOS button

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Accessories:
2x SATA cable with clips
1x SLI bridge

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Layout:

Intel is the only company still way back in the last century, as they do not offer one board with solid cap design nor using high end parts on all components. For what they offer, you pay way to much. Also the design is odd with lots of empty space on the left side and a skull which they think is cool, but it's not. The debug-LED is located behind the first PCIe x16 slot and near the CPU-area. That is the most unintelligent position we can think of, because the view of the LED is most certainly blocked by any highend cooling solution and we don't know anyone who does use the boxed CPU-cooler.


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The VRM is an analog 6-phase design with some fancy stuff. While it does not look cheap it can't compete with MSI and even in idle mode the Elitegroup is more efficient. For some reason Intel does only provide a SLI bridge but none for Crossfire.

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The slot design is ok, but to offer three PCIe x16 slot, does not make sense, with the third slot rated only at x2 PCIe 2.0 speed. Of course you can use any PCIe x1 card. At least this is the only board featuring all fan connectors supporting PWM-fans.

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The memory slots are too close to the CPU socket. This may give you some problems with some big CPU-coolers. The board would have lot's of space, but for some reason Intel is using a super I/O controller which is only needed for sensors and fan-control.

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Intel is the only vendor not using some cheap Gb solution, but of course they produce them themselves. So an i82578DC controller gives you good connection. On the other hand Intel uses an outdated PCI Firewire controller. The audio solution is of course a Realtek and the best they do offer, an ALC889. The extra two SATA ports on board and the two eSATA ports are provided by a Marvell controller.

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The SATA connectors are on the edge of the board and all of them are angled at 90°. This is the best solution available because the connectors won't interfere with any cards.


BIOS:

The BIOS is the usual Phoenix Award BIOS, which looks really nice. All default settings are correct and Intel does supply regular updates. 

As usual, Intel clocks nearly on the spot:

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At this price level we expected 4GHz to run without problems, and it did:

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Of course even Intel features undervoltaging and it works well but needed 1.05VCore.

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(Page 4 of 10)
Last modified on Friday, 24 September 2010 16:53
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