Some of you asked us for scores and benchmarks showing just how far we managed to push the top P55 boards in our sub-zero cooled benchmarking (amidst socket failures) test suite. So we are here today to show how these boards fared against each other when using the same components. Be warned the results are geared more towards benchmarking fanatics and are not in any way indicative of your everyday web browsing PC needs...

 

 

A quick summary of each board:

EVGA P55 FTW SLI E657

Our favorite board of the bunch for extreme benchmarking is the EVGA E657. In terms of ease of use and 'overclockability' this board wins on all counts. Our retail sample came with a TYCO AMP socket and survived everything we threw at it over the last six weeks of near 24/7 testing. At cold temperatures, this board boots up better than any other we’ve tested to date. You don’t have to boot up in safe mode or wait for temperatures to increase, it’s that simple.

Heavy load benchmarking stability is this board’s strength and at its price point there is no other P55 board that delivers on as many levels for the overclocking professional. EVGA is using TCYO AMP and LOTES sockets exclusively for all their P55 boards at this point, although there may be some early stock around still using Foxconn sockets.

ASUS ROG Maximus III Formula

While it worked our ASUS Maximus III Formula board was a pleasure to use. In terms of overall features, BIOS design, and general desktop performance this board is rated at the top of our list. Unfortunately, the board did not respond as well as the EVGA or Gigabyte boards in extreme overclocking conditions. Our experience with the large cascade was not trouble free as it refused to post once the evaporator head temperature was below -110 degrees.

The ROG Connect software is a novel design that we see a lot of promise in and a pleasure to use as a side bonus. The board was proving itself to be the all around choice (gaming/desktop/overclocking) until we experienced the now infamous socket burn syndrome.

As of press time for this article, ASUS is still investigating the socket burnout problems and has not told us if they will be following the lead of other vendors in moving over to other socket vendors for their high end boards.

Gigabyte GA-P55- UD6

The GA-P55-UD6 from Gigabyte was on a level playing field with the ASUS ROG for the most part in general performance and extreme overclocking results. It did trail the other boards in the 8-thread CPU tests, but showed second place performance everywhere else. The UD6 handled cold temperatures as well as the E657, but required us to shut the PSU off periodically between reboots in order for the board to properly repost.

Our test sample arrived with the revised Foxconn socket and managed to survive the onslaught of benchmarks without a problem. We understand that Gigabyte has moved production over to LOTES based sockets for their higher end boards, so expect to see these showing up in the retail channels shortly.

EVGA P55 Classified 200

When this board arrived in the labs we were intrigued to see what it brought to the table in comparison to less expensive P55 boards. At a $340 price point, there’s no room whatsoever for failure. Unfortunately, the only real strength that extra monetary outlay will buy you is the ability to run non-memory intensive 8-thread loads a few MHz higher than the superlative EVGA E657.

The other side bonus is for multi-GPU setups as you get dual x16 capabilities, though we wonder why you would even pick a P55 board at this price point for such a setup when there are X58 boards available to do the job better. While the board responded well in most cases, we had problems with higher memory speeds (over 2200MHz) as they were just not as stable on this board in comparison to the other boards in our tests, no matter what we tried. We’re not sure if this can be fixed without some kind of hardware change, as we tried every BIOS tweak the board has in order to try and squeeze a little more stability above DDR3-2200, but alas, no improvement.

Test Setup
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  • spacedude - Thursday, January 07, 2010 - link

    Just wanted to comment that I just ordered a EVGA P55 SLI (NOT FTW) from newegg and received a foxconn socket...

    Though on the forums, the evga reps are insistent that there is no problem with their boards.... Who knows if I even have a revised socket........

    ARGHHHHHHH
    Reply
  • johnyfriend - Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - link

    Saw recently a number of boards from asus and gigabyte with Usb3 and Sata 6gb support.Are you guys planning to include those boards in your upcoming p55 board reviews? Reply
  • groove420 - Saturday, November 21, 2009 - link

    The new Gigabyte boards will be designated as "P55A-UD6" for example, along with a "333" designation on the box.
    The feature that caught my eye on these is that they have been refitted with a LOTES clamp instead of the Foxconn.
    They remain fitted with a Foxconn socket apparently though.
    Whether the fix for the "hot socket" was just a better clamp, or indeed the socket is a revision as well remains an unknown from what I've gathered.



    Reply
  • johnyfriend - Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - link

    Think they went with the more afordable way to change the clamps than the entire socket.got to wait and see if it pays out..incase those who are willing to buy decide to dump $$$$$$$$ in that Reply
  • Arbie - Monday, November 09, 2009 - link

    "Be warned the results are geared more towards benchmarking fanatics and are not in any way indicative of your everyday web browsing PC needs... "

    Is this a benchmarking fanatics website? Or is it aimed at folks who want high-performance gear for day-in, day-out use? I am in the latter group, which is why I visit AnandTech practically every day. But I won't even bother clicking through a report like this.

    In fact, probably only 0.1% of your readers are going to build on the edge (sub-zero cooling?), and there are plenty of websites for them. I'd rather see the same time and effort spent on something more relevant to the other 99.9%.

    My opinion...
    Reply
  • dingetje - Monday, November 09, 2009 - link

    fail troll, stop whining or go to tomshardware Reply
  • matthewfoley - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    I happen to agree 100% - I am interested in the high-performance gear for day-in, day-out use idea.

    Anybody who wants Lynnfield for breaking OC benchmarks is wasting their time.
    Reply
  • dia - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - link

    99% of the articles here are for regular users. This happens to be an article that is not for everyone. So what's the big deal if the minority audience occasionally gets a hearing every now and again? When I see articles like this going up every single week I might start to ask questions, but not before that. Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    Guys and gals,

    This article is 100% for everyone despite what other ppl say.
    You are totally missing the point of this post. This post is not about manufacturers and main boards. This post is about P55!!!

    I am sure everyone (including benchmark fanatic) would like to hear about P55's capabilities. This article says about P55's abilities and gives insight about possible scenarios when pushing the P55 to its limits.

    So what do you want to say? Do you criticize this site or what? Not all of you are IT professionals. As a matter of fact so few of you are IT professionals. And as professionals you musk know as much as possible about your area of expertise. I would like to know everything Anandtech has to say about everything. That's the beauty of it
    Reply
  • cyclo - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - link

    +1. I rarely overclock myself but I still am interested in what the capabilities of this CPU/chipset combo are. I like seeing systems pushed to their limits until weaknesses become apparent. Extreme overclocking in my opinion is like stress testing... if there is any weakness in a design overclocking can expose it. In this case it could be the Foxconn socket, the lesser number of pins on the CPU itself (compared to previous gen i7s), the interface, or all of the above. Reply

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