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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  • yyrkoon - Saturday, November 07, 2009 - link

    Ok, sorry for the rude comments. But the main reason why this perturbed me, is that something similar happened to a company that I did like a few years back. They lost a lot of revenue because of the situation( and then left the market altogether; yeah . . . guess who ). With that said, I am glad that you guys reported this issue, because at that time, I was seriously considering the board afflicted. Then, I could even go as far back as the terrible capacitors used by many builders, which also caused bad reviews(and feeling from loyal customers)from many reviewers. You would think these companies would learn eventually. Of course, at the time, the builders had no idea these capacitors were going to ruin long term stability ( or maybe they did ? ). Then even in some cases long term was not an issue, because short term stability suffered as well.

    So, for now on, I suppose I will just have to remember that highly OCable motherboards,are not really dependable for 24/7 operation, and then keep my "mouth" shut :)

    I am glad to see one of you does have something from MSI. Now if only the other players would get something out as well.
    Reply
  • petergab - Saturday, November 07, 2009 - link

    Can you, please, give the socket type of the tested boards? I don't want to start the foxconn/lotes dabate here.

    And one more clarification: The MSI board (I supoose p55-gd80) was not testes because it had a foxconn socket that burned out OR because the two i7 870 were burned out (on asus)?
    Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Saturday, November 07, 2009 - link

    MSI GD80 was not tested because of damage to 2 870 CPU's, one of which was the best sample I had on hand (the one that ran Wprime over 5.2GHz). I've already presented the socket info of the tested boards in the article, but just to recap for you; EVGA boards were on TYCO AMP (E657) and LOTES (E659), ASUS and Gbyte both on Foxconn.

    MSI's board was ready for review once the CPU damage had already taken place. It was a choice of starting afresh on all 5 boards once again (and risking coming away with even less same CPU comparative info) or running with the almost complete information on 4 boards I had at the time. The latter made more sense to me. Nothing against MSI, their boards were still in beta and undergoing a revision for PCI/e when this all started so they were not in the initial lineup anyway.

    later
    Raja


    Reply
  • petergab - Monday, November 09, 2009 - link

    >> Nothing against MSI, their boards were still in beta and undergoing >> a revision for PCI/e when this all started so they were not in the >> initial lineup anyway.

    Can you explain this in deteils? I think I found something about it 1-2 months ago and haven't saved the address.

    Your review was published in Nov. This means you've tested them in Oct, so the planning should have been some time in Sept. As far as I can remember the current MSI board range was on the market before Sept. Does this mean than the MSI has some problems with PCI- PCIE speeds with the current boards? What about the other verndors?

    Any links are also appreciated.
    Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Monday, November 09, 2009 - link

    Hi,

    The delay between the article posting and now was simply becasue I tore some fo the content out for the socket burnout stuff a couple of weeks ago. No idea if the MSI PCI/e overclocking patch was post retail or not because I've never had a GD80 in my hands so don't know what to look for per se.

    later
    Raja
    Reply
  • petergab - Monday, November 09, 2009 - link

    >> No idea if the MSI PCI/e overclocking patch was post retail or not because...

    This is exactly what I'm asking about. What was the original problem with this (if any existed)? The fact that you've not considered thier boards talks about some not that trivial issue. What was it? What made you not consider the board?
    Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Monday, November 09, 2009 - link

    It's simple;

    1) At planning stage of who is going to be in the article one, MSI not added to inital lineup because board not ready.

    2) By the time revision board is ready, 2 CPU's have been damaged while completing tests of 4 other boards (was in week 4 of testing at this point). Leaving me in a position where all tests must be re-run on every board with a new CPU just to add the MSI board into the report. Given the apparent weakness being experienced and not knowing if I'd be lucky enough even to make it through all 5 boards without another failure I decided to post what I had.

    There's nothing more to it. You're reading into this too deeply. If I had anything whatsoever to hide, I would not have posted anything in the first place.

    later
    Reply
  • Makaveli - Saturday, November 07, 2009 - link

    Very happy I just build a P6T Deluxe V2 + 920 D0 combo. Those overclocking numbers look good for the lynnfield setups, but I needed a true and tested platform and with these boards all just coming out I don't trust them. Reply
  • dingetje - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    wow the p55 platform is totally screwd if this problem persists...any overclocker still oc'ing the hell out of their p55 must be either brave, rich or (michael jackson voice on:) ignoraaaant
    Reply
  • Raptor88 - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    Raja:
    Thank you for you insights..
    Can you provide more detail regarding the Max BCLK testing. Were all the boards running AUTO settings? If not, what were their respective settings?
    Regards,
    Raptor
    Reply

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