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  • mfs - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    how do you get 4 phase on the GA-P55M-UD2? looks like 6 by the photos? bit-tech says 6 too. Reply
  • andersbranderud - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    Does anyone have any experiences with overclocking an i7-860 on this motherboard with 1333 mhz or 1600 mhz ram.

    In that case give me some more details.

    Thanks!

    Anders Branderud
    bloganders.blogspot.com
    Reply
  • zoggy - Thursday, February 18, 2010 - link

    Was looking at picking up GA-P55M-UD2 for a HTPC, going to pair it with Core i7 860 and a ATI HD 5000 series card. Wanted to know if there was any problems with this board to do the bit-streaming of HD audio or if the UD4 would be better suited? Reply
  • Hrel - Friday, October 23, 2009 - link

    Pictures of the Motherboard BIOS, THANK YOU SO MUCH! Reply
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  • Googer - Sunday, October 11, 2009 - link

    I don't see how the inclusion of something can be seen as a negative. I am sure there are a few users who still depend on a floppy drive from time to time (retro dos gamers, some drivers, and archiving old files) and it's presence has little to negative impact on the actual usability, functionality, or performance of the motherboard.

    As for my self, I have tried several times to remove my drive, only to have someone or myself find an unexpected need for it a few months later. So I still keep it installed but the drive it's self remains disabled in the bios until I actually need it. Having it enabled has no noticeable impact on my P4 based system.
    Reply
  • Serveo - Friday, October 09, 2009 - link

    Hi Gary,

    Nice review. I am planning to buy a p55 mATX board. There are some on the market but mostly they support only 16x & 4x GPU and thats a pity.

    Only the Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD4 and ASUS Maximus III Gene support sli/cross at 8x mode. I would like to your review about these boards soon. The price for the GA-P55M-UD4 is available around € 130.- incl. VAT and the Maximus III Gene around € 170.- incl VAT.

    Thats why I probably go for the Gigabyte due to the price an the board colors, but the board layout has some fails and according to the review at bit-tech.net the performance is not that good.

    Gary when can I aspect the review about these boards? Or which of these two board would you advice?
    Reply
  • Awnold - Wednesday, October 07, 2009 - link

    Hi Gary,

    Great article! Looking at other user's experience w/ the Gigabyte board, I've seen a number of complaints w/ memory compatibility (e.g., Newegg's reviews). Would you mind posting the part #'s of the different memories you tested this board with?

    I did see your comment that the F4 BIOS improved memory compatibility, but to my knowledge they haven't updated their qualified memory list yet.

    Also, if other users on this forum have experience w/ this board, would you mind posting your memory config as well?

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • Awnold - Friday, October 09, 2009 - link

    I'm mostly curious about the G.Skill memory used. Does anyone have any success (or BSODs/failures) with the following modules:

    F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH
    F3-15000CL9D-4GBRH
    F3-16000CL9D-4GBRH
    Reply
  • haplo602 - Tuesday, October 06, 2009 - link

    stop with this P55 flood and finaly review a few 785G boards !!! please please PLEASE !!!

    I don't care about intel, I want to build an AMD PC and your site is severely lacking in that part ...
    Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, October 06, 2009 - link

    785G is just onboard graphics halfbreed between 780 and 790 or whatever. until AMD releases a new line of high-end boards worth reviewing, why bother? Reply
  • haplo602 - Wednesday, October 07, 2009 - link

    P55 is just half a chipset, i5 took over some of the functionality anyway ... why bother ? Reply
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  • bollux78 - Tuesday, October 06, 2009 - link

    Why do we need PCI anymore? I´ll tel you why: The PCI bus is more than enough for a hell bunch of applications, that´s it. If you have a damn good sound card or video capture, or whatever the card you have, and it´s PCI, you´d love to have the slot in there, because you don need to ditch that card and bet a "fantastic" PCIE x1 new card.
    C´mon people, let´s use the computer for the right purpose, not just to give money to the manufacturers buying new parts that you don´t
    necessarily need.

    I know, I´m being inflexible and oldschool, but, please, evolution is one thing, marketing is a completely different animal.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, October 06, 2009 - link

    IMO it is more a board real estate problem than a case of buying the latest and greatest. On these P55 uATX boards you have 4 slots, one of which has to be devoted to graphics unless it is a headless server. If you use a dual slot graphics card (which a substantial portion of the readers on this site) you lose a second slot, and ideally you would have an open slot beneath that to ease airflow. So that leaves you with one or in a pinch two slots, therefore what interface they are is quite important. PCIe has been out on boards for what, 5-6 years now? I'd say its time to stop selling PCI cards and leave the PCI slots only on full ATX boards (plus maybe a few HTPC-oriented uATX boards) and let the interface finally die off.

    Though I'd say IDE has even less of a place now, SATA hard drives have been the norm for years and even optical drives for a few years. Time to upgrade if you are still carting one of those around.
    Reply
  • sonicdeth - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    Thanks Gary for the detailed review. Can't wait for the p55 roundup, and I'm also very interested now in your audo codec review. Reply
  • mindless1 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    ... but I don't see the sense in SLI on mATX. Using the typical long video cards means you can't have a shorter depth case, just shorter height and since when is the area above your computer case a vital piece of real-estate?

    With 2, 8 or 16X slots onboard it only makes sense to me to go full ATX, is someone with the system budget to build a powerhouse gaming machine really poor enough, indescriminating enough, or young enough (to not have desirable cards from past systems) they don't want to add some other cards?

    I hate to say it but this is getting to be a madness, the idea that we need to focus centrally on gaming ability of a board. Most people are not hard core gamers, but factually speaking, most hard core gamers don't do SLI either. Granted you can use a 16x slot for cards with fewer lanes, that seems the only saving grace for the two boards.

    It's getting to the point I want a cTX case design where the drive racks are not in front of the mainboard and PSU, they are above them, so the case is even taller than std. ATX but not as deep.

    Might tip over a little easier but earthquakes are rare here and plenty of other household items are more tip-happy than that would be.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    There are cases made to hold a uATX board lying on the bottom, making it kinda a wider Shuttle. I'm personally looking for full ATX as well though, as the height doesn't matter too much to me (pretty sure anything short of a ABS Canyon or some of the bizarre decorative cases would fit under my desk) and don't want to limit my slot selection. Reply
  • Sunburn74 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    Hey Anand,
    Gigabyte boards have on issue that drives me nuts. As soon as you start overclocking them, you lose the ability to S3 sleep. When you do your maximal overclocks for various board reviews, would you mind testing if S3 sleep was maintained at those maximal overclocks?
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    This board resumes from S3 (USB keyboard) at up to 215 Bclk (mentioned in the thoughts section, make that more visible next time) with our setup and that includes an external hard drive on the Firewire port which is properly instructed to shut down and restart. Reply
  • Sunburn74 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    Thanks.
    Which board? I searched the thoughts section and don't see any mention of sleep :(

    I just know its a huge problem with gigabyte boards, pretty much every p45- and a good number of the x58 boards mysteriosly can't s3 sleep with significant overclocks in place and its something I'm seriously going to explore before my next mobo purchase.
    Reply
  • Ryun - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    I purchased and Asrock 760g, which is a great little motherboard, yet it does not support S3 state (standby mode). I have an email from Asrock's (surprisingly quick-response) tech support saying that none of their boards officially support S3 state and to use their Instant Boot technology instead.

    Did the Asrock motherboard you tested allow you to go into S3 state/standby mode? I really like Asrock's boards but the lack of standby is a deal breaker for me.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    S3 is fully supported on the ASRock board. In the power consumption section I did note what needed to be enabled for it work. Also, this was probably in the wrong spot, but in the OC section I briefly mentioned that the board had no problems resuming from S3 with the Bclk set to 215. I can understand why ASRock wants you to use Instant Boot, but S3 operation is just fine, even when overclocked. Reply
  • Ryun - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    Ah, looks like I missed that part. Many thanks for pointing that out. Sadly though, I don't have those BIOS options on the 760g board I have but perhaps I can tinker a bit more. Reply
  • n7 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    Just wanted to say a massively huge thank you for testing with 8 GB!

    It's extremely encouraging to see, as the large majority of reviewers do not bother testing with all slots populated.

    Thanx again.
    Reply
  • vlado08 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    Which board has the quickest Power On Self Test?

    With fast CPU's and SSD I expect fast booting!

    Now I have a Gigabyte board (P965 DS4) and when the Sata is in AHCI mode POST is quite long.

    I hope that in future articles you will include this information.
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    S3 is your friend. Really, who boots their computer every time any more? Reply
  • strikeback03 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    I usually do, since I dual boot and won't necessarily know which OS I need the day before. Reply
  • Gary Key - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    Cold Boot - Quick Boot turned off in BIOS - AHCI enabled, External Hard Drive attached via IEEE 1394a, LAN attached to our Promise NAS via a Gigabit Switch.

    Time reported is from the time we turn on the board until Win7 has correctly installed the network stack. So this is the full POST and OS is usable process that is being timed.

    ASRock - 44.7 seconds
    Gigabyte - 53.2 seconds

    I have the information since we run this for every board, just did not know if anyone would care to see it. ;)
    Reply
  • vlado08 - Tuesday, October 06, 2009 - link

    Thanks Gary

    But I was interested in time from pushing the power on switch until the begining of the OS loading. I think that there might be difference between boards depending on their BIOS.
    Time from begining of the OS loading until fully functional OS depends on the computing power ot the CPU and the speed of the HDD (SSD) and not on the design of the board.
    And because you (we) want to distinguish between the boards I thought that this might be one of the criterion.
    Reply
  • yehuda - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    Slow POST is a minor annoyance, but it adds up as part of the computing experience IMO. I don't get why Gigabyte is so slow compared to other brands like MSI and ASRock. Just getting the video signal online takes about 4 seconds here (commenting on G31 and G41-based boards). It feels like a 486 until the OS takes over. Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    Much more interested in the MSI uATX board and the higher-level Gigabyte one that actually has all the features on it. These two may be entry-level but they also skip some features most discerning enthusiasts would want. Reply
  • Gary Key - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    The MSI just arrived, they were late to market for that one. The P55M-UD4 is coming up shortly, but it does not clock any better than the UD2. ;) The lack of passive MOSFET cooling was not a problem on either board under full load. The bigger problem is that the 4+1 PWM setup is not going to handle high current draws. The UD4, GD45, and MIII GENE boards are designed for that audience. Reply
  • MadMan007 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    That's simple enough to understand in a basic way but could you elaborate on what *high* current means, and what the difference in ovreclocking might be? In the context of 24/7 overclocks as you go on about in this article would be best...you seem to imply in the article that the UD2 will be as good as any at 24/7-type settings but it would be nice to clarify when 'high' current is an advantage. Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    Cool, looking forward to that UD4 review =)
    I wonder if the extra features will be considered worth the price difference, although it sounds like you do not believe so.

    The onboard audio is one area i've heard several complaints for cheapest Gigabyte boards compared to the mid-level and upper-tier boards.
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    What exactly were the issues or differences in the audio? Features or sound quality? Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    at the moment i can't find either of the reviews i read a couple weeks ago, but both stated sound quality issues with the onboard solution, which is a lower grade than what is included on the other boards. Reply
  • philosofool - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    I have one of these boards and the sound is great. I'm listening to Little Milton (Grits Ain't Groceries) right now: I can hear every horn, bass string, cymbal crash like I'm sitting on stage. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but there's nothing wrong with the audio on this board. Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    To be more specific, there are reviews on other sites mentioning the particularly crappy onboard audio solution on the UD2 compared to the UD4, and there's also the lack of cooling on the VRMs.

    On the upside, sure, it uses slightly less operating power, and that can be important to users interested in uATX, but overall I'd rather spend another $20 or whatever to get the UD4 with better cooling and audio (and whatever else it adds).

    Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    Awesome work with the review, Gary. I do wish the uATX boards would stop carrying legacy ports like others have noted. Floppy is definitely archaic, IDE should be the next item tossed, and PCI could probably go as well. FireWire is also something 99% of us could live without on a uATX board that offers USB and eSATA. Reply
  • goinginstyle - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    I loved the review also and it showed a lot of work went into testing these boards. I just wonder when TA152H is going to ruin this thread but until then it nice to see constructive posts. I also wish the mobo guys would just drop the floppy and IDE ports when possible. It would free up board real estate and hopefully drop the cost a little more. Reply
  • papapapapapapapababy - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    not touching any of this at least it has Socket 775 mounting holes
    usb3 @ pci3 @sata6 and im there.
    Reply
  • Docket - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    It is a shame that there are no Linux versions of the Gigabyte software reviewed here... oh well maybe some day in a distant future. Reply
  • mitt - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    Hallelujah! DPC latency benchmark in AnandTech reviews! Reply
  • mathew7 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    When MB manufacturers are going to let go of PCI?
    I recently switched to Micro-ATX, and found I have a real problem of choosing a motherboard.
    I'm looking at buying a PCIe X-Fi, but would like to use a dual-slotted video card. But I would like to keep my options open for a second card (I'm htinking about physics, not SLI/CF, so dual-slot cooling is not required). While the Gigabyte does not pass my requirements, the Asrock also has a problem: usage of a dual-slot-cooled card inhibits the usage of the PCIex1 slot.

    I intend to switch to i5/P55 at the start of next year, so I'm watching closely.
    Reply
  • Jaybus - Thursday, October 08, 2009 - link

    That will be a slow transition. There are still a lot of PCI adapters being sold out there, especially for some specialty markets like scientific instrumentation that take time to transition to new interfaces due to cost and low volume. Nevertheless, the demise of PCI is starting to happen. For most people it's not a big deal, because they only need 1 or 2 PCIe x16 slots for graphics cards and will never use the rest of the slots anyway. Reply
  • MadMan007 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    Kind of funny but Intel is leading the pack in that specific area, their $200 (ugh) 'Extreme' DP55SB mATX P55 mobo has no PCI slots, also no PS/2, IDE or floppy. Maybe it's consistent since they ditched PS/2 and other legacy connectors on some boards a while back. No telling on the overclocking front but it is an 'extreme' board so it may have at elast some overclocking features. It has a couple of neat features actually, Bluetooth and Intel NIC. Reply
  • Jaybus - Thursday, October 08, 2009 - link

    And uATX is a good platform to remove PCI from. Why not drop it from uATX? They can always leave it on ATX boards for a while for those who absolutely need PCI slots. I think other manufacturers will follow that path very soon. Reply
  • MadMan007 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    *bzzt* The only PCIe 2.0 lanes on a P55 platform are from the CPU. So look carefully at specs and double check with companies when they say their secondary slots, especially ones that aren't even 16x mechanical, are PCIe 2.0. The UD2's 4x electrical slot in particular is clearly not according to Gigabyte, the ASRock claims to be but I'm not sure how if all 16 CPU PCIe 2.0 lanes are used for the graphics slot. If they used a lane splitter to provide PCIe 2.0 lanes to the other slots it kind of defeats the purpose, and if so it would be good to check performance with those slots populated. Reply
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  • MadMan007 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    To follow up on this, the comment was based on the first few paragraphs. I looked over Intel's manual for their 'extreme' mATX board for my post about it and Intel actually states their mobo has PCIe 2.0 lanes to the additional PCIe slots. Not surprising for the 8x slot I guess but it is for the 1x slots and it seems unlikely Intel would misquote specs.

    On a related note there is one thing I've not seen yet from any review and that is how PCIe lanes get assigned, mainly to the primary 16x slot, when populating a secondary PCIe slot with a 1x or 4x card. Do the lane splitter chips assign 8x lanes to a secondary slot which has a 1x or 4x card or what? Not a huge deal but it's a little thing that would be nice to know.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    The PCIe lanes coming off the P55 are 2.0, the problem is that they are running at 1.x speeds (2.5GT/s). On these two boards, the x16 slot is off Lynnfield and will not be affected by any card placed in the x4 or x1 slots off the P55. Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Tuesday, October 06, 2009 - link

    I should probably know this, but what does a 2.0 slot running at 1.x speed bring to the table that a 1.x slot doesn't? Does it provide more power or something? Reply
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, October 06, 2009 - link

    Yes I was half right with my post and nothing Gary said was technically wrong it's just misleading. They are PCIe 2.0 spec slots but running at half speed, this is clear from Intel's chipset disgram. It's really a farce to call them PCIe 2.0 though because the overridingly most important change from 1.x to 2.0 is the double bandwidth, there are other changes like the power rating I believe and maybe some low level changes but nothing major. I think it's false advertising to call them PCIe 2.0 personally because they don't fully conform to the spec.

    In any case I'd still like to know how many lanes the main CPU-based slot retains when a 1x or 4x card is placed in a secondary CPU-based PCIe slot. Anandtech seems to be more receptive to odd little investigations like this so I hope Gary will check it out.
    Reply
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