by Rob Williams on November 19, 2009 in Motherboards
On the lookout for a P55 motherboard to match that shiny new Lynnfield CPU? Given the sheer selection available, deciding on one can be a hassle. ASUS’ P7P55D Pro looks to appeal to a large crowd, though, by offering a slew of useful options, impressive overclocking abilities and a great design for an easy-to-stomach $170.
It goes without saying that power efficiency is at the forefront of many consumers’ minds today, and for good reason. Whether you are trying to save money or the environment – or both – it’s good to know just how much effort certain vendors are putting into their products to help them excel in this area. Both AMD and Intel have worked hard to develop efficient chips, and that’s evident with each new launch. The CPUs are getting faster, and use less power, and hopefully things will stay that way.
To help see what kind of wattage a given processor draws on average, we use a Kill-A-Watt that’s plugged into a power bar that’s in turn plugged into one of the wall sockets, with the test system plugged directly into that. The monitor and other components are plugged into the other socket and is not connected to the Kill-A-Watt. For our system specifications, please refer to our methodology page.
To test, the computer is first boot up and left to sit at idle for five minutes, at which point the current wattage is recorded if stable. To test for full CPU load, LinX is run with 2560MB memory usage for a total of five minutes. During that run, the highest point the wattage reaches on the meter is captured and becomes our “Max Load”.
I admit that these results surprised me a bit. The Gigabyte board costs about $50 more than the ASUS board, so by that logic alone, I’d figure that the P55-UD5 was more robust overall, and would of course result in greater power consumption. That wasn’t at all the case though, as the P7P55D Pro actually drew an additional 17W at full load, and 10W at idle.
Whew, it’s sure taken a while, but I’m glad I was finally able to get this review posted. Overall, I’m quite pleased with the first ASUS P55 offering I’ve touched, and I look forward to getting more boards in our lab in the coming months to see what else is out there, at a variety of different price-ranges. I came to like the P7P55D Pro quite a bit two months ago when I first started testing with it, and since then, not a thing has changed.
From a price and features standpoint, the P7P55D Pro at $170 offers a great bang for the buck. It doesn’t overwhelm with features, but it doesn’t hold anything important back either. It offers a lot of HDD/ODD connectivity, an ample supply of PCI/PCI-E slots for most people, a great design and good looks, and a set of hardware and software features that are well worth acknowledging.
It might seem a little odd to praise something so simple, but I really do like the modified PCI-E tabs and altered design to the DIMM slots. Both are designed to make installing GPUs and memory modules a lot easier, and that’s what’s important. It’s hard to believe that ASUS has a patent on each one of these features (perhaps it shouldn’t be), so it’s unfortunate we won’t see the same implementation on other vendor’s motherboards – at least with the exact same design.
Given its robust feature-set, smart design, great overclocking ability and price-point, I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the P7P55D Pro to anyone looking for a board that does it all, but doesn’t break the bank. Unfortunately, even though P55 boards have been out for a few months, this is the first ASUS board we’ve had the pleasure in taking a look at. That’ll change soon, however, and I hope to be able to deliver follow-up reviews of ASUS (and others) P55 motherboards in the near-future.
- Smart board design – no installation issues.
- Color scheme should appeal to many.
- Feature-packed from a software/hardware standpoint.
- Overclocking is made easy on this board, regardless of the route you take.
- On-board DTS Surround Sound.
- Priced right at $170.
- No on-board BIOS reset button. Ditto for power/reset.
- Only three fan connectors.
ASUS P7P55D Pro
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