Articles: Mainboards

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I am going to devote the next few months to mainboards on Intel P55 Express chipset. At this point we are already familiar with Asus P7P55D Deluxe and Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6. It seems quite logical to have a solution from Micro-Star reviewed at this time, however, unfortunately, our tests of MSI P55-GD65 mainboard got prematurely terminated. Right after we reflashed the latest BIOS using the built-in M-Flash tool the board refused to boot. Luckily, we still have a lot of solutions lined up so today we are going to focus on a board from ASRock.

ASRock LGA1156 Mainboard Lineup

There are four mainboard models in ASRock’s lineup of solutions on Intel P55 Express chipset. If you click the small picture below, you will see a comparative specification table with all of them in it.

ASRock P55M Pro is the junior model in the lineup. It is designed in MicroATX form-factor, but nevertheless, it allows putting together a high-performance system. For example, we see two graphics cards slots. However, it is important to keep in mind that the lower slot works at lower PCI Express 2.0 speed of only x4 and the board officially supports only ATI CrossFireX and Quad CrossFireX, but there is no mention of Nvidia SLI anywhere.

ASRock P55 Pro mainboard boasts a slightly richer list of features. It has more expansion slots, six Serial ATA ports instead of four, has a POST code indicator, Power On, Reset and Clear CMOS buttons, simple heatsinks over the processor voltage regulator components. By the way, the processor voltage regulator has eight phases instead of four.

The first full-size and fully-functional ASRock mainboard on P55 Express is called P55 Extreme. We see three graphics card slots here for the first time. The first slot works at full PCI Express 2.0 x16 speed. If you connect a second graphics card, the first and second slots will start working at only half the speed of x8. There is also the third slot that works as PCI Express 2.0 x4. The board supports ATI CrossFireX, 3-Way CrossFireX and Quad CrossFireX, as well as NVIDIA SLI and Quad SLI.

The top solution in this lineup is called ASRock P55 Deluxe and this mainboard is going to be the main hero of our today’s review.

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