Since you are reading this review, I assume that you are interested in the new LGA1156 platform. Frankly speaking, I also used to be very optimistic and positive about this platform. Of course, since the new chipset and new processors promised almost the same functionality as LGA1366 systems could offer, only at a lower price and with higher energy-efficiency. However, as time went on, my attitude changed and I have become pickier about new mainboards because during the tests I faced an unrealistically substantial number of issues and problems. Some of them are quite understandable, while the others still remain a mystery.
I started working with the new LGA1156 platform on Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 and Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3 mainboards. However, Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 was a very early engineering sample, so that we couldn’t even reflash the new BIOS into it. As for Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3, it turned out defective right from the start: the board worked but some of the processor voltage regulator components heated up extremely badly. Unfortunately, I noticed it too late and even the PCB textolite got darker from the high heat.
Asus P7P55D Deluxe mainboard was a true breath of fresh air. It was an excellent mainboard and the first one to be reviewed on our site. The mass production Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 definitely didn’t have any of the early sample problems any more, but for a number of reasons didn’t make the best impression. After that we were planning to check out a very promising MSI P55-GD65 mainboard, but it failed in the very beginning of our test session right after we reflashed its BIOS using M-Flash utility.
The next reviews on our site were ASRock P55 Deluxe and Biostar TPower I55. Each mainboard has its advantages, but also quite a few drawbacks. We checked out Foxconn Inferno Katana but put it aside right away. It was a very beautiful mainboard but we decided to wait for the new BIOS updates, so that we could write a positive review. DFI DK P55-T3eH9 also required some extra effort to get working properly, because during the attempt to reflash its BIOS we experienced the same exact issue that sent MSI solution to rest in peace.
This list of issues is already fairly long even for a new platform, but we could continue it by saying that we had to replace the memory modules and the cooling system, too. At this point I am sure you understand very well why I was so excited about Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3R, which review went on smoothly and without any issues. It is the greatest luck for the user as well as reviewer when the board responses adequately and predictably to your actions; when its performance, power consumption and overclocking potential are just as good as those of its more expensive competitors. Like any other mainboard, Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3R is not totally ideal. Some may be upset about the absence of NVIDIA SLI support, some will need an additional IEEE1394 (FireWire) controller. If the functionality of Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3R is sufficient for your needs, then I hope doesn’t disappoint you and maybe even impresses you, like it impressed me.