Articles: Mainboards

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We have tested a number of mainboards based on the Intel P55 Express chipset since the introduction of the LGA1156 platform in the last fall: ASRock P55 Deluxe, ASUS Maximus III Formula, ASUS P7P55D Deluxe, Biostar TPower I55, DFI LANPARTY DK P55-T3eH9, EVGA P55 FTW, Foxconn Inferno Katana, Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6, GA-P55M-UD4 and GA-P55-UD3R, and Intel’s DP55KG and DP55WG. Now that new CPUs and chipsets for the LGA1156 platform have become available, it is time for us to move on to the new generation of mainboards. There is only one thing left for us to do.

Last year a promising-looking MSI P55-GD65 mainboard was one of the first that we received for our tests but we didn’t do much with it. When we tried to update its BIOS with the integrated M-Flash utility, the mainboard reported an error and refused to start up thereafter. But our series of reviews of P55 Express based mainboards wouldn’t be complete without a product from MicroStar, so we purchased an MSI P55-GD55 instead. Why did we choose it? First of all, this is a rather new model that was introduced later than MSI’s first batch of P55 Express based products. Thus, the developer had had a chance to implement some improvements basing on users’ feedback. Second, this is a rather simple product. Lacking some redundant features you can meet in premium products, the MSI P55-GD55 instead has a more appealing price tag. So, let’s see what functionality we get for that appealing price.

Package and Accessories

The MSI P55-GD55 comes in a very plain box. There are no cutouts, windows, flaps or anything that boxes with more expensive products have.

The text on the back of the box informs you about the product’s key features, specs, and I/O panel.

The accessories to the mainboard include such unusual things as IDE and floppy-drive cables. There is a lot of documentation in the box, too. Besides a general user manual, you will find individual booklets on the Winki OS, MSI Control Center and HDDBackup as well as an installation guide designed as a poster. There are also two SATA cables with metallic locks on the connectors, one power adapter for SATA devices, an I/O Shield, and a DVD with software and drivers.

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