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eVGA P55 FTW Review Print E-mail
Written by hokiealumnus   
Wednesday, 30 September 2009 00:00
Article Index
eVGA P55 FTW Review
P55 and LGA1156 CPUs
Packaging and Accessories
A Closer Look
Benchmarks Continued
i7 860 vs i7 920
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
All Pages


EVGA P55 FTW Review


EVGA needs no introduction.  They have now been around for more than a decade.  Since the release of the X58 chipset, they have separated themselves as a top-notch enthusiast motherboard manufacturer.  As of this writing, their X58 Classified holds two out of the top five world frequency records for i7’s in the CPU-z Hall of Fame. EVGA hopes to continue their dominance with their new lineup of boards based on the Intel P55 chipset. 

Today, we are presented with the EVGA P55 FTW motherboard. This is one of quite a few motherboards EVGA has released for the P55 chipset, and is in the top three in terms of features.

Thanks to EVGA for providing the board for this review.
There are seven (yes, that's seven) EVGA P55 boards, each one adding features on top of the last.  If #7 has the most features and #1 the least, this one comes in at #5.  The only two boards that have more features (and of course are more expensive) are the P55 FTW 200 and the P55 Classified 200.  As their name implies, they have the addition of nVidia's NForce 200 chip, which allows for Tri-SLI + a dedicated Phys-X card, where this board allows for two cards in SLI + Phys-X.  Here is their complete P55 lineup in .pdf format.
Let's start by having a look at this board's features, which are extensive. We'll start with the standard features.
CPU Support Intel Socket 1156 Processors
PCH Intel P55 Express (PCH stands for Platform Controller Hub)

4 x 240-pin DIMM sockets, dual channel, max 16GB DDR3-2600MHz+ (overclocked)


Three PCIe graphics expansion slots.  Supports a single 16x PCIe GPU + dedicated PhysX card operating at 4x -or- two nVidia cards in SLI at 8x/each card + dedicated PhysX card at 4x -or- two ATI cards in crossfire at 8x/each card.

Storage 8 SATA II ports, 6 internal and 2 eSATA with support for RAID 0, RAID1, RAID 0+1, RAID5, JBOD
 I/O 1 P/S2 Keyboard; 13 USB2.0, 7 on the rear panel, 6 onboard; 2 IEE1394 Firewire, one rear panel, one onboard
Network Two gigabit ethernet ports (10/100/1000)
Audio 8-channel HD Audio with SPDIF & COAX.
Power 12+2 Phase Analog CPU Power, 3 Phase Memory Power

Now we'll have a look at the EVGA-specific features, as stated by EVGA's specs.  

  • 12+2 Phase PWM with switching frequency up to 1,189KHz - Superior power delivery.  (This also goes along with their two 8-pin CPU power sockets.)
  • EVGA E-LEET Tuning Utility - Enthusiast software for adjusting overclocking in O.S.
  • Passive chipset heatsink - No fans, lower noise, longer lifespan.
  • EVGA ECP V2 Support - Overclock and debug your PC on an external adapter!
  • EVGA Double Play Heatsink - CPU mounting supports both socket 775 and socket 1156 heatsinks.
  • EVGA EZ Voltage read points - Easily read voltage levels with dedicated read points.
  • Triple BIOS Support - Always have a backup, compare BIOS versions or use 3 separate profiles!
  • PCIe Disable Jumpers - Quickly and easily troubleshoot!
  • EVGA Vdroop Control - Improves overclocking stability.
  • Onboard Clear CMOS, Power and Reset Buttons - System essentials at the touch of a button.
  • 100% Solid State Capacitors - Higher quality, longer lifespan.
  • EVGA EVbot Support - Next generation handheld overclocking device from EVGA.
  • EVGA dummy OC - Overclocking at the touch of a button.
  • Onboard CPU Temperature Monitor - Monitor your CPU temps quickly and easily.
  • Dual Clock Generators (CPU and PCIe) - Ensure best signals for CPU overclocking

Whew, that is quite a list!  Based on all of that, this board already looks like a winner.  We'll see how it holds up in our testing, but they have definitely set up some high expectations.

Before diving into the motherboard however, we know this may be some of your first experience with the combination of Intel's P55 chipset and i5/i7 LGA1156 processors.  Let's take a minute to explore what that means for you.

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