Asus P7P55D-E PRO review

26 May 2010

An early-adopter motherboard at an early-adopter price, but you get plenty for your money

Asus P7P55D-E PRO
Price when reviewed: 
169(£170 inc VAT)
5

USB 3 and SATA/600 are becoming the headline features on new motherboards, and we’re getting plenty of them. Asus’ P7P55D-E PRO is the latest to boast both technologies and comes with a £144 price tag that suggests this is one for serious system builders.

It’s not an out-and-out enthusiast board, as it uses the LGA 1156 socket rather than LGA 1366, but it has plenty to offer. The LGA 1156 socket supports a broad range of processors, from Clarkdale-based Celerons and Pentiums right up to the last-generation Core i7-800 series processors.

Four DIMM slots cater for up to 16GB of DDR3 memory running at an overclocked speed of 2,200MHz, and there are two PCI Express x16 slots for dual-card gaming. There are three PCI Express x1 slots and two PCI sockets. Both the pair of SATA/600 sockets and the six SATA/300 sockets support RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10.

Asus P7P55D-E PRO

On the backplate, the pair of USB 3 sockets are joined by six USB 2, an eSATA port, FireWire, both coaxial and optical S/PDIF ports and a pair of PS/2 inputs. Display outputs are absent, as Intel’s P55 chipset doesn’t include an integrated GPU or support one on a CPU – you’ll need a graphics card.

Our only real qualm is the lack of genuine enthusiast features. There’s nothing in the way of LED POST displays, power or reset buttons on the board, all of which can prove useful to those who enjoy tinkering. It’s clear you’re paying a chunk of that high price for the cutting-edge interfaces.

It can easily be argued, however, that these are more useful in the long run than any helpful tweaking tools, and the P7P55D-E PRO certainly ticks a lot of boxes for an early-adopting mainstream system builder. USB 3 and SATA/600, along with a broad range of ports, sockets and slots elsewhere, ensure a long life, and we think there’s just about enough here to squeeze a Recommended award into that price.

Details

Price ex VAT £144
Price inc VAT £169
Overall rating 5
Motherboard form factor ATX

Compatability

Processor/platform brand (manufacturer) Intel
Processor socket LGA 1156
Motherboard form factor ATX
Memory type DDR3
Multi-GPU support yes

Controllers

Motherboard chipset Intel P55
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
Graphics chipset N/A

Onboard Connectors

Memory sockets total 4
Internal SATA connectors 6
Conventional PCI slots total 1
PCI-E x16 slots total 2
PCI-E x1 slots total 3

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 6
FireWire ports 1
eSATA ports 1