Last September Intel unveiled its highly regarded Core i5 processor along with the new LGA1156 platform, delivering a brand new chipset aimed at the all-important mainstream market. As you learned from our previous coverage the Core i5 700 and Core i7 800 parts are based on the “Lynnfield” architecture, while the Intel P55 chipset goes by the codename “Ibex Peak”.

Despite having just released this platform, Intel has set a shipment goal of one million Lynnfield processors by the end of 2009. You do the math, that gives them short of four months to make the mark. With so many parts expected to ship by year’s end, it stands to reason that just as many compatible motherboards will be moved as well.

Asus anticipates selling nearly half a million P55 motherboards by the end of the year. If this is the case, it will mean that P55 products alone will have accounted for 10% of the annual motherboard shipments for the Taiwanese manufacturer.

In other words, there is quite a bit on the line for both Asus and its competitors. In an effort to meet the diverse demand expected for P55 products, Asus released a total of nine P55-based motherboards on the platform's launch day, ranging in price from $135 for the basic P7P55D LE to ~$250 for the Maximus III Formula and P7P55 WS SuperComputer.

The P7P55D series sits at the center of Asus' P55 line-up, and the $220 P7P55D Deluxe we are reviewing today is meant to be your no-nonsense choice if you are looking for an integral P55 solution. Then the obvious question has to be what exactly makes this motherboard special?

Right out of the box you will spot a few unique and interesting features, such as TurboV Remote, described by Asus to be a versatile real-time overclocking hardware controller. There's also an innovative 24 hybrid phase design and something Asus calls T.Probe that controls the power phase temperatures across the board.

Among other things the P7P55D Deluxe ships with Express Gate, Asus' instant-on OS, the ability to save BIOS OC profiles, a heat-pipe based fanless cooling, and the guarantee of an enthusiast-friendly installation. You get your on-board power on switch, additional protection against static electricity and a module to connect your chassis front panel cables with a single plug.

Read on as we take a detailed look at these and other features in the next few pages.

** To illustrate you better considering the many alternatives there are among P55 motherboard offerings we will be publishing a 7-way P55 motherboard round-up in the coming days, covering products from Asrock, Asus, DFI, ECS, EVGA, Gigabyte and MSI. In the meantime please enjoy our thorough look at the Asus P7P55D Deluxe.