If you are looking for a LGA1156 motherboard to couple with a Core i5 or Core i7 processor, you only get the option to pick among P55-based motherboards, which reduces the gap between each manufacturer's offerings. Furthermore, this platform exclusively supports dual-channel DDR3 memory, so there will be no deviations as far as memory support is concerned.
In terms of features the Asus P7P55D Deluxe gets away with offering just enough for a $220 motherboard in our opinion. This “Deluxe” motherboard doesn't present anything overly striking, though it stacks up well against competing products from the likes of MSI, EVGA and Gigabyte.
The power consumption figures recorded with the Asus P7P55D Deluxe were impressive, and when compared to the MSI P55-GD65 they were significantly lower, even when under full load.
The P7P55D Deluxe's overclocking abilities are second to none. Having tried our hand at overclocking with the Intel DP55KG prior to the launch of the Core i5 750, we were quite disappointed, reaching frequencies not much higher than those of Turbo mode. Then when we began testing with the Asus P7P55D Deluxe we were convinced something had went wrong, and that its early BIOS revision was reporting an incorrect clock speed. Later on, CPUz and the added performance shown in benchmarks proved that the overclocking result was actually successful. As we mentioned earlier, it was effortless to take our Core i5 750 processor from 2.66GHz to an astounding 4.20GHz, though it required us to manually tinker with the BIOS CPU settings.
Without a doubt the greatest strength of the P7P55D Deluxe motherboard is its tuning potential and low power consumption. That said, the excellent consumption levels go right out the window the second you choose to overclock, so you have to pick which of the two you prefer.
Also, before you go and attribute the stellar overclocking performance to the 16+3 phase VRM design, consider this. Also in our lab we have the plain P7P55D which costs just $149. This version of the board does without the sophisticated phase design and T.Probe, however we found it to be just as capable when overclocking our Core i5 750 processor. Therefore, it will be important to work out exactly what features you need, as Asus offers four P55 motherboards in the $149 - $219 price range.
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.
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