One year after its introduction, Intel Core i7 processors remain unchallenged in the high-end desktop segment. However with the recent introduction of the Core i5 and the LGA1156 platform, all of a sudden we no longer feel the need to stretch out the budget and look into buying a Core i7 920 one way or the other.
As we learned back in September, Intel effectively ripped out Hyper-Threading and dropped a memory channel with the Core i5. However, after completing extensive testing we found that in most situations the lack of HT technology is not an issue, while the dual-channel memory controller provides ample bandwidth. Furthermore, when comparing clock for clock performance between the Core i5 and Core i7 processors there was very little in it, which was surprising.
The Core i5 750 currently sells for $200 and at that price we consider it to be the number one choice among quad-core processors. Helping to keep the overall cost of the LGA1156 platform down is the Intel P55 chip, which is considerably more affordable than the X58 chipset used with the original Core i7 family.
So, should you decide to go with the Core i5 750 processor, the next and possibly most difficult choice is which motherboard to purchase. Already there are over 40 possible motherboard options to choose from and today we'll be taking a look at quite a few of the better examples.
Our round-up comprises products from the likes of Asrock, Asus, DFI, ECS, EVGA, Gigabyte and MSI. In total we have 7 motherboards ranging in price from $120 to $250, so there should be something for everyone.
The motherboards will be put through the usual batch of tests, while we scrutinize its on-board features and compare their overclocking abilities side by side.