EVGA P55 FTW – Features

With half a dozen X58 boards on offer, EVGA was one of the few manufacturers who aggressively targeted the high-end market for Core i7 processors, and they appear to be doing a repeat with the P55.

With seven P55 motherboards on offer already, EVGA looks to have something for everyone, or almost. Their most basic model the EVGA P55 LE still costs $160, while the most expensive ones can go beyond the $300 mark.

The P55 FTW is likely their most sensible high-end motherboard and therefore this is the board we chose to look at. Priced at $220, the P55 FTW goes head to head with the Asus P7P55D Deluxe and Gigabyte P55-UD6 motherboards.

In terms of features, the EVGA P55 FTW is equipped to go head to head with the best and it stacks up well against the Asus P7P55D Deluxe. EVGA has not gone overboard with the P55 FTW, creating a very balanced feature set. For example, the board offers 6 SATA ports on-board which are connected to the P55 chip. However an additional 2 eSATA ports can be found on the I/O panel thanks to the inclusion of the Marvell 88SE6121 controller.

Firewire is also on the table thanks to the T.I. TSB43AB22A controller that adds support for two ports, one onboard and another on the I/O panel. Improving connectivity are a pair of Marvell 88E8057 Gigabit LAN controllers that make use of the PCI Express bus. Finally, the Realtek ALC889 audio codec is featured delivering 8-channel audio.

The P55 FTW comes with a feature called ECP V2, which is an external debugging control panel. The intention is to never have to open your case to see your debug code, disable PCIe jumpers or to access various on-board overclocking options. It is a pretty cool little feature aimed at the hardcore overclocker.

There are a many other things lurking on the EVGA P55 FTW, which we are about to explore, but before we do I wanted to mention that the P55 FTW was one of the few motherboards that disabled Intel's Turbo Mode by default.

When benchmarking this P55 motherboards we did so with Turbo enabled as this is the default setting for most P55 products.