Asus P7P55D-E Premium Motherboard - Asus P7P55D-E Premium

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Unfortunately in our testing with a SATA 6Gb/s hard drive, a 3.5in Seagate Barracuda XT, we recorded negligible differences between using the two interfaces despite the doubling of theoretical bandwidth. The simple fact of the matter was that in most scenarios, the drive did not even saturate the bandwidth offered by the older SATA standard. Until hard drive technology evolves adequately or the faster SSDs on the market gain support for the SATA 6Gb/s interface, there is no practical reason to go for it – though of course it’s good to have for future-proofing.

At first glance, the P7P55D-E Premium’s back I/O ports remain identical to the non-E series. We have a bit of a throwback with two PS2 ports, followed by a handy Clear-CMOS button (which is replicated as a pin-hole button on the TurboV remote). Next to this are two USB ports coloured blue, optical and digital audio outputs, six black USB ports, twin Gigabit Ethernet ports, a FireWire port and finally six analogue 3.5mm audio jacks.

The blue coloured USB ports mark them out as being version 3.0-compatible and unlike the new SATA standard, USB 2’s successor makes a dramatic difference in performance right now. Despite falling far short of the “10x faster” theoretical advantage Asus has across the front of its packaging, a real-world increase of as much as five times can be expected on current hardware. Other benefits include increased power provision and bi-directional data communication. To find out more and get the full low-down on performance, just take a look at our Buffalo DriveStation HD-HXU3 USB 3.0 Hard Drive Review.

One of our only complaints with the original P7P55D Deluxe was that it lacked native eSATA connectors, a worry that the P7P55D-E Premium somewhat alleviates with its USB 3.0 ports. However, as USB also requires compatible drives, it might also have been nice to have at least one eSATA port on the motherboard itself rather than on a bracket.

Expansion-card slots are another area that has changed dramatically, with the number of PCIe 2.0 x16 slots reduced from three to two. Both PCIe 1x slots have also been swapped with the two standard PCI ones towards the outside of the board, meaning you won’t lose any of the more modern slots when installing a single dual-slot graphics card.

Before we get onto the BIOS it’s worth mentioning a few more features Asus has implemented. Q-connectors make it easier to hook up the fiddly cables for status LEDs and power/reset by bringing them together on a single removable block. The buttons for both of these latter functions are also backlit in red and yellow and, like the aforementioned Clear CMOS button on the I/O plate, these are replicated on the remote too.

Asus’ TurboV remote is a great little innovation, though it lacks the LCD display found on some of the company’s Republic of Gamers (ROG) boards. The wired device plugs into a custom socket above the CPU and passes out through a dedicated opening in the I/O plate, leaving you with about two metres of cable to play with. At its front, the top button can be used to turn your PC on or off while the next three switch between various Turbo (overclocked) states and have corresponding indicator LEDs to show which mode you're in. Plus and minus buttons raise or lower the clock speed by 1MHz increments (and can be used in the middle of a game), while Manual and Auto Mode buttons set power saving versus performance. Finishing things off is the aforementioned pinhole button at the back that sets the CMOS to default settings.

HSC

February 4, 2010, 2:11 pm

I switched from Asus to Gigabyte a long time ago because of their instance in fitting sub-standard audio chips.


Still no Dobly Home Theater or DTS Connect....no thanks Asus

jingyeow

February 4, 2010, 2:51 pm

It was probably mentioned, but if installing a graphics chip such as an ati 5770, one PCI slot would be blocked right?





Is it possible in the future, for a board like this to fit in a mini tower dell case? It's about 3/4 the height of a full tower case I believe.

Ed

February 4, 2010, 2:58 pm

@darkspark88: Yes it is, so please read the review.





It's very difficult to say without having a dell mini tower here to try. Not only could size in general be a problem but Dell often has proprietary case layouts. I'd hazard on the side of no.

Thomas C

February 4, 2010, 5:38 pm

You can ofcourse add USB 3 and 6gbps sata to all existing Asus P7P55D boards using the Asus U3S6 expansion card (around £35 I think) http://www.hexus.net/content/i...





If you used this in conjuction with a standard ASUS P7P55D iP55 board (£108) you would almost have have the same spec as this board for £140... The standard board also has an esata port directly on the back plate.

Meridius

February 4, 2010, 5:53 pm

Hi all





Well there are a few things missing here as i have just bought the Asus P7P55D-E EVO for £160 which is £60 less than the above motherbaord reviewed but has USB3 and SATA 6GB.





The reason i am posting this is becasue the review above did not like the fact there was no external eSATA well there is on the Asus P7P55D-E EVO and PRO versions, also they failed to say that the ASUS has a PLX chip, what is that ?





The PLX chip. This chip essentially creates a secondary PCI-E Gen 2.0 16x lane in order to provide additional bandwidth to both S-ATA and USB 3.0. This is the reason that the native PCI-E 16x is left alone.





This board is special. That it supports both S-ATA 3.0 and USB 3.0, and with the PLX chip, it means that your primary graphics card will still run at PCI-E 16x this is one thing ASUS has over Gigabyte usb3 6gb sata motherboards. BUT REMEMBER THE Asus P7P55D-E does not have the PLX chip only the higher models





Also the new E versions now have onboard fan controlers so you can control the speed of your fans which i dont think the older models had.





Fan Xpert


Active Quiet & Cool


ASUS Fan Xpert intelligently allows users to adjust both the CPU and chassis fan speed according to different ambient temperature , which is caused by different climate conditions in different geographic regions and system loading.Built-in variety of useful profiles offer flexible controls of fan speed to achieve a quiet and cool environment.








and to the poster above about the DTS





DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC delivers exceptional 5.1 surround experience through the most common PC audio setups - your existing stereo speakers or headphones. In addition to virtual surround, “Bass enhancement” provides stronger low frequency bass sound, and “Voice clarification” provides clear human dialogue even with loud background sound. With these technologies, you may experience a better home-theater audio with ease.





the E pro and evo and deluxe seem to be a far better board than above reviewd as your paying for a remote control i think the E asus motherboards to be exellent price and have read great performance.





i hope people who read the review read this and i hope trusted reviews get these boards in as there seem to have all you want at a loer price





thanks

Meridius

February 4, 2010, 6:01 pm

oh also they have moved the gfx slot down one on the new E EVO,PRO and deluxe so it will not block the pci slot. if you lok on asus website and see the pics they have moved it which is another plus point.





this Premium Motherboard is not worth it as its still the old design wheres they have changed all the design and improved the E Pro, EVO and Deluxe.





have a look trusted reviews i think you should review one alot lower price and and everything you want from a motherboard





thanks

HSC

February 7, 2010, 1:04 am

@Meridius





DTS Surround and DTS Connect sensation are different technologies.


The fact is Asus have not supported the latter or its Dolby counterpart properly since 2005/6.





Also - driver support has been weak post 2005


Asus' switch to cheap, low quality components have lost it many supporters over these years.

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