For testing, Intel provided its DP55KG Extreme Series motherboard. It supports two graphics cards, though in accordance with the limit of 16 PCI-Express lanes the second slot is only x8 in length, which is quite an odd sight.
One of the best things about P55 is that it's a one chip solution, so motherboards based on it have much more space than we're used to seeing. This is something we saw when Asus gave us a preview of its P7P55 EVO and it's the same with this Intel board. Indeed, there's so much free space that Intel has found room to integrate a fancy illuminated skull, which even flashes red when the hard drive is accessed - very funky!
Other obvious things to note are the four memory slots - evidence of the return to a dual-channel memory controller. There's also a distinct lack of any extraneous cooling with just a small heatsink on the PCH southbridge and a few little ones on the power circuitry round the CPU.
While I'm not going to draw an absolute verdict on this particular board today, it looks like a perfectly serviceable example and, as you'll see later, it puts in a pretty good performance when overclocking. Furthermore, all this space saving means we are bound to see some great boards in MicroATX or even MiniITX form factors, which is quite an exciting proposition.