Intel's P55 Express chipset is being geared
up for the launch of Intel's new socket 1156/Lynnfield processors, which will form part of
Intel's new lineup of Core i5 Processors. By now you're likely familiar with
Intel's X58 Express chipset, and how much it's changed the design of socket 1366/Core
i7. The Intel P55 Express chipset is an even more radical departure
from Intel's traditional core logic approach.
Intel P55 Express. It replaces the P45 Express and
Intel ICH10 pairing.
As a brief
refresher, the Intel X58 Express chipset marked the first time Intel moved the memory controller
from the Northbridge to the processor. This not only allows the processor direct access
to memory, but also removes the need for the bottleneck-prone Front Side
Bus. It's replacement is the QuickPath Interface (QPI).
The Intel P55 Express chipset takes this a step further, with both the memory
controller and 16 PCI Express 2.0 lanes now controlled directly by the socket
1156-Lynnfield CPU. The P55 Express Northbridge will also have up to eight
of its own PCI Express lanes.
The changes to the PCI Express graphics sub-system won't have a huge impact
on buyers, most P55 motherboards will still have three PCI Express slots that
can be run in x16/x4 or x8/x8/x4 mode, the only difference is that now the
first two slots will be handled directly by the CPU, which will have the nice
side effect of removing some system latency.
Plenty of 3GB/s
SATA 2 on the ASUS P7P55D-Deluxe motherboard. No 6GB/s SATA 3 however...
The Intel P55 Express chipset is no longer handles memory
itself, but it's still important to note that memory
compatibility on socket-1156/Lynnfield-compatible motherboards is DDR3-exclusive. Expect supported memory
speeds to run from DDR3-800 up to DDR3-1333, with overclocking support going
all the way up to DDR3-2133 on the ASUS P7P55D-Deluxe motherboard.
Since the P55 Express Northbridge doesn't have many jobs left it actually doesn't need a very
fast link to the processor. Instead of equipping the P55 chipset with a complex
and expensive-to-produce QPI link, Intel has instead used a slower 2.0GB/s DMI
link for the P55 core logic to communicate with the processor.
Both northbridge and southbridge have been merged into what Intel is now
calling the P55 Platform Controller Hub. The storage and media interface
capabilities are pretty similar to that of Intel's well-known ICH10R
southbridge, with support for 14 USB 2.0 ports, six SATA 3Gb/s ports with
support for RAID 0/1/5 and 10 modes, and gigabit Ethernet.
The first round of motherboards based on Intel's P55 Express chipset are
scheduled for launch this fall, to coincide with Intel's launch of its new
Lynnfield/Core i5 processors.
Easy open PCI Express x16
Easy to access power and reset buttons make overclocking the
ASUS P7P55D-Deluxe motherboard on the desktop easy.
A clear CMOS button is located on the rear I/O panel of the
The ASUS P7P55D-Deluxe motherboard features a
16+3 phase power supply for the socket 1156 CPU. The small black squares
are ferrite chokes, the MOSFETs are covered by the blue aluminum heatsinks. All capacitors
on the ASUS P7P55D-Deluxe motherboard are solid-state polymer capacitors.
That concludes PCSTATS preview of the new socket 1156 Intel P55
Express ASUS P7P55D-Deluxe
motherboard! Stay tuned for the full performance review, or check out a new motherboard right here.
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