Asrock P55 Extreme4 review

If you want to take advantage of Intel's easily overclockable LGA1156 processors, the P55 Extreme 4 has everything you'll need to build the ultimate PC, and costs less than £100.

8 Mar 2011
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Our Rating 
4/5
Price when reviewed 
91
inc VAT

Specifications

LGA1156, ATX, Intel P55 chipset, supports: Core i3, Core i5, Core i7

Asrock’s P55 Extreme 4 is a snazzy looking ATX board designed for Intel’s socket LGA1156 processors. There’s a generous supply of expansion slots, with three PCI-E x1 slots, two PCI slots and a pair of PCI-E x16 slots that support both SLI and CrossFireX multi-graphics-card setups. It’s worth noting that dual x16 card configurations will only run each card at x8, though. Four memory slots can take up to 16GB of RAM at 1,866MHz.

Asrock P55 Extreme4

On-board you'll find one USB3 and three USB headers. There are six SATA2 ports and three SATA3 ports, plus an eSATA connector on the back plate. The back plate also includes eight USB ports, two of which are USB3, a pair of PS/2 ports, both optical and coaxial S/PDIF outputs and six driver-configurable 3.5mm stereo ports suitably for analogue surround sound. It also comes with Creative’s THX TruStudio PRO audio software, which allows OpenAL and EAX environmental gaming audio to be output via the Realtek ALC892 audio codec. It might not sound as good as most dedicated sound cards, but the software means it can do most of the same tricks. There’s also support for full quality Blu-ray audio. The motherboard has no integrated graphics, though, so you’ll need to use a dedicated graphics card.

Asrock P55 Extreme4 ports

The P55 Extreme 4 isn’t the cheapest LGA1156 motherboard around, but it’s reasonably priced for one with such a wide range of features. It only has the usual one-year Asrock warranty, though. Overclocking is made easy by a range of clear BIOS options and it performed well in tests with our reference processor, producing an Overall score of 129 in our tests. LGA1156 is currently an excellent choice for overclockers, with a wider range of unlocked processors than Intel’s newer Sandy Bridge CPUs. This isn't the cheapest LGA1156 motherboard around, but it’s certainly a good buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor socket LGA1156
Form factor ATX
Size 305x244mm
Processor support Core i3, Core i5, Core i7
Processor external bus 133MHz (2.4GHz DMI)
Chipset north bridge Intel P55
Chipset south bridge Intel P55
Integrated graphics No
Supported memory type DDR3 1066/1333/1600/1866(OC)/2133(OC)/2600(OC)
Maximum memory speed PC3-19200
Memory slots 4
Maximum memory 16GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £91
Supplier http://www.eclipse-computers.com
Details www.asrock.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 2
Dual graphics architecture SLI, CrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 3
PCI slots 2
Fan headers 3
Floppy ports 1
IDE ports 1
Serial ATA ports 10
RAID chipset (max disks) Intel P55 (6x SATAII, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD), Marvell SE9128 (2x SATAIII, RAID 0, 1)

Features

Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC892 (6x analogue out, optical S/PDIF, coaxial S/PDIF)
USB2 ports / headers 8/4
Firewire ports / headers 0/0
Legacy ports 2x PS/2
Other ports 1x eSATAIII, 3x SATAIII
Cables included 4x SATA, 2x SATA power, 1x IDE, 1x SLI
Brackets included 1x front USB3 panel
Software included THX TruStudio PRO

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment 600MHz

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