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Asrock P55 Pro/USB3 review

Kat Orphanides
30 Aug 2010
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Asrock P55 Pro/USB3
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
82
inc VAT

Loads of features and blistering performance make this our first choice for an LGA1156 motherboard, despite its lack of integrated graphics support.

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Specifications

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

Asrock’s P55 Pro/USB3 motherboard costs just £82 but it has a range of features we’d expect to see on far more expensive boards, including USB3, support for 2,600MHz overclocked RAM, on-board power and reset buttons and an easy overclocking interface in the BIOS. It doesn’t support SATA III, but this isn't a major sacrifice.

There are two PCI-E x16 slots, but the meagre performance gains by installing two cards means you may as well use the second slot for regular expansion cards. The well thought-out design means that there’s enough room to install a double-height graphics card without blocking any other slots (two PCI-E x1 and two PCI), although anything in the PCI-E x1 slot below will be right up against your graphics card’s fan.

Asrock P55 Pro/USB3

The back panel has a generous array of seven USB ports but just one USB3 port for super-fast external storage. There are two PS/2 ports, so you don’t necessarily have to use up any of your USB connections for your mouse and keyboard. There’s also an eSATA port, the usual six analogue stereo outputs for surround sound audio from the onboard Realtek audio processor, plus both optical and co-axial S/PDIF outputs and a Clear CMOS button that makes it easy to recover from overclocking errors.

There are further three onboard USB headers, several SATA connectors, one IDE connector, a floppy connector, plus serial and infrared receiver connectors. There’s also “Dr. Debug”, an LCD display that displays post codes and makes it easier to diagnose errors at boot.

Unlike many LGA1156 motherboards, the P55 Pro/USB3 doesn’t support the integrated graphics processing capabilities of Intel’s latest processors. There’s also no FireWire support, but this motherboard does almost everything else and its overall benchmark score of 138 is among the best we’ve ever seen. It’s our Best Buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
Processor socketLGA1156
Form factorATX
Size305x218mm
Processor supportCore i3, Core i5, Core i7
Processor external bus133MHz (2.0GB/s Direct Media Interface)
Chipset north bridgeIntel P55
Chipset south bridgeIntel P55
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR3 1066/1333/1600/1866/2133/2600+
Maximum memory speedPC3-17000
Memory slots4
Maximum memory16GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£82
Supplierhttp://www.ilgs.co.uk
Detailswww.asrock.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots2
Dual graphics architectureCrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots2
PCI slots2
Fan headers3
Floppy ports1
IDE ports1
Serial ATA ports7
RAID chipset (max disks)Intel Express P55 (7x SATAII, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD)

Features

Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC892 (6x analogue out, optical S/PDIF)
USB2 ports / headers8/3
Firewire ports / headers0/0
Legacy ports2x PS/2, serial header
Other ports1x eSATA, 1x USB3
Cables included4x SATA
Brackets includednone
Software includeddrivers, CyberLink DVD Suite, Creative X-Fi MB

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/chipset
CPU clock max adjustment300MHz

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