The P7P55-M's price isn't low enough to justify its mediocre performance and features.
LGA1156, microATX, Intel P55 Express chipset, supports: Core i3, Core i5, Core i7
This microATX LGA1156 motherboard from Asus is compact, reasonably priced and has a decent array of ports and features, although it lacks the latest ports, such as USB3 and SATA III. Unusually for a microATX board, it doesn’t make use of the LGA1156 processors’ built-in graphics capabilities – this means that if you want to use it in a media centre PC, you’ll have to buy a separate graphics card.
This isn’t the only oddity – there’s a serial port on the back that we can’t see most users requiring in their newly built PC. However, a total of eight back-panel USB ports are more than welcome. There’s also a FireWire port and a PS/2 connector, but no eSATA ports. There’s no digital audio output, either – another strike against the board, as far as media centre builders are concerned – but six stereo connectors can output 7.1 analogue audio.
The P7P55-M’s four memory slots are capable of handling up to 16GB of overclocked PC3-17600 RAM. A PCI slot and two PCI-E x1 slots should be enough for internal expansion cards, while the PCI-E x16 slot will be needed by your graphics card. Like most compact motherboards, a dual-height graphics card will block access to the PCI-E x1 slot below. There are six SATA ports and an IDE connector for older PATA hard disks. Available headers include three USB, one S/PDIF and one parallel.
Although this isn’t the most well-rounded selection of ports and features we’ve ever seen, it’s capable enough, but the motherboard’s performance in our benchmark tests was disappointing. It got an overall score of just 126 – well below most of the other LGA1156 boards we’ve tested. If you’re looking to spend around £80 on an Intel board there are many more capable alternatives, including our Best Buy winner, Asrock’s P55 Pro/USB3.
|Processor support||Core i3, Core i5, Core i7|
|Processor external bus||133MHz (2.0GB/s Direct Media Interface)|
|Chipset north bridge||Intel P55 Express|
|Chipset south bridge||Intel P55 Express|
|Passively-cooled north bridge||yes|
|Supported memory type||DDR3 1066/1333/1600/1800/2000/2200|
|Maximum memory speed||PC3-17600|
|Power connectors||1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX|
|PCI-E x16 slots||1|
|Dual graphics architecture||none|
|PCI-E x4 slots||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots||2|
|Serial ATA ports||6|
|RAID chipset (max disks)||Intel Express P55 (6x SATAIII, RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, 10)|
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Sound (ports)||Via VT1708S (6x analogue out)|
|USB2 ports / headers||8/3|
|Firewire ports / headers||1/0|
|Legacy ports||1x PS/2, serial, parallel header|
|Cables included||1x SATA, 1x IDE|
|Software included||drivers only|
Setup and Overclocking
|CPU clock max adjustment||500MHz|