A few months ago, with motherboards such as MSI’s X58 Pro hitting the shelves, it seemed as though we were on the brink of a Core i7 Price revelation. Just as we were hoping that LGA1366-based rigs were to become a reality for more enthusiasts, more and more puzzle pieces were found under the sofa and between the cushions on LGA1156.
When a new CPU is set to arrive on the scene, it’s practically mandatory for the enthusiast community to start whispering about 5GHz overclocks on air cooling. Well, the performance numbers aren’t quite looking that salubrious, but LGA1156 boards and CPUs are promising to overclock nicely and be considerably more affordable than kit from the LGA1366 family. Yes, as the first couple of samples trickle their way into the bit-tech labs it’s starting to look like we all have something to look forward to.
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If the Asus’ P7P55 Deluxe is anything to go by then we can expect some damned fine-looking boards too. While it would be true to say that there are plenty of power whores out there that don’t give a hoot about aesthetics, they are important to modders a plenty. The Asus really looks the part. These are the first VRM heatsinks that look so good that it’s tempting to Shanghai them to use as colourful desk ornaments.
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For those that haven’t yet read anything about the Asus P55 boards, allow us to explain the nomenclature. The ‘P7’ part denotes the generation of the Lynnfield CPU which you should install in the socket if you want to go anywhere fast. Boards featuring the LGA1366 socket started with ‘P6’ such as the P6T Deluxe and now we’re on to ‘P7’. The ‘P55’ part is for the chipset and ‘Deluxe’ is a long-standing Asus product tag that denotes features such as more S-ATA ports, fancier heatsinks and more gubbins in general.
As Intel’s Lynnfield CPUs house both the memory controller and PCI-E controller, there is no need for a Northbridge on the Asus. This allows the PCI-E slots to be position right up close to the CPU socket and provides more room for manoeuvre to your expansion cards. The Asus will comfortably house three dual-slot graphics cards in addition to a 1x PCI-E expansion card.