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Gigabyte’s P55 mobo sports mystery Intel connector

Gigabyte’s P55 mobo sports mystery Intel connector

Gigabyte's P55 motherboard will be available in Q3.

CeBIT 09: We got a sit down with bit-tech friend, Leo Chu from Gigabyte, Manager for European Sales, who snuck us a look at the latest P55 board due to arrive in Q3 with live demo’s due at Computex.

The layout is quite similar to the MSI P55 board we saw earlier in the week – there is plenty of space around the CPU socket and the southbridge gets just a little cooling. Interestingly, the southbridge has now (finally) gone flip-chip with the silicon package directly exposed to the heatsink.

CPU power use is actually less than MSI’s, which is a strange twist from the norm – Gigabyte see fit to only introduce eight phases around the new CPU socket, with an extra phase to the four DDR3 sockets (one of which is pink! ARGH! We hope that changes).

As with the MSI, the rear I/O features DVI, HDMI and VGA but the two black squares right the rear I/O might suggest, yet again, that Intel has left the digital TDMS for Gigabyte (or whoever else) to figure out. It would appear Intel still lags behind ATI and Nvidia by not including it on-silicon.

The slot layout is good, although we can clearly see what four 16x slots really gets us in terms of PCI-E lanes: 16x, 8x and an 4x. P55 will support CrossFire and SLI, which will run fine over two PCI-E 8x slots, but three-way multi-graphics using a PCI-E slot with 4x lanes isn't, in our experience worth it at all. That said, while not good enough for gaming graphics, PCI-E 4x is fine for other high performance add-in cards. Generally the Gigabyte's port layout is good and although this model is currently lacking eSATA, there will, as usual, be many, many different versions.

We asked Gigabyte what the XDP_PCH socket by the Southbridge was and were told it was Intel’s new connector for a new feature “like TurboBoost”. We’ll have to enquire further about that one with Intel. EDIT: Apparently it's a debug port, so we'll not see it on the final products.

Gigabyte’s only new releases in the next six months will be models that readdress the budget and mainstream market – all designs, we were told, will be moved to Ultra Durable 3, and so include 2oz copper PCB, dual BIOS, and solid capped capacitors. Gigabyte explained that while this will create a price premium products in price sensitive markets, it believes it's worth it to underline its credentials as a quality brand. The message Gigabyte wants to portray is that all of its products will be reliable for the long term and feature stable BIOSes, with strong features and peripherals to back-up the price.

Gigabyte’s P55 mobo sports mystery Intel connector Gigabyte’s P55 mobo is on display too Gigabyte’s P55 mobo sports mystery Intel connector Gigabyte’s P55 mobo is on display too

Gigabyte’s P55 mobo sports mystery Intel connector Gigabyte’s P55 mobo is on display too Gigabyte’s P55 mobo sports mystery Intel connector Gigabyte’s P55 mobo is on display too

14 Comments

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wuyanxu 7th March 2009, 11:20 Quote
interesting connector, will this TurboBoost allow Intel to jump over cars and stuff? (sorry, been watching Knight Rider)

without northbridge on the motherboard, i hope they can now sell a good featured high-end motherboard for under £100
alastor 7th March 2009, 11:51 Quote
eXtended Debug Port...

I doubt they'll be using it for that any more though.
Burnout21 7th March 2009, 13:46 Quote
i was hoping it would be intels own super fast connector for a new range of SSD's.
phuzz 7th March 2009, 16:20 Quote
It looks a bit like the surface mount connector that the LCD connects onto in a laptop, or that kind of thing anyway, so perhaps something that's come from a mobile design?
Bindibadgi 7th March 2009, 16:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alastor
eXtended Debug Port...

I doubt they'll be using it for that any more though.

Ahh that makes more sense. I was confused when he said it was a new feature from Intel - thought I'd never seen that before!
alwayssts 7th March 2009, 17:15 Quote
Hey Rich,

I think it's a case of "PR guy needs to spend more time with engineers-itis".

P55 boards support Turbo Memory (Robson). The port used is a mini pci-e express slot. My guess is that he was either confused, or the debug slot is being used until the slot is incorporated. There's always the possibility he meant they were debugging for turbo mode (and perhaps a button/switch) but my personal guess is he didn't really know wtf he was talking about. XD
ry@n 8th March 2009, 11:01 Quote
Pink, orange, green, yellow and blue. Why? Gigabyte make excellent boards, I just wish they were more subtle!
ashchap 8th March 2009, 12:48 Quote
Quote:
with live demo’s due at Computex

live demo's what due at Computex?

Edit: That's strange, the inverted comma doesn't show up in the quote on the comments but it is there in the forum!
mooseguy 8th March 2009, 13:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashchap
Quote:
with live demo’s due at Computex

live demo's what due at Computex?

Edit: That's strange, the inverted comma doesn't show up in the quote on the comments but it is there in the forum!
Eww, please remove that apostrophe. Hurts my eyes =O
kenco_uk 8th March 2009, 14:56 Quote
Hang on, 4 DDR3 ports? Not 3, not 6.. but 4..? Is the memory not to be triple-buffered/triple data rate?
Bindibadgi 8th March 2009, 15:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
Hang on, 4 DDR3 ports? Not 3, not 6.. but 4..? Is the memory not to be triple-buffered/triple data rate?

Core i5 is dual channel DDR3-1333. It's mainstream so it's cheaper to buy faster memory than it is an extra stick.
Quote:

P55 boards support Turbo Memory (Robson). The port used is a mini pci-e express slot. My guess is that he was either confused, or the debug slot is being used until the slot is incorporated. There's always the possibility he meant they were debugging for turbo mode (and perhaps a button/switch) but my personal guess is he didn't really know wtf he was talking about. XD

I knew an updated TMem was coming with 4-8GB of fast NAND, instead of 1GB like with the original TMem, but I didn't know whether it was a new port or other feature. PR people rarely know the technical sides, we talk directly with engineers for reviews so I had to trust and reprint his words when it came to news because I simply haven't looked into next gen TMem until now.
nicae 9th March 2009, 12:31 Quote
A true man is a man even when his motherboard sports pink memory slots.

No, seriously, I think Gigabyte lacks only 2 or 3 colors to complete a rainbow. Then, the only feature they will lack is glitter.
Asus' black death design ftw! :(
GigaMan 18th March 2009, 18:58 Quote
XDP_PCH = Secret, Secret

BTW, we do know "WTF" we talking about... like I say, its secret and we will not any of you what is it.
I guess you will have to keep coming back to Bit-tech and find out more - haha

This is not the final version/release, Bit-tech will keep you posted on the new P55 - soon, very soon, I promise ;-o
shadow 20th March 2009, 10:44 Quote
alastor is right ;) - it's eXtended Debug Port , probably only used in early design phase of the product

and there will be Braidwood module interface in next intel P57 chipset (not P55 which was shown at Cebit) ) to speed up all the PC:
http://www.hwstation.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2591
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