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ASUS P55 Motherboard Roundup

While the mainstream media is enamored with their excellent netbooks and notebooks at the moment, gamers and hardware enthusiasts who have built their own computers from scratch know that ASUS’ real claim to fame are their motherboards.

Just as Windows and Office fuel Microsoft with the revenues and profits needed to experiment with business groups like Xbox and Zune, motherboards are ASUS’ bread and butter product. Each month, ASUS ships millions of motherboards to the public. They’re Taiwan’s largest motherboard manufacturer.
Maintaining this status is ASUS’ first priority. As a result, the company devotes millions in R&D on new products and technologies that go into their latest motherboards. As a result, you can find a wide range of motherboards for a given chipset: for the P55 platform alone ASUS offers nearly two dozen boards! From no-frills motherboards that are designed to appeal to value conscious shoppers, to higher-end boards that can automatically overclock themselves, ASUS has something for everyone.

In today’s article we’re going to be focusing on three of ASUS’ higher-end boards, the P7P55D Premium, the P7P55D Deluxe, and the ASUS Maximus III Formula.

In the interest of full disclosure, we’ve actually had these boards since the Lynnfield launch back in September. The myriad of new product introductions since then has prevented us from fully getting to them until now. ASUS has since updated the original Premium and Deluxe boards with newer variants that include USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA support — in fact ASUS now offers six P55 motherboards with support for USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA — so if these features are important to you, then you may want to check out one of the newer ASUS P55 motherboards. These boards end with the “-E” designation.

Fortunately, ASUS’ latest “E” boards are largely based on the same design as the board’s we’re reviewing today, only ASUS has added USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA controllers to the board, so many of the features we’ll be discussing today also carry over with very few changes if you’re interested in one of those boards.

Speaking of ASUS’ new naming convention, we figured we’d explain it a bit. Starting with the P55 chipset, ASUS implemented a new naming system where the random assemblage of numbers and letters that was used previously has been replaced with a real system. Take the P7P55D Deluxe for example. “P7” stands for the CPU generation, with P7 representing Intel’s Nehalem/Westmere CPU generation, “P55” representing the chipset.

The remainder of the product’s name is randomly assigned based on the whims of ASUS’ marketing team.

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