Gigabyte P55 Lynnfield-ready Motherboard Roundup
Intel’s made it really easy for enthusiasts looking to build a new system or upgrade their current setup. Thanks to Turbo Mode, its large L3 cache, and DDR3-1333 support, Intel’s Core i7-800 series “Lynnfield” CPUs will be the processor of choice for many of you looking to upgrade this winter. The Core i5-750 lacks Hyper-Threading support, but it’s a performance bargain that sells for $199.99 at online retailer Newegg, while the i7-860 is the price/performance champ thanks to its faster 2.8GHz clock speed, Hyper-Threading, and $289.99 online pricing.
With the debut of these two processors, Intel’s Bloomfield Core i7-900 series CPUs and their pricier X58 platform just got pushed out of the limelight for anyone on a budget who doesn’t need features like triple-channel memory or multi-GPU solutions like CrossFire or SLI (Lynnfield platforms typically perform 5% slower than Bloomfield with multi-GPUs). And Intel’s Core 2 Duo/Quad lineup just became obsolete: the only enthusiasts who may opt for a Core 2 upgrade over Lynnfield are those who already own a Socket 775 motherboard and DDR2 platform that you want to stick with.
Bottom line: Lynnfield is clearly the best CPU solution for a lot of users out there, and it consumes less power too.
While picking Intel’s Lynnfield CPU is a pretty easy call, finding the right motherboard to run alongside your shiny new CPU is a much more difficult decision. There are literally dozens of motherboards to choose from, and they’re separated by a wide range of features and price points. This can be a good thing if you know what you’re looking for – motherboard manufacturers are loading their latest P55 motherboards up with features we’ve never seen integrated on a motherboard before – but it can be confusing if you haven’t kept up with the newest developments in the motherboard industry. The dizzying array of choices out there can be overwhelming.
Therefore in the weeks ahead we’re going to be looking at many of the various P55 motherboard options out there. We just reviewed EVGA’s P55 FTW, and today we’re here to evaluate Gigabyte’s latest P55 motherboard offerings.
As one of the largest motherboard manufacturers in the world, Gigabyte has the resources to devote a tremendous amount of energy and effort towards the P55 platform, and it shows. Gigabyte offers over a dozen different P55 motherboards, and just launched P55 motherboards with SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0, which we’ll also be reviewing shortly.
Gigabyte’s boards are custom tailored for a wide variety of uses and needs. Whether you’re an HTPC user looking for a feature-rich micro-ATX board, a gamer who wants to build a gaming PC on a budget, or the enthusiast who wants to have it all, Gigabyte’s got a motherboard for you.
Before we go over the specifics of each motherboard though, lets’ first talk about a new feature Gigabyte is touting with all of their latest P55 motherboards, Smart 6.