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Intel P55-based motherboards

The best boards for 'Lynnfield' Core i5s and i7s

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Turning to the I/O panel, we find surround sound audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF, eight USB 2.0 ports, one Firewire, an eSata and two Gigabit Ethernet ports. There are three USB headers mid-board, and MSI supplies a bracket with two USB ports in the package.

MSI P55-GD65

A neat board

In many respects, that's all par for the course, but MSI has added a couple of extra wrinkles. For one thing, the four memory slots support DDR 3 memory up to 2133MHz which looks good on the specification but doesn’t have a huge effect on performance.

The Intel DP55KG also supports fast DDR 3 and we used that motherboard to overclock our Kingston Ram to 2033MHz which added an extra 10GB/s to the memory bandwidth. That’s a huge amount of bandwidth, but it doesn’t have a noticeable effect on performance.

MSI P55-GD65

On-the-fly overclocking buttons

The feature that sets the P55-GD65 apart from the competition is the row of four micro buttons at the foot of the board. One is for power and two allow you to adjust the base clock speed while the motherboard is running. It’s the fourth button, labelled 'OC Genie', that adds the magic. It offers the simplest method of overclocking that we have ever seen.

MSI P55-GD65
RH Editor's Choice

Turn off the PC, press the OC Genie button, turn on the PC, wait a couple of seconds and your PC will start at an overclocked speed. In the case of our 2.93GHz Core i7 870 OC Genie raised the speed to 3.98GHz and the system was rock solid with no work on our part, which makes the MSI P55-GD65 a winner as far as we are concerned.

Reg Rating 90
Price £130 Click here for the best online price
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