Recently a ton of websites around the web have been showing off pictures of the upcoming ASUS P7P55D EVO motherboard that will be released in conjunction with Intel Core i5 processors down the road. The sad thing is that many news and review sites are showing old out dated P7P55D EVO motherboard images. Since we do old school journalism here at Legit Reviews, where we actually talk to the companies to make sure our information is correct and accurate before posted it on the web. By doing this we were able to get in touch with ASUS Taiwan tonight (it's still 10am here, but it is the evening in Taiwan) and were able to land a pair of photos that show the ASUS P7P55D EVO motherboard including the new southbridge heatsink. This is the actual production heatsink that will be used on the retail boards that you will be able to purchase very soon.
A background on the Intel P55 Express and the P7P55D EVO for those that are seeing it for the first time:
The P7P55D 'EVO' motherboard is based on Intels LGA1156 socket designed for Intel Lynnfield Processors or Core i5, so this is a whole new socket for a new generation of processors that will be coming out soon. To our knowledge the P55 Express chipset will no longer feature a QPI bus (Quick Path Interconnect) and therefore has no Northbridge, which will likely have an impact on performance when compared to the Intel X58 Express chipset. Also missing is triple channel DDR3, replaced instead by dual channel DDR3 supporting a maximum 16GB which. This is good news as it will lower system costs and for those upgrading from previous generation DDR3 platforms like the X38/X48 as they might be able to continue using the same memory kit if they like. The biggest negative that we can see with the P55 chipset is that Intel has restricted the bandwidth of the x16 PCI express to 8 lanes. This is significant if you plan on running a multi-GPU setup like NVIDIA SLI or ATI CrossFire. For the average consumer that runs just one video card this shouldn't be a big deal as the full benefits of PCIe 2.0 with 16 lanes is available when one card is being used. When two video cards are being used the full 16 lanes is split between two PCIe slots (x8 + x8). It's not official and/or public that NVIDIA SLI will be supported on the P55 chipset, but we think it's highly likely that it will be. ATI CrossFire is of course supported again, so no worries there.
It should also be noted that SATA6G not being present anymore due to Marvell limitations (yield and other issues of the Marvell controller are to blame according to our sources in Taiwan). As a result the SATA color scheme has been adjusted. Additionally some samples with the older ones without the Q-DIMM memory connector these pictures are updated to show the new design. From a quick look that is all I can see that is new.
The I/O backplate area on the P7P55D 'EVO' motherboard looks like it has all the bells and whistles that all the current high-end X58 motherboards offer. ASUS included the legacy PS/2 ports for both keyboard and mouse on the P7P55D EVO, but also placed 8 USB ports, Firewire, dual LAN ports, 10 Channel audio courtesy of 6 3.5mm audio jacks or the S/PDiff output, and the new eSATA port on the I/O backplate.
It should be noted that this near production board no longer has 6GB/s SATA and 2oz Copper PCB silk screened onto the motherboard... Interesting, but we know why the Marvell controller was removed.