Gigabyte invited us to their P55/Lynnfield press event in Los Angeles. I hadn’t been to LA since 2005. Gigabyte’s invitation provided me with an opportunity to rectify that.

We find ourselves in an interesting situation with Lynnfield. Processors have been trickling out but motherboards aren’t available in North America. We know what the model numbers are, what the price points are and even what the processor boxes look like.

For most of the past month we’ve been doing pictorial previews of the P55 motherboards that will be supporting Lynnfield. This is going to be a strong launch with wide availability.

We previewed Lynnfield’s performance a couple months ago, but what will be shipping in September will be faster than that thanks to a very potent set of turbo modes. We’ll provide final performance next month.

Lynnfield, as we all know, is a dual-channel platform. While Gigabyte’s high end P55 motherboard (the GA-P55-UD6) will have six DIMM slots, most P55 boards will have four slots. This means that the triple-channel kits we saw for the Bloomfield Core i7 parts will be replaced augmented by dual-channel Lynnfield kits.

The same voltage sensitivities apply. While pre-i7 DDR3 memory kits operated well above 1.65V, with Lynnfield the max safe voltage is 1.65V. Stock JEDEC spec DDR3 memory kits will run at 1.5V, while the lower latency/higher bandwidth DDR3-1600, 1800 and 2133 kits will run at 1.65V.

Kingston outlined its entire Lynnfield lineup for us, including a new part number decoder to make identifying kits easier:

The P55 Motherboards

The most expensive P55 motherboard I’ve heard of will retail for around $349, while the cheapest will be just under $100 (micro-ATX). It looks like you’ll have some good options around $139 - $149. This time around a few manufacturers are taking micro-ATX seriously. MSI’s X58M proved that you can easily fit a high end motherboard into a micro-ATX form factor, so we may see more of that going forward as there’s an increased focus on making desktops sexy.

We’ve done a lot of previews on P55 already so I’m just going to link to what we’ve already done here:

ASRock P55 Deluxe

EVGA P55 FTW

Gallery: EVGA P55 FTW

Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6

Gallery: MSI P55-GD80

Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD4

Out of those that we’ve previewed I’m most excited about the Gigabyte P55M-UD4. While I think Gigabyte needs to change its model numbering system, the idea of a fully functional micro-ATX Lynnfield board is quite delicious.

NVIDIA and P55
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  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - link

    $130 is 76% of $170, so even if the processor costs the same and you ignore the differences in RAM cost and performance, there are plenty of people who will be happy to get close to the performance of the 1366 platform for that discount. The preview showed a ~5% difference, we'll see what the retail processors show but I don't doubt there will be plenty of people happy to go P55 if they can get 95% of the performance for 76% the price of the i7/1366. Don't mention gaming, most of these quad-core processors are not as good a value as a fast dual-core today anyway.

    Plus, remember, people have bought and overclocked Celerons before.
    Reply
  • Natfly - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    Well in the article Anand mentions that the cheapest P55 would be just under $100, I figured the midrange would be $130 or so, with midrange x58 boards being around $200.

    As for the prices of the Lynnfield lineup, multiple sites have confirmed the price points. Fry's even accidentally listed one of the processors: http://www.fudzilla.com/content/view/15040/35/">http://www.fudzilla.com/content/view/15040/35/

    If you want to nitpick about speculation vs facts, then even the performance of these is speculation, considering all previews/reviews have been with engineering silicon and beta bioses.

    Celerons were/are crippled, less cache, slower clock speeds, slower fsb, fewer supported instruction sets. All around, greatly reduced performance.

    Lynnfield is not crippled. It may not have the third memory channel or QPI, but neither of those dramatically affect performance, especially in the majority of apps. In trade for these Lynnfield gains higher turbo modes, lower tdp, smaller package, and an on-die PCIe controller. In several ways it is more advanced than the 1366 processors.
    Reply
  • JustPassing - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    I hope that it is intentional that you incorrectly refer to P55 as x55. If not, you make yourself look like even more of an idiot, if possible. :P Reply
  • dtgoodwin - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    It seems to me that most seem to be forgetting the advantage the i5 will have with the much higher turbo overclocks. Most of the time, this will make the i5 quite a bit faster than it's comparable base speed i7. Yes, the platform is surprisingly expensive for a "cut down" version of the i7, but I suspect within a few months, it will find it's place in the market and be an very desirable combination for those wanting better performance than Penryn or Phenom II, but without the higher cost of the i7. Reply
  • TA152H - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    You're assuming the i7 won't be changed. It's HIGHLY unlikely Intel would make the boost higher on the lower end chip. They're not that stupid. Reply
  • ClagMaster - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    I am looking forward to the Lynnfield/P55 launch next month. The P P55 motherboard product line looks really good. For $130, a user can get a really nice motherboard

    This launch is really directed toward advanced mainstream users who are willing to invest $600-$700 in a CPU/Mobo/Memory/Graphics Card upgrade. Four DDR3 slots for 8GB of memory is more than adequate for mainstream usage.

    If everything holds true with Lynnfield/P55, i7/X58 performance is available for about 70% the cost.
    Reply
  • bamacre - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    Come on, even Dell's X58 systems have 6 dimm's. Memory is still cheap, there's no reason for these high-end boards to skimp on dimm slots. Most of us were paying $200 for 2GB kits just a few years ago, and you can get 12GB for less than that now. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    The Lynnfield platform is dual-channel, so six slots means you need to support three DIMMs per channel. That introduces latency and signaling issues, and I wouldn't be surprised if there's a restriction on what sort of modules you can use (i.e. you may only be able to use one double-sided DIMM with two single-sided DIMMs in each channel if you want to populate all six slots). Reply
  • nuttie43 - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    So...in Europe at least motherboards are already showing up in stock. The cheapest are almost as cheap as X58. What is the point of getting 1156 & I5 when 1366 & I7 cost the same? Reply
  • TA152H - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    Have you ruled out stupidity? Reply

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