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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  • bh192012 - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    So it's time to revisit PCIe 2.0 bandwidth limitations right before launch please... if I throw a pair of 4890's on 2 8x 2.0 slots v.s. 2 16x 2.0 slots is there a difference. How about if I'm using 295 GTX's? Reply
  • shabby - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    Totally agree. Reply
  • shabby - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    Seriously wtf, the prices for this platform are nearing the x58 and offer no advantages whatsoever. Reply
  • JustPassing - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    Just under $100 sounds quite nice though, doesn't it? If I'm going to spend over $200 then I want one with the Lucid chip working as promised :P Reply
  • Dudler - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    Sure? Don't forget that the Lucid Hydra 100 is ONLY 32 lanes down and 16 up.. All of them PCiE 1.1.... So to get benefit to a 5870x2 quadfire setup, you first have to pass all information through 16 lanes PCiE 1.1 ... I'll bet that really swamp and maybe bottleneck the bandwidth..

    Then a quadfire with 4x5870 would be 8 lanes a card, and not enough imo. And all of the cards still connecting to the system with 16xPCiE 1.1.

    And don't forget the Hydra doen't support different manufacturers.. You got to choose either nVidia or ATi.
    Reply
  • JustPassing - Saturday, August 22, 2009 - link

    The way I would use such a motherboard would be for a dual GPU setup. I reckon that 16 lanes feeding a crossbar switch should be sufficient for this purpose, even if only 1.1, although moving to latest gen would be preferable.

    Also, I would be using a balanced setup, whether that be from nVidia, AMD/ATI or indeed Intel. So if wouldn't bother me if I were restricted to a single driver set. It wouldn't be any worse than using CF or SLI in that respect anyway.
    Reply
  • mostlyprudent - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    I bet Intel raises the prices of X58 and i7 after the P55 and i5 release. Reply
  • TA152H - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    You're right. The market segmentation of this processor seems crazy.

    I think it's a processor for idiots, at least initially. They'll call it an i7, and the masses won't know the difference between it and the real deal, and so they'll think they're getting the good one, and end up with the degraded processor.

    Over time, maybe it will settle down to make sense, but, really, the prices seem high for where this product belongs.

    I'm glad other people are seeing it. Did the $350 motherboard hit you like a brick? Why would anyone want this?
    Reply
  • Samus - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    So Intel's future lineup consists of low end Atom, high end P55 and the ultra-high end X58. I guess they haven't heard the global economy is in a sort of recession...lol

    At least for now there's the underdog to pickup the mid-range segment.
    Reply
  • IlllI - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    you forgot about the i3. eventually you'll see an i3 processor too

    Reply

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