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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  • Rajinder Gill - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    'Why would anyone want this?'

    Simply because people feel they must or because they have the money to burn. Whichever way it goes, I doubt the very presence of high price P55 boards is going to detract from the $130 market or even sub $130 market.I think some people see the high dollar boards and think that the budget segment is going to disappear as a result. The $200+ boards really are for those who just buy stuff on a whim or those that have specialized needs from a platform - like chasing max scores on a paticular processor model class for points in competitions such as Hwbot (you get HW based points - so even though i7 1366 is or may be faster, there are openings to score on an 870 CPU). Might sound stupid, but there's an industry for this stuff..




    Reply
  • Marc B - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    I can't believe the fanfare hardware sites are attempting to create with this joker. Why is Intel making such a big deal about a slower, later to the market platform that is comparably priced to their high performance chipset?

    This is not news, and hardware sites look like shills for manufacturers with multiple articles trumpeting slower, later, yet nearly matching in price products. This P55 deserves no more attention than Celeron updates received in the past.
    Reply
  • nubie - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    What about the on-die pci-e? Maybe that will pay off in reduced latency?

    I am not spending over $130 for one though, even if I win the lotto. (unless it is mini-ITX or something)
    Reply
  • TemjinGold - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    "Over 13 games now support Phsyx..." So... 14 games now support it (according to the pic)? Somehow, "over 13" doesn't sound too impressive... Reply
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  • yacoub - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    You're correct that "over 13" is a horrible use of that marketing schema. When the numbers are that low, you don't use "over" because it sounds lame. Or it could be "over a dozen", which keeps it vague enough that it sounds better. Reply
  • Samus - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    I wasn't impressed with Physx in UT3 or Mirrors Edge. It made for some occasional eye candy in Mirrors Edge when glass was shattering and the flags were getting torn up, but the game also crashed on occasion with Physx turned on, and was completely stable with it disabled.

    I haven't noticed that behavior in UT3, but in UT3 you can't even tell the difference with it enabled.

    It's pretty cool, but hell, the Source engine already has an amazing, low CPU overhead Physics engine, it seems just unneccessary to dedicate GPU power to such a task when everything has a dual core 2+GHz cpu these days.

    CUDA is promissing, I just wish they'd actually do something cool with it like make a torrent client or a video transcoder (that works)
    Reply
  • swaaye - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    Source wasn't the first physics implementation in a game engine. It was just the most publicized. You can go back to Unreal and see some too. Or how about the terrible Jurassic Park: Trespasser? :)

    Phsyx is the new Glide. Thankfully it should die with DX11 Compute Shaders.
    Reply
  • PseudoKnight - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    It makes allowances for games that support PhysX that they haven't listed because they may not know about it. The alternative would be "14 or more" but they couldn't say "more than 14" without a possibility it'd be a lie. Reply

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