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

    What does uATX have to do with sexy desktops? Reply
  • araczynski - Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - link

    ...i immediately thought of an impotent old man yelling "I can almost get it up!" Reply
  • ClagMaster - Sunday, August 23, 2009 - link

    One feature that would be welcome (at least for me) with the Lynnfield/P55 is the option to run unbuffered ECC memory. With memory sizes pushing 16GB using DDR3 memory with smaller memory cells, lower voltages, higher operating frequencies, I expect (sooner or later) memory parity errors will eventually become a emergent problem with desktop systems.

    Memory parity errors arise from memory cells loosing their charges from alpha particle interactions from radioactive decay of uranium or thorium impurities within the silicon, or energetic cosmic ray interactions. This lost bit causes data corruption that ECC can detect and fix.

    I remember seeing a white paper from the Corsair Website a few years ago that claimed a 256MB stick of DDR memory experienced about ~3 memory parity error events per month. At that rate, 16GB would be equivalent to 19 parity error events each month. If you really need that amount of memory for a 64-bit system for running applications, then the probablity is greater for fatal errors which cause BSD's, or even worse, non-fatal errors that corrupt data.

    I would not be surprised ECC memory soon becoming popular with desktop systems.
    Reply
  • tajmahal - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    Since these CPUs and motherboards have been out for retail sale in Taiwan for over a week now and in AU for a few days, does anyone have any benchmark links? Too bad AT and other sites signed up with Intels NDA and then got screwed by them with their mass release of the i5 and i7 LGA1156 CPUs. I can only find a few links in ATs forums and other forums. Reply
  • ComputerGuy2006 - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 looks interesting... 10 sata ports (4 of them 6GB) along with (apaprently) 2 eSata ports. Reply
  • papapapapapapapababy - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    call me when there is a game that uses 5% of all this power.
    (EFFICIENTLY) i dont mean super h res console crap.
    where the hell is the next cryteck?
    Reply
  • iwodo - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    Do games still need to be specially written in Driver to get it properly supported? Reply
  • jordanclock - Friday, August 21, 2009 - link

    That hasn't been an issue since about a month or two after SLI debuted. You can create an SLI profile for just about any game, and most of the time receive a large performance boost if you were GPU limited with one card. I don't know why you were under the impression that games have to be added to the driver to be "properly supported," as you put it. Reply
  • davekozy - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    PCIE 2 8x is fast enough for GTX 285 and 4890 but does limit 4870x2 and 295 a little. Going forward this limit will be more important with 300 and 5000 series cards. So it might not matter much today but in a few months this will be a bigger concern.

    SLI works on my P6T with the slots 16,16,4. The statement that Nvidia doesn't allow SLI with mismatched PCIE speeds is not correct. I think it's more the slow connection to the P55 chipset through the 4x slot that they're worried about and therefore not allowing SLI on these configurations. If customers buy a second card for SLI and get little increase then they might not try it again. AMD looks to follow suit according to the article.
    Reply
  • snakeoil - Thursday, August 20, 2009 - link

    the crippled intel lynfield offers nothing new its just a crippled core i7 at the same price.
    annandtech anaunces this fantastic progress but this is a farce, intel reducing costs and the intel user getting less at the same price.
    Reply

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