It's still a bit quiet around Intel's new Lynnfield processor and matching P55 motherboards. The new platform, to be positioned between the Core 2 Quad and Core i7, is to be launched in early September. By then, plenty of motherboards with the chipset will be available, given the fact several manufacturers have already been showing their prototypes over the last months. During the Computex, Intel proudly showed all P55 boards that were finished at that point, but it's obvious that the manufacturers have continued their developments.
ASUS has finished its P7P55 EVO, a new P55-based motherboard featuring a black PCB in combination with blue heatsinks. Around the LGA1156 socket a 12-phase power design and four DDR3 memory slots are placed. Between the memory slots and ATX power provision, a connector is present for an extra flash memory module. This feature is a standard on the more luxurious P57 chipset and is to provide a fast buffer between the harddisk and the RAM. The fact that this P55 board already has room for such a module makes it likely that there'll also be a P57 motherboard based on this PCB-design.
The P7P55 EVO board has three PCI-Express 16x slots, but only the blue one features the full 16 lane speed. The white slot is able to process half of the bandwidth of the first slot, making it possible to create an 8x/8x Crossfire configuration. The black graphics card slot is connected to the P55, which means that it'll only feature 4 lanes. There are also two regular slots, of the type PCI and PCI-Express 1x. The board sports eight SATA 3 Gbps connectors, four of which are positioned in a 90 degree angle. The cooling on the P55 chipset seems modest, only a small aluminum heatsink is used. Below the last PCI slot, there's a power- and reset button, as well as three USB headers.
The I/O panel is equipped with two Gigabit LAN ports, 7.1 audio (analog and digital), USB, Firewire and PS/2. Below the PS/2 ports a small button is positioned to clear the CMOS battery.
ASUS P7P55 EVO motherboard with 12-phase power design
Around the LGA1156 socket plenty of room has been left available for large CPU-coolers
This board also sports physical Power and Reset buttons