Now it's to the board itself. ASUS uses a full ATX standard for the P7P55D Deluxe. A black PCB colour scheme with blue and white slots are the theme. The layout, well, as normal ASUS does a fantastic job here.
The 24-pin ATX power connector is located behind the four DDR memory slots along with a MemOK button. The 4/8 pin combo connector is located right at the top of the board just above the heat-pipe assembly that cools the Mosfets.
ASUS has introduced into this series its 16+3 power delivery. The 16 phases deliver voltage to the CPU vcore, while the extra three phases supply voltage to the uncore and the integrated memory controller. These Mosfets are cooled by a heatpipe assembly.
The P55 chipset is Intel's first single chip solution. Since the memory controller is integrated into the CPU there is no need for a separate Northbridge. The P55 single chip is cooled by a passive cooler.
ASUS places its connectors down on the bottom section of the board. The top most connector is the single IDE port which is controlled by a JMB368 PCIe SATA/PATA chip. The SATA ports this chip runs on the board are labelled SATA_E1 to E3. The light blue SATA ports on the edge of the board are controlled by the P55 chipset and support all RAID formats.
The rear I/O ports on the board are pretty standard. There are two PS/2 ports, USB and network along with six audio connectors. A CMOS reset button is included in case you do overclock your system to a point it will not reboot on its own. Unfortunately there are no eSATA ports on this board.
Lastly it's onto the expansion slots, but first a bit of info on the P55 chipset. P55 is actually a cut down version of the X58 and ICH10R integrated into a single chip design. Where the X58 comes with 32 lanes for PCI Express channels for graphics expansion, the P55 is limited to 16. However, these can be set as a single x16 slot or two x8 slots for SLI or Crossfire. That's right, the P55 supports SLI and Crossfire; the same as the X58 which provides the board manufacturers a licence to the boards for SLI.
The ASUS P7P55D Deluxe is equipped with three PCI Express x16 slots. The top two are designed for graphics cards which can be split into a 16/1 or 8/8 configuration. The third slot is designed for a spare graphics card for PhysX or a RAID controller card.
Two PCI x1 slots sit between the two x16 slots for graphics cards which is rather stupid. If you use a two slot card like a GTX285, you will lose access to these expansion slots.
Lastly, there are two PCI legacy slots.