GIGABYTE continues to push toward faster and more feature rich boards to impress us. The P55A series is a clear improvement. Overclocking was improved and the inclusion of SATA-III and USB3 will come in handy for users who start to purchase products that support this standard. However, GIGABYTE's implementation of this technology leaves something to be desired, especially because you will lose eight lanes from your primary graphics slot and the secondary one will not be usable. This leaves you wanting if you want Crossfire/SLI and SATA-III and/or USB 3.0; it's just not possible on this board.
Editor Note and Update: We were contacted by GIGABYTE after the release of this review with a few concerns. ASUS sent an email out to the Australian channel without our permission quoting some of the parts of this review. We want to clarify one thing right now.
IT IS POSSIBLE to run Crossfire/SLI and SATA-III and/or USB 3.0 at the same time. If you have a second card installed into the second PCI-E x16 slot and the "Turbo Mode" BIOS mode is set to auto, the SATA-III and USB 3.0 will run through the PCI-E Gen1 slot (P55 Express) rather than using the video card lanes, this is by default (auto). If you remove the second video card and the BIOS option is still set to auto, SATA-III and USB 3.0 will use the video card lanes and run at full speed.
Sorry for any confusion, but now we are clear.
With that said, there are few USB3/SATA-III devices out there; they are new and only now are just making their way onto the market. The board's feature-set fills more of a niche market and if you want to use these technologies you are going to have to surrender a few features.
Overall, the board's performance was spectacular. It managed to outperform its P55 brother in all tests when overclocking was taken into account and with plenty of power for overclocking, this board is clearly one of the top boards out there in the P55 ranks.
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