Well, you can say what you want about EVGA, but they sure do build their boards pretty. I like the design and overall look of the board, despite it being very cramped and somewhat difficult to work with.
The area around the CPU is a little cluttered, but much of that is to allow for the oversized heatsinks. These are responsible for keeping the power regulators cool on the board.
One very nice touch is the extra 8-pin 12-Volt Aux connector. It is not needed for normal operating, but is there to help maintain stable and clean power to the board and CPU if you are doing extreme overclocking.
Another interesting feature is the empty pin-out for Intel's Braidwood. This technology was dropped at the last minute before the 1156 CPUs were pushed out. That means this board design dates back to the time when that was still a possible option.
Also visible in this shot are the jumpers to disable PCIe slots not in use. This is a handy feature for overclocking enthusiasts as it can help remove many possible sources of failure when pushing the board to extreme speeds.
EVGA still uses the older 4-pin Molex for extra PCIe power. This makes for an awkward connection at times. The cool looking heatsink covers an NF200 bridge for full x16 SLI on the board. Tri SLI is still x16,x16,x8.
The lower half of the board is a decent layout with the two x16 SLI slots done out in grey. The center PCIe slot is only an x8 one, so it has been left black. You can also see EVGA's board mounted power and reset buttons. These are handy for working on a bench and actually include a nice little feature that gets overlooked by many. Inside the reset button is a green LED that shows HDD activity. As someone that uses a test bench more often than a case, this is a great little feature. In the far corner you can see a pair of diagnostic LEDs that can help with POST issues.
Another interesting and nice feature is a small switch that lets you choose from three available BIOSs on the board. This is a handy little feature if you do not want to have to muck around with multiple saved profiles or adjust settings all the time.
The ports on the P55 FTW are nothing extra special. You get the basics and one extra Marvell LAN port.
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