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Old September 17, 2009, 10:03 PM
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Default windwithme's LGA 1156 review part II-Core i5 750 & Biostar TPOWER I55 OC instruction

September 8th, is the day that Intel official release its new mid-level LGA 1156 socket processors.
After higher-level Core i7 introduced, based on brand new structure LGA 1366 which has become available in the market at the end of last year,
consumers have been waiting for this new mid-level platform.

As for motherboard chipset, Intel P55 is a single chipset for LGA 1156, the design that Intel seldom used before.
As for CPU, Core i7 is the structure, and currently there are two series: Core i7 8XX series with HT, and Core i5 7XX series without HT.
Basically, Core i7 8XX series of LGA 1156 and Core i7 9XX series of LGA 1366 are with the same technology and specification;
the difference of these two series is clock rate.

P55 is also a hot product for motherboard manufacturers.
The related product information is shown on Internet and everywhere.
Within 6 months, motherboard manufacturers, adopting the same way of selling X58,
would release various versions of P55 for consumers to choose.
Concerning its price point, entry-level P55 is about US$150, mid-level P55 from US$150 ~ 210, and highest-level P55 is US$ 210 ~ 270.

This time the protagonist is BIOSTAR TPOWER I55.
This brand might be a little bit unknown in Taiwan because it’s not been sold here.
Last year, BIOSTAR P45, with excellent overclocking ability, has become the focus on the Internet, but later X58 was comparably quiet.
This time we are curious about the performance of BIOSTAR P55 series boards.

First let’s take a look at the product packing.
Gold is the main colour, but a bit too strong.
The matching colour and matching quality should leave something to be desired.


Accessories:
User’s Manual, Full Setup Driver CD, SATA and Power Cables, Rear I/O Panel for ATX Case, SLI Bridge,
CFX Bridge. BIOSTAR provides more cables, so it can be sure that the quantity is enough.
But personally I do not understand why BIOSTAR provides so many 4-Pin to SATA power cables.


BIOSTAR TPOWER I55 itself




The matching CPU is Intel Core i5 750, whose clock rate is 2.66GHz and which does not support HT technology,
and is also the basic CPU of LGA 1156. The price is about US$200.


Down-left of the motherboard
2 X PCIE X16(Support ATI CrossFireX and Nvidia SLI technology,bandwidth is X8+X8)
1 X PCI-E X4
2 X PCI-E X1
2 X PCI
Dual LAN Intel 82578/Realtek RTL8111DL, support 2Gb LAN Teaming.
Sound codec is ALC888S, and supports HD Audio and 7.1 channels.


Down-right of the motherboard
6 X SATAII (P55 provides and supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, and RAID 5)
Power/Reset buttons and debug indicators; 1394a adopts LSI chipset.


Up-right of the motherboard
4 X DIMM DDR3, support 800/1066/1333/1600/2000+
Besides, 1600 will be available when Core i7 is used; 2000+ needs overclocking condition.
1 X IDE
24PIN power source connector; DDR3 uses 2phase power supply.


About power supply, 8 phase CPU Power and 4 phase CPU NB are used.


IO
8 X USB 2.0
2 X eSATA
2 X Gigabit LAN(supports Teaming function)
1 X 1394a
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Old September 17, 2009, 10:08 PM
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There is no chipset existing anymore on the NorthBridge location;
the heat sink here mainly increase the cooling surface of the heat pipe.


P55 chipset, with bigger heat sink, is located on the SouthBridge location.


Direct phase design, whose cost and quility are higher than those of common materials, is adopted for CPU power supply.


For both LGA 1336 and LGA 1156, only by installing the second DIMM can system boot successfully.
This is a different design that the memory controller is integrated in CPU.


Boot logo, emphasising SLI support.


Over-Clocking Navigator Setting




DDR3Timing Configuration


Voltage Control
CPU Vcore +0.00625~0.78750V
CPU VTT Voltage 1.100~2.030V
CPU PLL Voltage 1.800~2.730V
DRAM Voltage 1.600~2.530V
PCH Voltage 1.100~2.030V


Disable CPU Load Line can avoid the situation when CPU voltage becomes lower.
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Old September 17, 2009, 10:14 PM
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Intel PPM Configuration


This function can directly view DRAM SPD information from BIOS.


Upon the condition that CPU is 133MHz and is not overclocked,
DDR3 Frequency item provides the following choices: 800/1066/1333 for i5; 800/1066/1333/1600 for i7.


CPU information and related functions.


Hardware Health


As for LGA 1156 platform, increasing CPU frequency is the main way to overclock, and adjusting VTT Voltage is the key point.
Since memory controller is integrated in CPU, the memory voltage therefore has much to do with CPU itself.

The following is my setting: CPU/DDR3 is 210/2000 as steady arguments for BIOS.

Because of different CPU and DDR3 conditions, clock rate and voltage need to be adjusted further.
I spend several days getting the proper setting, and I hope the setting can help those who are interested in overclocking.

Testing Platform
CPU: Intel Core i5-750
Motherboard: BIOSTAR TPOWER I55
DRAM: CORSAIR Dominator 2GBX2 DDR3 1866C9D
VGA: MSI R4890 CYCLONE DDR5 1GB CrossFireX
HD: CORSAIR CMFSSD-64GB2D (RAID 0)
POWER: Antec TruePower New TP-750
Cooler: Mega Shadow(Deluxe Edition)


BIOSTAR professional software feature: “Toverclocker”.
Its functions are similar to CPUZ, but it provides more functions as tools.


System voltage can be viewed from here.


System temperature can also be viewed.


Currently, the temperature of LGA 1156 CPU, with overclocking above 3.6G, would be highly possible to be over 99 degrees Centigrade.
Therefore, if you want to overclock, having a high quality cooler is strongly recommended.
In testing I used Mega Shadow Deluxe Edition, which is a new product from PROLIMATECH.
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Old September 17, 2009, 10:20 PM
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This is the black version, whose buttons supports LGA 1156, being an excellent cooler that can remove heat effectively.


Performance Test
CPU default clock rate 133 X 20=> 2666MHz
DRAM DDR3 1333 CL6 6-6-21 1T
C1E/Turbo Boost Tech closed

Hyper 4 X PI 32M=> 14m 00.266s
CPUMARK 99=> 434


CrystalMark 2004R3


CINEBENCH R10
1 CPU=> 3975
x CPU=> 13995


PCMark Vantage=> 12043


DDR3 1333 CL6 6-6-21 1T
Sandra Memory Bandwidth-16928 MB/s
EVEREST Memory Read-12924 MB/s


Core i5, although without HT technology, still perform outstanding.
Compared with dual channels of LGA 775, LGA 1156 improves performance gain about 30%~40%.
Generally enabling Turbo Boost Tech will make CPU multiplier run with X20~X22.

Overclocking Test
CPU default clock rate 210 X 20=> 4200MHz

Hyper 4 X PI 32M=> 9m 28.047s
CPUMARK 99=> 653


CrystalMark 2004R3


CINEBENCH R10
1 CPU=> 5988
x CPU=> 20939



PCMark Vantage=> 15802
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Old September 17, 2009, 10:24 PM
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DDR3 2103 CL9 9-9-25 1T
Sandra Memory Bandwidth-25815 MB/s
EVEREST Memory Read-19078MB/s


Overclocking ability of TPOWER I55 follows the tradition of TPOWER X58,
but in general, overclocking has become more users friendly.
If CPU itself is good enough, setting 200/2000 is feasible; there is no need to set other settings of the motherboard.
Needles to say, with better CPU and DDR3, the system can run with 210/2100~220/2200 or higher overclocking ratio.
As for the design of BIOSTAR TPOWER I55, overclocking ability is really one of the best among all the P55 motherboards.

BIOSTAR TPOWER I55
Merits
1. The main characteristic of BIOSTAR product is easily overclocking with plain price. The price of I55 is about US$200.
2. The design of CPU power supply is Direct phase. BIOSTAR software also can monitor system temperature.
3. P55 supports both ATI CrossFireX and Nvidia SLI technology.
4. Japanese solid capacitors, debug indicators, and built-in Power/Reset buttons are adopted on the motherboard.
5. BIOS provide a lot of items, with wide rage of voltage, so that overclocking ability is splendid.
6. The motherboard is built in 6 SATA II; as to I/O, 2 eSATA is for expansion.
7. The motherboard provides dual LAN, one of which is Intel 82578 LAN chipset.

Drawbacks
1. Both matching colour of the motherboard and art designing of the package leave something to be desired.
2. IC of power supply can be welded more ordered.
3. Only increasing voltage items are provided for CPU; decreasing voltage items are not.


Performance Rate ★★★★★★★★★☆
Material Rate ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Specification Rate ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Appearance Rate ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
Price Rate ★★★★★★★★☆☆

In testing process, the overclocking ability on Core i5 750 is quite good.
CPU (4G) can run steadily with only about 1.35V.
Compared with CPU temperature with OEM cooler, the temperature with large cooler is much lower.

When CPU (4G) is full loading, the temperature is about 65~70 degrees Centigrade;
when CPU (overclocking to 4.2G) is also full loading, the temperature is about 70~75 degrees Centigrade.

However, when CPU (overclocking to 3.6G) with OEM cooler executes PI 32M, the CPU temperature goes over 99 degrees Centigrade,
the situation that explains CPU (4G) cannot perform stability.
In conclusion, using a better cooler is one of the most important measures to overclock.

BIOSTAR TPOWER I55 still shows great overclocking ability and tradition of “King of Overclocking” followed by TPOWER I45.
Although many records of high frequencies of CPU/DDR3 can be viewed from the Internet, I still prefer air cooling.
My goal is to suggest users using air cooling to overclock, the arrangement can make the system run with greater stability over a longer period of time.

Before Intel releases Dual-core Core i3, the price of LGA 1156 should belong to high-intermediate level.
At present, it is a good matching for this platform that buying US$200 P55 mobo and US$200 Core i5 750 processor.
TPOWER I55 is BIOSTAR’s highest level P55 based motherboard, and its price is also competitive;
moreover, consumers also can choose other P55 boards with lower prices.
Compared with the fact that the prices of other brands are over US$300, the price of BIOSTAR is reasonable with wonderful overclocking abilities.
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Old September 17, 2009, 10:45 PM
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Great review sir.. And great clocking, pushed a 750 over 4.2ghz. amazing stuff..
Looks like a great board, nice to see them get rid of that cooler harbor they supplied with the T-Power i45 mobo..

Thanks :)
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Old September 18, 2009, 06:36 AM
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another great review from windwithme thanks a lot for the hard work
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Old September 18, 2009, 06:51 AM
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Thx Winwithme your review are always kick ass really like this one can't more complete!

Ask for more.
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Old September 18, 2009, 07:54 AM
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Man, your pictures rule.
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Old September 18, 2009, 01:54 PM
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Fantastic review, and great looking pictures! I think this board might make the shortlist for my 1156 build in the near future.

I gotta wonder if General Motors would get a little miffed about the 'Dura-Max' name on the heatsink though.
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