Latest Top LGA 1156 platform combo -GIGABYTE P55-UD6 with Intel Core i7-870

Dec 1, 2008
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LGA 1156socket is Intel main product in 2nd half 2009.
The core technology is same as hi-end product LGA1366 which launched last year and make minor modification.
It will replace current mid-high product line.

Currently, LGA 1156 Chipset is P55, is Intel single chipset MB.
Some MCH functions are built in CPU. This is the key difference between P55 and X58.
Also, X58 is triple channel and QPI design. P55 is dual channel design.

Not hard to see that all MB manufacturers has announced their P55 products.
Same as hi-end X58, P55 also separate into hi-end, mid-end and entry price level.
This is GIGABYTE most hi-end one. The model name is P55-UD6.
Product package is big color box. Itfs also the usual size for hi-end product.


Ultra Durable3 is the key feature

Now the first launch LGA1156 CPU are i5-750, i7-850 and i7-870 3 models. The i7 support HT technology.
This article is retail version LGA 1156, the most hi-end one, Intel Core i7-870, clock 2.93GHz, L3 8MB.

Intel quad core CPU all bundle with copper bottom Cooler.
However, for i7 with HT, the original cooler cannot suffer for OC.

Back to GIGABYTE P55-UD6 detail
Lower left corner
3 X PCI-E (X16AX8AX4), support CrossFire and SLI Technology at X8+X8
2 X PCI-E X1
Realtek 8111D dual LAN ships support Teaming
Realtek ALC889A supports 7.1 channel and High Definition Audio/Dolby Home Theater technology.

Lower right corner
6 X blue SATAII, support RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10
2 X white SATAII, support RAID 0, RAID 1 and JBOD
Dual BIOS means dual protection. SB position is GIGABYTE SA and JMB362TA2 chip.
Blue button is Reset, black one is Clear CMOS and also built-in Debug LED.

Upper right corner
6 X DIMM DDR3 support 800/1066/1333/1600. The highest DDR3 capacity is 16GB.
Not same as the others P55 with 4 DIMM. UD6 is 6 DIMM slots and provide more expansion capability.
DDR3 has 2 phase PWM and next by is 24-PIN power in.

Upper left corner
LGA 1156 CPU Socket
UD6 use 24 phase PWM which is the most hi-end spec in the market now.
For phase numbers, there are many discussions in the internet. Some think itfs good and some donft.
I think if the energy saving design is good, and change phases by utility rate. More phase design is good.

8 X USB 2.0
2 X RJ-45 LAN
2 X eSATA/USB 2.0 combo
1 X S/PDIF fiber/coaxial output
1 X 1394a


Dec 1, 2008
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Close to look at UD6 24 phase PWM components

Heat pipe design for PWM

P55 NB heat-pipe design
P55 is single chip design. Besides CPU built-in memory controller, it also take in charge of PCI-E X16/X8 bridge.

SB heat sink

24 phase PWM components in PCB back

Due to new CPU built in memory controller, as you install DDR3, normal design is installing from the 2nd set DIMM.
UD6 is special. You need to install from white DIMM slots.

Boot up screen

Main adjustment menu

CPU frequency, ratio and other setup

CPU related technology items
Dec 1, 2008
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Memory setup menu
There are 4 ratios. If not OC and select 12.0, it operates as 133/1600.

Voltage page
Load-Line Calibration StandardLevel1/Level2
CPU Vcore 0.50000~1.90000V
QPI/Vtt Voltage 0.800~1.940V
PCH Core 0.850~2.080V
CPU PLL 1.500~2.580V
DRAM Voltage 1.300~2.600V

This function can enable SAMRT TPM

PC Health Status

UD6 is hi-end product. The voltage items and range in BIOS are rich.
The setup above is I run stable at 200/2000. If you have good quality or similar hardware, you can refer to the setup.

Test configuration
CPU: Intel Core i7-870
DRAM: CORSAIR Dominator 2GBX2 DDR3 1866C9D
POWER: Antec TruePower New TP-750
Cooler: Intel Cooler

GIGABYTE latest OS software - Smart6
SMART QuickBoot, SMART QuickBoost, SMART Recovery, SMART Dual BIOS,SMART Recorder and SMART TimeLock.

QuickBoot has BIOS and OS.

Default setup has 3 OC modes to enhance system perfoemance.

Recovery page

Set up computer utility time. Normally use to control kids at home.
Dec 1, 2008
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Smart TPM is the other new software. User can use Bluetooth to enable or disable the PSD drive.

GIGABYTE this time except puts lots efforts in hardware components and BIOS but also software.
GIGABYTE provides more software with P55 to make users have more convenient features.

Performance test
CPU default clock 133 X 22=> 2931MHz
DRAM DDR3 1600 CL8 8-8-24 1T
Turbo Boost Tech disable

Hyper 8 X PI 32M=> 19m 35.946s
CPUMARK 99=> 455

CrystalMark 2004R3

1 CPU=> 4142
x CPU=> 17087

PCMark Vantage=> 13679

DDR3 1600 CL8 8-8-24 1T
Sandra Memory Bandwidth-19571MB/s
EVEREST Memory Read-14583MB/s

MSI 4890 CorssFireX

Enable HT in i7-870 2.93GHz to simulate 8 core performance is also the highest performance in LGA 1156.
LGA 1156 DDR3 dual channel performance is also 30% higher than LGA 775. It all attribute to CPU built in memory controller.

OC Test
CPU default clock 200 X 20=> 4000MHz
DRAM DDR3 2000 CL9 9-9-24 1T 1.66V
CPU Multi-Threading disable

Hyper 4 X PI 32M=> 9m 52.739s
CPUMARK 99=> 622

CrystalMark 2004R3

1 CPU=> 5710
x CPU=> 20483


Dec 1, 2008
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PCMark Vantage=> 14892

DDR3 2000 CL9 9-9-24 1T
Sandra Memory Bandwidth-24962MB/s
EVEREST Memory Read-18665MB/s

MSI 4890 CorssFireX

Currently there is only original cooler, when OC to 4GHz, the CPU temperature is too high.
So you have to disable HT to run at 4GHz. As I get other hi-end cooler, I will do more test again.
200/2000 stable frequency doesnft need too much setup. Voltage is also not high. As the experience, P55 OC ability is close to X58.

Finally, pull up CPU/DDR3 clock
CPU 188 X 22=> 4136MHz
Hyper 4 X PI 1M=> 10.608s
CPUMARK 99=> 642

DDR3 2256 CL9 9-9-24 1T
Sandra Memory Bandwidth-26890MB/s
EVEREST Memory Read-19789MB/s

It can reach above 4.1GHz with original Cooler. The CPU OC range is good.
But the original cooler is not good enough, when itfs over 3.8G, the temperature could be over 90 degree.
Due to DDR3 only run at dual channel, DDR3 clock can pull up easier than triple channel i7.

1.GIGABYTE hi-end P55 products has high quality package and components.
2.24 phase PWM with DES energy saving technology. It makes PWM efficiency be better.
3.2oz PCB, All Japanese solid capacitors, Debug LED and built in Power/Reset//Clear CMOS buttons
4.P55 supports ATI CrossFireX and Nvidia SLI simultaneously.
5.Rich BIOS items, Wide voltage range and good OC ability in CPU/DDR3
6.Built in 10 SATAII, IO expansion capability is high, 8 USB and 2 USB/eSATA combo ports.

1. P55-UD6 price is too high for normal users.
2. As new structure, CPU categories are less. Therefs only i7-860 and i5-750 have higher C/P.

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As for first stage of LGA 1156 focus on mid-hi end, LGA 1336 CPU+MB price compare to LGA 1156 CPU+MB are not much.
Only if you use i5-750 without HT, these 2 platforms price gap will be 100~150USD.

Otherwise, current P55 boards in the market are around 5000~9000NTD which is 150~275USD.
By contrast, X58 boards are launched around 10 months and the price is around 6500~10000NTD which is 200~300USD.
In MB price, new P55 boards are positioning on more hi-end and the market will have more lower price P55 boards in the future.
During that time, the price gap between 2 platforms will be bigger.

For CPU, LGA 1156 will have more variety i5/i7 CPU, even entry i3 or dual core i7 CPU to support LGA 1156 will make this platform be more affordable.
GIGABYTE will also have over 10 models as naming UD3/UD4/UD6 P55 MB.

Now LGA 1156 platform starts from mid-high market and there are more PCU and vary boards in the market.
We are looking forward LGA 1156 structure platform moving to mainstream market to make users have more choice in affordable price. :)

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