EVGA has released six different motherboard models based on the new Intel P55 chipset, with suggested prices ranging from USD 169.99 to USD 349.99. We decided to take a look at their most affordable model, P55 LE.
We liked the overall looks from P55 LE, all black with some gray plastic parts. It certainly looks cleaner and more professional than motherboards that look like Aloha shirts, with each plastic part made with a different color. The first thing we notice about this motherboard is that all capacitors from the voltage regulator circuits are solid and all the other capacitors used on this motherboard are Japanese from Chemi-Con.
EVGA P55 LE has two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots. These slots are actually connected directly inside the CPU, and this in one of the main new features brought by socket LGA1156 processors. If only one video card is installed, the main slot will work at x16, but if two video cards are installed the speed drops to x8 on each slot. This is a limitation from the CPU, not from the chipset or the motherboard, since the CPU is the component controlling these slots, as explained. P55 LE supports CrossFire configuration, but not SLI. SLI support on P55-based motherboards will depend on whether the manufacturer licensed this technology from NVIDIA or not. From the EVGA line-up, only P55 LE does not support SLI, all the other five models do.
This motherboard also has one x1 PCI Express slot and three standard PCI slots. These are controlled by the chipset.