Intel has released three different socket LGA1156 motherboard models based on their new Intel P55 chipset. Today we are going to take a look at their most high-end model, DP55KG, which includes some interesting features like a Bluetooth antenna.

DP55KG, like all motherboards from Intel, has a very sober looks, all black with a few blue plastic parts. The passive heatsinks from the voltage regulator circuit are also blue. The first thing we notice about this motherboard is that all capacitors from the voltage regulator circuits are solid. The other capacitors are either Japanese from Chemi-Con or Nichicon, or Chinese from Samxon.

Intel DP55KG motherboardFigure 1: Intel DP55KG motherboard.

One of the main new features from socket LGA1156 processors is the presence of an integrated PCI Express 2.0 controller inside the CPU. This controller supports one x16 connection or two x8 connections. Usually on P55-based motherboards the manufacturer puts two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots on the board, with the first slot working at x16 when only one video card is used or both slots working at x8 when two video cards are used.

With DP55KG Intel decided to use a physical x8 slot for the second video card. Since this particular slot has its end opened, you can install an x16 video card on it. The x16 slot and the x8 slot are blue, probably to remind us that they are controlled by the CPU. The remaining slots are black and controlled by the chipset. DP55KG bring one x4 PCI Express slot with its end opened as well, meaning that a third video card can be installed on this motherboard (working at x4 obviously). DP55KG also has two x1 PCI Express slots and two standard PCI slots.

DP55KG supports both CrossFire and SLI configurations. Keep in mind that SLI support on P55-based motherboards will depend on whether the manufacturer licensed this technology from NVIDIA or not, i.e., not all P55-based motherboards have SLI support.

Intel DP55KG motherboardFigure 2: Slots.

Intel DP55KG motherboardFigure 3: See how the x8 and x4 slots have their ends opened.

You can notice in Figure 2 a SATA power connector near the motherboard edge. The installation guide doesn’t mention this connector and we assume that it is used to provide more current to the PCI Express slots and thus it is a good idea to connect it to the power supply.

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.