Power Consumption and Conclusions
One of the biggest factors consumers can see a tangible difference is modern motherboards is would definitely be in the power usage and efficiency categories. The P55 FTW used a few more watts at idle and load conditions than the other three P55 motherboards we tested today. These power fluxuations could be from a number of differences with the board’s power phase design compared to what its competitors are using. Either way, using more power without increase the system’s overall performance should not be occurring. I hope these few watts are just a fluke and not the norm with these boards.
In the performance category, we were a little disappointed seeing the P55 FTW in action during our synthetic and real-world benchmarks. It didn’t take many awards in any of our benchmarks other than in PCMark Vantage, which indicates to me that they were focusing on optimizing their systems for testing, but most likely for use in applications and programs that people use every day. This is a great concept, but this board really seems to be tailored toward tweakers and high-end users looking for a performance system that will give them every megahertz of power they can squeeze out of it.
Some of the key features we found intriguing with the P55 FTW was some of its accessories that were included with this board. The EVGA Control Panel v2 was absolutely exceptional, but I had a difficult time finding a place to mount it because it didn’t include a mounting bracket that could be used on top of the case or even in one of the optical bays. The onboard post code display was a nice touch as well as the DDR3
2600MHz support. The triple PCI-E slots were also a nice touch and should give SLI enthusiasts plenty of bandwidth to work with during gaming or running multiple cards for rendering video and 3D models.
Pricing and Availability
As of Jan. 27, the EVGA P55 FTW motherboard was available at Newegg.com for $174.99 (after $30 MIB). This board can also be found at Amazon.com and TigerDirect.com for $209.99 respectively.
We’d like to thank our friends at EVGA for providing the P55 FTW for our review today.
We had a lot of high expectations for this mid-range, enthusiast motherboard that didn’t really pay off where it counts. The board’s performance numbers during testing were lagging a bit behind other vendors and we will go back and check for new BIOS improvements and other driver updates to see if we can get better results during our next round of testing. As for aesthetics, this board is absolutely sexy and something I would definitely sport at my next LAN party. The entire color scheme could work in any user’s system and add a bit of flare that not many boards have. The P55 FTW also isn’t very “future proof” because it doesn’t include USB3 or SATA 6GB/s, but those items can easily be added with additional PCI cards. Overall, the board seemed more geared toward overclocking and daily-use operations and less about gaming. Only time will tell if this board can get the necessary updates to make it a winner in the P55 market.