Since the introduction of the Intel P55 chipset and the LGA1156 platform almost a year ago, over a dozen different motherboards based on this product line have passed through our test laboratory. Some of the best deals we've come across include the well-stocked MSI P55-GD65, Asrock's affordable P55 Extreme, and the Asus P7P55D Deluxe, which received high accolades for its amazing overclocking capabilities and board design.
But while each of the above products held up in our 7-way motherboard summary last year, today they're showing their age with missing features like SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0. As you can imagine, several models from most major motherboard manufacturers have come on the market since then to meet the newer market demands and provide the latest features for this affordable platform.
Asrock currently offers numerous P55-based products for different price ranges, starting with a mATX board called P55M Pro, which sells for only $ 95, and the P55DE3 for $ 105. If you climb the ladder, you'll get the P55 Pro for $ 110, the P55 Extreme for $ 125, and the P55 Deluxe3, which earns you $ 155. And these are just a few examples. The latest offering, the P55 Extreme4, is just below the latter at a relatively low price of just $ 150.
In terms of specifications, the new P55 Extreme4 is very similar to the P55 Deluxe3 and supports the latest connectivity options. However, there are some notable improvements. First, Asrock took USB 3.0 support to the next level by integrating a pair of NEC MPD720200 controllers instead of one for up to four SuperSpeed ports. A front-mount bracket was also used to access this additional pair of USB 3.0 ports in a simpler and more convenient way.
In addition, Asrock has updated audio support and improved the board's memory functions. When all is said and done, the Asrock P55 Extreme4 seems to be one of the best-stocked LGA1156 motherboards we've ever come across, which says something at this price. But as you probably know, real-world performance doesn't always match the specs. So let's dive deeper into the P55 Extreme4 to find out what this motherboard is really about.