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Old 11-26-2009, 11:56 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Gigabyte P55A-UD4P

S-ATA 3.0 and USB 3.0 devices may seem non-existent right now, but the add-in cards and motherboards to power them are certainly not. We're taking a look at one of Gigabyte's first "333" motherboards that supports both technologies, the feature-packed P55A-UD4P. At $180, it's priced-right given its feature-set, and overclocks like a dream, too.

You can read our full review here and discuss it here!
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:30 PM   #2
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Default CPU Socket Used

I've had a bad experience with an MSI board P55-GD65 that used a FoxConn cpu socket. I am currently getting ready to RMA this board and I definately won't be buying another MSI product. I've been looking at this board, and the question is: does it use FoxConn sockets?
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Old 11-28-2009, 01:06 PM   #3
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It's going to be difficult finding a motherboard that doesn't use a Foxconn socket, because as far as I'm aware, all of them do. I checked some of the boards here, and all had Foxconn sockets. I wouldn't blame the socket issue on MSI, because including it is not its choice... I just don't think there is competition at all.

What's the problem you're running into?
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Old 11-28-2009, 01:07 PM   #4
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You also stated in your review that it was pretty tight around the CPU Socket and you weren't sure if larger coolers would work. It would be nice to find out what larger coolers will fit this board. For example would a CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus cooler fit?
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Old 11-28-2009, 01:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
It's going to be difficult finding a motherboard that doesn't use a Foxconn socket, because as far as I'm aware, all of them do. I checked some of the boards here, and all had Foxconn sockets. I wouldn't blame the socket issue on MSI, because including it is not its choice... I just don't think there is competition at all.

What's the problem you're running into?
I started having problems right after installation with my 4GB of memory being recognized. Bios would only count up to 2048 and Windows said 4GB installed 1.99 useable. After many frustrating hours and a lot of research, I find out that this board has a CPU socket made by FoxConn, that could have a problem with pin contact to the CPU. (I actually found this on the MSI Forums) . I pulled the CPU to check and sure enough, there were some pads with 2 marks, some with 1 and alot with nothing. Needing the computer still, I put it back together and immediately on post it counted up to the full 4096. One of the right pins must have made contact upon reassemby? After that, I just can't trust this board. I do aim to Overclock this CPU and I don't want to damage a $350.00 Processor. Read this article and you will see why:

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3661
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Old 11-28-2009, 01:26 PM   #6
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Gigabyte actually states that they will only be using Lotes Sockets on their new boards.
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Old 11-28-2009, 02:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagged
You also stated in your review that it was pretty tight around the CPU Socket and you weren't sure if larger coolers would work. It would be nice to find out what larger coolers will fit this board. For example would a CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus cooler fit?
When I say "large" cooler, I mean the tanks of the bunch, like this:

http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/cp...00_detail.html

That cooler you mentioned should work no problem, as it's not much different from the cooler I use:

http://www.thermalright.com/new_a_pa...r_mux-120.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by jagged
I started having problems right after installation with my 4GB of memory being recognized. Bios would only count up to 2048 and Windows said 4GB installed 1.99 useable.
Interestingly enough, I just experienced this same issue for the first time last week. In my case, it seemed to be the kit of RAM I was using. One stick by itself wouldn't allow the PC to boot at all, but the other was just fine. Swapped the kit, and boom, 4GB of RAM. Your issue is a bit stranger though, and I can't say it's something I've experienced. In all honesty though, I can't see how a CPU could be properly installed and a pin not be touching. It's pretty tight down there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jagged
Gigabyte actually states that they will only be using Lotes Sockets on their new boards.
I'll have to touch base with them on that. Still, the point remains that all boards out there right now use Foxconn sockets to the best of my knowledge, so seeing these Lotes sockets pick up in popularity might take a while. I'm interested to find out whether their move is due to the issue you've arisen though...

Edit: Oh, I missed that link to that article. I'll look through it later... focusing on benchmarking and writing here at the moment.
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Old 11-28-2009, 04:45 PM   #8
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Gigabyte actually states that they will only be using Lotes Sockets on their new boards.
Oops, sorry about that, I've been reading so many articles lately, I got it mixed up. The new P55 boards from Asus, won't be using FoxConn Sockets.
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Old 11-28-2009, 05:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
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... Asus, won't be using FoxConn Sockets.
Good! I don't care for Foxconn & another reason to use Asus.
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:55 AM   #10
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I talked to a couple of people (no names), and it turns out that ASUS is indeed looking for alternatives, but it isn't about to move over without a lot of testing and investigation. The company wouldn't ever admit whether or not there was an issue with Foxconn sockets, but like most huge companies, it'll never stop looking at alternatives. Gigabyte apparently is using Lotes retention brackets on some boards out there now, but not the sockets themselves. Not exactly sure if it'll make the full changeover, but the situation is no doubt the same as ASUS.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:55 AM   #11
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It's also worth noting that if you're looking for a P55 offering with S-ATA 3.0 and USB 3.0 on a budget, Gigabyte's P55A-UD3 retails for around $130. It lacks some of what makes the P55A-UD4P so great, but nothing major is omitted.
.
I'm currently on the hunt for a good GA-P55A motherboard. One thing that turned me down about the difference of the P55A-UD3 vs the P55A-UD4P is the lack of 12 phase power VRM.I believe this has significant effect when overclocking as it can distribute the load properly across the phases. It appears that only P55A-UD3R and P55A-UD3P are the versions that have it.
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:53 AM   #12
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Rob, and any others that want to know more about this socket issue... here's where it started, even before Raju made that Anandtech article: http://www.xtremesystems.org/Forums/...d.php?t=234723

To be honest this made me extremely happy I did not wait for P55.... I have no doubt that I would have killed a P55 version of my board due to my extreme overclocking tendencies... I run 4.2GHz 24/7 under load, and have tested up to 4.6GHz just to have some fun overclocking further.

Saint, honestly anything with 8 or more phases is enough. Phases are only one part of the power circuitry and by themselves they aren't any more important than anything else in the PWM circuitry that feeds the CPU. Unless you are going subzero it won't make any sort of tangible difference from what I know about the issue. Anything over 12 is just more energy being wasted for no gain.
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
Rob, and any others that want to know more about this socket issue... here's where it started, even before Raju made that Anandtech article: http://www.xtremesystems.org/Forums/...d.php?t=234723
Ugh, that's insane. It seems to be limited to "extreme" overclocks, so at least it shouldn't affect the vast majority of people who are using P55.
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:05 AM   #14
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Ugh, that's insane. It seems to be limited to "extreme" overclocks, so at least it shouldn't affect the vast majority of people who are using P55.
That is the question though. There are quite a few reports of users not getting contact and having some of their memory channels not working right. A few didn't even get a POST until they reseated their CPU. I believe this is only one symptom of a larger issue with Foxconn's sockets, namely they have very poor to no pin/pad contact.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
That is the question though. There are quite a few reports of users not getting contact and having some of their memory channels not working right. A few didn't even get a POST until they reseated their CPU. I believe this is only one symptom of a larger issue with Foxconn's sockets, namely they have very poor to no pin/pad contact.
Alright... well, that's interesting. As I mentioned above, I had a similar issue the other day, but after I swapped out the RAM kit, things were back to normal. Next time I pop in a P55 board, I'll test out that same "bad" kit and see if it works again. Or test it in a different machine.

I wonder if H55/H57 sockets are going to share the same problems? A H55 board I have here has the same Foxconn sockets as used on most P55 boards I've used (if not all), so I'd have to assume the issue isn't going to disappear there...
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