MSI P55-GD85 with USB3.0 and SATA 6 Gbps

MSI decided to rev up its high-end socket LGA-1156 motherboard lineup
with the new P55-GD85. A part of this board’s design seems to have been
inspired from the ASUS P7P55D Premium, in which a PLX PEX8608 PCI-Express bridge chip has been
used over the PCI-Express 1.1 x4 link from the P55 PCH to give out
PCI-Express 2.0 x1 connections, which then drive the NEC D720200F1 USB
3.0 and Marvell 88SE9123 SATA 6 Gbps controllers on their optimal
interface speeds of PCI-E 2.0 x1.

The CPU is powered by a 10-phase VRM, which is wired to four DDR3 DIMM
slots. Expansion slots include two PCI-Express x16 (electrical x16/NC
or x8/x8 depending on how they’re populated), two PCI, and two PCI-E
x1. One of these two is color-coded blue, and could be wired to the
PEX8608, occupying its third port. Apart from the six SATA 3 Gbps ports
the PCH provides, and the SATA 6 Gbps controller with its two ports, an
additional controller provides two more SATA 3 Gbps ports and an IDE
connector. Other features are standard issues for an MSI motherboard in
this class: notably the OC Genie feature, centralized manual voltage
measurement points, and support for both NVIDIA SLI and ATI CrossFireX.


The rear panel includes 8-channel audio with optical and co-axial SPDIF
connectors, two USB 3.0 ports color-coded blue, a number of USB 2.0
ports, two gigabit Ethernet connections, FireWire, and eSATA.



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