Intel's LGA1156 and Lynnfield core

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The P55 motherboard provided by Intel is an engineering sample, but likely identical to the model that will be released for sale, expect perhaps for the usual BIOS tweaks.

Our test motherboard, the Intel DP55KG utilizes the new P55 Express chipset. The board looks a bit bare due to the presence of only one chipset, and the lack of floppy and IDE connectors. A boon for gamers: the chipset supports both ATI's CrossFire and Nvidia's SLI technologies.

The CPU latching mechanism is the recipient of a slight retrofit — with a more pronounced hook at the end, the latch is unlikely to lose its grips. The heatsink mounting holes are 75 mm apart, a bit less than LGA1366, but a bit more than LGA775.

The back ports on the DP55KG are legacy-free. One interesting feature is the "back-to-BIOS" button which lights up crimson red when engaged. If you enter BIOS settings that does not allow it to POST, depressing the button will allow you to make adjustments without having to clear the CMOS.

Intel provided us with a Lynnfield stock cooler — a low-profile model with a copper core similar to those that ship with most 45 nm Core 2 Quads. We opted instead to use MUX-120 sent to us by Thermalright. It's a a thin, four heatpipe cooler like the original Ultra-120. Unlike most of Thermalright heatsinks, it uses a pushpin mount.

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