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Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 Intel X38 Express Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 Intel X38 Express Motherboard Review  - PCSTATS
Abstract: The GA-X38-DQ6 board supports 800/1066/1333/1600 MHz Intel Celeron D, Pentium 4/D/XE and Core 2 Duo/Quad processors. This platform comes equipped with DDR2 memory slots, and can be installed with a maximum of 8GB of DDR2-1066 MHz memory.
 87% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: gigabyte Jan 25 2008   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6

Overclocking the Intel's best

Overclocking Results:
Stock Max. OC
Motherboard Speed: 333 MHz

525 MHz

If you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard

We definitely had some high hopes for the Intel X38 Express based Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 motherboard. Intel's mainstream P35 Express is a real monster when it comes to overclocking and the X38 Express is supposed to be even better! Gigabyte's reputation for overclocking is pretty good so let's see what this bad boy can do. The motherboard will be equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 processor and 2GB of Corsair's DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF memory.

The CPU clock multiplier was first set to run at 6x and the memory to run at DDR2-667 MHz mode, this way neither the processor nor memory will hold the motherboard back. Starting at 333 MHz FSB, the clock speed was increased in small 5 MHz steps.

The Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 had absolutely no problems cracking the 400 MHz barrier but then again neither do any of the current generation Intel chipsets. At 440 MHz the motherboard started to give us a few problems but increasing the Northbridge voltage 0.1V helped solve that issue. The GA-X38-DQ6 started to give us a few problems at 470 MHz and again the fix was more voltage this time the Intel X38 Express needed 0.3V more.

The Gigabyte motherboard reached the 500 MHz FSB mark and that's pretty darn sweet. Continuing to push the GA-X38-DQ6, it maxed out at 525 MHz FSB. Stability at anything higher started to get spotty but 525 MHz is an awesome speed to reach!

The Powerful Gigabyte BIOS:

Gigabyte has all the usual overclocking adjustments that we have come to expect from a high performance motherboard. The motherboard frequency can bet tweaked from 100-700 MHz in 1 MHz increments. You can change the CPU clock multiplier and there are also a host of DDR2 memory speed settings. In the MB Intelligent Tweaker we'll also find the memory timing options and as you can see it comes with all the regular settings as well as with more advanced options. The maximum voltage you can add to the DDR2 memory is 1.55V, Northbridge chipset 0.375V, and CPU voltage 1V.

Prelude to Benchmarks

The details of how the Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 motherboard test system was configured for benchmarking, including the specific hardware, software drivers, operating system and benchmark versions are indicated below. In the second column are the general specs for the reference platforms this Intel X38 Express based system is to be compared against. Please take a moment to look over PCSTATS test system configurations before moving on to the individual benchmark results.

The motherboard was benchmark and tested with the beta BIOS F5A, the latest F5G does yield slightly better memory performance but the benchmark results are within a few percentages.

PCSTATS Test System Configurations
Test System Reference System #1 Reference System #2
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (775) AMD Athlon64 X2 5000+ (AM2)
Clock Speed: 8 x 333 = 2.66 GHz 9 x 266 MHz = 2.4 GHz 13 x 200 MHz = 2.6 GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 (X38 Express)

ECS PN2 SLI2+ (NF 680i SLI)
Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H (975X)
Biostar TForce P965 DLX (P965 Express)
Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 (P965 Express)
Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H (P965 Express)
MSI P965 Platinum (P965 Express)
Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 (P965 Express)
Gigabyte GA-P35-DQ6 (P35 Express)
MSI P35 Platinum (P35 Express)
Biostar TP35D3-A7 Deluxe (P35 Express)

ASRock AM2V890-VSTA (VIA K8T890)
Albatron KM51PV-AM2 (GF6150)
MSI K9N SLI Platinum (NF 570 SLI)
Videocard: MSI NX7800GTX-VT2D256E

2x 1024MB Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF (DDR2)
2x 1024MB Corsair DOMINATOR Twin3X2048-1800C7D (DDR3)

Hard Drive: 74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740
CDROM: AOpen Combo 52x
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 510 SLI
Heatsink: Intel E6600 Reference AMD Athlon64 FX-62 Reference
Software Setup:

Microsoft WindowsXP SP2
Intel INF 7.22
nVIDIA Forceware 91.47

Microsoft WindowsXP SP2
nVIDIA Forceware 9.35
nVIDIA Forceware 91.47


SYSMark 2004
PC Worldbench 5.0
Super Pi
SiSoft Sandra 2005
Doom 3

Quake 4

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Contents of Article: gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 Intel X38 Express Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Introducing the new king, the X38 Express
 Pg 3.  Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 4.  Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 Highlights Continued
 Pg 5.  — Overclocking the Intel's best
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sysmark 2004
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sysmark 2004 Con't
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC Worldbench (Graphics)
 Pg 9.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC Worldbench (Office)
 Pg 10.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC Worldbench (Data Crunching)
 Pg 11.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 12.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark05
 Pg 13.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 14.  Motherboard Benchmarks: FarCry, Doom 3., Quake 4
 Pg 15.  PCSTATS Maximum Motherboard Overclocking Chart & Conclusions

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