- Well built, almost-silent operation; 1600MHz FSB speed; flexible overclocking options; it has support for Intel's upcoming 45-nanometre CPUs; it's based on DDR2 RAM
- It ships with four eSATA ports, but they need to be plugged in to four of the eight internal ports in order to work; it has only two full length PCIe slots
Gigabyte's X38-DQ6 is very well built, has very good connectivity options and was stable in our tests. It still supports DDR2 RAM, and it will be able to handle 45-nanometre CPUs as soon as they are released. If you're after a high-end board, it's definitely worth a look.
Price$ 389.00 (AUD)
Gigabyte's GA-X38-DQ6 motherboard is for forward-thinking enthusiasts who want a board that's capable of running Intel's current and next-generation CPUs.
Gigabyte has gone all-out in the production of this board. It has used electrical components that are more efficient at delivering power to the CPU (and which also run cooler), and it has implemented a new surface-mount technology for the capacitors, which rids the underside of the board of many sharp solder joints (there are still a few, however). The chipset and the electrical components around the CPU are cooled by heat sinks, which are joined by heat-pipes. The surface temperature of the heat sinks reached 41 degrees Celsius while the PC was under a full processing load. This silent cooling method, along with an effective dynamic CPU fan controller, makes the X38-DQ6 a very quiet board, even when it's under a full processing load.
The X38-DQ6 is based on Intel's high-end X38 chipset, which is the latest in Intel's 3-series of chipsets (Q35, P35, P31, G35, G33 and G31 being the mainstream ones). The X38 replaces the 975X chipset in Intel's performance chipset line-up. The main advantages of the X38 are its support for the PCI Express 2.0 standard and 1600MHz front side bus speed. Gigabyte has chosen to pair this chipset with DDR2 memory slots, despite it being optimised for DDR3 memory, which means users will be able to use their existing DDR2 modules, instead of switching to the more expensive DDR3.
The board will run today's 65-nanometre, high-end Core 2 Extreme QX6850 CPU, but it will also be capable of running 45-nanometre, Core 2 CPUs when they're released, too. The BIOS will support front side bus speeds up to 1600MHz, which will be a requirement of the new CPUs, and it can run the DDR2 memory speed independently of the front side bus speed, so overclocking with slow RAM can still be undertaken with stable results. The board officially supports DDR2 RAM speeds of 1066MHz, 800MHz and 667MHz.
In our tests, we used two 800MHz-rated, 512MB DDR2 modules from Corsair, which we ran at 800MHz, while the front side bus (FSB) of the board ran at 1333MHz (the native FSB speed of the CPU). WorldBench 6 recorded a score of 110 with this configuration, which is three points faster than what a Gigabyte board based on the P35 chipset achieved with the same configuration.
In the iTunes encoding test (53min worth of WAV files to 56Kbps MP3s), the board recorded a time of 42sec, while in the Cdex test (to 192Kbps MP3 files) it recorded 1min 30sec. When we overclocked the CPU to 3.6GHz, the times fell to 34sec and 1min 14sec, respectively. To test the board's stability at 3.6GHz, we ran the Adobe Photoshop CS2 test from the WorldBench suite; its time improved from 409sec to 363sec.
Almost every type of conceivable connectivity option is present on this board. It has high-definition audio support for Blu-ray and HD-DVD movies, it ships with four eSATA ports (accessible via rear-mounted brackets) and two gigabit Ethernet ports. Because it implements the PCI Express 2.0 standard, it also supports ATI CrossFire graphics card configurations with both slots running at PCIe x16 speeds. (However, only cards based on the PCI Express 2.0 standard will run at this speed).
Join the newsletter!
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
cloudandco Smart Cane
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Apple iPhone X
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Toys for Boys
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Bose SoundLink Micro
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Xbox One X
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Crucial Launches Highest Density 128GB DDR4 LRDIMM Server Memory
- The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Will Now Resist the Elements
- Logitech Unveils MX ERGO, their first trackball in nearly a decade
- Nvidia unveils Pegasus, an AI computer that can power fully autonomous vehicles
- MSI's new Ryzen-ready motherboard coming to Oz
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTDigital BAOther
- CCMS Exchange / Messaging AdministratorWA
- CCGenesys Specialist - SME - TelcoVIC
- FTInsights AnalystOther
- FTDelphi DeveloperOther
- FTBusiness ConsultantOther
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Agile - ERPOther
- CCJunior to Mid Level - Java Developer - BrisbaneNSW
- FTCyber Security Analyst | 6 mthOther
- TPBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTJunior-Mid Level Java Developer (Brisbane Location)ACT
- CCSystem Analyst - AxwayACT
- FTJunior CRM Support AnalystOther
- CCProject ManagerVIC
- FTBroker Support/ Applications SupportOther
- FTPreSales / Offerings Solution Architect - BPS or BPONSW
- CCIntegration DeveloperVIC
- TPFull Stack Developer - AWSNSW
- FTProject Coordinator - FinancialsOther
- TPSecurity ArchitectACT
- FTO365 ConsultantOther
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- TPProject Manager - CRMQLD
- FTInfrastructure Solutions Architect - Converged InfrastructureOther