Motherboard Guide

Gigabyte GA-X38T-DQ6 review

Gigabyte GA-X38T-DQ6 (Intel X38)

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Overclocking and Test Setup

Overclocking

  • FSB Settings: 100MHz to 700MHz
  • DDR3 Settings: Auto, 2.0, 2.4, 2.5, 2.66, 3.0, 3.2, 3.33, 4.0 (FSB Strap Dependent)
  • PCIe Settings: 90MHz to 150MHz
  • CPU Voltage Settings: 0.51250V to 1.60000V (in 0.00625V steps), 1.60V to 2.35 (in 0.05V steps)
  • Memory Voltage Settings: +0.05V to +1.55V (in 0.05V steps)
  • Memory Reference Voltage Settings: +10%, -10%
  • MCH/CPU Clock Skew Control: 100ps to 1500ps (in 100ps steps)
  • PCIe Voltage Settings: +0.05V to +0.35V (in 0.05V steps)
  • MCH Voltage Settings: +0.025V to +0.375V (in 0.025V steps)
  • MCH Reference Voltage Settings: +10%, -10%
  • FSB Voltage Settings: +0.05V to +0.35V (in 0.05V steps)
  • Multiplier Selection: Yes (unlocked CPUs only)

As expected, BIOS settings for the GA-X38T-DQ6 remains identical to the GA-X38-DQ6. Besides the obvious change from DDR2 to DDR3 related options, we've noticed a few extra timing and voltage options we've not seen before. However, there has been several BIOS revisions of the GA-X38-DQ6 since our review and these new options should also be reflected in the board as well. We still did not locate any options related to Intel XMP Memory support though, which probably means that optimization is completed automated once XMP memory modules are detected. Again, we have yet to obtain retail XMP memory modules to test, so we shall reserve further comments on this new memory technology.

As far as overclocking is concerned, the GA-X38T-DQ6 is just as able an overclocker as the GA-X38-DQ6. The maximum stable FSB overclock we were able to achieve on the GA-X38T-DQ6 was 480MHz. The GA-X38-DQ6 on the other hand managed to hit 490MHz previously. The 10MHz difference here is almost negligible as it may have gone either way. However, in our experience, DDR2 boards are both easier to overclock and more stable during overclocking than DDR3 still.

Test Setup

As promised in our Foxconn X38A review, we've got direct X38 DDR3 performance comparisons to share this time. To benchmark the Gigabyte GA-X38T-DQ6, the Foxconn X38A will be used as our Intel X38 DDR3 reference performance system. We will also recycle the scores of the ASUS P5K3 Deluxe to compare DDR3 performance against the Intel P35 chipset. Of course, we will pit the GA-X38T-DQ6 against its sibling, the GA-X38-DQ6 as well. The following list details the test bed configuration that will be used for benchmarking:-

  • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 processor (3.00GHz)
  • 2 x 1GB Kingston HyperX DDR2-800 @ 4-4-12 CAS 4.0 (For DDR2 boards)
  • 2 x 1GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1333 @ 7-7-20 CAS 7.0 (For DDR3 boards)
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 200GB SATA hard disk drive (one single NTFS partition)
  • MSI GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB - with ForceWare 162.18 drivers
  • Intel INF 8.3.1.1013 and AHCI 7.5.0.1017 driver set
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 (and DirectX 9.0c)


Benchmarks

The following benchmarks will be run to determine the performance of the Gigabyte GA-X38T-DQ6:-

  • BAPco SYSmark 2004
  • Futuremark PCMark05
  • SPECviewperf 9.0
  • AquaMark3