Motherboard Guide

Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6 review

Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6 (Intel X48)

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Conclusion

** Updated on 12th February 2008**

Conclusion

From the way Gigabyte has pushed for the X48 lineup refresh, it would seem that they are keen to replace their existing high-end X38 boards with the X48 (which is why Gigabyte's X38 boards are almost out of stock in the retail channel). Intel may have originally launched the chip for the sake of high-end enthusiast support, but there is no sense keeping both SKUs alive with no real benefit over the other. This is the reason why we're seeing a DDR2-based X48 board from Gigabyte. From what we've gathered, the GA-X38-DQ6, GA-X38T-DQ6 and GA-X38-DS5 will all be replaced by their respective X48 counterparts.

Performance-wise, as we can see, the X48 is identical to the X38 on most counts, but the GA-X48-DQ6 did seem to perform a little under the average that we'd have expected of it, especially in SPECviewperf and AquaMark3. The variance is still within bounds not to suspect anything amiss with the board, still if you're a current owner of a GA-X38-DQ6 board, there really isn't any reason for an upgrade.

The only real newsworthy feature of the GA-X48-DQ6 is its Dynamic Energy Saver technology, a feature that Gigabyte is trying to hype up. And although the Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6 debuts this technology onboard, it would seem that even older Gigabyte owners aren't left out. If you venture into Gigabyte's website, you'll notice that although the GA-X48-DQ6 debuts this technology onboard, you can use it with a list of existing motherboards with a simple BIOS update (that is if your board revision is compliant with the list of boards that Gigabyte has put up on their website here). The good news is DES is available to more compliant motherboards without additional cost. However, it would 'seem' that DES is mostly software since this feature is bound to Microsoft Windows users only.

All in all, the Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6 is a very straightforward upgrade to the GA-X38-DQ6. And since the board will probably be replacing its predecessor, there is some value in there because of the updated chipset and new power saving features. For existing users, there is no need to go rushing out to swap your X38 for an X48 anytime soon. Your investment is still safe.