Motherboard Guide

Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 review

Sneak Peek - Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 (Intel X38)

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Gigabyte Does the X38

Gigabyte Does the X38

Like many manufacturers, Gigabyte showcased their upcoming Intel X38 based motherboards during last month's Computex 2007 trade show in Taipei. Today, we've managed to get a closer look at the board based on the first Intel chipset to replace the 975X Express in the enthusiast desktop segment. You may think that the P965 and P35 chipsets are hot, but they are really just Intel's mainstream offerings; The X38 is supposed to outclass them by a fair bit. Think PCI Express 2.0, dual PCIe x16 graphics (finally), quad core extreme edition processors and no overspeed protection on the chipset, which is essentially equal to a car manufacturer selling a car without the brakes. We can already see the hunger of anticipation in overclockers, but there's more good news for gaming as well. As the rumor mill spins, the X38 could have NVIDIA's blessing for SLI support as well, which would make the X38 the first chipset to have dual X16 PCIe graphics supporting both ATI CrossFire and SLI, a godsend for gamers worldwide.

At the moment Gigabyte has announced two X38 boards in the pipelines, the GA-X38-DQ6 and the GA-X38T-DQ6. The former will be a strict DDR2 board while the latter will feature DDR3. As their names imply, both boards will be flagship models based on Gigabyte's extreme 6-Quad technologies. Interestingly, Gigabyte has chosen to back away from the extremely over-engineered design that last appeared on the NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI based GA-N680SLI-DQ6. In fact, as one of the highest end motherboards Gigabyte will have, the X38 DQ6 boards look incredibly nondescript with their 'regular' Silent-Pipe solution that looks tamer even than its 'mainstream' cousin, the GA-P35-DQ6.

As their new and upcoming flagship enthusiast boards, the GA-X38-DQ6 and GA-X38T-DQ6 should both appear in retail channels by September 2007. We've also been told by Gigabyte that they will not focus entirely on the high-end market with the X38 and that they are readying additional motherboard SKUs based on this chipset for the mid-range segment too. No news on what these boards might be or how it would impact features, but this is another piece of good news for consumers as it may possibly put X38 motherboards within the reach of the average knowledgeable Joe. We will bring you more information as soon as we are able to. Till then, this little sneak peek should tide you over.