Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6: An early look at X38

by Gary Key on 9/4/2007 3:00 AM EST
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26 Comments

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  • BLHealthy4life - Thursday, September 13, 2007 - link

    According to the INQ, this mobo will be available on the 14th, tommorrow.

    I've only found retailers for this board in the UK.

    Anyone been able to find a USA retailer(s) that have this board for preorder?

    Thanks
    Reply
  • TokyoFerret - Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - link

    Are such powerful PSUs utilised in overclocking articles? I am thinking of buying this board and running it with an E6850, 4Gb RAM and a 8800GTX, 2 SATA drives and 3D Galaxy2 water cooling but my PSU is only rated at 500W (Enermax Liberty).

    Should I be buying a new PSU as well? Or try out my current one and upgrade if its voltage seems too unstable...
    Reply
  • TokyoFerret - Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - link

    Correction...

    Are such -> Why are such...
    Reply
  • bigphil1974 - Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - link

    Hi thanks for a great preview

    Would this motherboard pose any problems installing a large heatsink with backplate such as a thermalright ultra 120 extreme as I have seen similar gigabyte products where you cannot install bolt through coolers due to copper blocks on the back of the motherboard.

    Thanks

    Bigphil
    Reply
  • larciel - Wednesday, September 05, 2007 - link

    so not neglectible difference between P35 and X38, just like P965 and x975 weren't that much different.

    Upgrade bug is so addictive but I've learned to avoid it after spending $$$$$$$ just to satisfy my desire that dies the first day I get a new toy, or CPU, or motherboard in this case.
    Reply
  • 457R4LDR34DKN07 - Wednesday, September 05, 2007 - link

    What I want to see is the ASUS ROG Maximus Formula SE. Reply
  • Lord Evermore - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    Does having more PCIe lanes automatically mean higher power consumption? If they're unused, if you just have the same hardware installed, does power consumption go up significantly just because the lanes are available? I'd assume a small amount but not so much that you'd really notice it unless you actually were taking advantage of the increase. Reply
  • Dawgneck - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    Gary, can you confirm if the X38 chipset will only support Crossfire, or will it also support SLI? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    This is an NVIDIA issue. NVIDIA needs to allow it in their drivers, or the only way to make it work will be hacking drivers. There have been various custom driver releases in the past to get SLI working on certain chipsets - i.e. the Alienware m9750 laptop and other SLI laptops are 945GM chipsets but still support SLI. The real issue here is whether or not Intel will pay NVIDIA... and how much NVIDIA wants to be paid, I would assume.

    Gary and I have had conversations about this, and while the NVIDIA GPU guys would love to get Intel chipset SLI support, the NVIDIA chipset guys are understandably not as gung-ho. Personally, I'd say their chipset business on the high-end doesn't do enough to compensate for the number of 8800 cards they could sell if they were to license SLI support to Intel. Besides, profit margins on 8800 chips (and even 8600) are *much* higher than chipset profit margins. For every 8800 card they sell, they probably make as much as they would off of four SLI chipset sales.

    Will we ever see SLI support on Intel chipsets? That's going to depend on the two companies and pretty much nothing else. It could work right now... heck, it could work on 975X, P965, P35, and pretty much any dual-x16 slot motherboard+chipset.
    Reply
  • PeteRoy - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    Anandtech is a great site to show Battlefield 2 benchmarks, this is the game I play the most and I find it odd that sites like THG and others tend to ignore this game and show benchmarks of doom3 which nobody plays anymore, and if they do they won't after they finish the single player. Reply
  • RamarC - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    THG is crap now. I'm surprised they haven't started 'reviewing' calculators (TI-35X, worth the extra $5?) or some other nonsense.

    Gamewise, I hope AT replaces HL2 with Bioshock to keep up-to-date. (Practically every video card can break 100fps on HL2.)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    Working on Bioshock, although I don't know that I'll drop HL2. Completely different engines, people, even if they're both playable via Steam. Bioshock is Unreal Engine 3, remember, and I think we'll keep using Lost Coast until Episode 2 comes out. Bioshock unfortunately requires the use of FRAPS - or fortunately depending on your perspective? Anyway, it runs surprisingly well at max details and high resolutions... it's not a game that needs 100+ FPS by any stretch. I've played through some of it on an X1900 XT at 2560x1600 and found it to be acceptable, for example.

    I will be using Bioshock in future laptop articles for sure, as well as any system reviews. I would assume Gary and others will use it as well.
    Reply
  • Dismalis - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    I just REALLY hope that Gigabyte will release an X38 combo model with support both DDR2 and DDR3 memory... Just like GA-P35C-DS3R.
    Do you think that's going to happen?
    Reply
  • mostlyprudent - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    Gary,

    When you said "we found the stability, performance, and compatibility of this early engineering sample to be better than several retails boards we are currently testing" were you refering to other X38 boards, or P35 boards, or what?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    Retail non-X38 boards. Probably some of the uATX stuff he's testing, as well as P35, judging by what else he's working on. Reply
  • Vidmar - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    From the pictures we saw from Computex this board had an eSata connector on the back, but now I don't see one. Instead it looks like two firefire ports are there.

    I do love that they have six USB connectors on the back. It's the one feature that I appreciate on my LanParty nF4 Ultra-D.

    I would also love to see a direct comparison between the DDR2 and the DDR3 (GA-X38T-DQ6) version of this board. I wonder if the x38 would make a difference in that area.

    Thanks for the preview.
    Reply
  • Jodiuh - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    Actually, I think there's 8 USB ports! It's good to see my recent purchase of Abit IP35 Pro will serve my needs well into 2008 too. :D How much longer will we wait for the P35 roundup? Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    Looks to me like there are 4 USB, 4 eSata, 2 RJ-45 and 2 Firewire. Reply
  • Vidmar - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    Hmmm could be now that you mention it. I'm not sure that I could ever find a need for 4 eSata connections.

    Here is what the board looked like back at Computex:
    http://www.anandtech.com/tradeshows/showdoc.aspx?i...">http://www.anandtech.com/tradeshows/showdoc.aspx?i...

    Quite a few changes it seems. Gary/Jarred care to enlighten us as to which layout we can expect to see in retail?
    Reply
  • Missing Ghost - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    I think you're right. Reply
  • jay401 - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    How does it compare to the previous gen motherboards almost everyone is running?
    Is it really worth an upgrade from 650i/680i/P965/975X?

    That's really what matters.
    Reply
  • TA152H - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    The chart "Media encoding - Sony Vegas" makes no sense. I think you got the stock performances twisted.

    Also three to five percent over the P35 sounds incredible, as in not credible. Especially with the Penryn (with it's bigger cache). When the motherboard makers talk this, you should try to find out what processor they are talking about. Maybe on a 512K processor it can reach it, but on a 4 MB processor, on most benchmarks, it doesn't sound realistic at all. Well, it also depends what they are comparing it to. It says the P35, but maybe they meant the 975X, which is much more likely. Crossfire, of course, will be much higher, but how many people are actually using this? It's a very, very low percentage. So, I think people are going to be disappointed again, like they were with the Penryn, because of misguided expectations. Penryn, like x38, is a great product, it's a shame people lose that because of these unrealistic expectations. Still, anything is possible, but if it averages 4% on most applications against the P35, on a Penryn (will enthusiasists buy the Conroe when it comes out?), I'd be very surprised.

    One suggestion, when you do the final review, run it with a Conroe-L as well. Why would an enthusiast site run this as well? Well, if I needed a machine, right now (as in I had one computer and it died), I would buy it for $40 and then buy a Penryn when it became available, or cheap, and then use it in a low power computer. You might see the 3-5% claim have a chance on a small cache processor. That's probably what they were talking about, without actually wanting to say it.
    Reply
  • phusg - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    quote:

    , run it with a Conroe-L as well. Why would an enthusiast site run this as well? Well, if I needed a machine, right now (as in I had one computer and it died), I would buy it for $40 and then buy a Penryn when it became available, or cheap, and then use it in a low power computer.


    Sounds an interesting upgrade path. But aren't Conroe-L's the Celeron 4xx's which are socket 478? Do we even know what socket Penryn will be?
    Reply
  • TA152H - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    Conroe-L is LGA 775, same as Penryn will be. I suspect almost any motherboard being made now will work with the Penryn, or whatever the desktop version is called, really. I can't keep up with these stupid names AMD and Intel come up with for their processors. The ass that thought of Barcelona should be sterilized. What an absurd name. If they had any brains they might make code names and add something like -L for light, -M for mobile, -S for server, -QM for Quad Mobile, etc...

    Instead, they have these horrendous code names, which are suitably replaced by horrendous model numbers. I really can't keep track. Pentium III 1 GHz was so much easier to remember.
    Reply
  • Guuts - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    Gary,

    Page 2: Third paragraph from the bottom, should have (DDR2-1066) and not (DDR-1066).

    Page 3: Missing graphic at the top of the page, text starting off with "memory-lg.png memory-sm.png" is probably the cause?

    Page 5: Chart 2 (Sony Vegas) either has the stock speed bars' labels reversed, or your text summary is incorrect, as the chart doesn't show the Gigabyte board ahead in both stock and overclocked speeds.

    Page 7: Second paragraph, last sentence, "...better than several retails boards" should just be "retail".

    Good article overall, though I was expecting a bit more of an improvement over the P35. I bet there will be a nice boost over the 975X when we see the full review, however. Thanks for the early look, Gary.

    Now...where is the P35 board roundup? :-p
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - link

    Hi - sorry about the graph missing... that was my mistake. You can blame me for a few other missed typos as well if you'd like. I'm not sure on the Sony Vegas chart if there's some sort of labeling error or if we need to correct the text, so I'm leaving it alone.

    --Jarred
    Reply

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