When it gets down to it, the enthusiast consumer will likely pick a board that is known for its overclocking, or at least will have the potential for it. The Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 is a board that certainly has great potential to it, and we were fairly pleased with the results we were able to get. So let’s take a look at the results.
Our results for default multiplier overclocking were pretty decent. We did not break any records here, but at 398 fsb, we were not to far off from our high overclock record of 406fsb. Note: The multiplier in the picture is shown wrong, as it was set to a multiplier of 9x.
The fun part is always setting the multiplier to a lower number (in this case 6) and seeing how high we can go! Once again, the Gigabyte GA-X38_DQ6 did break any of our records, but it did very well for itself.
To be fair and honest, we had to set a fan on the board to help cool the ram and the heatpipe. Heat was an issue on our board, but we are running the board on a flat test bench and not upright in a case as the design of the heatpipe calls for. Adding some after market cooling would certainly allow a user to push this board even further.
I’ve used the Gigabyte X38-DQ6 motherboard on a number of high profile reviews here in recent weeks and if you’ve read our reviews on the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, ATI Radeon HD 3850 or the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 processor you might have noticed that the Gigabyte X38-DQ6 has been used in all of them. I’ve also had the pleasure of using three different BIOS revisions that Gigabyte has released (F4, F5H and F6B) and overclocking has gotten better over time. Since Jason already showed overclocking performance on a Core 2 Duo processor, I thought I’d add to his overclocking section with some Quad-Core Yorkfield testing to see how this board does with 45nm processors as they will be popular next year. When I dropped the multiplier and increased the front side bus the highest stable overclock I could get was 452MHz, which is right about where I am seeing numerous Yorkfield processors top out at.
When it came to finding the top end of our QX9770 processor the Gigabyte X38-DQ6 was able to reach 4.51Ghz, which is impressive as the processor is rated to run 3.2GHz from the factory. Being able to reach 450MHz+ on Intel 45nm Yorkfield processors and ~480MHz is a nice touch for an enthusiast board that runs $265. With DDR2 memory modules the memory dividers at 450MHz and above will push any DDR2 memory kit beyond what it can handle, so keep that in mind.