This motherboard was really fun to work with. We have had a few headaches with a couple of the last boards that we have looked at (all rectified now), so it was nice to get a plug and play board with no issues and take off with it. This is one solid board, that will give every enthusiast what they wan in terms of performance, overclocking and features.
Performance on the board was lagging slightly behind some of the other boards in our test suite. Not that any of the results would make a noticeable difference in daily use, but they still exist. We have seen this with the last couple of updated chipsets though in our testing, and feel that as the chipset matures we will see even better performance out of it. The question is not really if that will happen, but if it will happen in time before the release of the X48 chipset. We will have to see!
The bundle that comes with the board was adequate. With the price range of this board, you would have expected maybe a few more SATA cables (at least enough to have one for every SATA connector on the board).
Overclocking on the board was pretty nice. We did not break any records that we had set here previously, but we were pleased with the results, and feel that given a little more time, some more cooling, and maybe a BIOS tweak or two we could close in and maybe even set some records with this board. It was easy to overclock, as it either worked, or reset itself and rebooted. We actually never had to use the Clear CMOS at all!
Price is always the hinge when it comes to picking a board. Most enthusiasts do not mind paying the premium that comes with the new and high end boards. But there has to be a justification for it in the end in performance, overclocking or just plain outstanding features that set it apart from other boards. With that in mind, the Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 comes in at around $265, which is a pretty penny. The price in right in line with the rest of the X38 prices, which range from $225-$330 at one of our favorite e-tailers. New is always expensive, so if you want new, you will pay for it.
I usually don’t chime in on Jason’s motherboard reviews, but I have been using the Gigabyte X38-DQ6 daily on the test bench for over a month without a single problem. Gigabyte has done a wonderful job with the X38-DQ6 and I love the fact that it’s a DDR2 board. With DDR3 memory prices being so high the X38-DQ6 allows you to have all the latest chipset features and run the less expensive DDR2 memory line. The board runs stable with all four memory banks full at both 800MHz and 1066MHz as that is the only way I have ever run the board. Numerous boards are not stable when the memory banks are full, but this motherboard is stable. Overclocking on 45nm and 65nm Intel Core 2 series processors was quick and simple to do. I’ve also used three BIOS versions on the board (F4, F5H and F6B) and updated them using both the floppy disk method and @BIOS flash utility with no problems at all. If you are in the market for an Intel X38 Express motherboard with DDR2 memory the Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 is on the short list of boards that you should be looking at.
Legit Bottom Line: The Gigabye GA-X38-DQ6 is a solid performer and overclocker that features the latest chipsets from Intel and runs affordable DDR2 memory.