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Abit IX38 Quad GT Review

ccokeman    -   December 26, 2007
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Testing:

The Abit IX38 Quad GT "Speedster" will be put through our benchmarking suite to see what kind of performance the motherboard delivers. The OverclockersClub series of benchmarks include both system tests and gaming benchmarks to verify the performance of this product. I will be comparing the performance of the Abit offering against some of its stiffest competition to see which one of the offering is the better performer. Testing will be a direct comparison of our stock speed benchmarking; all clock speeds and memory timings will be as close as possible to offer a fair comparison of each of the boards. All motherboard and video card settings were left at setup defaults, again to eliminate any variables.

 

Testing Setup:

Comparison System:

  • Processor: Intel Q6600  Core 2 Quad 266x9
  • Motherboard: Asus Maximus Formula SE
  • Memory: 2 x 2GB Kingston Pc 6400 2 x 2GB 5-5-5-15
  • Video Card(s): Evga  8800 GTS 640MB
  • Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower 1000 watt Modular power supply
  • Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 320GB  SATA
  • Opticals: LG  DVD-ROM
  • O/S : Windows Vista Ultimate edition

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

  • Processor: Intel Q6600 400x9 1.465v +.100offset
  • Sytem Memory: Mushkin HP26400 DDR2 1000  5-5-5-12  2.25v

 

Overclocking the IX38 Quad GT was a trying experience. I hit a hard wall at 405 FSB for benchmark stability with my Q6600. Reducing the multiplier did not help increase the FSB when the maximum CPU speed was reached. I was able to boot all the way up to 490 FSB but could not get into Windows at anything higher than 410 FSB. At this clockspeed I would get a BSOD right after Windows would finish loading. Quite frustrating, but kind of like the Intel 975 chipset AW9D MAX I have. The IX38 takes a lot of tweaking when running a Quad core CPU but if you stay at it, you will be rewarded with a great final result. In my testing, it was not a FSB monster but did well at the final number it reached. Since I contribute to the Folding @ Home project for team 12772 (OCC), stability is one of my primary goals on any buildup. For that reason, I look for the highest possible stable overclock I can get to increase daily production. To find this limit, I use Prime 95 version 25.4 to load all four cores and the system to find the upper limit. For Prime 95 stability, 400 x 9 was the max possible combination when it came down to the bottom line max number.

The hard limit encountered on the CPU showed up when raw memory speed was tested. The Mushkin HP2 6400 used in this build is good for 536 FSB across several chipsets at 5-5-4-12. Unfortunately, at right over 1000MHz (500 FSB 1:1.25 ratio) stability went out the door. Loose timings and voltage on the memory and increased chipset voltages had no positive affect on stability. Does the IX38 overclock well? Yes it does! Just be prepared to put in the tweak time to get it there. The experience reminds me of a comparison of the 965 to 975 Intel chipsets with high FSB on the 965 and lower FSB but higher performance with the 975 chipset. Will this hold true in this comparison? Let's find out!!

 

Benchmarks:

  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. SpecviewPerf 10
  4. PCMark Vantage Professional
  5. Sandra XII
  6. ScienceMark 2.02 Final
  7. Cinebench 10
  8. HD Tune 2.54
  • Video:
  1. Crysis
  2. Knights of the Sea
  3. Bioshock
  4. Call of Duty 4
  5. World in Conflict
  6. Call of Jaurez
  7. 3DMark 06 Professional

 




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