Gigabyte X48-DQ6 Reviewccokeman - February 19, 2008
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If you have read any of the number of computer hardware enthusiast websites and visited the forums, the same question is repeated over and over. What motherboard should I get? If the person is asking for an Intel based system, at least someone will start the ball rolling and invariably you will get the "just wait for the X48 boards." Well wait no more, that time has come. Gigabyte has just released its motherboard with the X48 chipset, the GA-X48-DQ6. The DQ6 series of boards from Gigabyte are at the top of the the food chain in its lineup. This one includes features such as "Ultra Durable 2" construction, which uses lower ESR solid SMD capacitors for a longer useful life span, Lower RDS (on) MOSFETs for reduced temperature through lower switching resistance, and Ferrite core chokes for reduced power loss and EMI interference. "Ultra Cool" and "Crazy Cool" coupled with Silent-Pipe cooling technology offer up to a 50% performance increase with this noiseless cooling solution. Will the "Green" features of the X48-DQ6's DES Technology offer an energy savings over the Intel solutions, or will it work in conjunction with them to really drop power consumption? I don't know, but I aim find out.
Is the X48 chipset something new and exciting or just a well binned X38 with support for 1600MHz frontside bus processors and DDR3 support? Will the performance be on par with the X38 and P35 chipsets or will the latest chipset have that extra something special? Does the GA-X48-DQ6 have that something special? Follow along as I find out!
Gigabyte has radically changed the look of the product packaging for this series of motherboards. Gone is the traditional white background with a single color highlighted around the product name. The front panel highlights many of the desirable features of the GA-X48-DQ6. These include the Dynamic Energy Saving features which promote a 70% power savings and 20% greater efficiency when enabled. Ultra Durable 2 technology with Lower RDS (on) MOSFETs, Ferrite core chokes and Lower ESR solid capacitors. Supporting the latest 45nm processors from Intel should allow the new Wolfdales and Yorkfield chips to be run right off the bat. The rear panel again highlights the energy saving features using a chart to map out the savings as well as a specifications table.
The front panel has a flip open cover that features additional documentation on the features of the GA-X48-DQ6. Some of those not mentioned earlier: Crazy Cool, Ultra Cool, Dual gigabit LAN and full Blu-Ray - HD-DVD audio support. A quick glimpse of the cooling system is shown through the window in the packaging.
The inner box that contains the GA-X48-DQ6 has a large window to get a better view of the product. The X48-DQ6 is housed in a clamshell that seems to be the latest rage in packaging of the latest high end boards. Under the clamshell is the box that contains the bundled accessories as well as the product documentation.