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Gigabyte X48-DQ6 Review

ccokeman    -   February 19, 2008
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Conclusion:

Oh my god, I've gone "Green." What can I say about the GA-X48-DQ6? Well, performance-wise, it stacks up quite well against many of the motherboards out on the market now. In the gaming benchmarks the X48-DQ6 was just dominating. In the scientific benchmarking phase of the testing, it came out on top in well over half the tests and was a close second in most of the others. If the X48 chipset is just a better binned X38, than I am sold on the binning process. The performance gained during most of the testing was a nice plus to a chipset that I was not expecting much more than the capability to overclock a bit better than the last gen chipset. Support is there for the latest 1600 FSB processors, so picking up that QX9770 and putting it into the DQ6 should prove fruitful during the next benchmarking session.

If you need USB connectivity, the GA-X48-DQ6 has it. This board has more USB ports than any other board I have ever used. While overclocking the DQ6, as with all "new" chipsets, there are things that work and things that don't. When they don't, a good board will get you out of the mess without the "pull the case apart and do the jumper shuffle to clear the CMOS" just to be able to boot back up. With the Quad BIOS backup, this is a thing of the past. Not once did I have to do the jumper shuffle to get back to the basics and get the board back up. One time it was close, but the BIOS recovery took over and after a reboot things were hunky dory. Speaking of the CMOS jumper shuffle, I would have liked to see an onboard jumper button on the I/O panel to make this a non-traumatic experience. Most, if not all, of the boards I have reviewed in the past ten months have this feature. Another item of concern was the need to remove the "Crazy Cool" heatsink on the rear of the board in order to use a large air cooled heatsink that uses a backplate for support. It is easy enough to remove, though just time consuming, more than anything else.

The "Green" features of the X48-DQ6 actually worked. The Dynamic Energy Saver software increased the efficiency and dropped the power consumption even while under load. The 70% energy savings is actually realized when the load and idle savings are averaged out. I think Gigabyte has a winner with this chipset "revision" as an update to the DQ6 series of boards. It has performance, it has great cooling, enough connectivity that the average user should not have to use a USB hub, as well as the ability to go "Green." I think it needs that little bit of polite golf applause!

 

Pros:

  • Highest overclock yet on my Q6600
  • Peformance gains over the X38 and P35 chipsets
  • Twelve USB 2.0 ports
  • Dynamic Energy Saving Technology that works
  • Excellent overclocking recovery
  • Quad BIOS backup (this comes in handy)

 

Cons:

  • Crazy Cool backplate has to be removed to use heatsinks with a backplate
  • No onboard On/Off  or Clear CMOS switches
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