While Intel has now shifted their focus towards the X48 chipset as the ultimate chipset for the Intel Core 2 experience, there is still one chipset that Intel hasn't planned to completely wipe off the face of the earth; in fact, it's slated to be the more cost effective enthusiast chipset, just that it isn't as focused on the highest clock speeds possible. Which chipset is that? Why the X38 of course.
Originally planned to be the big momma for the Core 2 platform, its overclocking performance simply wasn't enough to let Intel get ahead, especially since P35 chipsets with DDR3 were able to out clock the Intel masterpiece. The only thing about X38 that saves it is the fact it has Dual x16 PCI Express slots over the single x16 and x4 configuration of the P35's Crossfire setup. ASUS were the only motherboard makers who managed to work out a way to get good Crossfire support on P35 using the IDT's PCI Express Expander chipsets that can split off PCI Express bandwidth or act as a PCI Express switch.
Today we have a new candidate in our labs for consideration, GIGABYTE's X38T-DQ6. The "T" series of the GIGABYTE boards denotes that it is a DDR3 variant of an already existing DDR2 model. We tested the X38-DQ6 a while back which is their DDR2 variant. Today we have their DDR3 variant on the bench; does it improve on the DDR2 version? Only time will tell.
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