Intel's X48 chipset has officially impressed us here at TweakTown as being the chipset of choice for the ultimate gaming system. While Intel has been putting out technology left, right and centre, they have been behind the 8 ball when it comes to introducing technologies that the market has clearly said they wanted. First off, it took Intel up to the 975X chipset to implement a setup that runs any sort of dual graphics option, and even then its limits of twin x8 slots were behind the twin x16 slots NVIDIA had already put out. It has since taken even more hassle to get Intel into producing a twin x16 setup; the X38 and X48 are the first to even consider this.
Until the X38/X48 chipset hit the market, Intel was still pushing the 975X chipset as its enthusiast level chipset, even though it lacked support for DDR2-800 memory and had no DDR3 support which the mainstream P35 brought to the table. 975X was the only chipset to support a true split PCI Express graphics system, even though it was only two PCI Express x8 slots. It managed to keep the performance in Crossfire mode above that of the P965 and P35 with their 16/4 split option. To be honest, even though Intel wanted to keep the X38/X48 as the top dog, having a 8/8 config on the P35 chipset would have made it an even bigger hit than what it already is.
X38/X48 chipsets are the first chipsets to come out with true split PCI Express architecture. This time they are both running a 16/16 configuration. Added to this is the fact they are running PCI-E 2.0 specs as well as being XMP memory module ready; we now have a good overall platform. X48 adds to the already impressive array of features the X38 has along with much better overclocking support and official support for the 1600MHz FSB.
Today we have GIGABYTE's new X48 based board with DDR3 memory support. Following the naming lines, anything with DDR3 support gets a "T" added to the name, so today we have the GIGABYTE X48T-DQ6. This is GIGABYTE's top of the range high performance board. How will it stack up against our already tested MSI X48 Platinum and ASUS' P5E3 Premium WiFi? - Let's get down to it and find out!