While the joint venture between Gigabyte and ASUS now takes full flight, it's still clear they are competing entities within this new venture. Both ASUS and Gigabyte have still got their own portfolio of boards as well as their own dedicated team of engineers and that means we will still see different products from each company.
ASUS has done a very good job to try and chase down the P965 giant that is the Gigabyte QD6 however it still falls short.
First off on FSB speeds, Gigabyte has managed to hit 487MHz in our labs, and with some more tweaking can go higher, as we haven't really maxed out our voltages, we are hoping to go vapour phase change in 2007 to see what extra can come from this board and according to Gigabyte, it's over 500MHz FSB. ASUS only managed to hit 460 - 470MHz FSB, which is still a good effort but does fall second to Gigabyte this time around.
Next is the main feature that the Gigabyte board has that ASUS abandoned on this board and that is clearly AMD Crossfire dual graphics support. Since P965 has been given the OK from ATI/AMD to go Crossfire, Gigabyte's QD6 has the second PCI Express x16 slots to accommodate this, the P5B-E Plus has only has a single PCI Express x16 slot and a PCI Express x4 slot placed where the second PCI Express x16 slot should be - we can even see the solder points on the board for the actual slot.
Gigabyte has packed it board with Dual LAN, 12 phase power, Firewire and additional SATA ports, ASUS falls short with single LAN.
The saving grace for ASUS is the price - ASUS P5B-E Plus comes in around $20-30 USD cheaper than the Gigabyte DQ6. Don't get us wrong, the P5B-E Plus does not suck at all but the DQ6 just manages to beat it in all areas besides price.
More affordable than Gigabyte DQ6
Core 2 Extreme and Core 2 Duo Ready
Q-Connector for easier installation
Full cable bundle
Doesn't overclock as well as Gigabyte DQ6
Rating - 8.5 out of 10 and TweakTown's "MUST HAVE" Best Value Award
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