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Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants  

2007-10-14 08:07:36|  分类: 电脑硬件 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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  转:VR-ZONE

The Intel X38 Express Chipset, codenamed the Bonetrail, is a chipset that many enthusiasts around the world were anticipating, with a supposed considerable performance gain over the P35 chipset. With a new wave of Intel X38 motherboards hitting the market, we test the flagship models of 2 leading motherboard makers, the Gigabyte X38-DQ6 and the ASUS Maximus Formula.

But before we head on over to the pictures and testing, we compare the main differences between the two boards.

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 Asus Maximus Formula
 
Connectivity  
1 Parallel ATA port supporting 2 IDE Drives
8 Serial ATA ports
2 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
1 Parallel ATA port supporting 2 IDE Drives
6 Serial ATA ports
2 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Expansion Ports  
1 PS2 Keyboard Port
1 PS2 Mouse Port
12 USB 2.0 Ports (8 rear accessible, 4 via expansion bracket)
6 Stereo Audio Ports
1 SPDIF RCA Port
1 SPDIF Toslink Port
3 Firewire Ports (2 rear accessible, 6 & 4 pin 1 via Expansion Bracket)
4 e.SATA ports (via expansion brackets)

1 PS2 Keyboard Port
12 USB 2.0 Ports (6 rear accessible, 6 via expansion bracket) 
1 SPDIF RCA Port
1 SPDIF Toslink Port
1Firewire Port (6pin)
Sound via SupremeFX II Card, 7.1 sound

 

The Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 & ASUS Maximus Formula

The maximus formula perspective board shot.

Here we have the back I/O Connectors, the unique ability to clear the CMOS with the tap of a button.

The Maximus Formula boast a 8 Power Phase design.

Sophisicated blend of copper and aluminium fins and a long track of heat pipes to extensively cool the MOSFETs,  North and South bridge.

Note the copper block that sits on the northbridge die to allow watercooling extensions!

 

Dual Marvel Gigabit LAN Controllers.


Dual Phase PWM for vDIMM


On the maximus formula, there are LEDs located are specific core components such as the vcore, vdimm, vmch, etc. As such, the LEDs will light up according to a specified range of voltaged adjusted in the bios. The change of LED color is real time.

CPU Vcore

Northbridge Voltage

VDimm Voltage

Southbridge Voltage

ICS 9LPRS918HKL PLL


CMOS Reset switch for those of you who prefer old skool jumper shorting or just find it a hassel to reach for the back of the case to press on the switch.


The large retail box. Comes fully glossed with tints of tangerine on the large DQ6 logo located right at the middle of the package, complete with logos of benefits and supported processors - a rather immaculately designed package i would say!

Perspective shot of the entire board, signature navy blue and high contrast bright colored connectors of Gigabyte.

Back I/O Ports, 8 USBs, 6 and 4 pin IEEE1394 Firewire ports!

Quad Triple Phase power regulators, note that even though the heatsinks are huge, they have ample clearance with large spanning heatsinks so no worry with conflicts.

Heat pipe solutions for the Mosfets, Northbridge and Southbridge.

Dual Realtek Gigabit Controllers.

Realtek Audio ALC889A with DTS Connect

Crazy cool heat fins to provide additional cooling to the underside of the motherboard's PCB.

SATA2 Controller for the additional 2 ports in addition to the 6 controlled by the ICH9R.

 

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 vs Asus Maximus Formula - The Battle of the X38 Giants - 通古斯卡 - 大道至简 

Now before we move on to the benchmark scores, we shall have a look at the test bed.

 

Operating System

Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2

Processor

Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 (3.00GHz, 4MB L2, 1333MHz)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6550

Memory

GSkill F2-8000PHU2-2GBHZ  CL4-4-4-5 2GB Kit

Graphics Card

ASUS EN8600 GT 256MB

Hard Disk

Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 80GB SATA

Cooler

Stock Intel HSF

Power Supply

Silverstone Zeus 650W

Motherboard

  • Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6
  • ASUS Maximus X38
  • ASUS P5K Deluxe (for P35 comparison)

As you can see from above, the ASUS P5K Deluxe P35 Chipset board will be used to compare the 2 x38 chipset boards as a controlled test.

All drivers and motherboard BIOSes are the most recent as of 2nd October 2007.

With all three motherboards running ,geared up with the same components and speeds, we fire up the benchmarks.

First up is a synthetic benchmark from futuremark, PCMark 05:

q

The Maximus Formula beats both the X38-DQ6 by almost 200 points. Intrestingly the older running P35 chipset ASUS P5K scores a tad higher than the Gigabyte DQ6.

Next up a more GPU intenstive benchmark also by futuremark, 3DMark 06.

The Maximus and the P5K Deluxe Beats the DQ6 by a significant margin of around 100 points.

The WinRAR Benchmark Tool:

The ASUS boasting a higher bandwidth with both boards beating the DQ6 by 11Kbps.

Next up a common benchmark that extreme overclocks use, SUPERPI 8M:

Once again the ASUS a whooping 4seconds quicker than the DQ6 and the P5K.

Moving on, we test the 3 boards on Company of Heroes:

As you can see, the the performance of all 3 motherboards do not vary much, scoring 1-2fps from each other, it can be considered insignificant.

Strangely, the ASUS Maximus Formula outperforms the Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 by a noticable margin, perhaps there are still some optimisation issues yet to be sorted out.

In our overclocking test, we aim to find out the highest FSB achievable, using a duo core and a quad core CPU Chip, the Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 and the Core 2 Extreme QX6850.

 

Using the E6550 Core 2 Duo chip, we are able to push the FSB to 484Mhz on the ASUS Maximus Formula.

Using the Core 2 Quad Extreme QX6850, we are able to achieve a fsb of 460Mhz on the Maximus Formula.

 Now heading over to the Gigabyte board, we use the Easy Tune setup and bump the fsb up to 480Mhz with the  E6550 on the DQ6.

Now using the Core 2 Quad Extreme  QX6850, we push the fsb to 475Mhz using the DQ6.

Now as you have seen the overclocking capibilities of both boards, we can conclude that the Gigabyte has a higher overclocking headroom.

As you have seen both boards and compared their features ,performance and even overclocking headroom,  it is time to break it down.

The Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 no doubt has alot of connectivity, boasting 8 sata ports, 8 USB ports on the Rear I/O, Firewire 4 pin and 6 pin connectivity, up to 4 e-SATA ports via breakout brackets, etc.. The board has slight performance issues that baffles us, scoring quite significant difference from the ASUS Maximus and only on par with a older P35 Chipset motherboard , the ASUS P5K Deluxe. We did a small investigation which left us even more baffled.

The Gigabyte actually commands a higher stock FSB compared to the Maximus! However, we are unsure whether the issue is with the board as we do not have other X38 boards to compare these 2 boards against at the moment. Overclocking headroom on the Gigabyte board looks promising though, with such an extensive variety of voltage options which you probably may not use and higher grade electronic components used to ensure a leading edge, with proper cooling we believe this board would have potential to scale to greater heights.

 

On the performance side, enthusiast may take the liking to the Maximus, judging from the benchmark results. Although we received just the board alone, albeit the initial release of the bios, we believe that newer revisions would eventually help in churning our higher performance figures from the maximus. Overclocking however could be improved although the newer BIOSes are still undisclosed. What makes the maximus standout? ASUS Republic of games have devised ingenious solutions such as clearing CMOSes with a touch of button at the I/O panel, LED voltage indications, watercooling extensible cooling northbridge, etc. At the same time, we should not forget the SupremeFX Sound attachment... You indeed are paying for a work of art.

 

I am definitely not inclined to place the Gigabyte board below that of the Maximus, with it's impressive slew of features and connectivity options onboard, and I'm very sure that the FAE team at Gigabyte will be tweaking the BIOS for better performance in time to come. As for the Maximus, with an impressive heatpipe-based heatsink for the chipset, some very innovative features for the overclocker, especially the voltage LED indication. The differences in overclockability between the two boards isn't too far apart considering that both boards has its strength, and it seems pretty evident that Gigabyte's triple quad PWM seems really efficient with Quad Cores. At the end of the day, one might have a really hard time choosing between this two boards.

 

 Asus Maximus Formula


 

 Gigabyte X38-DQ6
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