I like the look of this board for a high end graphics workstation/bit-of-gaming build i'm planning, but can't find any reviews on it. It seems to be really well spec'd and it's cheaper than some P35 boards.
What is the advantage of X38 over P35? I'm looking to overclock the q6600 to about 3GHz (no more really as i don't want to go overboard on fans/cooling etc - 3GHz Quad is plenty!) Is this chipset/board good for doing this?
The main advantage of the X38 over P35 is that both PCI Express slots have full 16x bandwidth, where the on the P35 is split 16x/4x. And that only really matters if your going to run ATI video cards in Crossfire.
I just ordered this board from the Egg. As of tonight, it has two "5" reviews on that site. Generally speaking, it's not very much different from Gig's other x38 offerings, save for the DDR2. I just did a build about two weeks ago for my brother with a Q6600 and a Gig G33 based micro ATX. The BIOS is fantastic for overclocking. Very simple, straight forward, and easy (which is why I decided to get another Gig product).
All things considered, it should be a great board. DDR2, so you don't have to worry about the silly prices for DDR3, plus PCIe 2.0. Actually, it was the PCIe 2.0 that sold it for me. I was going to go P35, but I kept second guessing myself, wondering if upcoming 2.0 cards would need the added bandwidth. In the end, I figured what the hell. Fifty extra bucks on a build that's costing me $2000...
As an update, the GA-X38-DS4 is a fantastic board. Running in Vista just fine. More importantly, I'm at 3.6 GHz on my Q6600 at the moment. Prime95 small-FFTs have been going for 6 hours at this point, with zero problems.
Hey JJBlanche, I got the same board and cpu and was wondering how u got it to that high. I can't seem to get past 3.1 as the VDroop is really bad on that board and what i set in bios is not what I actually get. Can u let me know what your BIOS settings are? Thanks!
I have one of these boards, the EX38-DS4, actually, but basically the same board. I'm waiting for the CPU to arrive to start the build (I'm going to be using the E3110 Xeon).
I went back and forth between X38 and P35. I finally decided on the X38 for the same reasons: PCI-e 2.0 and the full x16 second slot. And you get 1600 FSB support, so plenty of upgrade options in the future.
Plus the heat piping just looks cool. If I had bought a P35 board I would have got one with heatpipes, but for $40 more, the X38 seemed like a no-brainer.