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I'm looking for an X38/X48 motherboard that can OC a Q9450 to 4.0 GHz

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April 12, 2008 4:19:06 PM

Right now, I'm checking out the Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6. Looks very very nice to me, with its eight SATA ports, large heatpipe coolers, and boatload of extra little features. The price isn't really an issue, as I'm still within my budget when choosing this board. I do have a few questions however.

1) Somebody here on Tom's had mentioned that all the copper on the back of this motherboard would get in the way when installing a backplate for a CPU cooler, such as the Tuniq Tower 120 I'm looking at now. Will this be an issue?

2) What exactly are the differences between X38/X48, besides the fact that X48 is certified for 1600 FSB (400 MHz)? It looks like I'm going to have to crank my FSB up to 2000 FSB (500 MHz) to hit 4.0 GHz with a Q9450, so I want a motherboard that will be as stable as possible at such a high FSB. Is X48 a better choice? Remember, extra cost is not really an issue here.

3) If the Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6 is not a good choice, could I get a recommendation for another X38/X48 board that will allow me to push my Q9450 to its limits?

Any help is greatly appreciated!
April 12, 2008 5:01:47 PM

For 4.0Ghz

Get an X48 motherboard. ASUS P5E3 Premium or Rampage Formula are nice boards, DDR2 only though but that should be good enough. Gigabyte boards are good too.

Get a high end cooler and make sure you also get AS5
April 12, 2008 5:04:37 PM

X48, okay. I was looking at the ASUS Rampage Formula too, so I'll do a little more research on it. DDR2 only is not a problem.

And I'm getting a Tuniq Tower 120, and some Arctic Cooling MX-2. I think I'm good to go as far as heat dissipation.
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April 12, 2008 5:05:07 PM

No, x38 and x48 have been benched to be the same. There is no reason to get more expensive board for no benefits. X38 should oc to 2000mhz fsb with no problems. Don't worry about it. Also, there are no oc performance difference between different brands of x38 boards, unlike boards with older p35 chipsets. Pick the cheapest one.
April 12, 2008 5:24:24 PM

Dont hold your breath getting to 4.0 on a q9450. You best chance would be a x48. You will need good ram also.
April 12, 2008 5:57:01 PM

I bought a X48 Rampage Formula and its been doing good so far with my QX9650. I do keep getting a lot of "Overclock Failures", but I credit that as not having figured out how to overclock the beast correctly yet. Been using AMDs for the past 7 years, so I don't know all the ins and outs of overclocking Intel chips yet. Got to take some time and lots of experimenting.

As for getting a Q9450 up to 4 ghz, that's unlikely. If you get 3.6-3.7 ghz, you'll be doing good.
April 12, 2008 6:52:41 PM

Do not hesitate and go for Rampage Formula which is using X48and supports DDR2
And do not worry about DDR2 cause DDR3 Performance equals DDR2 mostly and in some cases 2-3% better and in one or 2 programs 7-8% and that does not justify the incredible price
Rampage Formula has full control on everything for overclocking
Can overclock MCH using stock voltage
April 12, 2008 7:41:41 PM

Sailer, if you want to try and hit 4.0Ghz with that chip I'd go check out the xtremesystems.org boards as that's where you'll find most of the extreme overclockers gather to brag and troubleshoot :) 
April 12, 2008 7:54:02 PM

dagger said:
No, x38 and x48 have been benched to be the same. There is no reason to get more expensive board for no benefits. X38 should oc to 2000mhz fsb with no problems. Don't worry about it. Also, there are no oc performance difference between different brands of x38 boards, unlike boards with older p35 chipsets. Pick the cheapest one.


Exactly.

The rampage and the maximus formula are practically the same thing, and both extremely good.
If you don't get the chip to 4ghz on one of the two, chances are that it isn't happening.
April 12, 2008 8:49:17 PM

Why would you get a tuniq tower? The xigmatek hdt-s1283 performs better and is cheaper. Its biggest flaw is the push pin mounting system without a backplate, but since you're worried about conflicting backplates, this is a good thing.
April 12, 2008 10:12:15 PM

Okay, the Rampage/Maximus Formula boards look great for me. I see no issues with either board's design, since they're mostly identical anyway! Are there any differences between the two though, besides the X38 and X48 chipsets, and a $10 price tag? I do recall reading that the X48 runs at lower voltages, but that'd be about it.

Also, can I get a few second opinions on these Xigmatek coolers that people keep talking about? The Tuniq still looks great for me, and it won't have any issues with one of these nice ASUS boards, but I'd like a few more opinions.
!