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GA-X38-DS4 vs. GA-X38-DQ6 ???

Last response: in Motherboards
July 9, 2008 9:30:26 PM

What's going on everyone:

I narrowed my choices of mobos down to two of gigabytes':
GA-X38-DS4 and GA-X38-DQ6

judging by this link,
the two boards are identical cept the following:
- dq6 has 2 more SATA ports than ds4
- ds4 has DualBIOS Plus, while dq6 has QuadBIOS (what is this the BIOS? which one is better? does it matter?)
- ds4's heat sink: "heat sink on north bridge and south bridge" vs dq6's heat sink: "all copper Silent-Pipe / Crazy Cool" (opinions on these? which is better?)

dq6 is around 50-70 bux more than the ds4... why? any other differences besides the ones i listed above?

help me choose!

thanks in advance

my conditions and the specs i'm lookin at (if this helps at all...):
- q6600 g0
- not planning to OC (never have), but i may depending on how everything runs
- GA-X38-DS4 or GA-X38-DQ6
- ati HD 3850 (possibly crossfire in the future)
- 700-1000W psu (dunno company yet)
- the extra 2 SATA ports on the DQ6 doesnt matter for me

More about : x38 ds4 x38 dq6

a b V Motherboard
July 9, 2008 10:34:14 PM

Tough call
On cooling, both North and south are covered by grazy cool, but only one of them (Probably the north) is include. So prabably mok-nicks.

On the 6 vs 8 sata ports. You indicated you most likly do not need the extra 2. However the DQ-6 also has 1 IDE connector for a legacy device (ie IDE HDD or DVD burner should you on an off chance need it. On my system I have 4 SATA HDD (2 Pairs of raid0) on the ICH controller leaving two open for e-sata. I attached two DVD burners to the J-micron controler and a removable IDE HDD to the IDE controller. IF you KNOW you will not need more than 6 SATA and NO IDE then the extra Bucks are probably wasted. Note: earlier versions had more problems with SATA DVD writers on the ICH controller, But I think that has become a none issue.

Side Note; Gigabyte use to put a little better "Quality" (ie higher tolerance components and better filtering) into ther flagship board. Do not think that is true between the X-38 DS4 and the DQ6 today.

Bottem line- it's your call wheater the extra JMicron controller is woth the extra Bucks.
July 10, 2008 12:41:14 AM

i currently run the dq6 and i love the board. i think chief did a great job of pointing out the differnces between the two. what i can add i that the crazy cool heat sink needs to be removed if ur using a after market cpu cooler so if ur planning on using one dont factor that in. the bios are great and have alot of good options and easy to overclock. i cant say for the ds4 because havnt used it. hope that makes ur choice easier
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July 10, 2008 12:53:57 AM

I use ds4, and it works fine. Most people have no use for more than 6 sata drives. As for heatsink, the ds4's has one less heatpipe. Although temperature is always 32C or below at 1600mhz fsb. X38 runs cool. Haven't had problems with cooler hitting heatsink. I use this rather large cpu cooler, and it fits fine.

As for dual vs quad bios, there is no read advantage to quad. With dual, you have 1 backup, with quad, 3. If you flash the bios and corrupts it, you're not screwed. 1 is enough for backup. Most people, when realizing they corrupted the first bios, won't go ahead and do the same to the second one. If you're a real idiot, you'll corrupt all 4 in a roll anyway.

I faced the same question 3 month ago, while building this current rig, and ended up deciding on the ds4.

July 10, 2008 12:55:45 AM

I know the DQ6 has more power phases so theoretically it could handle higher wattage CPU's. That's indicated by the last 3 characters in it's model number. Well, at least it used to be. I can't actually find either one of those on NewEgg. Seems as if both have been discontinued. The only thing left on NewEgg from Gigabyte with an X38 chipset is the GA-EX38T-DQ6
a b V Motherboard
July 10, 2008 2:15:17 AM

Ref Chooncy on Crazy Cool
Rather than removing the crazy cool on the back side of the MB, I modified the HSF back plate. I'm using the Zalman 9500 Coolor on a P965-DQ6 E6400 @ 3.2 G
July 10, 2008 2:27:10 AM

RetiredChief said:
Ref Chooncy on Crazy Cool
Rather than removing the crazy cool on the back side of the MB, I modified the HSF back plate. I'm using the Zalman 9500 Coolor on a P965-DQ6 E6400 @ 3.2 G

Or you can just use pushpin cooler. But they don't work as well though. Might as well get the ds4 and avoid the problem to begin with. :p 
July 10, 2008 9:32:31 PM

wow guys - this is exactly the response i needed... thank you RetiredChief, chooney, dagger, arson94 !!!!!!!

ds4, here i come

thank you thank you!!