Gigabyte wins the FSB contest when all motherboards use the same settings. We’ve seen claims by another company to FSB clocks exceeding 700 MHz, but those records were set by professional overclockers using extreme cooling, and might have even required hardware modification.
Since every motherboard in today’s comparison was capable of pushing a higher FSB clock than our processor could withstand at its highest multiplier, CPU clock speed is instead restricted by other factors such as VRM stability. You’d expect the highest stable CPU clock to be reached using the 16-phase power regulator of Asus or Gigabyte, but instead we find MSI’s 6-phase products taking first and second place with our dual-core processor. We might have had a different winner had we used a Core 2 Quad, or perhaps not.
The MSI P45D3 Platinum was the only “true” DDR3 motherboard in today’s comparison, and it pushed our DDR3-1600 CAS 8 memory to very respectable CAS 7 speeds. The dual-compatibility motherboards couldn’t even reach the rated speed of these modules.
Asus leads the way among DDR2 motherboards, but Gigabyte, Jetway, and MSI aren’t far behind. The two Asus motherboards were also the only ones we’d trust to run four DDR2-1066 modules, although it’s better stay with a single pair whenever possible.