X38 Comparison Part 1: DDR2 Motherboards

Test Hardware

We brought back the Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R motherboard to compare today’s X38 Express performance to that of its P35 Express predecessor. Compared to high-end boards of its generation, the P35C-DS3R combines typical performance and overclocking capabilities with dual-memory compatibility. Support for both DDR2 and DDR3 modules will allow the board to be used in both today’s DDR2 motherboard comparison and an upcoming X38-DDR3 comparison, and other dual-memory motherboards simply couldn’t compete in the overclocking arena.

The GA-P35C-DS3R was updated to BIOS version F5 (10/24/2007).

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System Hardware
Socket 775 ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo E6750(Conroe 65 nm, 2.67 GHz, 4 MB L2 Cache)
RAMCorsair Dominator TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF DDR2-11112x 1024 MB at DDR2-1066, CL 4.0-4-4-12
Hard DriveWestern Digital WD1500ADFD-00NLR1, Firmware : 20.07P20150 GB, 10,000 RPM, 16 MB cache, SATA/150
Graphics CardFoxconn GeForce 8800GTX, P/N : FV-N88XMAD2-ODNvidia GeForce 8800GTX - 768 MB
Power SupplyOCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI - 700W
System Software & Drivers
OSWindows XP Professional 5.10.2600, Service Pack 2
DirectX Version9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
Platform DriversIntel INF
Graphics DriverNvidia Forceware 163.71

And why would overclocking be such an important feature for motherboard comparative tests ?

Because today we’re going to provide test results at each system’s highest stable overclocked speed as well as its default CPU speed !

Getting up to full speed with an FSB1333 processor would require some good RAM, so we used Corsair’s XMS2-8888C4DF. It allowed us to test two of the X38 boards (and the P35 comparison board) at the previously selected DDR2-1066 setting and its rated CAS 4. The Foxconn X38A didn’t support the same 8:5 DRAM :FSB clock ratio as the other boards and was instead set to DDR2-1000.

After default CPU speed benchmarks were complete, each system was set to a synchronous CPU :DRAM ratio for overclocked configurations while maintaining Corsair’s good CAS 4 rated timings.

Heat could put a damper on any overclocking efforts, but Swiftech was able to provide a solution. Previously used in our E6750 Overclocking Shootout, components include its Apogee GTX CPU block, MCP-655b pump and a triple 120 mm cooling fan radiator.

Earlier E6750 overclocking attempts pointed out the performance issues certain boards have when overclocked, but thanks to a good combination of parts, we no longer worry about leaving out this critical information !

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • firesteel
    What happened to this motherboard? I don't see it for sale at places like tigerdirect. Newegg say it's discontinued. Has it been replaced by a newer model or something?