X38 Comparison Part 1: DDR2 Motherboards

Performance Summary

Since this comparison provided test results for both default and maximum stable CPU speeds, let's do a quick recap of the top speeds for each tested board:

High-end game systems are Intel's X38 target, but the primary goal was to increase features rather than performance. With performance a secondary priority, will the new boards outperform the old ones?

We compared each configuration to the "slowest" result for each benchmark, where the slowest system is compared to itself for a score of "100%" and higher numbers indicate performance gains.

The Asus Maximus Formula appears to win the game benchmarks at "stock" CPU speed, with the P35 comparison board in a surprisingly strong second place finish. But with a 0.2% overclock, does the Maximus Formula really win? In fact it does, with its lead dropping from 1.6% to 1.3%

But many enthusiasts will look for greater performance gains through overclocking, and what happens when we take each board to the maximum speed at which it can keep our Core 2 Duo E6750 stable? Gigabyte's superior overclocking stability puts the X38-DQ6 in the winner's circle.

X38 Express motherboards appear closely matched in clock-for-clock game performance with Gigabyte's stronger overclocking capabilities possibly trumping Asus' slight default-clock lead. We saw somewhat greater differences in a few applications charts, but what happens when we average these?

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 Has it been replaced by a newer model or something?