X38 Comparison Part 1: DDR2 Motherboards


The Asus Maximus Formula's miniscule performance advantage could make it the choice for anyone who doesn't plan to overclock, even though it's already slightly overclocked at default speed. On the other hand, Gigabyte's clear overclocking stability advantage could make it the choice for system tuners. Which would we chose? It depends on which member of the Tom's Guide team you ask!

The X38 Express isn't the performance monster the P35 had been at its release, but the two are closely matched today Compare Prices on X38 Express Motherboards. The X38 will finally shine when future graphics cards are released using faster PCI-Express 2.0 transfers, and true x16 pathways to both graphics card slots make it the perfect choice for next-generation ATI graphics cards in CrossFire configuration.

We didn't focus much on Foxconn's new X38A in our final analysis because the board we received simply didn't behave like a retail product should. We're sure Foxconn is working feverishly on a BIOS update, and the board already shows enough potential that it might eventually take the lead. Unfortunately, we could wait no longer to complete our tests, as development issues that concerned all of the motherboard makers had already delayed this comparison by several weeks.

Author's Note

I'm an overclocker, so the majority of readers can probably guess which board I'd chose. Unfortunately, the balance of features, default-speed performance and overclocking capabilities made it impossible to determine an "awardable" winner for this month's comparison.

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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 Has it been replaced by a newer model or something?