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Gigabyte X38 and RD790-DQ6

Gigabyte X38 and RD790-DQ6

Yes, we have one in house and no, you I'm not letting you know how it performs. It's not an NDA issue, I'm just selfish.

First up: The RD790 chipset to complement your Phenoms. The GA-MA790-DQ6 supports AMD AM2/AM2+ processors with HT3.0 and DDR2 1,066MHz memory and Quad PCI-Express 2.0 graphics interface with ATI CrossFire technology - that's either two x16 or four x8, but as PCI-Express 2.0 is faster that means the x8's still give you more than enough bandwidth. This is for people who need eight displays or if you really, really want to wait: Quad CrossFire.

It also features the Gigabyte Ultra Durable design with high quality Low ESR Japanese Solid Aluminium SMD (surface mount devise) capacitors, Low RDS(on) Mosphets and Ferrite core chokes built into a "dual quad phase" power regulation design. How this is quite different from a straight eight phase design, we're unsure. There's even a Quad BIOS solution, just in case a pair isn't enough for you.

Some board features include the Realtek ALC889a with DTS connect and HDCP content protection for Blu-ray and HD DVD. Dual Realtek PCI-Express Gigabit Ethernet including a Teaming function is available for LAN connectivity, although there's no WiFi option.

The RD790 chipset is paired with the ageing SB600 southbridge, which won't be updated to SB700 until Q4 at the earliest. The whole thing is cooled by the usual heatpipe array, even if it is quite normal compared to Gigabytes previous DQ6 standards. There are six SATA ports on the board even if the southbridge still only offers a native four. For those needing a bit of legacy connectivity, there is still a couple of PCI slots and an IDE port.


If you're an Intel fanboi and are waiting for Gigabytes X38 DQ6 board, then we will have a first look for you... as soon as I finish hugging the board... but to keep you going we can tell you that the GA-X38-DQ6 is the DDR2 version and the X38T is for DDR3. Both feature support for 45nm Penryn CPUs and the upcoming 1,600MHz FSB. Just like the AMD board above, you can use DDR2 1,066MHz memory with it, although no word yet on the maximum DDR3 speed for the "T" version.

It has the same Ultra Durable 2 features as above and also include a dual x16 PCI-EXpress 2.0 interface with CrossFire support. There is also dual Gigabit Ethernet LAN with a Teaming function and an all copper heatpipe cooling the northbridge, southbridge and twelve phase power regulation. There's also separate power regulation for the memory and PCI-Express lanes!

Never had enough USB ports on the rear I/O? How does eight suit you? That does leave only four to be routed elsewhere, but still - integrated connectivity+++.

After hearing reports of the X38 guzzling as much as 35+W of power at Computex, we'll be sure to let you know if the heatpipes provide adequate cooling for such a power hungry chipset. There have been a few unconfirmed rumours from more than one motherboard manufacturer that Intel took the chipset back for a respin (to address the power issue?), although we've yet to hear from Intel whether this was true.

Overclockers.co.uk already has the board listed on pre-order for a massive £193! Could this be the most expensive motherboard to date? We'll try to fish out some chipset prices for you, whether this is just an overzealous pre-order price or the shape of things to come. We've also heard from multiple Tier 1 motherboard manufacturers that distributors are already placing orders and the boards are due to ship in very early September - we're talking next week(ish). It looks like it's going to be another launch like the P35, where you see reviews hit the net before the chipset is "officially" available.

Any thoughts? Want to fight it out Blue versus Green? Let us know in the forums.

27 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
atanum141 30th August 2007, 18:54 Quote
Holly ****
I think the new AMD chipset will start putting the cpu wars back into motion
wuyanxu 30th August 2007, 19:02 Quote
wallets at the ready.

but more of these will help me save a few quid
Quote:
We'll try to fish out some chipset prices for you, whether this is just an overzealous pre-order price or the shape of things to come.

and im looking forward for Bit-tech's reviews on the x38-DQ6 and the MaximAsus.
Yubalostia 30th August 2007, 19:07 Quote
yeah, I like how that new AMD chipset sounds... mine should be arriving today, so... we'll see. nice article BTW
Mankz 30th August 2007, 19:14 Quote
Ooh! feature full!
Spacecowboy92 30th August 2007, 19:26 Quote
WANT.
Crazyglue 30th August 2007, 19:40 Quote
since that AMD mobo has 4 pci-e slots... can u do crossfire, then have 1 or 2 other pci-e cards so u can have crossfire with multiple monitors? or... no chance in hell?

also, can you do the thing i heard about a real long time ago? where u have crossfire and another gfx card that does physics?
Mister_Tad 30th August 2007, 20:00 Quote
Quote:
twelve phase power regulation

dear lord!
Is that 3x4, 2x6 or actually 12?

Would like to see a bit more in the way of PCIe slots on X38 boards though, with a bit more flexibility
Would love a board with a single x16 physical/electrical and 2 x16 physical/x8 electrical
koola 30th August 2007, 20:41 Quote
Is it just me or did the AMD board get all the nice features!
DXR_13KE 30th August 2007, 21:09 Quote
nice features.....
zoom314 30th August 2007, 21:20 Quote
Blue rules, It's a nice cool color too. :D
Redbeaver 30th August 2007, 21:53 Quote
oh, btw, (how do u edit comments anyway), thx to that post i forgot what i came to say......

where's my nforce7 or wutever?? i want SLI with Agena!!!! :D
Mister_Tad 30th August 2007, 22:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeaver
oh, btw, (how do u edit comments anyway), thx to that post i forgot what i came to say......

you see that button at the bottom of your forum post that says "edit" :|
cosmic 30th August 2007, 22:02 Quote
Can anyone clarify how many SATA ports the GA-X38-DQ6 has. The spec on OC's says 6 plus 4 eSATA but on the board pictured by BT, I count 6 orange SATA sockets and what looks like 2 purple sockets making 8 SATA ports; plus the 4 eSATA ?

Or are those purple sockets something else ?
Gravemind123 30th August 2007, 22:04 Quote
All of this new stuff, and I just managed to get a Core2Duo and a 975X board this year. I don't really see much point in quad-crossfire as dual card setups are already really expensive and not a very economical solution. And there really aren't enough PCI-E devices that aren't video cards to use up 4 slots, unless you need multiple raid cards for something.
Bindibadgi 30th August 2007, 22:05 Quote
There are 8 onboard but you can adapt 2/4 to make eSATA ports out of them with the included bracket in the box. That's if Gigabyte includes one or two brackets, usually there's only one for two ports.

Those purple ports are from the ITE/Gigabyte chip that also provides the IDE. They aren't native to the southbridge.
BUFF 30th August 2007, 23:01 Quote
OcUK have the X38 up for pre-order - £188 to start with (airfreighted in) & about £20 cheaper once they get stock by sea.
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/productlist.php?groupid=701&catid=5&subid=946
Bindibadgi 31st August 2007, 00:01 Quote
They've dropped the price since this aft.
cosmic 31st August 2007, 00:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
There are 8 onboard but you can adapt 2/4 to make eSATA ports out of them with the included bracket in the box. That's if Gigabyte includes one or two brackets, usually there's only one for two ports.

Those purple ports are from the ITE/Gigabyte chip that also provides the IDE. They aren't native to the southbridge.

Thanks, sounds similar to the P35 variant of the board. A good flexible way of using those ports, leaves it upto the user to decide.
Kipman725 31st August 2007, 00:32 Quote
erm those fancy features "Ferrite core chokes" well my board has those and its a £12 foxxconn 754 thing. It all depends on the design of the regulator whether there a better or worse choice than air cored choked. I would have thought to minimise noise air cored would be better.
Surface mount capacitors=less stray inductance=good! but aluminium ones arn't any better in the way there used on motherboards to normal low esr electrolitics.
LOW RDS mosfetts sacrifice other paremeters like their gate capacitance menaing that they need a greater drive current... chosing them is another part of the design and not rearly a feature unless they are used to significantly reduce power consumption (doubtfull).

What I found interesting were those motherboards made by ECS I think that used PWM for the cpu power and therfore saved a signifiant amount of power (no mosfett heatsinking needed). I guess the more complex deign turns off the probobly already over worked motherboard designers.
Bindibadgi 31st August 2007, 00:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipman725
erm those fancy features "Ferrite core chokes" well my board has those and its a £12 foxxconn 754 thing. It all depends on the design of the regulator whether there a better or worse choice than air cored choked. I would have thought to minimise noise air cored would be better.
Surface mount capacitors=less stray inductance=good! but aluminium ones arn't any better in the way there used on motherboards to normal low esr electrolitics.
LOW RDS mosfetts sacrifice other paremeters like their gate capacitance menaing that they need a greater drive current... chosing them is another part of the design and not rearly a feature unless they are used to significantly reduce power consumption (doubtfull).

What I found interesting were those motherboards made by ECS I think that used PWM for the cpu power and therfore saved a signifiant amount of power (no mosfett heatsinking needed). I guess the more complex deign turns off the probobly already over worked motherboard designers.

Good to know ;)
HourBeforeDawn 31st August 2007, 05:57 Quote
OMG I AM IN LOVE!!!!
JADS 31st August 2007, 08:01 Quote
I rather like the idea of four PCI-E x16 slots... Crossfire/SLI powering monitor 1, gfx card 3 powering monitor 2/3 and then maybe an Areca RAID card with a crap load of HDDs connected for ultra fast I/O?
wuyanxu 31st August 2007, 09:03 Quote
OCUK lowered their price by £1, lol. that's a lot!

when can we expect sea shipments for these motherboards? i really like the x38-DQ6, and probably buy it if reviews are good on the 9th (hint, hint)
victorres2 31st August 2007, 09:03 Quote
this is quite some awesome products and cant wait to buy one, but am i the only one who sees that the amd board is getting the quad pci-e a.k.a. quad crossfire gpu that eventually will be better than the quad sli, wich failed miserably. talk about amd charging intel on monopoly. i mean ive been an ati diehard fan and supporter and its gonna force me to buy the amd board only strictly because of the better ati accessability. this is very ingenius bussines tactic just dont go on and accuse someone else for doing it first and better that you.


im ready for cpu AND the gpu wars to duelve into using nukes!!!!!!!!!!!!
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