Gigabyte X48T-DQ6 (DDR3), X48-DQ6 (DDR2) and X48-DS5 (DDR2) v1.1 PCB motherboards will have extra features compared to its X38 offerings, so it won’t just be a case of having the “3” stamp swapped for a “4” in the printing machine.
All three will feature “Dyanmic Energy Saver” technology software (cunningly acronymed ‘DES’) that is proprietary to Gigabyte, and it will now feature LEDs displaying “phase usage” as well as two phase power regulation for the memory slots and northbridge, instead of just a single phase, for better stability and more accurate power delivery.
Gigabyte informed us that is also working on a better BIOS with finer adjustments and better memory performance, but in the same breath also admitted that at the current time
these future X48 and the current X38 boards overclock almost identically.
All the boards, even the DS5 for the first time, will feature the same “virtual” 12 phase CPU power regulation, the Realtek ALC889a chipset that supports HD content protection DRM on Blu ray and HD DVD, twelve USB 2.0, three IEEE1394a Firewire and two PCI-Express x16, three x1s and two PCI slots.
The DDR3 X48T
-DQ6 will offer DDR3 1,900MHz for the first time, providing you can afford the memory to accompany it, whereas the DDR2 boards will both now support DDR2 1,200MHz that is far more easily affordable. Between the DDR2 boards, the DQ6 has two more eSATA, an extra Gigabit LAN and Quad BIOS as well as an “All Copper Silentpipe” over the DS5. However, depending on the price, we’re still more interested in the DS5 simply because it still covers the essential features and is usually notably cheaper.
Gigabyte has the boards penned in for as soon as the first week of 2008, although in a recent report by Digitimes
, the Taiwanese paper states that Intel is keen to push back the X48 by a few months because of significant existing X38 stocks by some companies. It cites that in addition to now supporting DDR3 at 1,600MHz, we’ll also finally see XMP profile support. Better late than never it seems.
Depending on the price of DDR3 still in Q1 next year, we can’t see people shifting from DDR2 that readily just yet, even if the X48 does have XMP and 1,600MHz DDR3 as standard. We’d rather 4GB of DDR2 @ 1,200MHz and still have some change compared to most 2GB packs of DDR3 worth buying.
The DES software certainly looks interesting, although without specific hardware supporting it like Asus has with its EPU; it might just turn out like any other gimmicky software we’ve seen come and go before – we shall reserve judgement until we make actual measurements for ourselves during a review.
In addition to all this X-chipset malarkey, our current favourite chipset – the Intel P35 - gets a makeover from Gigabyte become the E
P35, and will now also get an energy efficient revision for the entire range as well. However, no PCI-Express 2.0 is still provided, even though the chipset is fully capable of it.
Planning to upgrade in the new year? Seen anything else that has caught your eye? Let us know in the forums