QuadGT vs Maxiumus vs GA-X38-DQ6 - never ending dilemma


Feb 14, 2006

I'm going to buy in march new motherboard for Intel Penryn Quad CPU. My choice has come to these models:
1. Abit IX38 QuadGT
2. Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6
3. Asus Maximus Formula

I can't decide which one to choose, please help. My short priority list:
- best stability and quality (the least issues, problems with BIOS, hardware, etc.)
- ability to undervolt CPU to lower power usage (I'm not going to overclock CPU)
- SLI / Crossfire doesn't matter

I've searched forums, but still I'm undecided.

Thank you
Forget about Gigabyte, that is a bad board if you want good memories like 1GB sticks and want to use all 4 dimms since that it a standard-error with that board to not been abel to handle 4 dimms at the seame time. It´s a board-thing, not a BIOS-thing so no BIOS can change that fact.
I´m not sure if i ever would by a Gigabyteboard again even if i trade to 2x2GB modules sice i have only heard bad thing about it and a simple BIOSflash via DOS can end its life to early without any perticular reson, it just hapens randomly.
Have no desire to doing such a generalerror in choise again when jumped the gun on GA-X38-DQ6 back in september since that board was noting but a pain in the ass so i absolutely not recomending this crap ever to anybody anywhere anytime for any reson whatsoever, not even if i get 1.000.000$ for doing it.
Maximus however is something i do recomend, but even more its X48 counterpart Rampage since it has some more and useful option in BIOS and got a good review at Anandtech when using a penrynquad.
I would avoid the Gigabyte board. I've been reading about people having BIOS issues with it, and I have personally had bad experiences with their motherboards. I had a GA-965P-S3 which had a load of BIOS and cold boot issues (it would just reset the CMOS randomly too), so maybe I'm not the most impartial person around, but there's no reason to go with the DQ6 when the Maximus is the same price and a much better board. My impression of Gigabyte is that they're cheap crap.

The Maximus is currently the standard to which all X38 boards are compared, and that's worth something right there. That may change when the X48 boards come out, but I doubt there will be much of a difference to justify waiting.

The IX38 is a different story as it's considerably cheaper than the Maximus or the DQ6 at many retailers. The bundle is kind of weak, and you don't get as many ports as on the Maximus (OTOH the QuadGT has e-SATA whereas the Maximus does not, if that's worth anything to you). And, currently the BIOS is a little immature, but I can tell you from experience with my current abit board that this will change--abit is very good about supporting their boards. Also their quality of manufacturing and attention to detail is on par with or higher than Asus' in my opinion. The IX38 will be a very good overclocker.

I've had boards from all 3 manufacturers in the past, and the only one I would recommend avoiding is Gigabyte. The other two are solid and really depend on your needs and your budget.
My experiences with the DQ6:

It came with the F6 BIOS. Started with two sticks of 1GB 1066 Crucial Ballistix. Came up just fine at 1066 (2.2V automatically), though with some rather lax timings (5,7,7,24). Tried adding two more sticks of the same, but would post with strange BIOS checksum errors. Flashed to F7 and machine posted fine at 1066 with all 4 sticks. Unfortunately system (and MemTest for that matter) were not stable. It's my bro-in-laws machine so I suggested more voltage or dropping down to 800. He dropped down to 800 and machine is fine since (he's not interested in any tuning).

Before deciding on the DQ6, I was looking at the P5E (pretty much the same as the Maximus? I think). Lot's of people were complaining about RAM issues. The complaints were probably from early BIOS revs, but it was enough to steer me away.

I should note that I have a P965-S3 that I also really like, but the DQ6 with 4x 1GB is not as stable... yet. Seeing how immature the BIOS is for the DQ6, I expect things will improve, but if I could do it over again, I would probably wait a few more months for the Q9450 to come out and buy a board then. ;)
Difference between DS4 vs DQ6? Do both of them have similar problem? Just wondering.
I have the Maxiums Formula, and I can't complain. It's been a great board for everything I've used it for. OC's decently. Not sure about the undervolting as I haven't tried it. Bios update went smoothly.

Never had a problem with an Asus Intel board. I thought about the QuadGT, but it wasn't available when I got the Maximus.
I've had great results with the Asus Maximus as well. You should have no problem undervolting with this board if that is what you want to do.

The Intel chips OC so easily, I don't really understand why anyone wouldn't want to at least tweak a little bit.
I just installed Gigabyte x38-dq6 three days ago. It has been a dream to set up. It came with F6 bios, so I moved to F7 right away. I have 4 1gb sticks of Crucial Ballistix 1066 Ram, and all is well. I know this board did get some bad press, but I have really enjoyed it. No problems for me so far....