Intel X38 Express Chipset Debuts

Article Index

Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: Based on the benchmark results we’ve obtained over the course of our testing, we’d have to say the new Intel X38 Express chipset performs on par with, and perhaps ever so-slightly higher, than similarly equipped P35s - which is to say performance is quite good.  Throughout our testing the DDR3-equipped Asus P5E3 Deluxe performed just a bit better than a P35 using similar memory, and for the most part the same held true for the DDR2-equipped Gigabyte X38-DQ6.
Asus P5E3 Deluxe:
The Asus P5E3 Deluxe is a power user’s motherboard if there ever was one.  This board sports a number of features not found on any other motherboard currently, including an embedded Linux-based mini-OS and integrated 802.11n WiFi.  The P5E3 Deluxe also has a well appointed BIOS and it turned out to be an excellent overclocker.  The only issues we had with the board had to do with its oversized cooling apparatus which crowds the CPU socket area somewhat and what will undoubtedly be a high price.  We don’t have street pricing yet, but expect the P5E3 Deluxe to hover in the neighborhood of $320.  However, enthusiast class chipsets like the X38 and high-end motherboards always command a high price; early adopters are familiar with this trend we’re sure.  In the end though, we’d have no trouble recommending the Asus P5E3 Deluxe.  If there’s a feature you want, this board probably has it.

  • Great Overclocking
  • Silent Cooling
  • 802.11n Integrated WiFi
  • Solid Performance
  • Stable
  • Express Gate Embedded Linux!
  • Cramped CPU Socket Area
  • Going to be expensive

Gigabyte X38-DQ6:
We’re a little more apprehensive about the Gigabyte X38-DQ6.  Throughout most of our testing, the board was rock-solid stable and gave us no trouble whatsoever.  It also performed well throughout all of our benchmarks and its feature set is top notch.  We also liked the X38-DQ6’s accessory bundle (specifically the slick eSATA brackets) and system BIOS, which is about as well appointed as they come.  Plus, the board works with DDR2 memory, which will save potential consumers a fortune without sacrificing much, if anything, in terms of performance.  Unfortunately, our particular sample couldn’t recover from an aggressive overclock and we’re waiting for a replacement.  Once we’re done testing the new board, we’ll update this conclusion.  But we’ll have to reserve final judgment for now.

Update 10/15/2007: We have completed our testing of the replacement X38-DQ6 with much better results.  We acheived a peak front side bus frequency of 500MHz while overclocking with the board, and as our benchmarks have shown its performance is very good, even with more affordable DDR2 memory.  It's too early to pass judgement on the X38 due to the fact that we have only worked with two motherboards at this point in time, but it is shaping up to be a solid solution. And the Gigabyte X38-DQ6 should serve users well if they're not inclined to also purchase DDR3 memory for an upgrade.

  • Good Performance
  • Overclocking Potential
  • No More CTRL-F1!
  • Works with More Affordable DDR2 Memory
  • Our Sample Died
  • Price

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Tags:  Intel, Chipset, Pre, X3, Chip, XP, chips, IPS, express, IP, BU

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