Gigabyte X38-DQ6: BIOS and Overclocking
Gigabyte has outfitted the X38-DQ6 with a customized Award / Phoenix BIOS derivative that resembles many of the other high-end, enthusiast class motherboards currently on the market. Gigabyte does, however, put their own spin on the BIOS.
The main BIOS menu screens should look familiar to most of you. Using these menus, users can configure any of the board's integrated peripherals, set the boot order, or tweak memory timings, etc. We'd also like to note that thankfully, Gigabyte has listened to the community and have eliminated the need to press CTRL-F1 to access the X38-DQ6's more advanced BIOS features. The need to press CTRL-F1 to gain full access to the BIOS on older Gigabyte boards was a minor annoyance that we're glad to be without.
The MB Intelligent Tweaker, or M.I.T., menu is where experienced users will find all of the X38-DQ6's voltage and memory options, and overclocking tools. From within the M.I.T. menu, users have access to an array option that offer control over voltages and frequencies for the CPU, chipset, and memory. There is fine granularity with all of the voltage controls (which are extensive) and all frequencies can be adjusted in 1MHz increments.
We spent some time overclocking our Core 2 Duo E6750 processor with the X38-DQ6 motherboard and had mixed results. Before we began, we bumped the CPU and chipset voltages up by a tenth of a volt, configured our memory to operate at only 667MHz, and dropped the CPU's multiplier to 6. Then we raised the FSB until the machine was no longer stable. We were able to hit upwards of 490MHz and successfully booted into Windows, but further attempts to break the 500MHz mark resulted in a non-functional board. We have been in contact with Gigabyte over the issue and a replacement board is en route to us, however. We should be able to update this section of the article over the course of the next day or so.
Update 10/15/2007: We completed our testing of the replacement X38-DQ6 with much better results. After following the same procedure outlined above, we were able to take the board to a 500MHz front side bus without any problems.