The Intel X38 Express Chipset, codenamed the Bonetrail, is a chipset that many enthusiasts around the world were anticipating, with a supposed considerable performance gain over the P35 chipset. With a new wave of Intel X38 motherboards hitting the market, we test the flagship models of 2 leading motherboard makers, the Gigabyte X38-DQ6 and the ASUS Maximus Formula.

The Intel X38 Express Chipset, codenamed the Bonetrail, is a chipset that many enthusiasts around the world were anticipating, with a supposed considerable performance gain over the P35 chipset. With a new wave of Intel X38 motherboards hitting the market, we test the flagship models of 2 leading motherboard makers, the Gigabyte X38-DQ6 and the ASUS Maximus Formula.

But before we head on over to the pictures and testing, we compare the main differences between the two boards.

Gigabyte X38-DQ6Asus Maximus Formula
 
Connectivity 
1 Parallel ATA port supporting 2 IDE Drives
8 Serial ATA ports
2 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
1 Parallel ATA port supporting 2 IDE Drives
6 Serial ATA ports
2 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Expansion Ports 
1 PS2 Keyboard Port
1 PS2 Mouse Port
12 USB 2.0 Ports (8 rear accessible, 4 via expansion bracket)
6 Stereo Audio Ports
1 SPDIF RCA Port
1 SPDIF Toslink Port
3 Firewire Ports (2 rear accessible, 6 & 4 pin 1 via Expansion Bracket)
4 e.SATA ports (via expansion brackets)

1 PS2 Keyboard Port
12 USB 2.0 Ports (6 rear accessible, 6 via expansion bracket) 
1 SPDIF RCA Port
1 SPDIF Toslink Port
1Firewire Port (6pin)
Sound via SupremeFX II Card, 7.1 sound

The Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 & ASUS Maximus Formula