Gigabyte Atomic Overclocking Masters Competition and Gigabyte X38 DQ6 Sneak Peek Page: 1
Gigabyte Atomic Overclocking Masters

Gigabyte Atomic Overclocking Masters competition and Gigabyte X38 DQ6 motherboard preview coverage

Last week I received an invitation to a closed viewing of Gigabyte' Ultra Durable 2 X38 DQ6 motherboard which also doubled as an Overclocking Masters Competition/exhibition at Bubble's Champagne Cocktail Lounge in Circular Quay, Sydney. This was an exclusive event to say the least featuring both 'cream-of-the-crop' and up and coming talent of the Australian overclocking scene. The competition was to act as a precursory event for selection to next years WCG championships. The Gigabyte Atomic Overclocking Masters was run courtesy of Atomic Magazine and their respective forum, and was endorsed exclusively by Gigabyte.

So without further delay let's get down to the good stuff...

Welcome to Sydney, Australia

Welcome to sunny Sydney. Currently it is the most populous city in Australia, with a metropolitan area population of some 4.28 million people. Sydney is a major international tourist destination notable for its beaches and twin landmarks: the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Please excuse my quick Photoshop panorama of Circular Quay.

Circular Quay montage

(Circular Quay and Sydney Harbour Bridge)

Sydney Opera House

(The Sydney Opera House)

Gigabyte Atomic Overclocking Masters competition

As I said at the beginning of this article the Gigabyte Atomic Overclocking Masters Competition had a healthy representation of Australian overclocking talent. Present and competing were 3 members of Team Australia.

Overclocking competition

(L - R: youngpro, dinos22, Josh Collins and Kayl Hoskin)

Kayl Hoskin - Frequenting Xtreme Systems, the man needs no introduction. Until very recently Kayl held the world record for Quad-core overclocking and is heavily involved with producing his own Cascade phase change cooling systems for extreme cooling enthusiasts.

Josh Collins - Josh Collins is Atomic magazine's current technical writer, and Team Australia member.

Dino Strkljevic - Known as dinos22 on Xtreme Systems and the man has an uncanny ability for tweaking insanely low Super-Pi times

James Turnbull - An up and coming young overclocker who already has WR's under his belt.

Up for grabs were lots of nice goodies from Gigabyte including 8800GTS (340MB) graphics cards, Gigabyte Mercury cases and X38 DQ6 motherboards.

X38 DQ6 prizes

(Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 motherboards)

The competition itself was held in two categories: the fastest Super-Pi time and highest 3DMARK06 score. Due to time constraints the competitors were only allowed an hour for each of the categories...phew talk about pressure!

All competitors were given identical gear for the Overclocking Masters competition, comprising of:
* Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 motherboard;
* Intel E6850 Dual-core processor;
* Gigabyte GV-NX88S320H-B-RH (8800 GTS 320Mb) graphics card;
* Gigabyte ODIN Pro_800W PSU;
* Corsair Dominator RAM;
* Samsung and Dell monitors, and
* Dry Ice pots (designed, manufactured and supplied courtesy of Kayl)

DICE overclocking

(Setting up ready for Super-Pi)

youngpro benching

(James a.k.a youngpro pushing for a high 3DMark06 score)

benching rig

(Everyone got to keep their kit at the conclusion of the evening)

Josh and Kayl goofing around

(Josh and Kayl goofing around)

DICE subliming

(There's nothing like watching dice sublime)

Some of the competitiors were having trouble getting decent temps with dice, so a quick trip to the chemist was in required to purchase some nail polish remover. For those who don't know, nail polish remover (or acetone as it is more commonly known) is used to increase the contact surface area between the inner base of the copper pot and the dry ice. But really any alcohol with a low freezing point will do.

At the conclusion of the competition the winners were announced:

Fastest Super-Pi Score

Dino Strkljevic - 10.313 seconds

Highest 3DMARK06 Score

Josh Collins - 11,880 3D Marks

I was actually banking on a higher 3DMARK06 score, but considering that the competitors were using stock cooling on the 8800 GTS', and it was about 30 deg Celcius on the day I'm not surprised. Given a longer period of time and the opportunity to run dice pots on the graphics cards, I'm sure the result would have been significantly higher.

Although the Gigabyte Atomic Overclocking Competition was a lot of fun, I really wanted the opportunity to see Gigabyte' GA-X38-DQ6 up close and personal. During the half-time break we were given a Power Point presentation on the features of Gigabyte' new motherboard and how it would shape up for PC enthusiasts and overclockers alike.

Follow with me onto the next page where you can see just how much work Gigabyte have put into their X38 based motherboards...

Gigabyte Atomic Overclocking Masters Competition and Gigabyte X38 DQ6 Sneak Peek Page: 2
Gigabyte X38 DQ6 Power Point presentation

Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6

(Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6)

During the course of the evening Colin Brix (Gigabyte Product Manager - Marketing Division) gave a Power Point presentation on the features of Gigabyte' X38 based motherboards. You can see that Gigabyte really have put some serious thought into these motherboards, and the result should be some seriously stable and overclockable motherboards. Colin was kind enough to allow me a copy of his presentation for you all to see, and some of it has been included below...

Gigabyte PP presentation header

Thermal distribution image

Heat would have to be the number one enemy of the overclocker. Not only does heat lead to a potential reduction in overclocking headroom, but it also reduces the life-span of components. Gigabyte are leading the way in dramatically reducing the general CPU zone temperature to ensure better stability and longevity in their motherboards.

Ultra Durable 2

This year Gigabyte is setting a new standard with their Ultra Durable 2 Series motherboards, featuring Low RDS(on) MOSFETS, Ferrite Core chokes and All-Solid Capacitors. Low RDS(on) MOSFET's differ from regular MOSFET's in that they are specially designed to produce lower switching resistence and subsequent lower power consumption. As a result you get faster electrical charging and discharging, but with less heat generation.

Instead of using regular Iron Chokes, Gigabyte Ultra Durable 2 Series motherboards feature Ferrite Chokes. Ferrite is a compound of Iron-Oxide and other metal elements, and the properties of this compound means that it holds energy better at higher frequency, resulting in lower power loss.

The humble capcitor's primary role is to store electricity and then deliver it to the component requiring power, such as the CPU. Increasingly we are seeing the move to All-Solid Capcitors, and Gigabyte use quality Japanese manufactured capacitors to deliver maximum stability, reliability and to eliminate the potential problem of leaking electrolytic capacitors that we have seen in the past. Sure the inclusion of these quality parts will add to the cost of the motherboard, but the end results justify the means.

Power design diagram

X38-DQ6 motherboard features

An illustration of the features you can expect on the GA-X38-DQ6, as well as support for 1600 Mhz FSB.

X38 DDR3 motherboard

Gigabyte' DDR3 version of the X38-DQ6. All of Gigabyte' X38 motherboards have seen a slight change in the layout due to graphics cards blocking SATA ports on their past P35 based motherboards.

X38 DS5

For those who utilise water-cooling or aftermarket CPU heatsinks, the Gigabyte X38-DS5 comes without Crazy Cool on the rear of the motherboard.

All solid capacitors

Due to the success of All-Solid capacitors on Gigabyte' motherboards, they have decided to include them on all VGA cards as well. Nice touch Gigabyte!

Benefits of Ultra Durable 2

Once again let's reinforce the benefits of Gigabyte' Ultra Durable 2...

Gigabyte's committment to quality

Gigabyte are so confident in their Ultra Durable 2 range of motherboards that they are now offering a 3 year warranty.

All things considered I believe that Gigabyte has made a definite step in the right direction regarding the inclusion of quality parts on their Ultra Durable 2 line of motherboards. Sure quality parts cost money, but the added benefits of stability, overclockability and longevity are well worth it in my opinion. would like to thank Tim Handley, Lili Wu and Colin Brix from Gigabyte United Inc, and Ben Mansill from Atomic magazine for making this report possible.

Lili and Colin

(Lili and Colin from Gigabyte)

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