Intel's X48 Express Chipset is only an incremental update compared to the X38 with the main additions being support for Core 2 processors with a 1600MHz FSB and DDR3-1600 memory support as well as its memory controller being optimized for XMP (Extreme Memory Profiles). For most users, however, this X48 will not be worth it unless you plan to upgrade to the Core 2 Extreme QX9700 or QX9770 processor. While this motherboard chipset isn't debuting until next month, it's already well supported by Linux and we had no problems running it with Ubuntu 7.10 and other desktop distributions shipping recent 2.6.21+ kernels. Looking at the Linux performance of the Gigabyte X48T-DQ6, its benefits overall were minimal compared to the ASUS motherboards with the Intel P35 and X38 Chipsets. The performance race was neck-and-neck with the leads arising for the X48 in the compilation, disk, and memory benchmarks. Right now the X48 isn't a "must have" for Linux enthusiasts, but even if you're not going for the QX9700 or QX9770, but are interested in maximizing the lifespan of your system, it may be in your best interest going with an Intel X48 motherboard for its 1600MHz FSB support. The rest of the folks should hold out for the availability of motherboards with the ICH10 and ICH10R Southbridges, which already have a few support patches in the Linux kernel.
The Gigabyte X48T-DQ6 itself is a well-polished motherboard even though it doesn't begin shipping until next month. The X48T-DQ6 has Gigabyte's Dynamic Energy Saver technology for reducing power consumption and heat output while not sacrificing performance and is an Ultra Durable 2 motherboard. We will reserve final judgment until we have seen other Intel X48 motherboards, but so far, the X48T-DQ6 looks to be another well-engineered Gigabyte product and boasts a variety of high-end features. We will be looking at more Intel X48 motherboards next month under Linux.
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