I have owned this board for a few months now and I have mixed feelings about it to be honest. It certainly well known that the X48 platform is not the easiest platform for over-clocking quad core CPU's. Wish I had read that before I bought it!
I have a Q9650 running on my board, it has a reasonably high VID of 1.275v so runs cooler than most at higher VCore settings but conversely it requires more core voltage to get to higher over-clocks.
I can get my Q9650 to 4GHz stable on this board, with 1.393v at the core. I wouldn't go much higher to be honest as I would be risking CPU degradation. If you want to over-clock quads then I recommend a good P45 chipset board such as the EP45-UD3R or UD3P. These are kings at over-clocking quads.
However the X48 chipset benefits from 2 x16 PCI-E slots. Which is a bonus when running two graphics cards.
The Bios features are ok, but better on the P45. The latest BIOS is the F3B version, still listed as a beta on Gigabytes website, as it has for many, many months.
Overall it is hard to recommend the board over it's P45 counterparts. The 2 x16 lanes are a boon for sure, but one x16 and a x8 slot on a P45 is not going to reduce your FPS by a great deal and the extra over-clocking headroom on the P45 would no doubt make up for this issue.
It's a stable board for sure but didn't light my fires!
Gigabyte's GA-X48-DS4 motherboard provides the ultimate dream machine for serious overclockers and enthusiasts. Making sure gamers have plenty of future CPU headroom, the Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 supports Intel Core 2 multi-core processors as well as the Intel 45nm CPUs. In addition to providing record setting support for 1600MHz FSB and up to 1200 MHz of DDR2 memory, the GA-X48-DS4 is further equipped to support ATI CrossFireX with dual PCI Express x16 interfaces. The GA-X48-DS4 also delivers several unique Gigabyte innovations including the latest edition to Gigabyte's technology arsenal, the Dynamic Energy Saver (DES), providing extensive power savings with one simple click. Featuring the award-winning durable 2 design, the GA-X48-DS4 provides additional power savings, ultra cooling and extended system durability for even the most hardcore PC gamers.
|Product Description:||Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 - motherboard - ATX - LGA775 Socket - X48|
|Product Type:||Motherboard - ATX|
|Chipset Type:||Intel X48 Express / Intel ICH9R|
|Processor Socket:||1 x LGA775 Socket|
|Compatible Processors:||Pentium, Pentium 4, Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, Celeron D, Pentium Extreme Edition, Pentium D, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Quad, Celeron 400 sequence, Celeron Dual Core|
|Max RAM Size:||8 GB|
|RAM Supported:||4 DIMM slots - DDR2 , non-ECC, ECC|
|Storage Ports:||1 x ATA, 8 x SATA|
|USB Ports Configuration:||12 x USB|
|FireWire Ports Configuration:||3 x FireWire|
|Audio:||HD Audio (8-channel)|
|LAN:||2 x Gigabit Ethernet|