Abit IX38 QuadGT review

£127
Price when reviewed

The IX38 QuadGT sells itself as a performance motherboard, with racing car imagery all over the box, but it doesn’t offer many features to justify such a claim. Its most interesting trick is the OC Guru utility for Windows, which can automatically apply different clock settings for different applications. In general, though, top FSB and RAM speeds are merely on the high side of average and, while the overclocking functions are certainly easy to use, there are plenty of cheaper boards that deliver the same level of performance.

Still, the motherboard has a good selection of features. Two full-speed PCI Express 16x slots mean you can get the best out of CrossFire, and six SATA channels give you plenty of room to expand. It’s nice to see eSATA, too, and it was a pleasant surprise to find an S/PDIF input on the backplate; most of this month’s boards offer output only.

Enthusiast-friendly features include power and reset buttons mounted on the board, and a button on the backplate to clear the CMOS. There’s an internal numeric display for POST codes, too, and a generous six fan headers.

When you pick up the IX38 QuadGT, it feels unusually solid, and Abit boasts that it uses solid-state capacitors and digital pulse-width modulators. The idea is that this helps keep everything “cool and stable” by allowing the board to regulate voltage supply quickly and accurately. There’s no way of measuring the practical benefit of these in real life, though, and power consumption in our tests was on the high side at 105W.

Quibbles aside, the QuadGT has plenty of charms to satisfy the casual tinkerer, and is considerably cheaper than the enthusiast motherboards from Asus or MSI.

Details

Motherboard form factor ATX
Motherboard integrated graphics no

Compatability

Processor/platform brand (manufacturer) Intel
Processor socket LGA 775
Motherboard form factor ATX
Memory type DDR2
Multi-GPU support yes

Controllers

Motherboard chipset Intel X38
Number of Ethernet adapters 1
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
Graphics chipset N/A
Audio chipset Realtek ALC888

Onboard Connectors

CPU power connector type 8-pin
Main power connector ATX 24-pin
Memory sockets total 4
Internal SATA connectors 6
Internal PATA connectors 1
Internal floppy connectors 1
Conventional PCI slots total 2
PCI-E x16 slots total 2
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots total 0
PCI-E x1 slots total 1

Rear ports

PS/2 connectors 2
USB ports (downstream) 4
FireWire ports 1
eSATA ports 2
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 2
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 6
Parallel ports 0
9-pin serial ports 0
Extra port backplane bracket ports 0

Accessories

SATA cables supplied 4
Molex to SATA adaters supplied 0
IDE cables supplied 1
Floppy cables supplied 1

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