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View Full Version : 2nd Gaming Rig: Performance?


ViN86
07-23-10, 02:38 PM
So, I saw an awesome deal in the FS/FT forum here a few weeks ago and bought a server motherboard with dual xeons. I bought a Super Micro X6DH8-G2+ Motherboard and 2 Intel Xeon 2.4GHz CPU's (for a whopping $15).

Now the server board has 2 x8 PCIe and 1 x4 PCIe slots. Also, the PCI-X slots are 1 at 133MHz and 1 at 100MHz. Now, I messed with an old 550W PSU to get the cables hooked up. I have a 4-to-8 pin adapter to use for the 8 pin slot, a 24 pin connector for the main power, and I am going to use a 6-pin 12V PCIe power connector for the other 4 pin 12V connector on the board (other sites say this will work as long as the cables are connected correctly, I think PCIe ports have the ground on the bottom and MB ports have the ground on the top).

Now, my video card won't fit in the x8 slot for a couple reasons. First, the end of the lane is blocked,and second, there's some proprietary port at the end that gets in the way. So I am going to try something like this to make the card fit:

http://www.orbitmicro.com/global/arc1-08x16-x8-p-8226.html?ref=base

http://www.orbitmicro.com/global/imagemagic.php?img=../i/8226.JPG&w=200&h=103.32850940666&page=prod_info%22

It says some high-end cards won't work with the adapters. You guys think it will work?

Second, there is no audio on the board (it's a server motherboard), so it looks like I need to find a sound card. I will probably need a PCIe sound card or a PCI-X sound card (if they exist and I can find one cheap). I have an old PCI sound card, but it isn't compatible with the slots (board has only PCI-X slots, the ones on the bottom of the image below).

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pc-interfaces-101,1177-18.html

http://img.tomshardware.com/us/2005/11/23/pc_interfaces_101/pci64_3.jpg

Finally, what kind of performance will these dual Xeons put out? I can buy 2 3GHz+ Xeons for like $40 on eBay if these are too weak. But do you think they will be able to handle a game like BC2 adequately? Will they outperform a single Athlon64 3200+?

I have an old Athlon64 3200+ lying around. Maybe it'd be better to drop like $50 on a new motherboard instead of going through this hassle (I have 4GB or RAM for the athlon, none for the xeons)? If that's the case then I will use this server board for, well, a linux server lol.

Thanks

ViN86
07-23-10, 07:59 PM
Nothing?

Drolfrawd
07-23-10, 08:11 PM
2 cents worth
you may struggle to get drivers for the sound card

xeon cpu's will outperform the Athlon mentioned easily

logan
07-23-10, 09:06 PM
Are you sure your PCI soundcard won't work in the PCI-X slots? I've never heard of any problems using PCI cards in PCI-X slots or vice versa.

-- edit --

Whoops, I didn't see the article at Tom's. I guess I should say that I've never had any problems with PCI-X<=>PCI, but maybe I just happened to have the right hardware laying around...

I don't know if you'd make use of it, but you can pick up a AOC-IPMI20-E card on eBay (http://cgi.ebay.com/Supermicro-AOC-IPMI20-E-BMC2-IPMI-2-0-Over-LAN-/300378565526?cmd=ViewItem&pt=COMP_EN_Networking_Components&hash=item45eff52b96) for $25. I bought mine from this seller for the same price. It's pretty fun to play around with.. You can get server health and chassis status, power it on or off, and do console redirection via SOL if you don't have a terminal server or any type of serial console setup. Out of all the servers I manage at work, mine is the only one with IPMI. :P

ViN86
07-24-10, 11:01 AM
To be honest, I don't know if this rig is worth it. If I buy a PCIe sound card, that will be at least $40-50, then I need the PCIe adapter, which is at least $30, then I need RAM still. I could probably get an X2 4800+ and a 939 motherboard for less than $100, and I already have RAM for it.

logan
07-24-10, 11:35 AM
How would the mounting work for the adapted video card anyway? Wouldn't that cause it to stick out further? I've gotten some shorter mounting brackets with my 3ware 9650se and some Intel networking cards, but I've never come across one for a video card and I don't see how you'd be able to do it with one of those big honkin' things like the GTX200's.

My gram has my old AMD64 3200+. The only reason I stopped using that was because the system didn't have PCIe, but I don't think it'd hold up too well to a newer dual core CPU now. I'm not too familiar with AMD processors after the AMD64. We have an X2 4800+ desktop at work in the datacenter for managing servers, but I don't really use it all that much. I recently built an Athlon II X2 550 system to use as my main desktop and it feels pretty close to the e8400 in my old system. I even managed to unlock all 4 cores using my GA-MA785G-UD3H. Those two were about $160 total, so that probably wouldn't work if you need to stay at or under $100.

Supermicro makes solid motherboards. I'm sure the X6DH8-G2+ and the Xeon processors would make a fine server if you were to ever build a SAN or something.

ViN86
07-24-10, 12:32 PM
How would the mounting work for the adapted video card anyway? Wouldn't that cause it to stick out further? I've gotten some shorter mounting brackets with my 3ware 9650se and some Intel networking cards, but I've never come across one for a video card and I don't see how you'd be able to do it with one of those big honkin' things like the GTX200's.

My gram has my old AMD64 3200+. The only reason I stopped using that was because the system didn't have PCIe, but I don't think it'd hold up too well to a newer dual core CPU now. I'm not too familiar with AMD processors after the AMD64. We have an X2 4800+ desktop at work in the datacenter for managing servers, but I don't really use it all that much. I recently built an Athlon II X2 550 system to use as my main desktop and it feels pretty close to the e8400 in my old system. I even managed to unlock all 4 cores using my GA-MA785G-UD3H. Those two were about $160 total, so that probably wouldn't work if you need to stay at or under $100.

Supermicro makes solid motherboards. I'm sure the X6DH8-G2+ and the Xeon processors would make a fine server if you were to ever build a SAN or something.

Yea it's just a little 9800GT so it wouldn't be too bad if it stuck out a little bit. I would just have to make sure to secure it inside the case somehow.

I think I am going to stick with the board as just a server. I will find another motherboard with PCIe and another CPU. That should be better for gaming. Thanks for the input logan. I'll update my progress in a week or so.

bacon12
07-24-10, 01:19 PM
I have seen people mod the 8x by simply cutting the end out and use a 16x card. You never know with things like this or that adapter.

ViN86
07-25-10, 01:10 AM
Yea I was considering that. What tool would I use to accomplish something like that, a chisel? :lol:

Maybe a file will do it. It's a pretty thin channel.

t3hl33td4rg0n
07-25-10, 11:47 PM
Dremel?

bacon12
07-26-10, 12:39 PM
Yea or a really sharp knife? IDK what they would use, just take it slow and be careful not to slip and hit the pcb.

ViN86
07-26-10, 01:27 PM
Yea or a really sharp knife? IDK what they would use, just take it slow and be careful not to slip and hit the pcb.

Famous last words :D