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Old 04-29-11, 04:29 PM   #37
shadow001
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Default Re: Intel X79 Chipset

In any case,i don't see what the fuss is with SATA 3.0 since it's top speed is 600MB/sec and there are SSD drives right now able to hit 500MB/sec in sustained reads/writes, so SATA 3.0 isn't that far away from being maxed out as it is with current SSD drives...


If the X79 with native SATA 3.0 support only shows up late this year, the odds are pretty good that there will be SSD's on the market by then or shortly after, that are actually able to exceed 600MB/sec in sustained reads/writes, so SATA 3.0 isn't fast enough anymore for those drives to perform at their best, and the only thing that would be fast enough uses the PCI-e interface directly like OCZ does in their revolution and revolution X2 lineup, wich are SSD's mounted on a PCB using 2~4 controlers in raid 0 and plugged into a pci-e slot....
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Old 04-29-11, 06:20 PM   #38
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Default Re: Intel X79 Chipset

What effin mess Intel made with all these sockets. This time around i am waiting for AMD Buldozer and i am getting getting one since AMD got Nvidia SLI License
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Old 04-29-11, 07:14 PM   #39
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Default Re: Intel X79 Chipset

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If it works, it doesn't really matter the brand really
Wise words, right there.
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Old 04-30-11, 12:19 PM   #40
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Default Re: Intel X79 Chipset

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And that's why PCIe 3.0 is important. GPUs don't need the additional bandwidth just yet but PCIe SSDs will. With PCIe 3.0 mainboard manufactures can better design their PCIe layouts for GPUs and SSD cards.

Personally, I prefer SATA as my disk interface because I'd like to use my PCIe slots for "more traditional" cards. And the max bandwidth of SATA 3 is more than enough for me. SSDs are about access time for me. I even took apart my G2 Intel RAID to use the disks in two different systems instead. I'm more than happy with something like a SF2000 on a SATA 3 controller. But when it comes to controllers I just prefer Intel's native solutions over some third party onboard controller. For me it's either Intel onboard or otherwise a real HW controller.

Like I said, if you're happy the way it is, that's cool.
I just think that if Intel would still be on their previous release schedule, we'd have much better and more balanced products on the highend front.

Well, PCI-e 3.0's max bandwith is 10 GB/sec, so in theory that makes it have about 20x the maxium mesured performance of the fastest SSD's on the market for the time being....Even PCI-e 2.0 is still 10x faster than any SSD on the market...


If you want the maximum performance from your SSD's, then for me, it would be using a dedicated controler from either LSI or areca or adaptec....Controlers that feature their own dual core CPU's and up to 512 MB of dedicated cache just for the drives themselves, but they start at 300~350$ for baseline models and go from there, so cheap they are not...


Even the upcoming intel 720 series of SLC SSD's, wich will be released by late this year, will use a PCI-e interface rather than the SATA 3.0 interface, so that right there suggests that the latter won't be fast enough to allow that partcular SSD to perform at it's best...


As for GPU's, i'm not too sure about PCI-e 3.0 either, since we're still seeing the same trends as newer video cards are being released, and that's cards that are not only faster at the GPU level, but also pack more memory and that memory is faster clocked, with single GPU cards now aproaching 200 GB/sec of memory bandwith, wich is 20x faster than PCI-e 3.0, and much lower latency since it's right next to the GPU itself, on the Same PCB...So if you want that GPU performing at it's fastest speed, it won't be because of the 10 GB/sec provided by the PCI-e 3.0 bus specification, but the memory on the video card itself for all effects and overall workloads that the GPU processes often in a given game....Developers try to store the data within the video card memory itself as much as possible, and try to minimize PCI-e bus data traffic as much as possible and the same for system memory too..


Even right now, if you add a video card into a PCI-e 8x slot(electrically of course) wich effectively cuts the bandwith down to half, and measure that performance with the same card, on the same game and settings, but this time running on a PCI-e X16 slot, effectively doubling the bandwith to the video card, the performance difference is practically non existant(2~3 FPS), wich is usually considered margin of error values....


At least with Nvidia, if they maintain a 384 bit memory bus with kepler, just like they have up until now with all their higher end releases over the last few years, that means that the card will obviously have faster clocked memory, but might also offer a 3 GB model by default and that's a lot of memory to completely fill up before PCI-e 3.0 actually makes a difference.



I'm sure there will be a lot of reviews comparing PCI-e 2.0 to PCI-e 3.0 when the time comes, but i'm not just buying into it and holding back upgrades, simply because it's a higher number and it should be better in theory....I want to see actual real world performance numbers, and like i said earlier, previous comparisons between PCI-e 1.0 and PCI-e 2.0 didn't show a difference and reviewers went on that might change in the future....It's 2011 and i'm still waiting here
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Old 04-30-11, 04:39 PM   #41
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Default Re: Intel X79 Chipset

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It's not about performance, it's about the design of the board itself. That's why I mentioned the mainboard manufacturers in my post. With PCIe 3.0 and the doubled bandwidth per lane, supporting GFX cards, PCIe SSDs, RAID Controllers and external high bandwidth interfaces will be much more flexible. Very interesting stuff can be doable with that and that's why I'm really interested in PCIe 3.0.

I'm aware that the additional bandwidth will do nothing for gaming. I've tested that enough myself with 2 and 3 GTX 580 3GBs.

At least we agree on the hardware SATA controllers I'm using last year's entry level Adaptec controller with a SAS expander in my server and it handles a RAID 6 array easily. This year's models are highly SSD optimized, very cool products indeed.

Flexible in what way though?...Can you name examples?


See i used to be an easy sell when it comes to the latest hardware changes or updates to standards a long time ago, but maybe it's with old age comes wisdom, and that what a given technology has in terms of potential,versus real world practical differences in usability, flexibility and overall performance where on a fair amount of occasions, it didn't live up to the hype....I don't care about hype basically.


With PCI-e 3.0,i take a show me first attitude and i mean real world examples using what's out there software wise right now, not in 5 years from now or using synthetic benchmarks created specifically to show it that have no relation to how actual programs are written...
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Old 04-30-11, 05:22 PM   #42
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This is a random example:

There are 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes available. The higher bandwidth allows for example for the following distribution without sacraficing bandwidth on any of the components:

-8 lanes for the GFX card (= x16 PCIe 2.x)
-4 lanes for a high performance PCIe SSD (= x8 PCIe 2.x)
-4 lanes for a higher end hardware RAID controller for storage (= x8 PCIe 2.x).

Like you mentioned before, x8 PCIe 2.x is enough for current GFX cards so those 8 lanes could be further divided for SLI.

That would result in an SLI system with a highend PCIe SSD for high bandwidth tasks and a great HW RAID storage solution. If the chipset/southbridge also provides a few PCIe 2.x lanes you can connect the onboard NIC and/or other external interfaces to that.
With good cooling and a smart PCIe layout, this stuff is possible on a standard ATX board.

This is my board:




As you can see, it has no less than 7 PCI-e X16 mechanical slots, wich 4 are X16 electrical slots and 3 are X8 electrical slots and once the video cards are water cooled, i can do a 4 way SLI or crossfire setup with 4 cards if i was crazy enough, and still have 3 slots open wich would handle a PCI-e sound card, a full on SSD raid card and still have one slot open for something in the future....Maybe a video capture/TV tuner card or something.


So i know this particular motherboard is insane and much more expensive than average board and needs an HPTX case, wich there are few options out there and they also are expensive, but what exactly will an X79 do that this one can't is beyond me right now, so why would i be waiting 6 + months for it in the first place?...


Not to mention that this one can handle more memory(up to 48 GB of it), has 6 memory channels between both CPU sockets,and is rocking 12 physical cores at 4 Ghz right now(has been for 4 weeks now) and handles 24 threads(hyperthreading is enabled of course and turbo mode too)..It doesn't things that no other board on the market does right now....Not one.
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Old 04-30-11, 06:30 PM   #43
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With PCIe 3.0 there is no need for additional NF200 chips. Every single third party chip that is avoidable is a good thing in my book. Same as with the SATA 3 or USB 3.0 chips. I prefer native solutions.

The SR-2 is nothing special in my opinion. Never understood all the hype around it. It's just an overclockable workstation board that doesn't have to be as reliable as workstation boards. That's why it's also cheaper than similar boards or has fancy gaming stuff for the same price. It's targeted at this small benchmarking crowd, reliability is secondary there.
EVGA deserves credit for making such a product though, that's what's special about it.
And it's still triple channel memory, not need to double it.

Fine, list the number of overclockable dual socket motherboards released over the years....I can only remember 4 of them in the past 15 years, but i'm only going by memory so i might be missing one here:

1:Abit BP6 using socket 370 and released in 1997~98.
2:AMD's Quad FX in 2007 using socket F and the FX70/72/74 CPU's.
3:Intel Skulltrail motherboard in 2008 using socket 775 and FB dimms.
4:EVGA's SR-2 classified.


That's pretty much it, so they are rare releases as it's already a pain in the ass to design a dual socket motherboard as it is, and making one that can overclock just as well as a single socket motherboard is an even bigger pain in the ass....There's even a specific profile in the BIOS for this board for those using liquid nitrogen, and built in voltage mesuring points for those using multimeters, that's now hard core this board goes, and i've never seen those particular features on a single socket motherboard, even an enthusiast class one.


I'm also fully aware that in order to have all these slots, it needs extra bridge chips and is a more complex design because of that with more points of failure, but it works and puts up very nice performance numbers and it's been completely stable doing it, so what matters in the end is that the capability is there, and the NF200 is nothing new as it's been in production for years now, so i think all the kinks have been ironed out by now...


As for the memory channels, i mentioned that the board uses Xeons, wich have 2 QPI channels compared to the 1 that desktop versions use, and the main utility for that extra QPI channel is that CPU in one socket that can directly talk to the CPU on the other socket and access it's ram if needed, should the data not be within it's own 3 memory channels...So we can call it 3 memory channels per socket with a twist..


It's called NUMA support Btw( Non uniform memory access).
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Old 04-30-11, 06:59 PM   #44
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Default Re: Intel X79 Chipset

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With PCIe 3.0 there is no need for additional NF200 chips. Every single third party chip that is avoidable is a good thing in my book. Same as with the SATA 3 or USB 3.0 chips. I prefer native solutions.

The SR-2 is nothing special in my opinion. Never understood all the hype around it. It's just an overclockable workstation board that doesn't have to be as reliable as workstation boards. That's why it's also cheaper than similar boards or has fancy gaming stuff for the same price. It's targeted at this small benchmarking crowd, reliability is secondary there.
EVGA deserves credit for making such a product though, that's what's special about it.
And it's still triple channel memory, no need to double it.
Agreed, nothing special about it imo. And the fact that EVGA has lacked serious quality control on their motherboards in the past is the main reason I avoided their dual socket board.
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Old 04-30-11, 07:27 PM   #45
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Agreed, nothing special about it imo. And the fact that EVGA has lacked serious quality control on their motherboards in the past is the main reason I avoided their dual socket board.

I guess i'm lucky then...


It is an expensive option as between the board, a pair of X5650 Xeons and 24 GB of DDR3 2000 memory, it hits 3500$+ just for that alone, wich is more money than most spend on their entire PC.
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Old 05-01-11, 12:30 PM   #46
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Overclockable multi-socket boards are rare because overclockability is not a requirement in the multi-socket target market. Now with all that Turbo hype going on at AMD and Intel, overclocking is somehow there but fully automatic. Performance/watt, stability and reliability is key for those markets - overclocking would work against that.

Those boards you mentioned are targeted for the overclocking sector, the benchmark junkies. A very small market. That's why I said EVGA deserves credit for making such a board because this is not a mass market and that's usually not something a manufacturer is interested in.
But that doesn't make the board special at all. Again, I never understood the hype around it.

In my opinion the SR-2 is the best budget board for the dual socket market. It's not the best choice when it comes to reliability but in a non-mission-critical environment you can save a lot of money by getting the cheaper, lower clocked CPUs instead of the higher end models.

First of all, the board cost 700$, wich makes it just as expensive as pretty much any dual socket board that doesn't overclock at all from the heavy hitters like Tyan or supermicro, wich specialise in dual and even quad socket motherboards for the last 15+ years...


Second, the idea behind this board is to use the same idea used in a single socket enthusiast motherboards that everyone raves about and try to apply those same ideas, for that same market on a dual socket platform, and they even took a bigger gamble here, because it also introduced a new form factor(HPTX), wich is actually larger than the E-ATX standard that regular dual socket non overclockable boards use, but needed to allow all the features this board has, even though it pretty much limits it's use to a handfull of cases with enough room to fit the board in the first place, and none of them are cheap(mountain mods, largest lian li's, little dragon)....Basically 450 to 800$ cases to fit this thing in...


The previous 3 examples i quoted are all E-ATX boards, wich automatically have a much larger selection of cases that users are able to use, and those cases cheaper too, and even intel itself when it comes to it's very own skulltrail product, still used the E-ATX form factor and fully buffered Dimms, wich is server memory that does not like to be overclocked and runs hot as hell even at stock clocks and costs a fortune....They didn't attempt to release this using standard, unbuffered, non ECC memory, wich btw the SR-2 also supports, and if the user takes that option, it can support up to 96 GB of ECC ram, rather than just 48 GB..


What i'm basically saying is that of the few dual socket boards that have been released in the last 15 years that actually overclock and were aimed for enthusiasts, and i've either owned or used all of them at one point or another, this SR-2 is about as close to the best one that's ever been released overall in that time period for features, overclocking options in the Bios and on the board itself, the actual success rate of hitting a high overclock for the CPU, QPI, and ram, the graphics card options in single and multi GPU configurations, and even better than Intel's own skulltrail product wich didn't overclock that well to begin with(the Bios options were fairly limited for it), and that's saying something right there when EVGA does a better job than intel itself....


The only niggles i can think of here would be the location of some of the connectors, why is there a pata connector on the board, and that to really use the board to it's fullest potential along with 4 video cards and extreme cooling(read, cascade, R404, liquid nitrogen...Any sub 0 cooling), the board will require the use of dual power supplies given the extra power connectors built in for those scenarios(yes there are just there for that alone), as there's no single power supply than can handle it....This is basically a board where the gloves come off so to speak, and love it for that fact that EVGA went all out on it's design, no compromises and i'm still not using it to it's full potential, that's the scary part...
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Old 05-01-11, 01:01 PM   #47
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Looks like Intel is indeed doing something like this - already with X79 and much better



They will use PCIe 3.0 for their onboard storage solutions. 4 lanes will provide a lot of headroom. Lets just hope the "ICH" is ready for it - unlike the bandwidth cap on the old ICH10R

But additionally the CPU will provide 2 x16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. If the mainboard manufactures can distribute those in a smart way, there are lots of great systems possible!


Not all that bad after all, according to the latest rumors There is still the missing 8 Core issue. I have a feeling that Intel will release another Extreme Edition later on but I hope that this doesn't mean we'll have to wait for "Ivy Bridge E" and native USB 3.0 and TB support even longer.

Basically, if EVGA releases an SR-3 dual socket version using the X79 chipset or it's server variant, it will still have to use NF200 bridge chips to offer the graphics card options the current SR-2 has, and even then, it'll still be a 12 core/24 thread platform like the SR-2 is right now, and will still need Xeon processors for their dual QPI links(it's mandatory for dual socket platforms)....


I'm not saying it still won't be faster since it should be if they built one, but i'd be surprised if the performance increase was significant over the SR-2....I'd be interested if it were the ivy bridge with 8 cores and 16 threads per CPU, and the PCI-e 3.0 controler built right into the CPU core to seriously reduce latency and it doesn't have to go thru the northbridge chip at all....The CPU talks to the PCI-e slot directly basically.


Then a potential SR-3 version would be a 16 core/32 thread chewing machine, and should easily beat the SR-2 not only from the enhancements to the architecture, but also the extra thread handling capability(8 extra threads is nothing to sneeze at here)...
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Old 05-01-11, 01:08 PM   #48
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Default Re: Intel X79 Chipset

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That sums it pretty much up. The board is nothing special. It is a good board to break records but all that fancy additional stuff is not needed compared to it's direct competitors. Unless someone is going the budget route like I mentioned, then the SR-2 is a great option. Usually in the dual socket market, other things are much more important. Reliability for example. And based on my experience with EVGA boards, they don't excel at that one

And the improvements over Skull Trail are thanks to the newer Intel platform in general. EVGA had very little to do with this except making the BIOS overclockable and support different Multi-GPU solutions.

I know you like to stand in for the stuff you own on boards like this one and others. Remember when I accused you of being an AMD salesman back when you had AMD cards? All that suddenly stopped since you're using nV cards again. There is no need to do the same thing with this board again
After all, this thread is about upcoming hardware anyway.

There's 8000$ in hardware in the box, how does it qualify as budget?....And what exactly are it's competitors?


As for the design of the SR-2, we have to thank Pete "Shamino" tan, who has hit several world records in pretty much every benchmark released over the last 10 years, who was part of the development team for the SR-2 for his expertise not just in Bios settings, but component choice and layout for the board, the voltage mesuring points on the board using multimeters, the extra power connectors for sub 0 cooling, the PCI-e disable jumpers to be able to test the maximum overclock of each video card seperately....The list keeps going on and on.


He now works at Asus, so there should be something interesting coming out for enthusiasts soon enough....
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