Similar design to the X79 Extreme11, but that was spoiled by the SAS
controller not having any cache RAM. Have they done the same thing
again with this board? Without at least a 1GB cache, 4K I/O through
the SAS controller is pretty awful (I tested this with various SAS PCIe
cards). The price of the previous Extreme11 was too high aswell.
This is an interesting piece of hardware with so many features, it's impossible to categorize- limit- it's application- workstation / server is more likely, but high performance gaming is entirely possible. It's multiple personalities are apparent in this YouTube video, produced by ASRock:
> in which an Extreme11 is used with an 18-core Xeon E5-2699 v3 (2.3 /3.6GHz, $2,800) 128GB of DDR4 RAM, M.2 Ultra PCIe SSD's, 18 various SSD's, and 4X GTX 780TI in SLI that include active bridges (PLX PEX 8487) that allows all four GPU's to run at 16X. There are a lot of benchmarks in this test, the most impressive of which is a total of 8.4GB/s transfers and 2.8GB/s from the two M.2 Ultra PCIe drives alone. The other benchmarks are not particularly meaningful to me (3D Mark Firestrike Extreme of 16216?) as they are relative scores and in some cases compared to hardware two or three generations past- i7-3930 for example. Still- very impressive, and the X99 chipset and LGA2011-3 appears to be a winner.
The Extreme11, having Xeon and DDR4 ECC support, 2X amazingly fast M.2 Ultra and so many SATA3 and SAS ports, run by an LSI controller, the line up of PCIe x16 that could accommodate either multiple GPU's and/or GPU coprocessors, suggest very high-end workstation/server use, but it appears it will do well at about anything. The one limitation is that it accommodates one CPU, but the new series of 8, 10, 12, 14, and 18 core Xeons address the issue for highly threaded applications.
I'd enjoy seeing test of a system set up for the most demanding WS applications. I don't think I could ever use such a system to it's full potential, and justify the $15-20,000 - and $40,000 of appropriate software that a full-bore system would cost, but I also enjoy watching F1 racing in which the cars have $70,000 steering wheels. Perhaps Tom's might have an X99 test festival?
N.Broekhuijsen requests ideas for a proper case for this board and I would suggest:
> a CaseLabs Magnum STH10 that with optional fittings can incorporate 48 drives.
Why would you want this? I'm already of the opinion that large amounts of internal storage are pretty much redundant; if you want speed then you can fit a couple of SSDs in a case, if you want capacity then you're better off with a dedicated external enclosure where you can get enough hot-swap bays to justify it. Plus, that amount of ports has to have a serious bottleneck somewhere anyway, either that or you're starving the PCIe slots of bandwidth, at which point, what are you really doing with your storage if you can't provide the GPU clout to process to the monstrous video files that are the only real reason you'd need it?
If you can afford this board and a pile of SSDs to use those ports, you can afford a good RAID card.
While the board has many nice features, that many SATA ports are really not very useful with the exception of building a FreeNAS box, but then a cheap board and a couple of M1015 HBAs would make a lot more sense IMO.
I have 22Tb over 14 physical drives (plus a Blu-ray writer). Six of the internals are in three raid0 arrays including a pair of Samsung 256Gb Pro for the boot drive. But five of those drives are external, which has to be a more flexible solution, and allows safe offsite high capacity back up. Having said that, I think I would definitely look at this MB if I was building again right now.
BTW The boot drive raid0 above tests at just under a Gb/s, but I probably wouldn't bother doing this again in a system like this, because looking at all those drives slows things down so much. I have an MSI laptop with a similar two SSD boot drive which is ridiculously fast for both boot and app loading, but that is a far simpler system
This looks like perfect motherboard for me (depending on price). Currently using Rampage 2 and limited number of SATA ports are already taken - have to disconnect BDRW drive to use its SATA port. Upgrade to X99 for better/faster 4K video editing in Premiere CC is what I want. But if it has this many SATA ports does it also have lots of SATA power connection points too? I hate rats nest of SATA/power cables all over inside case though. Must be some tidy way to have lots of big storage drives in main case without resorting to external slow or expensive NAS storage.