Intel Z68 Express Chipset Preview: SSD Caching And Quick Sync

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aliened

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Nice. Thanks for the quick heads up, I was just starting to build my new rig but now that I read this I'm going to wait for the Z68 MOBOs :D
 

compton

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I am one of those ssd+hdd users who prefer manually managing the drives. Recently I discovered some of the older ssd + hdd cache devices(Silverstone made one). I wasn't impressed. However,I could see the Intel cache set-up as being advantageous for me. Why? I have a boot SSD, large storage HDD, and a third SSD. I could still boot from the boot drive, then use the second SSD and HDD together. I like that idea enough to wait for the Z chipset before I ditch the H chipset.
 

cangelini

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compton, problem with that SilverStone unit was that it didn't have any intelligence built-in--it was simply mapping the first sectors of the hard drive, if what I remember reading a year ago was right...
 

haplo602

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wow ...

I am thinking what is more restricting ... a ZFS supporting OS or the stupid Intel list for SSD caching.

The only impresive part of Sandy Bridge is the single-threaded performance. Everything else is a disaster (chipsets, QuickSync restrictions, price, linux drivers and bugs etc.) or was already available in previous generations.

Waiting on AMD Bulldozer and Llano ... I just hope those 2 won't be similar disasters.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]haplo602[/nom]wow ... I am thinking what is more restricting ... a ZFS supporting OS or the stupid Intel list for SSD caching.The only impresive part of Sandy Bridge is the single-threaded performance. Everything else is a disaster (chipsets, QuickSync restrictions, price, linux drivers and bugs etc.) or was already available in previous generations.Waiting on AMD Bulldozer and Llano ... I just hope those 2 won't be similar disasters.[/citation]In regards to Linux, isn't that like saying "Toyotas are junk because they're always dirty"? I mean, Linux is maintained by its "owners".
 
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So would ssd caching work on a raid 0 setup with 2 samsung spinpoint F3's or would this add an additional risky element without much performance gain?...or say a raid 1 where I have backup...would it cache both drives or 1?..Sorry new to this and also waiting for a z68.
 

cangelini

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[citation][nom]tradeshowhound[/nom]So would ssd caching work on a raid 0 setup with 2 samsung spinpoint F3's or would this add an additional risky element without much performance gain?...or say a raid 1 where I have backup...would it cache both drives or 1?..Sorry new to this and also waiting for a z68.[/citation]

Yes, so long as all members of the array are hard disks.
 

SpadeM

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P67 and Z68 are both incomplete chipsets. You still have to pay extra for virtue if you don't want to swap cable. I'm actually fine with that it's just that going down this path is like selling a modular design. I'm expecting intel's P77 chipset to be missing disk controllers but motherboard manufacturers could opt for marvell, jmicron or others to supplement that shortage. Intel does make some fine processors today, but their chipsets disappoint. But the good news is, maybe one day with the help of motherboard vendors we could pair a AMD chipset (which is believe to be superior) with an Intel processor.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]SpadeM[/nom]P67 and Z68 are both incomplete chipsets. You still have to pay extra for virtue if you don't want to swap cable. I'm actually fine with that it's just that going down this path is like selling a modular design. I'm expecting intel's P77 chipset to be missing disk controllers but motherboard manufacturers could opt for marvell, jmicron or others to supplement that shortage. Intel does make some fine processors today, but their chipsets disappoint. But the good news is, maybe one day with the help of motherboard vendors we could pair a AMD chipset (which is believe to be superior) with an Intel processor.[/citation]Chris probably won't say anything, but as a motherboard tester I've found that the Intel features that do work "right", work better. That includes drive controllers, so it really comes down to a choice of a bunch of good features or a few great ones.
 

wribbs

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I don't understand why cached SSD/HDD is so far from pure SSD. Once something is cached to the SSD shouldn't the performance be nearly identical? Seems like this type of technology needs more work.
 

silverblue

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Had Intel not imposed such limitations on Sandy Bridge, they'd not need so many motherboard chipsets for a start, plus you can only imagine what a monster it could have been to start off with.
 

valuial

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So yeah hooray for intel, ssd caching is just taking performance down (note, this is an option aimed for power user, they are kind of guy who pay 300$ bucks and then choose the worst way to get perf...), quick sync is a unstable restricted piece of crap, transcoding media is a top priority... what about a trim support in raid a array? something that is really needed by power user and not those wanabee features
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]silverblue[/nom]Had Intel not imposed such limitations on Sandy Bridge, they'd not need so many motherboard chipsets for a start, plus you can only imagine what a monster it could have been to start off with.[/citation]Intel, like most other companies in this business, is known for using feature limitations to push more-expensive platforms.[citation][nom]valuial[/nom]So yeah hooray for intel, ssd caching is just taking performance down (note, this is an option aimed for power user, they are kind of guy who pay 300$ bucks and then choose the worst way to get perf...), quick sync is a unstable restricted piece of crap, transcoding media is a top priority... what about a trim support in raid a array? something that is really needed by power user and not those wanabee features[/citation]If you have the money for a huge SSD, go for it! But don't Sandforce controllers already have their own built-in garbage collection that practically negates the need for TRIM?
 

mrmotion

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I could see this working out very well for a cad or cam software where your pulling up the same huge files day in and day out off of a storage drive. I will look forward to this for my next workstation.
 

lradunovic77

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Useless. Why would you use SSD as caching? Why would you pair your Nvidia card with that useless silicon called HD3000? Looks like Intel is running out of good ideas so they throw all this useless technology, what a waste.
 

lradunovic77

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I am waiting for true next generation Intel Chipset and CPU, successor of x58. P75, Z68 LGA1155, just like LGA1156 -> freaking joke for masses.
Also looking to see Bulldozer!
 

kenyee

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I'm more interested in whether QuickSync works under MythTV in Linux (and whether sound can go over the HDMI cable)...it'd help a lot for HTPC use...
 

haplo602

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]In regards to Linux, isn't that like saying "Toyotas are junk because they're always dirty"? I mean, Linux is maintained by its "owners".[/citation]

Intel is (or was) one of the best and most reliable Linux supporters. Their graphics were not any good, but the CPUs, chipsets and other things worked perfectly.

With SB the drivers were late and buggy. This is a slip that is not what we are used to from Intel (apart from graphics :))
 

sblantipodi

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Hi Cangelini, thanks for the great reviews, as always.

what about Intel VT-d CPU extensions?

Intel created a lot of confusion on this extensions, personally I bought a 2600 CPU (not a 2600K) because
2600 support VT-d and 2600K not.
I bought this CPU with a P67 since intel stated some months ago that P67 is capable to use VT-d, Asrock and some others manufacturers have also an option on P67 boards to enable VT-d.

Now it seems that Asus is talking about misprint when talking about P67 and VT-d, its not clear if P67 will support VT-d or what chipset will support it, probably Z68?

Can you enlight us by asking to intel rep please?
 

TeraMedia

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Is it possible to split an SSD so that part serves as a boot drive (e.g. just 25 GB or so), and the remainder serves as an SSD cache for a normal HDD? This would solve the problem of the slow boot speed with the SSD cache drive approach, while affording the benefits of dynamically-allocated cache space for program and data files. With Intel Matrix Storage, you can use part of each of several drives to form a RAID array, and use the remaining part for a different array - possibly with a different type. Can that type of thing be done with Intel RST and an SSD for both boot drive and caching?
 
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