Newbies question abou Gigabyte EP45-UD3P

emc2

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I was considering this motherboard for my upcoming upgrade and I see this mobo supports crossfire with 2x PCIE x16 slots. I was just wondering: if I really do not plan to use crossfire setup (1 VGA is enough for me) can that remaining PCIEx16 slot be used for fast hardware RAID card ? Will it work ?

And also, do I need the 1066MHz DDR2 modules or are 800MHz fine (regarding performace) ? I plan on using it for Q9650 CPU.
 

shabaa

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1: You should be able to use a hardware raid card in the slot (make sure that it is installed in the #2 PCIe slot and it is compatible with PCIe 8X). I do not know why you would want a separate card for that when the board supports Raid 0,1,5 and 10.

2: Although 1066 memory provides a greater potential of bandwidth for you can use the 800 memory. Personally with the cost of memory today... I would get the 1066 as the difference in price is nominal and the potential is great.

IMHO....With the advent of the large on die cache in processors today tweaking the timings and settings on the memory provide such little gains in the real word that it is almost a moot point 99% of the time. Except in those instances where hard core overclockers say they notice the difference. Many seem to feel that if you can produce a better benchmark the difference is there...... the question on this subject should be " do you really notice it in what you do or do you live to do only bench tests?"
Sorry for digressing ..... Just my .02¢ ......
 

emc2

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Thank you.

1. That's interesting I thought that the second slot will either work only for VGA card or it will work for all PCIe compatible devices regardless of their speed. So what you mean is that the second slot is compatible only with devices x8 and higher - is this for real ? (I thought PCIe should be backward compatible) Not that this is necessarily a problem but there are still many x4 hardware RAID cards nowadays I might want to consider...

Regarding why I want a separate card - it's simple. I don't know what's theoretical maximum speed for ICH10R RAID controller this board is using but I am pretty confident it's lower than x4 or x8 hw RAID card can deliver. Since I consider buying from 3 to 4 SSD drives and running them in RAID 0 as my system disk this integrated on board controller could easily become a bottleneck (with the new OCZ Apex / Vertex series when single drive can deliver about 230 MB/s max read speeds) I am not decided yet I might end up buying only 2 Vertex drives and for now just use the on board RAID controller but I would like to have the option later on. I am in a little doubt that 2 years from now every SSD will go faster then 300MB/s and I guess I might want to upgrade my storage now and then.


2. I know what you mean. It's simillar to synthetic memory bandwidth benchmarks of Nehalems where they absolutely rule though in real worlds applications it does not seem to be a significant advantage (except of maybe some highly specialized apps).
 

emc2

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Ok then perhaps some better then average quality DDR2 800 will do the job.

I'll by thinking about possible RAID setups in more detail only after the new PC is working. For now I might stay with just two Vertex drives + ICH10 (depending on first reviews how it stand againts Intel X25-M) and buy hw RAID card only after Vertex2 is out (approx 6 months from now ? Hard to tell) Specs for Vertex2 look impressive though.

http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11365&Itemid=1

Obviously what would be needed then is RAID card with SATA III (6Gb/s) support (and such cards afaik are not available nowadays)
 

jsc

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One very good reason is to be able to migrate a RAID array to another computer in the future. On board RAID means that you are most likely stuck with that particular motherboard chipset - or perhaps something very similar.
 

goonting

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yep...based on my experience with older poweredge servers by dell...its easier to migrate arrays with separate RAID controllers....i hate to be tied up with a specific board too..
 

Stingy1

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1. That's interesting I thought that the second slot will either work only for VGA card or it will work for all PCIe compatible devices regardless of their speed. So what you mean is that the second slot is compatible only with devices x8 and higher - is this for real ? (I thought PCIe should be backward compatible) Not that this is necessarily a problem but there are still many x4 hardware RAID cards nowadays I might want to consider...
Just to clarify, from my understanding, I believe what shabaa meant was that the 2nd PCIe slot supports up to x8. So 1x-8x PCIe cards should work in the 2nd slot.

Do you already own the Q9650? If not, and if you live near a MicroCenter, you might want to consider this (my 2 cents :D ):
Your proposed system:
<$482>
$340(NewEgg)...Q9650 CPU
$115AR(NewEgg)...GA-EP45-UD3P motherboard
$27AR(NewEgg)...memory(4GB-800mhz)

Faster proposed system:
<$565 (6GB)>...<$501 (3GB)>
$230(MC)...i7 920 processor
$185AR(NewEgg or MC)...GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R
$150(NewEgg or MC)...DDR3 memory(6GB-1333mhz)...(3GB-1333mhz-$86NE/$90MC)

$482 vs $565...only a $83* difference for a faster processor and memory(*before any taxes and shipping of course). Only a $19* difference if you go for 3GB of memory. The motherboard has everything the UD3P has, except that it has only 1 Gigabit Ethernet LAN. However, it does have an extra x4 slot(though this will probably be blocked by your GPU).

In either case, best of luck with your upgrade!!!
 

average joe

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Add on I/O cards usually have thier own processor and cache. Some even let you up add Ram to incease the buffer size. Many on board devices eat up CPU cycles and resources because alot of the processing is done by the CPU. Todays CPU are so powerfull you might not be able to tell the difference but it used to be noticably faster to run seperate I/O cards. The upcoming USB 3 is supposed to be heavily CPU intensive where as a seperate USB 3 card would do its own work.
On the down side having alot of add - in cards makes it difficult to overclock and you may not get as far.
 
On the down side having alot of add - in cards makes it difficult to overclock and you may not get as far.
AFAIK the number of cards shouldn't affect OCiing 99% of the time. However, the heat from the cards might affect OCing.

As for USB 3, motherboards may come with an onboard chip( kind of like a PATA controller) for the USB 3 functions.
 

emc2

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Unlike old PCI, PCIe clock runs independently of FSB so I do not see why it should cause problems with OC.

Stingy1:
Wow some incredible prices you have there - do you know about similar shop for EU ? :D Is that q9650 price already with the announced price cuts ? http://www.dailytech.com/Intel+Cuts+Prices+Introduces+New+Models/article13985.htm
I don't have the q9650 yet and I wonder when the prices will drop in my local shops - LOL Should I wait or should I go - that is a question.

My local shops offer q9650 for ~ 332 EUR and i7 920 for ~ 278 EUR. Since I want at least 8GB ram I can get LGA 775 mobo + 8 GB DDR2 much cheaper as 1366 mobo + 12 GB DDR3 (double channel on i7 does not make a lot of sense). I better invest the spared money into SSDs which I think will make much more of a difference (when considering money / overall system performance) One other thing I like about q9650 is its 95 TDP vs. 130 TDP of i7 920 since quiet system is one of the priorities in my upcoming build - so it should be little easier to keep it cool.
 

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