P67, X58, And NF200: The Best Platform For CrossFire And SLI

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jprahman

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LGA1366 is officially dead, at least for gaming. Ever since Sandy Bridge was released (honestly ever since LGA1156) the only justification for people buying LGA1366 systems was the notion that somehow LGA1155 (or LGA1156) would "bottleneck" SLI or Crossfire, which this clearly shows to be false. Only point for LGA1366 now is for workstation builds which need 6 cores or for $3000+ bragging rights builds with quad-SLI/quad-Crossfire. Even then, anyone in the market for such systems know that LGA2011 is still going to come out later this year and will want to wait for that, instead of buying into LGA1366.
 

gracefully

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Part 4 should be triple monitor, triple GPU scaling test. Let's see what happens when the bottleneck is returned to the GPU. Then we can raise the clocks of the processors to lessen the chance of CPU bottlenecking.
 

BarackMcBush

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With the biggest difference being 10% and the average only being 2% , I hardly see "LGA1366 is officially dead, at least for gaming." This is a great article but LGA1366 is still a Very Fast Platform.
 

BarackMcBush

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With the biggest difference being 10% and the average only being 2% , I hardly see "LGA1366 is officially dead, at least for gaming." This is a great article but LGA1366 is still a Very Fast Platform.
 

BarackMcBush

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P67 definitely wins on Price Performance , You can get a 2600k ,a nice Motherboard and Ram for the same price as just the i7 990x cpu!
 
Great article but I come to a different conclusion. If your plan is to build a rig with 1 or 2 GPU's, then there is no reason to spend extra money on a NF200 equipped board, the performance difference between the 2 cards at x16/x16 and x8/x8 is next to nothing. If you are going with 3 GPU setup is when the NF200 comes in and is worth the expense.
 

andrewcutter

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thank you for the review. however i do think that you made a decision without taking into account all situations. it is clear that for one monitor what you said is true. however will you guys be doing the same tests on a multi monitor setup of say 3 1200 monitors, crank settings high to m put these dual cards on sever stress and then see if the same holds true. i feel this is a major part that you haven't looked at. if you are going to do this then i take back my word and will wait eagerly for that article. In case you are not planning to , lease consider doing it.
 
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Agreed, 1366 is hardly dead. The thing people forget is most of us have had our socket 1366 boards since 2008 or early 2009. This platform, even in its 3rd year, is still up there with the latest and greatest. Socket 1366 is the longest platform i have owned and in the long run, its actually been good value. If you have a socket 1366 system, theres no reason to upgrade until the end of the year with socket 2011. Its lasted 2 new platforms 1156 and 1155 and still up there with the latest and greatest. If you're buying today, you might as well get socket 1155 but if you have 1366 no point sidegrading.
 
Beyond what was already known from previous reviews, what I find interesting is that the NF200 does induce measurable latency into the system.

Looking at the only directly comparable results (x58 16x/16x vs x58+NF200 16x/16x), multiplexing a single PCIe 16x connection into two consistently lowers performance by around 1.5%.

While this does nothing to change the conclusion of this article, I still find these results interesting and they are what I am really taking away from it.
 

Onus

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Very interesting, especially for the reason outlw6669 cited, until I got to "...slams the lid on the coffin for X58 gaming." That was melodramatic BS; perhaps the silliest remark I've ever read in a Tom's article.
 

ubercake

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[citation][nom]barackmcbush[/nom]With the biggest difference being 10% and the average only being 2% , I hardly see "LGA1366 is officially dead, at least for gaming." This is a great article but LGA1366 is still a Very Fast Platform.[/citation]
Seriously... I know. A 2 percent increase and in some cases the X58 still takes the cake. But we do have the give the 1155 props... I guess you do save power if you don't OC your 1155. Additionally, if you go with the NF200 option by which you can add a third card, the Sandy Bridge option becomes expensive. It's good marketing on Intel's part to get us to pay more for a motherboard while making us think the 1155 is the more cost-effective option and buy a CPU you have to void the warranty on to see real performance advantages. Warranty costs go down and executive bonuses go up.

I hope AMD's bulldozer is finally an offering that really competes with Intel in the enthusiast space or we're looking at some serious price increases and another chipset that's "the best thing since sliced bread" in the LGA2011 that will give us a measly 3% performance increase (mind you it's greater than the 1155's 2%) at double the price and 10% less power than the 1366... But if you OC it and void your warranty, it'll take you all the way to 5% performance increases on air!

If anything, this article shows me there is not much of a reason to consider the 1155's performance much different than the 1136. It's just a different chipset with a slight performance improvement in some cases. A consistent 15-20% performance improvement and I'd say we're looking at an upgrade between the 1366 and the 1155, but this is not the case.

If you're in the market to buy right now... the 1155 is definitely the way to go, because at stock speeds it will get you higher performance (even if you have to pay more for the NF200 addition) for less money. But considering they're still selling socket 775 equipment, I wouldn't call the 1366 a "dead" socket by any means. If any socket could be considered "dead", I'd call anything pre-dozer AMD or the 1156 "dead" sockets. AMD is not even considered in any sites' reviews when benchmarking video cards, SSDs, HDDs, etc... due to architectural deficiencies... and Intel leapfrogged it's own 1156 socket only a year later with the 1155 (who does that?!). Intel is currently only competing with itself in the enthusiast space. I hope like heck it changes with the dozer release.

At any rate, great article.
 

ubercake

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[citation][nom]AndrewCutter[/nom]thank you for the review. however i do think that you made a decision without taking into account all situations. it is clear that for one monitor what you said is true. however will you guys be doing the same tests on a multi monitor setup of say 3 1200 monitors, crank settings high to m put these dual cards on sever stress and then see if the same holds true. i feel this is a major part that you haven't looked at. if you are going to do this then i take back my word and will wait eagerly for that article. In case you are not planning to , lease consider doing it.[/citation]
This would be an awesome part 4. I totally agree. Additionally, part 5 should introduce the 3D element to the mix. Part 6 multi-monitor 3D. That should keep Soderstrom busy for the next few weeks/months?
 

amstech

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Broad claims for little to no difference in performance across all games.
The only advantage is the ability to hit a higher clock speed.

The P67 barely outperforms the X58, just how I had guessed.
It's hardly an upgrade if one at all you own an X58 now.
 

NuclearShadow

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Despite these results I am still very happy with my i7 950 build. Also I have a friend who is making a Sandy Bridges build my only complaint is the quality motherboard prices tend to be quite higher at this time. For the specs I would pay for a $200 1366 I would have to pay $300 for the 1155.
I've noticed that there have been recent price drops for the 1366 CPU's for example the i7 950 for $280 now. So this likely leaves the Sandy Bridge build costing slightly more in the end and for a average 2% gain can you truly justify that?
 

ubercake

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[citation][nom]NuclearShadow[/nom]Despite these results I am still very happy with my i7 950 build. Also I have a friend who is making a Sandy Bridges build my only complaint is the quality motherboard prices tend to be quite higher at this time. For the specs I would pay for a $200 1366 I would have to pay $300 for the 1155.I've noticed that there have been recent price drops for the 1366 CPU's for example the i7 950 for $280 now. So this likely leaves the Sandy Bridge build costing slightly more in the end and for a average 2% gain can you truly justify that?[/citation]
I know what you're saying. I can pick up an i7-960 at the local Microcenter for $249 and a 3-way SLI (asus or gigabyte) capable board for another $200. If I go with the 2% performance increase Sandy Bridge option, I'm looking at $280 for a 2600K (don't fool yourself... 4 threads / cores on a 2500k won't cut it with modern games - which use up to 8+ cores, otherwise we'd have seen it in this comparison) and another $300-350 for something which includes the NF200 (if I want to consistently realize my 2% increase). Cost-effective? Intel wants you to think so.

Bottom line is Intel is competing with itself in the enthusiast space. As a result, in order to continue selling, they have to continue to convince people the newer tech is far better tech and also convince people newer tech is a better deal. Again, AMD can help us all with this if they can give us something real with their new releases. Otherwise, we'll see more price increases (while convincing us of the cost-effectiveness) and, again, new Intel products competing with existing Intel products.

Both platforms are good and if you're buying today, you'd want to go with the 1155, but if you're strapped for cash and can deal with an average 2% performance cut while gaming (but in some cases better performance than the 1155), go for a 1366.
 

xrodney

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[citation][nom]jprahman[/nom]LGA1366 is officially dead, at least for gaming. Ever since Sandy Bridge was released (honestly ever since LGA1156) the only justification for people buying LGA1366 systems was the notion that somehow LGA1155 (or LGA1156) would "bottleneck" SLI or Crossfire, which this clearly shows to be false. Only point for LGA1366 now is for workstation builds which need 6 cores or for $3000+ bragging rights builds with quad-SLI/quad-Crossfire. Even then, anyone in the market for such systems know that LGA2011 is still going to come out later this year and will want to wait for that, instead of buying into LGA1366.[/citation]
When people finally realize that PCI-e is not only for graphic cards, you need it as well for Raid controllers, TV cards, audio/video encoders etc.
Its not that much graphic cards, but other stuff that suffer when running on x4 because graphic card took over most of pci-e lanes.
 

ubercake

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[citation][nom]jprahman[/nom]LGA1366 is officially dead, at least for gaming. Ever since Sandy Bridge was released (honestly ever since LGA1156) the only justification for people buying LGA1366 systems was the notion that somehow LGA1155 (or LGA1156) would "bottleneck" SLI or Crossfire, which this clearly shows to be false. Only point for LGA1366 now is for workstation builds which need 6 cores or for $3000+ bragging rights builds with quad-SLI/quad-Crossfire. Even then, anyone in the market for such systems know that LGA2011 is still going to come out later this year and will want to wait for that, instead of buying into LGA1366.[/citation]
Why do you include the 1156 in this discussion? They stopped benchmarking anything running on the P55 platform about 3 months after its release because it just couldn't keep up with the older 1366. Intel has clearly shoved 1156 aside in less than a year.
 

warezme

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Wow what BS. If you are an enthusiast and have an X58 SLI mobo and have been running it for several years now because it has been out that long in triple or quad sli configurations why on earth would you care of a modded 1155 based cheap board is fractionally better then yours? It should be after all these years. You wait for X68 and ignore the slobbering masses and drama queen reviews.
 
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