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

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Crashman

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Tell it to The Judge. Really, I've been trying to get us all on triple-displays for a long time. It's really a cost-benefit analysis for a site that bought a bunch of 2560x1600 displays around two years ago.
 

ElMoIsEviL

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Yeah...

One of the big issues with X58 is that the PCI Express algorythms are not compatible with QPi. This forces the X58 IOH to convert/Tunnel the data from the PCI Express buses to the QPi bus to the CPU and vice versa.

This adds latency and is one of the reasons why AMD Processors can keep up and surpass Intel processors (socket 1366) in gaming when a GPU bottleneck is present.

P67 does not suffer from this as the PCI Express controller is built right on the CPU.
 

Onus

Titan
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With even a lowly Athlon II X3 able to play just about any game at "enjoyable" settings (likely even Starcraft II), I maintain that a comment about "slamming the coffin lid" on X58 gaming was silly. Heck, it almost made me giggle. A statement like that is an insistent call to upgrade (i.e. spend lots of money), else you'll be drummed out of the ranks of serious gamers; to which I call BS.

Banthracis: nice points.
 

Mousemonkey

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But I don't want a Tri- card set up and I doubt that I'm alone in that.


It slammed the lid on my thoughts of putting together an X58 rig.
 
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@jasonH8806 - mostly valid, but you failed reading. "the processor used for the 1366 tests is the 990x at $1000."

No, it was a 920 overclocked to 4GHz.
 

Onus

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Oh certainly, one wouldn't choose X58 for a new build; but there's no need to replace an existing X58 system.
 
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I have to agree with xrodney and disagree with the " ever see a gamer using pciex for anything other than GPUs.
My gaming machine is that and that alone. Not used for anything else and every non used service is turned off. Not even a mail client .
Matx p55 board because I had repeated reliability problems with x58 boards and no longer trust them.
The game machine is used as a local server/host machine for our games.
I run a X580 card ( single0 as more than adequate frame rates to play at high res.
Currently my boot drive is a OCZ revo that uses the 4x slot but to run this I had to remove my Xonar sound card as despite a second pciex 16x slot it steals lanes from the GPU card. I also want to put a second Gigabit lan pciex card on to improve the network response. can't do it.
Was hoping that the 67 would have 2x16 or sufficient lanes lower down the architecture but it is WORSE than the 55.
So I will have to wait for the ( probably ridiculously) expensive z68.
 

zepfan_75

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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?
Or you Toms' could put 3D and Multi-3D in the same article as Multi 3-way scaling, and make a really awesome part 4! ;)
 

jecastej

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If you own an X58 gaming machine stay where you are, but for people buying now 1155/2600K is the way to go for the fastest gaming. But consider also a less expensive power supply, no need for extra fancy coolers and savings on power bills.

Sooner than later technology is going to make your proud investment obsolete. And just to make you more paranoid wait until the end of the year and even the mighty 2600K could be outdated. I have one so I am included. :)
 

cmartin011

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nothing to yet replace my aging Q9650 and my 295gtx oh well. i want a single gpu card to replace my 295gtx that isN'T power hungry and with at least 10% more performance. processor quad core is in for at least another 4 years or so no point upgrading now
 

kayden3

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Okay I agree that the Sandy Bridge performs well even at 8x for pcie and with the NF200 it is further improved. However to say the X58 is dead is ludicrous even by your own information given. You guys mentioned bragging rights with 6 core well I feel the same about moving to the Sandy Bridge if you all ready have a X58 machine running an I7 920 or better with SLI or XFire all ready. To get only 2 or 3% increase in performance and I have my i7 950 OC to 4ghz stable where this probably negates the speed of the Sandy Bridge, where are those benchmarks? I hate to sound like a flamer but you guys didn't do enough to convince me that it's just the chip set giving the very low margin of performance increase vs cpu speed, which we have seen is the case in many benchmarks vs how many cores you have (4 vs 6) with games especially.
 

kayden3

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[citation][nom]cmartin011[/nom]nothing to yet replace my aging Q9650 and my 295gtx oh well. i want a single gpu card to replace my 295gtx that isN'T power hungry and with at least 10% more performance. processor quad core is in for at least another 4 years or so no point upgrading now[/citation]

Yeah well if you want to run DX11 which when done right gives a great performance increase vs image quality. If you want one card then get a 590 it's as good as having two 570 in SLI, if you want the best bang for your buck get two 580's for SLI. Also your idea of video cards not using a lot of power isn't going to happen pice2.0 give way to 300w power draw from external so this will only go up or it's peaked out and they will become more efficient either way your not going to get what you want sorry.
 
Pretty much confirms my thinking $20 for an NF200 on the WS Revolution over the P8P67 Deluxe for a 2.5% improvement is money well spent....With gains approaching 9%, on min. frame rates, $70 over the P8(67 Pro looks good to.

Cant make sense of the STALKER ones tho .... at 1650 and 2560 res, the NF200 is ahead .... as would be expected .... but at 1920 it'd behind .... not on min fps but in average fps. Wondering if the two numbers transposed or just an anomaly ?
 
Is there a way to use bandwidth (i.e. a LOT of it) to actually see if the NF200 helps in RL scenarios? I mean, we all have USB stuff attached to the computer while we game: sound cards, external drives/bays, headphones, etc... Or even internal things that actually might use some of it: RAID, DVD bays, sound cards, WiFi/LAN cards (killer NIC anyone? xD), etc... I'm betting the CPU will take more damage than the actual bandwidth used, but still I'd like to know :p

Cheers!
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]Yuka[/nom]Is there a way to use bandwidth (i.e. a LOT of it) to actually see if the NF200 helps in RL scenarios? I mean, we all have USB stuff attached to the computer while we game: sound cards, external drives/bays, headphones, etc... Or even internal things that actually might use some of it: RAID, DVD bays, sound cards, WiFi/LAN cards (killer NIC anyone? xD), etc... I'm betting the CPU will take more damage than the actual bandwidth used, but still I'd like to know Cheers![/citation]The repeater function only works for repetitive data, so it's not like you can add a bunch of other devices to an NF200 and expect the same results. I think a great many readers missed the rest of what that last paragraph said :)
 

agnickolov

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What I read in this article is that there's little reason to upgrade from my 2 years old X58 platform... Yes, the new architecture is better of course, but only slightly - this does not constitute a reason for upgrade. Let's see what LGA 2011 brings...
 

wrxchris

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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]

I agree. Rendering 6.9 million pixels really puts quite a bit more strain on the PCIe bus. I would order a 2600k tomorrow if someone showed me some solid proof that x8/x8 doesn't significantly choke framerates @ 5760x1200.
 

kayden3

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[citation][nom]wrxchris[/nom]I agree. Rendering 6.9 million pixels really puts quite a bit more strain on the PCIe bus. I would order a 2600k tomorrow if someone showed me some solid proof that x8/x8 doesn't significantly choke framerates @ 5760x1200.[/citation]

I too would also like to see these benchmarks along with the CPU of the X58 I7 running at the speeds the Sandy Bridge is, probably need a 950 or better to do it. I am going to be getting 3 monitors for surround but no 3D I get migraines from it and fluorescent lighting so no way I am going to be able to handle it. I am not saying it shouldn't be tested but you should do the test with 3d and with out.

This article is a start or a good measuring stick if your looking to upgrade from a core 2 duo or lower with only 1 monitor then sure the Sandy Bridge is a great choice but if you guys don't do these other tests it doesn't really tell us if it will hinder the enthusiast or hardcore gamers.

I just remembered an article I read over at Hardocp that showed the difference with 16x & 8x pcie if you want to read it here you go

http://hardocp.com/article/2010/08/23/gtx_480_sli_pcie_bandwidth_perf_x16x16_vs_x8x8

If you don't want to read the whole thing or just want the cliff notes here you go

If you are running on a 30" display at 2560x1600 or below, an x8/x8 SLI or CFX configuration will perform the same as a x16/x8 or x16/x16 configuration. The only time that you should even be slightly concerned about running at x8/x8 is when you move up to a multiple display setup. When we pushed the GTX 480 SLI at 5760x1200 we saw up to a 7% difference in performance between x8/x8 and x16/x16, in favor of x16/x16, but that was in one game only.

It also appears that the type of game will impact the result and if there are even any differences at all. In texture and AA bandwidth heavy games, you will see more of a difference, but in a game that is more pixel shader heavy, there will be less or no differences at all.
 

kayden3

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Also forgot to mention this is for the X58 chipset and does not reflect any testing with the Sandy Bridge chipset, there could be a larger gap of performance when you look at 16x & 8x pcie because of how it handles the information. I am not saying that this is the case but don't take this article and start saying that it proves Sandy Bridge will be fine with a 3 monitor setup when there has been no testing to prove that point, this is only for the X58 chipset and nothing else.
 
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With even a lowly Athlon II X3 able to play just about any game at "enjoyable" settings (likely even Starcraft II), I maintain that a comment about "slamming the coffin lid" on X58 gaming was silly. Heck, it almost made me giggle. A statement like that is an insistent call to upgrade (i.e. spend lots of money), else you'll be drummed out of the ranks of serious gamers; to which I call BS.
Oh certainly, one wouldn't choose X58 for a new build; but there's no need to replace an existing X58 system.
Talk about getting panties in a bunch.

How in the world did you figure out that conclusion means that X58 owners should upgrade?
 

farrow099

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Why bother with all this power when 99% of the games on the market are built to run on a geforce 7 series and/or a radeon X19xx series?!?

Consoles For The Win! *sarcasm alert*
 

ortoklaz

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I wish this article was published earlier in order to stop all the trash talking and the PCIe dilemma..great job Crashman !

@banthracis..good point (games vs threads ..simple test open/stretch Task Manager when playing BFBC2 )
Long live P67 !

Thanks again Crash
 
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