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Krisnatharok
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Earth Orbit
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X79 Motherboard discussion

I want to know who out there is using an X79 mobo, which model, whether you are overclocking, how you like it, and what sets it apart from the pack.

I am beginning to put together my next build, and I think I am going to go with an i7-3820/X79 build, and be prepared to drop in an Ivy Bridge-E CPU in about 18 months when Ivy Bridge-E hits its stride. I also plan on adding a second Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon 7970 3GB, which is why I am going X79.

There are only 26 ATX-X79 motherboards on Newegg. I am considering the budget option--the $190 Asrock Extreme3. But I want to hear about other options before pulling the trigger (the Extreme6 was on sale for $190, but it's now back at $230)/

Here's what I'm looking at:

Asrock Extreme4 - $210
EVGA X79 SLI - $210
Asrock Fatal1ty - $265
EVGA X79 Classified - $300
EVGA X79 FTW - $310
Asrock Extreme9 (w/Creative Sound Core3D quad-core sound and voice processor) - $345
ASUS Rampage IV - $370 ($315 open box)

Is there anything higher than that worthwhile looking at?

I'm betraying my brand loyalty here, but I am very tentative about going EVGA this time around. They seem to be getting out of the mobo business, their motherboards lack some features others have, or they lack the same number of SATA 6 or USB3 ports that other comparably priced mobos have. That said, they are known for their build quality.

EVGA also had a disappointing showing against the ASUS Rampage IV. which is why I am strongly considering the R.IV: »www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ram···177.html

I've built three computers now with Asrock boards (two 1155 and one AM3+), and have been extremely satisfied with the build quality, stability, and options.

My only hesitation would be going with a mobo that has onboard sound, although a soundcard would probably end up being cheaper than the Extreme9.

My Rosewill Thor V2 arrived yesterday, so I will begin building soon.
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Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.



Krisnatharok
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I think it goes without saying, but my uses are primarily gaming, then overclocking. I may get into full-blown WC down the road, especially if I can't adequately cool two 7970s + the OC'd processor with just air + Hydro 100.
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Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.



Octavean
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New York, NY
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reply to Krisnatharok

I have an ASUS P8X79 Deluxe which I like a lot and would buy again. ASUS has a proprietary SSD caching feature on all their X79 boards (IIRC). This isn't necessarily an essential feature but it is a nice addition given that Intel omitted this feature from the X79 chipset.

This is one of the newer LGA2011 motherboards:

GIGABYTE GA-X79S-UP5-WIFI LGA 2011 Intel C606 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard

It has SAS support and actually uses the Intel C606 chipset rather then the X79 chipset. It's one I would consider if I were buying now.

I'm not currently OCing my Core i7 3930K but I'll eventually get to it. It should be fairly easy given its unlocked. The Core i7 3820 is a bit different with respect to an OC on such boards though.

I don't like buying hardware so late in its life cycle. Not sure now is the best time. Perhaps wait and see what Haswell can do and at what price point,....

I hear there will be at least one 8 core processor coming to LGA2011 though. I'll see if I can find you the link,....



Krisnatharok
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With 1155 or 1150 I'll lose at least 25% throughput from PCIe throttling. I've approximated that much: »Very Specific Math-Based PCIe 3.0 Question

Ivy Bridge-E isn't slated to be out until Q3, and I believe will be for X79. I've heard nothing about the Sandy Bridge-E refresh coming Q2, so I am inclined to think it will be extremely minor.

That said, if it is worthwhile to wait the 5-7 months for Ivy Bridge-E, I will, and upgrade around the mobo/CPU.

Still, it will suck in the meanwhile having an SSD hobbled to SATA3 speeds and two 7970s on PCIe 2.0.
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Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.



Krisnatharok
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reply to Krisnatharok

Going to add this one on the consideration list too--it's highly recommended over at GaPC: »www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···13128562
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Octavean
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reply to Krisnatharok

This is basically the artical I was referring to earlier:

quote:
The company would also give an update to its current Sandy Bridge-E lineup as the recently launched Core i7-3970X (higher clocked 3960X) isn’t enough for consumers. We are looking at faster variants of the Core i7-3930K, Core i7-3820 and a new Extreme Edition processor built to replace the Core i7-3970X. However this time, Intel plans to change the game with the launch of its first 8 Core consumer CPU – Core i7-3980X.


»www.techngaming.com/topic/1149-n···or-2013/


Krisnatharok
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Will we see a similar graduation in chipset like we saw with Sandy to Ivy (Z68 to Z77), or will everything continue to utilize just X79?

My reasoning is that it will take about a year for Microcenter et. all to offer the good sales like we see now on SB-E, so if I start with a 3820, I could upgrade in 12-18 months and see an upgrade.

Or that reasoning might be off...
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Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.



Octavean
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I don't know. I have heard that there will be no new chipset for Ivy Bridge-E but that would be uncharacteristic given the transition from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge on LGA1155.

Also the X79 chipset seemed to have had some of its feature set dropped in order to launch the product on scheduled so its really lacking with respect to Ivy Bridge / Z77 as well as Haswell / Z88 (or whatever it will be called with features like 6 SATA 6G ports).

A company like Apple would likely want to launch their updated Mac Pro on Ivy Bridge-E but to do that they would want features like native USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt (that requires a native Intel video subsystem iGPU as part of the spec).



C0deZer0
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reply to Krisnatharok

I fully expect there will be another change in chipset if there is an Ivy Bridge-E... oh, who am I kidding? there will also be yet another socket change, knowing intel.

And yea, while the x79 allows enough PCI-E lanes, it doesn't get enough native features like the z77 did. If anything, I'm surprised that intel has yet to make a single chipset with native USB 3.0 and SATA III like AMD did for the FM2 socket(s). Conversely, there seems to be a sharp divide on z77 that prevents any board from being fully feature complete. Either you get a board with thunderbolt that is almost always stripped of every other kind of port and slot, or you get one that has plenty of sata and USB ports, but no thunderbolt.
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Krisnatharok
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Yeah, I'm also tempted to buy my second 7970 now and run them both at 2.0 @ 16x and just take the performance hit until Ivy Bridge-E drops in Q3 (Jul-Sep).
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C0deZer0
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Well, 2.0 @ x16 should be about the same bandwidth as 3.0 @ x8. So it can't be that much to worry about yet.
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Krisnatharok
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Depends on your definition of "that much"--at my resolution, the theoretical difference is a 26% loss in FPS.



C0deZer0
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Well, how much more is an x1 of PCI-e 1.*, 2, and 3 then?
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Moos
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PCIe 1.0, x1 = .25 GB/s each direction.
PCIe 2.0, x1 = .5 GB/s each direction.
PCIe 3.0, x1 = 1 GB/s each direction.



C0deZer0
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By that calculation, then 2.0 @ x16 is the same amount of bandwidth as 3.0 @ x8.

I guess I'm just not seeing the problem from this end.
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Krisnatharok
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It should be exactly the same. Thus my X58 will have as much bandwidth in SLI at 16x @ 2.0 as a Z77 would at 8x @ 3.0, thus not really giving me a compelling reason to upgrade.

Being able to run SLI/Crossfire on X79, however, would give me twice as much bandwidth (16x @ 3.0), which with my intended setup (twin 7970s @ 1440p), should give me 26% more performance.
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Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.



C0deZer0
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reply to Krisnatharok

Anyway, back to your original posting, The Extreme9 did rather well on HardOCP. While its auto-overclocking is worthless, it saw some of the highest manual overclocking from an x79 board around. Looking back on it now, one of the quips I would have is that the Core3D should have been better than it actually is. on paper, the Core3D chip should be demolishing and superior in every way to the stalwart X-Fi, but it isn't. It drops to 5.1 (instead of 7.1 from the X-Fi and just about every onboard audio there is), loses some SNR, and loses feature support that the X-Fi had in spades, including a way to accelerate audio and support various codecs in older games on Vista and 7 that the Core3D won't even try to do. As it is now, from a sound perspective, Creative refreshed by bringing out the Z/x/R cards, which use the same audio chip, but what few reviews I can find seem to suggest they spent a lot of time addressing a lot of the faults the first Core/Recon3D had.

My only objection to the Asrock fatal1ty is the leet-speak branding and aesthetics... but it does have a lot of what I would look for in such a board. Sucks that no x79 boards have thunderbolt ports whatsoever.

Also, looking at overclocks with all memory slots (at least on z77), Asus usually did very well and didn't lose nearly as much headroom as a lot of other boards did.

Even so, it's going to be tough to find an x79 board now compared to when the chipset first came out. Conversely, many manufacturers end up having like 20 z77 boards out there readily available, but maybe one or two x79, if that. There's also the PCi-E 3.0 situation... sure, some driver workarounds would get something like GPU-z to say it's operating at 3.0 rates, but given that the only CPU's on the platform are SB-E instead of IB-E, there's no real way to tell for sure you're getting the bandwidth it's saying you are. At least we know Ivy Bridge on z77 can get us PCI-E 3.0, since intel has made the PCI-E spec relegated to the CPU.
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Krisnatharok
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»www.reddit.com/r/gamingpc/commen···9_board/

I cross-posted this topic to Reddit's GaPC subreddit, which is geared towards enthusiast high-end builds, overclocking, and serious gaming machines.

A couple people remarked that the Gigabyte UD3 and UP4 are excellent overclocking builds, and come close to the Asus Rampage IV at over $100 less.

At this point, I'll probably choose between those three boards and the Asrock Fatal1ty.

Like you, I dislike the Fatal1ty's "l33t branding," but it does come with well-known features.

In terms of hardware, outside of mice and keyboards, anything branded as "gaming" centric usually sucks in terms of quality. Unfortunate but true.
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Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.



C0deZer0
Oc'D To Rhythm And Police
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Tempe, AZ

I just know if I was building on an x79 now, I would definitely try to make room in the budget to max it out with 64gigs of RAM. At least by the time that it even starts seeming like "not enough", it should be time (and have enough money saved) to start anew That's why - to me - the overclocking results with a fully loaded set of memory sticks in every slot make more sense to keep an eye on than just the 'minimum' amount.
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Krisnatharok
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Yeah, I might just wait for IB-E to come out so we get the USB3/PCI 3 native implementation and Thunderbolt.

I only hope Intel doesn't slap enthusiasts in the face with the shitty heat spreader they put on regular IB which caused OC headroom to plummet.

That will let me buy my second 7970 now, and SSD now, and just deal with the PCI 2.0 and SATA 3 bottlenecks until I get a new board and CPU this fall.
--
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.



C0deZer0
Oc'D To Rhythm And Police
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Well, if it's the heat spreader you're worried about, there is one solution... take it off.

»youtu.be/XXs0I5kuoX4

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Because, f*ck Sony


Krisnatharok
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lol! Always an option for the fearless...

I'd hope Intel saves us the hassle.



C0deZer0
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Watching the video as I type this... the stock thermal stuffthat intel put on the ivy bridge looked an awful lot like the POS thermal paste that Sony used on launch PS3's... only gray, instead of white.

Something tells me I'll be doing this if I ever upgrade.
--
Because, f*ck Sony



Gordo74
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join:2003-10-28
Monroeville, PA
reply to Krisnatharok

What about this one?

»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···13131855

I personally wouldn't buy an X79 board without 8 RAM slots.



Octavean
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reply to Krisnatharok

said by Krisnatharok:

Yeah, I might just wait for IB-E to come out so we get the USB3/PCI 3 native implementation and Thunderbolt.

I only hope Intel doesn't slap enthusiasts in the face with the shitty heat spreader they put on regular IB which caused OC headroom to plummet.

That will let me buy my second 7970 now, and SSD now, and just deal with the PCI 2.0 and SATA 3 bottlenecks until I get a new board and CPU this fall.

Its difficult to prove a negative. If something exists or will exist you can point to it or the development plans of it as evidence. However, if something doesn’t exist or will not exist you can’t do the same thing.

There is plenty of references to Ivy Bridge-E being a drop in upgrade on X79 / LGA2011 motherboards. By extension, C606 motherboards would likely support Ivy Bridge-E as well, although, I have seen no reports to that effect. Bottom-line is that I don’t really question any of the above at this point. The missing component though is that I haven’t heard any information leaks about a new chipset for Ivy Bridge-E and the lack of info here concerns me somewhat. I’ve also heard that there would be no new chipset for Ivy Bridge-E but it is still too early IMO to tell.

Take note that before Sandy Bridge / LGA1155 launched there was credible information well in advance about the P67 chipset and even the later to be launched Z68 chipset. This gave perspective buyers advanced warning that allowed them to make informed buying decisions. Likewise with the transition from Sandy bridge to Ivy Bridge we had advanced info about backward compatibility and the introduction of the Z7x chipset. We even knew what features / limitations would be present should one mix and match Sandy bridge processors with Z7x motherboards or Ivy Bridge processors with P6x / Z68 based motherboards.

To that end I’ve also seen leaked documents on Haswell that suggest motherboards with their new Z8x chipset will have native 6 SATA 6G ports.

Anyway, the point to all this is that I question if there will be native USB 3.0 support for Ivy Bridge-E due to questioning a pending new chipset. I also question if there will ever be Thunderbolt support for Ivy Bridge-E even if a new chipset were launched with Ivy Bridge-E. Intel omitting an iGPU from Sandy Bridge-E was IMO sound logic but their were physical / thermal limitations as well that made this decision justifiable. While Ivy Bridge-E will be a smaller process, from an engineering standpoint there may still be reason to omit an iGPU. The lack of an Intel iGPU means no Intel Thunderbolt support regardless of if Sandy Bridge-E or Ivy Bridge-E is a higher-end platform and best suited for it.

I’d love to be wrong about this but I just don’t see the evidence of it,………yet.

Maybe if there is a new server chipset that could do double duty in the retail sector that would explain it,……?


Krisnatharok
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True. Worst case is I buy an X79 mobo when IB-E is released at a better price than what I could now.

I've cross-posted this discussion to Reddit and Tom's Hardware, and man, Tom's forums is full of a bunch of uninformed wannabe enthusiasts.

One of them was telling me that a Z77 board with a PLX chip is good enough. o.O
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Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.



Blockfire
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1 edit
reply to Krisnatharok

my big concern regarding x79 platforms and socket 2011 is I keep reading disingenuous articles saying that it only has one more chip upgrade and then it will be unsupported from there. anyone know anything concrete about this?



Krisnatharok
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That's normal for Intel. Haswell is not going to be compatible with 1155 (it will be 1150), so it makes sense that when Haswell-Extended comes out in 2-3 years, it will not be on LGA2011.

That's not really something to be concerned about.
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Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.



Blockfire
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i just want to make sure i can upgrade in 12-18 months. it's the whole reason i'm spending so much more on the cpu/mobo instead of just dropping a couple hundred on an i5/z77 set.

*edit for grammarz



Krisnatharok
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IB-E will be current for probably at least ~2 years until H-E is comes out. You'll certainly be able to snag an IB-E CPU in 1-2 years.
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Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.