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Old November 8th, 2009, 05:19 PM   #31
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OK, you have clarified. You had said Raid controllers wouldn't work, but you meant a specific speed of controllers, that's different. Wow yours is fast. My internal drives running raid don't run much faster than a peak of 200mbps...so you are transferring at around what, 50Gb per minute? That is very fast. I get maybe 10 Gbpm. What kind of drives do you use?
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Old November 8th, 2009, 05:26 PM   #32
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Jeff,

I use 12 Samsung 1 TB F1 drives in a raid30, giving me these results in the previous link:

diy computer build??
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Old November 8th, 2009, 05:37 PM   #33
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I can't imagine that...I have only 13 or so TB of discs, but they are mostly for storage, I have 10 or so projects waiting in the wings, each about 120GB in size, and I have copies of each on separate hard drives. I am anal about downloading tapes immediately after a job.

I do run Raid 0 for my scratch drive, but with only two velociraptors the results are almost the same as running one (these run on the integrated controller).
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Old November 8th, 2009, 08:37 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
These kind of boards can ONLY run on X58 boards, not on P55 boards due to the lack of PCI lanes.
Hey Harm,

I still don't get it. I understand your explanation, but I checked out the Areca website, and they don't seem to have any particular requirement for X58 boards. They just say the card is PCIe x8. Is the card you bought designed for those boards?

Sorry to ask again, but it looks like a great solution for raid, and it would be a shame to close the door on it with a 1156 board.

Thanks for your patience.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 02:19 AM   #35
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Vito,

Let me try to explain it another way. You have a nice PCI-e 16x video card, a nVidia GTX2xx or a Quadro on a P55 board. Great. No problem yet. Now you decide to add PCI-e raid controller and now you find you can't, because the nVidia card uses all PCI-e lanes that are available. Only theoretical solution is to manually limit the nVidia card to use only 8 lanes out of the 16 available, thereby 'crippling' the performance of your great video card.

X58 does not have that problem, because there you have 36 lanes available, so the same video card can run at 16 x, you can add a PCI-e 8x raid controller and still have 12 lanes available for other peripherals.

The Areca ARC-1680iX is not specifically designed for X58, it can and will run in any system that has a PCI-e 8x slot available. What I intended to say was that in the direct comparison of X58 versus P55, only X58 has the necessary lanes to run this card.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 05:05 AM   #36
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How come the 950 seems to get no love? It's guaranteed 3GHz, and usually OCable to 4.0GHz, FWIU. Seems to be worth an extra ~$200.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 05:54 AM   #37
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Thanks, Harm.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 09:00 PM   #38
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Okay, Harm, you might have swung me back over to a core i7 920 D0 stepping, with this board:

GA-X58A-UD7 former GA-EX58-EXTREME 2 pixelized

Hopefully it's out before New Years. I want to buy in 2009 for this year's taxes!

Thanks for all the comments and insight.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 05:44 AM   #39
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Vito,

That sure looks like a great mobo and ready for the WD or Seagate 2 TB SATA3 disks.

Benchmark results for the i7-860 are still severly lacking and I have to admit I do not know of any benchmark test specifically for Vegas (there is one for Adobe CS4, PPBM4 home page) but as far as it may be helpful, here are my results with the i7-920 overclocked, which does not give me any reason to doubt the choice of the i7-920:
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Old November 10th, 2009, 07:10 AM   #40
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Great benchmark results! I can't wait to upgrade. I've been working on a dinosaur long enough.

All the best.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 11:25 PM   #41
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I've been trying to decide between i5 and i7 and have just spent weeks looking at benchmark results comparing the two chipsets (X58 vs P55). From what I have seen, there is very little difference between the two. Granted some applications benefit slightly from hyperthreading but in many cases it seems you're talking about a few seconds over long renders.
If money is an object, I would not feel bad at all about going i5. And there is very little if any difference between pcie x16 and x8. I've just looked at dozens of different benches showing absolutely no difference at all, except at ridiculous resolutions like 3500x2200 type thing.
Obviously if you have the money, then go X58, but if you're not a major player and are looking for a very fast system, a P55 chipset with an i5 is damn fast.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 07:07 AM   #42
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I have found the differences are subtle too. I just learned my 1x raid card is transferring files at nearly 900mb per second peak, but then it setlles in at about 750-800mb per second. The drives are the bottleneck in my system, not the 1x card. So how much faster would an expensive controller card be on a 32 lane board? None. For the average person running a raid 0 configuration with two drives, etc., a 1 or 2x card would seem to be sufficient. If you are running a raid configuration with 10 drives in Raid 30 or whatever such as Harm, then you have no choice but to move up to the bigger card, in which case the 1366 would be a better choice.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; November 21st, 2009 at 08:09 AM.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 09:06 PM   #43
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Hey Harm,

Thanks for your input. On your recommendation, I decided to stay with the 1366 platform.

I ended up getting the GA-X58A-UD7 board with a core i7 920 D0 stepping chip, 6 gigs ram, Quadro FX 1800 video card, WD caviar black 1TB drive, Seasonic 750W power supply, Dell U2410 LCD screen.

When SSDs become affordable for human beings, I'll put one in as my system drive.

I've set up a dual boot system, XP Pro and Win 7 Pro 64 Bit. Avid will be on my XP partition until they qualify Win 7.

So far, my experience is that it's been touchy to set up, but now that it's pretty much good to go, it's great. Very fast.

I'm interested in overclocking, but have research to do. The bios is incredibly complex. The last time I built a computer, the bios was simple to understand. Boy, things have changed.

Although this motherboard is finicky, it's also bullet proof. If you do something wrong, it tries to boot a couple of times, then gives you a workable bios and tells you that you screwed up with your settings.

Thanks again. When I get a chance to do some encoding, I'll try to post some results.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 12:28 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
Let's make it clear that there is no discernable difference in price or performance between the i7-860 and the i7-920. The differences are in the socket and what it entails:

1. P55 motherboards are less expensive than X58 motherboards.
2. P55 motherboards have no PCI-e slots free to use with raid controllers or other cards.
3. Overclock capabilities at stock voltages is very limited with the i7-860.
4. Support for QPI has been abolished with the i7-860.
5. P55 is limited to 16 PCI-e lanes, X58 has 36 lanes.
6. X58 is fully compatible with the new hex-core Gulftown, P55 is not.
7. P55 is limited to 4 memory slots, X58 has 6 memory slots.
Points 1 and 5 are just pure misperception. The P55 itself has eight PCI-e lanes, while the Socket 1156 CPU itself has 16 PCI-e lanes integrated on the CPU die. This actually gives a Socket 1156/P55-based system a theoretical 24 PCI-e lanes. Not all P55 motherboard implementations utilize all eight of the P55's PCI-e lanes (if you include any onboard PCI-e devices and non-graphics-capable PCI-e expansion slots combined).

And if the P55 chipset itself provides eight additional PCI-e lanes (for a theoretical total of 24 PCI-e lanes), the X58 chipset's ICH10R actually provides six additional PCI-e lanes on top of the 36 graphics-dedicated PCI-e lanes that the main part of the X58 chipset includes (for a theoretical total of 42 PCI-e lanes). However, as I stated a few times, the LGA1366 relies on a potentially latency-inducing external bus to communicate with the 36 PCI-e lanes that the X58 chipset contains.

And the two chipsets are exclusive to the sockets which they had been designed for. A Socket 1156 CPU cannot work on the X58 chipset. Nor can a Socket 1366 CPU work on the P55 chipset. This is because the Socket 1366 CPU lacks many features that have been integrated onto the Socket 1156 CPU's die (such as the integrated 16-lane PCI-e graphics controller), while the Socket 1156 CPU lacks a few of the features that are exclusive to the Socket 1366 CPU's die (the Socket 1366 setup relies almost entirely on external back-side buses, many of which the Socket 1156 CPU lacks, for communication to the connected expansion devices). And Socket 1366 is less efficient than Socket 1156 largely because the external back-side buses add additional latencies compared to the integrated controllers.

Last edited by Randall Leong; January 29th, 2010 at 01:49 PM.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 01:52 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
Jeff,

Can you explain these architectural differences in relation to ASUS claim?
I looked at that graphic, and that's misleading. You forgot to look at the bottom of the graphic, which explains that the ICH10R that's used with the X58 chipset adds six PCI-e lanes on top of the X58 IOH's own 36 PCI-e lanes while the P55 chipset itself adds eight PCI-e lanes to the 16 that's integrated onto the LGA1156 CPU's die.

Thus, you have a theoretical maximum of 42 PCI-e lanes in an LGA1366/X58 system or 24 PCI-e lanes in an LGA1156/P55 system (not counting the integrated PCI-e Gigabit LAN). The 36 (for the LGA1366) or 16 (for the LGA1156) PCI-e lanes that you quoted are graphics-slot-exclusive, and cannot be used at all by any other PCI-e slot. Any PCI-e 1x slots included on an X58 or a P55 motherboard are actually run off of a separate chip which works together with the chipset and CPU (integrated into the P55 chipset itself on LGA1156 motherboards or in an ICH10R ICH on LGA1366/X58 motherboards). These i7 systems are equipped with a mixture of PCI-e 2.0 and PCI-e 1.1 buses (the graphics-dedicated slots are all PCI-e 2.0 while any 1x or 4x PCI-e slots are still PCI-e 1.1), unlike the earlier systems (such as the typical Core2 system on a P35 chipset motherboard) which share all of their PCI-e lanes between graphics and other peripherals. (For the record, the P35 chipset provides only 20 shared PCI-e lanes, which leaves only four PCI-e lanes open for expansion with a single graphics card running in full x16 mode.)

Because of this, the Socket 1156/P55 system actually has more PCI-e lanes (outside of what the X58's IOH or the LGA1156 CPU natively provides) for additional expansion capabilities compared to the LGA1366/X58 system (eight versus six). Remember, the LGA 1366 CPU itself provides no PCI-e lanes; it instead relies on an external bus connection to the X58 IOH for everything except the memory controller (which in all i7 and i5 CPUs is integrated on-die). However, as I stated in my previous post, not all motherboards make full use of the maximum number of available PCI-e lanes. After all, what good are 36 PCI-e lanes if you can't use any of them at all for anything besides graphics card(s)?

On the other hand, the compatibility of non-graphics PCI-e cards with graphics-dedicated PCI-e slots (or lack thereof) is a matter of debate - and trial-and-error. Some might work, but others are allergic to the higher clock speeds of the graphics-dedicated PCI-e lanes.

And please, do not take my post as favoring one over the other. I was only trying to clarify any differences between the two.

With all that said, the i7-860 and i7-920 systems are roughly equivalent in cost to one another at present (largely due to the memory prices which are at present significantly higher than they were just three months ago - and the higher memory prices mitigate much of the difference in price between a typical P55 motherboard and a typical X58 motherboard). However, the 860 is the better value if only stock-speed performance is considered. But the 920 does better at overclocking.

Last edited by Randall Leong; January 29th, 2010 at 02:39 PM.
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