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Best Motherboard for i7 950, 3.06, SLI ready, RAID 5, 12GB-24GB

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  • DFI
  • NAS / RAID
  • Intel i7
  • Motherboards
  • Product
Last response: in Motherboards
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February 24, 2010 3:23:54 AM

Hi Guys,

So I have had this post up for a week with no response whatsoever, whats the deal?

Does anyone out there have an opinion?

I have been out of the new hardware game for a few years so please help me out a bit.

My budget is 2k - 2.5k (After the CPU, already got a new I7 950, 3.06)

I have a brand new Intel Core i7 I7-950 3.06 CPU. I have built two systems in the past, I'm BIOS/OS savvy
I want fast, love to game and also catch up on large data tables at home.

I want to go with at least 6gb memory, 2 Vid cards in SLI and possibly 4 SSD's for RAID. (Undecided on RAID Config)
Maybe 2 to 4 150 GB VelociRaptors do almost as well as 4 SSD's??

So, here are my questions from you guys!

Best/Fastest motherboard (SLI ready, supports memory up to 12-24GB)???
Whats the best low latency (fast, stable) memory (I like Corsair)???
Best/fastest SSD Sata drives 40GB?? ? OR, would maybe 2 to 4 150 GB VelociRaptors do almost as well?

Thanks!

More about : motherboard 950 sli ready raid 12gb 24gb

March 11, 2010 3:55:48 AM

surferjoee said:
Hi Guys,

So I have had this post up for a week with no response whatsoever, whats the deal?

Does anyone out there have an opinion?

I have been out of the new hardware game for a few years so please help me out a bit.

My budget is 2k - 2.5k (After the CPU, already got a new I7 950, 3.06)

I have a brand new Intel Core i7 I7-950 3.06 CPU. I have built two systems in the past, I'm BIOS/OS savvy
I want fast, love to game and also catch up on large data tables at home.

I want to go with at least 6gb memory, 2 Vid cards in SLI and possibly 4 SSD's for RAID. (Undecided on RAID Config)
Maybe 2 to 4 150 GB VelociRaptors do almost as well as 4 SSD's??

So, here are my questions from you guys!

Best/Fastest motherboard (SLI ready, supports memory up to 12-24GB)???
Whats the best low latency (fast, stable) memory (I like Corsair)???
Best/fastest SSD Sata drives 40GB?? ? OR, would maybe 2 to 4 150 GB VelociRaptors do almost as well?

Thanks!


I have the i7-950 (great processor too!). I have the Rampage II Extreme since it supports everything you want and it has been a treat to use and is very easy to set up. It has the extra goodies of turbo mode, etc that you can make changes while in Windows to the BIOS. I also have a 160gig Intel X25-M SSD, but that is still pricey ($500), but it smokes. I also use G-Skill 1333mhz triple channel memory with low latency. May as well use that since both processor and MOBO supports Tri-chan memory and the MOBO can hold up to 24gigs of memory as well as definitely supporting SLI/Crossifre modes. I also have Radeon 5870x2 setup in Crossfire. The memory, I actually have it set to a higher latency, and I actually get better benchmarks than if I went with the default when I tested it under 3DMarkvantage.

With my SSD, programs open nearly instantaneously, it is simply that fast and almost zero loads times for games.

If you are going to go with an SSD, I recommend getting a review from here or from Anandtech to make the decision. A Raptor would obviously be the next best choice for speed.. Any good name brand tri-channel memory is good as long as you read the reviews. G-Skill, Corsair and Mushkin are the best three IMO. I would recommend either G-Skill or Mushkin to be honest, but G-Skill has great quality for the best prices and great tech support.

Here's my set-up:

OS - Windows 7 64bit
CPU - i7 950
Motherboard - Asus Rampage II Extreme
Memory - 12gb G-Skill DDR3 1333mhz
Graphics Cards - Sapphire Radeon 5870 x 2
Sound Card - Soundblaster X-fi 24bit
Monitor - Samsung ToC T240HD 24" (1920x1200)
PSU - Silverstone 1000w
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March 12, 2010 2:09:54 AM

That sounds like a really nice set up. I like your memory choice, that will be my most likely choice as well.
XFX Radeon HD 5870 as well, going with 3 to start and one Telsa (I do a little scientific modeling, need the terflp).
I would like the option to have 3-4 way CrossFire or SLI, also the option to add a Telsa later on. Next, I like hot swap bays, so I have a Mountain Mods Ascension in mind with two power supplies. Most likely use water cooling, Koolance.

I have been reading up on the P6T6 WS Revolution & the P6T7 WS SuperComputer and also the EVGA X58 Classified 4-Way SLI.

P6T6 WS Revolution has:

# 6 PCI-E Gen2 x16 IO onboard
# True @16 3-Way SLI
# True 16+2 Power Phase Design
# ASUS EPU 6-Engine & TurboV
# ATI CrossFireX & NVIDIA SLI Support
# 2 onboard SAS ports (I like this option, because I have access to many SAS drives) :) 

P6T7 WS SuperComputer: (No FireWire????)

Intel ICH10R controller
6 xSATA 3 Gb/s ports Big :)  I want to put into my case a 5-bay hot swap sata 3 or sas & sata drive combos
Intel® Matrix Storage Support RAID 0,1,5,10
Ext Marvell 88SE6121 SATA controller
2 x eSATA 150/300 (RAID 0,1)*
Ext Marvell 88SE6320 SAS controller :) 
2 x SAS (RAID 0,1)* (I like this option, because I have access to many SAS drives)

Ok, for the EVGA X58 Classified 4-Way SLI (although no SAS controller) my pluses have the :)  Icon:

Memory
6 x 240-pin DIMM sockets
Triple Channel DDR3 :) 
Maximum of 24GB of DDR3 1600MHz+
Expansion Slot
7 x PCIe x16/x8 :) 
0 x 32-bit PCI, support for PCI
Storage I/O
1 x UltraDMA133
8 x Serial ATA 300MB/sec with support for RAID 0, RAID1, RAID 0+1, RAID5, JBOD :) 
Integrated Peripherals
8 Channel High Definition
2 x 10/100/1000
Multi I/O
1 x PS2 Keyboard
12 x USB2.0 ports (8 external + 4 internal headers) :) 
Audio connector (Line-in, Line-out, MIC)
FireWire 1394A (1 external, 1 header) :) 

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March 12, 2010 2:10:54 AM

I'm only worried now about Windows 7, 64 bit and compatible drivers and game??
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March 12, 2010 10:34:30 AM

On my setup, Windows 7 runs a treat and is nothing of the resource hog that Vista was for me, but it does take a little bit more HDD space. As for games, they run great as well. Here's what I have so far for games and I built this rig about 3-1/2 months ago:

Oblivion: GOTY edition
Dragon Age: Origins
Mass Effect
Mass Effect 2
Battlestations Pacific
Crysis
Crysis Warhead

And I even tried an old game: Age of Mythology (from 2002) and it works awesome.

All of those games work a treat, thoug Mass Effect needs a little finagling. As far as your previous to this post, all of those MOBOs are great for what you want, but be aware of the P6T7 WS SuperComputer form factor, which is CEB, and that your tower meets those specs. If I were you, I wouldn't get 3 5870s. Why not one 5890 dual GPU, one 5870 and the other you mentioned save energy and space while getting the power you want. I also would reconsider getting 1600MHZ RAM. They can make the CPU run hot if you stress it. it is why I didn't get it and you really are not going to see much difference under the i7-950 anyway using faster RAM that entails running at a higher latency so as to not go beyond what Intel specs are for the i7-9** line.
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