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MSI Big Bang XPower PCIe slot question

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October 7, 2010 7:51:34 AM

The MSI Big Bang XPower X58 board has Six PCIe 2.0 slots. But only Two of them are PCIe 2.0 x16. If I'm going to use Two enthusiast graphics cards in CF/SLI and want to place them in the Two x16 slots for optimum performance, which slots are these out of the Six?
October 7, 2010 11:02:52 AM

Wolygon said:
"Note that PCI-Express slots 1 and 4 are the only true x16 capable slots, with PCI-Express x16 slots 3 and 5 being 8x capable slots"
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/08/11/msi_big_bang_...

Happy?


A Radeon HD 5870 would would not at all be bottlenecked by an x8 slot? It wouldn't use 100% of the x8 slot bandwidth? If I were to CF Two HD 5870's, would I have to put them in slots 1 and 4?
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October 7, 2010 11:06:35 AM

There is a potential for bottlenecking if you do use the/an 8x slot.
For optimum results, use both x16 slots; slots 1 and 4.
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October 7, 2010 11:16:26 AM

outlw6669 said:
There is a potential for bottlenecking if you do use the/an 8x slot.
For optimum results, use both x16 slots; slots 1 and 4.


I don't think the CrossFireX bridge adapter stretches that far. Should I go with another motherboard, like the ASUS Sabertooth X58?
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October 7, 2010 11:26:39 AM

Your motherboard should include a few extra long CrossFire connectors.



As shown here in the middle of the image.
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a b V Motherboard
October 7, 2010 11:36:03 AM

I assumed you had already bought the board. I would suggest just going with the Sabertooth, it'll save you a lot of money.

Also theres not really a problem with 5870s and x8, only 5970s really start to have performance losses.
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October 7, 2010 12:01:50 PM

Wolygon said:
I assumed you had already bought the board. I would suggest just going with the Sabertooth, it'll save you a lot of money.

Also theres not really a problem with 5870s and x8, only 5970s really start to have performance losses.


No, not yet. I still have my "value" ASUS P6T SE X58. I want to get a better motherboard, but don't know which one.

Could I fit Two HD 5870's side by side in CF in that Sabertooth X58? Nothing should be blocked or physically obstructed preventing me from CF'ing them? What if it has a different heat sink and fan than the reference cards? Like the Powercolor PCS+, Gigabyte HD 5870, or MSI Lightning II? Would they still fit together no matter what brand or physical dimensions of the card?
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October 7, 2010 12:12:51 PM

If you already have the P6T SE, I would stick with it.
It will give you the exact same performance as any other X58 motherboard out there when running two GPUs.
The only downside you will have is that your GPUs will be right next to each other.
Assuming you have decent airflow in your case, this should not be an issue (and if you do not, it is cheaper to add a few fans than to get another motherboard).

Why waste the $$$ for a 0% performance increase??
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October 7, 2010 12:15:15 PM

Yes the Sabertooth will fit any card.

Why are you upgrading from your previous board? This may not be a wise decision considering new processors are approaching and the 1366 likely wont be getting any more processors. Maybe saving up for a new system would be a better idea.
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October 9, 2010 4:12:48 AM

Wolygon said:
Yes the Sabertooth will fit any card.

Why are you upgrading from your previous board? This may not be a wise decision considering new processors are approaching and the 1366 likely wont be getting any more processors. Maybe saving up for a new system would be a better idea.


The new processors from AMD/Intel are only 5% faster in gaming performance. There won't be any games using 6-8 cores/threads for a very long time. The Bulldozer and Sandy Bridge are geared more toward HD video encoding, and other CPU-intensive applications. There is not significant increase in gaming performance.

Besides, the entry level Sandy Bridge will probably cost $500.

OT, but ANY GPU of the same type can be CF/SLI right next to each other, even if they have larger heatsinks and coolers?
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October 9, 2010 5:44:56 AM

The only reason they will have a small gaming performance increase is because the GPUs are the bottleneck. Though as better and better GPUs are developed the current CPUs will start to bottleneck the GPUs more and more. The i5s have only 4cores/4threads yet they have performance approaching a 980X.

Why waste $300 on a new board at this point? It will be a waste of money.

Any normal GPU can be sat next to each other. The problem is they have a bit worse cooling but this doesn't really matter.
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October 9, 2010 7:25:18 AM

Wolygon said:
The only reason they will have a small gaming performance increase is because the GPUs are the bottleneck. Though as better and better GPUs are developed the current CPUs will start to bottleneck the GPUs more and more. The i5s have only 4cores/4threads yet they have performance approaching a 980X.

Why waste $300 on a new board at this point? It will be a waste of money.

Any normal GPU can be sat next to each other. The problem is they have a bit worse cooling but this doesn't really matter.


$200 ASUS X58 motherboard, and I don't think a $1,700 8-core Sandy Bridge extreme edition will give us any noticeable increase in gaming performance for a very long time.

I'm getting an ASUS Sabertooth X58 because I didn't like the slot placement on the MSI board. It only has Two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots, and they are distanced physically too far away from each other. This might become a problem if you're using more than a single GPU in CF/SLI. Putting an enthusiast GPU in an x8 or x4 slot would become a bottleneck.

Could you sit Two of THESE cards right next to each other? It has a different heat sink and cooler than the reference cards, I'm worried that they could block one other due to that.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b V Motherboard
October 9, 2010 10:04:59 AM

Yes I believe they will fit, notice how when looking end on you cannot see the top of the cooler.

3 GTX 480s already have a CPU bottleneck from an i7 930 and even when OCed a fair amount. What do you call a "very long time"? I believe when the HD7XXX and Fermi 2 cards come out the i7 9XX will be a large bottleneck to 2 top end cards. This is not that long away.

Plus there will be mid end quad core Sandy Bridges not just "$1,700 8-core Sandy Bridge".

Why are you buying a new board? You won't get ANY more performance over your current one. So why do it? I'm not seeing your logic. With that spare money you could almost afford 2 GTX480s instead of the 5870s. This will actually give you more performance.
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October 9, 2010 10:41:36 AM

Wolygon said:
Yes I believe they will fit, notice how when looking end on you cannot see the top of the cooler.

3 GTX 480s already have a CPU bottleneck from an i7 930 and even when OCed a fair amount. What do you call a "very long time"? I believe when the HD7XXX and Fermi 2 cards come out the i7 9XX will be a large bottleneck to 2 top end cards. This is not that long away.

Plus there will be mid end quad core Sandy Bridges not just "$1,700 8-core Sandy Bridge".

Why are you buying a new board? You won't get ANY more performance over your current one. So why do it? I'm not seeing your logic. With that spare money you could almost afford 2 GTX480s instead of the 5870s. This will actually give you more performance.


First off, Intel's flagship processors have always been extremely costly, usually upwards of $1,000. The 8-core sandy bridge will probably be $1,500, but that's just my guess. Two GTX 480's has the power consumption of Two HD 5970's in CF, I can't run Two of them on an 850W PSU. The GTX 480 is only about 5-10% faster than the HD 5870, and it runs at about 96 *C under heavy load. It's drawbacks outweigh it's advantages.

CPU/GPU bottlenecks are often exaggerated. You can't run a GTX 295 on a Penitum 4, that's a HUGE bottleneck. But a decent quad core like the Core i7 will run just about any GPU setup without a noticeable performance hit due to a bottleneck.

The ASUS P6T SE is a value X58 board, it looks cheap and flimsy. I'd like a motherboard which is made from extremely high quality components, and will last me quite a while before it breaks. The ASUS Sabertooth X58 has tons of more features like SATA III and USB 3.0, MEM-ok, CeraMIX, military grade components, and tons of BIOS features. It was designed specifically for gaming.

I'm selling my current motherboard on the internet, I won't get retail price for it, but maybe $120. I'll pay the difference for the better board. My current board has never been used or opened out of the box.

I'll probably sell both of my HD 5870's and get maybe $350 for both of them, and then pay the small difference when the HD 6970 comes out. There might be a bottleneck with the Nehalem, but I doubt it will halve the performance.

The next product release from ATI will be the "Southern Island' HD 6000 series GPU's. These are not significantly faster than the current HD 5000 lineup. We'll have to wait until almost 2012 for the Northern Islands for the big performance boost. I don't want to wait that long.
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October 9, 2010 1:57:57 PM

ambam said:
The new processors from AMD/Intel are only 5% faster in gaming performance. There won't be any games using 6-8 cores/threads for a very long time. The Bulldozer and Sandy Bridge are geared more toward HD video encoding, and other CPU-intensive applications. There is not significant increase in gaming performance.

According to Anand's Sandy Bridge Preview, it shows a hell of a lot more than a 5% performance increase under all cases, including gaming.
As these are just Preview numbers and no retail CPU's are out for further testing however, take these numbers with a grain of salt....
ambam said:
Besides, the entry level Sandy Bridge will probably cost $500.

O_o
If Intel did that, they would go out of business....
Expect Sandy Bridge to take over their current generations price points with a moderate markup for the first few months after release.
Quote:
The cheapest Sandy Bridge at launch will be the Core i3 2100, which will replace the i3 560 at around $138.

Source: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-pre...
ambam said:
OT, but ANY GPU of the same type can be CF/SLI right next to each other, even if they have larger heatsinks and coolers?

If it is a single or dual slot design (like 99+% of available GPU's), yes two will fit.
There are extremely few triple slot designs and they are quite expensive.
Wolygon said:
The only reason they will have a small gaming performance increase is because the GPUs are the bottleneck. Though as better and better GPUs are developed the current CPUs will start to bottleneck the GPUs more and more. The i5s have only 4cores/4threads yet they have performance approaching a 980X.

Why waste $300 on a new board at this point? It will be a waste of money.

+1

Especially considering that you will gain NO extra performance through upgrading your current motherboard.
The only thing you would gain is a slightly cooler master GPU which, if it turns out to be an issue, a few inexpensive fans should fix.

Wait, scratch that.
The Sabertooth will give you the same distance between GPUs as your current board....

So, no benefits to your GPU temps either.....
ambam said:
$200 ASUS X58 motherboard, and I don't think a $1,700 8-core Sandy Bridge extreme edition will give us any noticeable increase in gaming performance for a very long time.

See the above link where a low end 4c/4t Sandy Bridge (even gimped without turbo boost enabled) makes a quite good showing against Intel's current top end parts.
Also, expect the top chips to cost $1000 and the others to fall into Intel's other current price points (link above).
ambam said:
Could you sit Two of THESE cards right next to each other? It has a different heat sink and cooler than the reference cards, I'm worried that they could block one other due to that.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Yes, even with the aftermarket cooling, it is still a dual slot design.
Two will fit just fine on your current motherboard.
As an additional bonus, the aftermarket cooling should alleviate most of the (potential) heat issues with keeping two cards so close.
ambam said:
First off, Intel's flagship processors have always been extremely costly, usually upwards of $1,000. The 8-core sandy bridge will probably be $1,500, but that's just my guess.

Try $1000 for Intel's current top consumer CPU.
Their top Sandy Bridge should cost the same.
ambam said:
The ASUS P6T SE is a value X58 board, it looks cheap and flimsy. I'd like a motherboard which is made from extremely high quality components, and will last me quite a while before it breaks.

Even ASUS' value boards are still pretty good quality.
With the assumption you can get it to break, a 3 year warranty tells me you will still get a good life out of it.
Not like you have a MSI or other cheap board in you system....
ambam said:
The ASUS Sabertooth X58 has tons of more features like SATA III and USB 3.0, MEM-ok, CeraMIX, military grade components, and tons of BIOS features. It was designed specifically for gaming.

+1 for ASUS' marketing department......

Alright, if you want the extra features (USB3, SATA 3), spend $25 and get an ASUS U3S6.
It uses the EXACT same USB 3 and SATA 3 controller as the Sabertooth (and the vast majority of other USB/SATA 3 enabled motherboards) and connects the same also (through the spare PCIe lanes).
Bam, now you have all the features of the new motherboard.

As for the rest, do you plan on putting your CPU on LN2 and entering any overclocking championships?
Didn't think so.
In that case, plenty of people are able to push i7's to 4GHz+ with the same ASUS designed 8 phase VRM you have.
If it works good enough to push your chip to pratical limits, what do you expect to gain from the new motherboard?
ambam said:
I'm selling my current motherboard on the internet, I won't get retail price for it, but maybe $120. I'll pay the difference for the better board. My current board has never been used or opened out of the box.

Then why not just return it for full price?
ambam said:
I'll probably sell both of my HD 5870's and get maybe $350 for both of them, and then pay the small difference when the HD 6970 comes out. There might be a bottleneck with the Nehalem, but I doubt it will halve the performance.

LOL at unrealistic expectations.

So, they cost $375 brand new NOW.
If newer, better performing, GPUs are released at the same price point, the current generation of GPUs prices will drop.
By the time this happens you will be asking more for your used GPUs than they cost new.
They will never sell for what you think they will....
ambam said:
The next product release from ATI will be the "Southern Island' HD 6000 series GPU's. These are not significantly faster than the current HD 5000 lineup. We'll have to wait until almost 2012 for the Northern Islands for the big performance boost. I don't want to wait that long.

Maybe you should wait for the cards to be released before you judge them.
You might be surprised one way or the other...

Anywhoo, it is your cash to spend.
I just think it is incredibly stupid to waste it on something that will give you no tangible benefits.
But, it is your cash to waste, so waste it as you would like...
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October 10, 2010 12:00:02 AM

Having Two dual slot GPU's right next to each other increases their temperature quite significantly. This can be countered with aftermarket cooling and a case with high airflow, like my CM HAF 932.

I bought my ASUS value board and my Ci7 930 as a bundle. I can't return the motherboard without returning the processor. Almost every hardware failure I've experienced in computers has always been the motherboard. Having a mobo with high quality, military grade components should last me quite a bit.

The Core 2 Extreme processors were $1,500 when they were first released. I'm assuming that the 8-core Sandy Bridge EE should cost somewhere around there.
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