I'm looking at building a new system. I do software dev and run webservers and databases on my machine. I'm also an audio enthusiast and use tools like cakewalk. Thus I'm really looking for max MIPS from my CPU as well as disk throughput (within reason).
This is still in flux, but a system I'm looking to put together would include:
1 Crucial C300 128GB SSD (system drive)
3 Western Digital 1TB Sata3 (6Gpbs) Black HDs (RAID5).
I plan on running 1 PCIe 2.x x16 video card. I do game, but I'm not into multiple cards or anything like that. One
card with a 512-bit interface and 1GB of RAM is plenty for me.
I've read the articles about the 6Gbps drives not being able to saturate the bus and so limited returns there.
Nevertheless, those drives are only $119./ea (last time I checked) and that's not bad.
The problem is, all the Intel based MBs only have 2 Sata3 ports. For this I'd need 4, and more would be ideal.
I already see some AMD MBs with 6 Sata3 ports.
The only way I can see of pulling this off is to get an 8x Sata3 controller card (which is around $250).
If the controller card will support using up some of the PCIe lanes for the Sata3 connectors (as I understand
Sata3 uses the PCIe lanes, not sure how many), why can't this be built onto the MB?
The i7-960 is a waste of good money. Get the i7-930 and overclock it.
The WD aren't the best choice right now. The Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB is $90, and just as fast, if not faster. If that's not available, the Seagate 7200.12 1 TB is just as fast as the Samsung. This eliminates you're SATA III problem. Besides, nothing uses SATA III bandwith right now, unless you've got about $10,000 of SSDs in RAID 0.
This article (that you probably read, since shortstuff linked it yesterday) http://techreport.com/articles.x/18467 suggests that the SATA 3 WDs are somewhat faster than either the Seagate or Samsung competition, but perhaps not so much faster that it's worth the extra cash.
So I'll agree that the WD drives are probably not the best value. But if you have the cash to throw around and you want to move to SATA 3 right now, they're not an awful choice.
Of course, that still doesn't address the OP's question about why Intel boards seem to only have 2 ports, etc. I'm afraid I don't have any ideas on that.
The only problem I have with that review is that they didn't compare it to the Samsung, which is a little faster than the Seagate. The difference between the new WD and the Seagate is so small and the difference between the Samsung and the Seagate is also really small. So it's possible that the Samsung is just as fast as the WD, but we can't really know until they're put against each other in the exact same tests...
After doing some research, it seems that the reason AMD can handle 6 Sata3 (6Gbps) drives is because of it's recently released SB850 south bridge. If I understand this correctly (and please correct me if I don't), the ICH10R Intel southbridge does not support Sata3 natively (nor USB3, for that matter).
So getting an Intel MB with that chipset is a total waste of $$$. I tend to like Intel because the processors have benchmarked faster and they run cooler. But if I want Sata 3 (which I may nix now), I'm forced to go with AMD.
Additionally, from what I've read, ICH11R is not do out until much later this year or next year (2011).