Currently I have P6T motherboard, but unfortunately it has well known problems running 12gb of memory (DDR3 - 1600). I lost quite a bit of money when it crashed, then when I googled for it, I noticed that it's a common issue.
Anyways, I'm looking for a good replacement. I don't really plan to overclock ... Processor is i7 940.
I don't really care about $, since it has already cost me more $ than any motherboard costs.
I just want a really stable one for work-related-use (lots of multitasking).
I'm thinking about Asus Rampage III Extreme, but I'm not sure if it's the best if what I'm looking for the most is overall stability and ability to handle lots of memory (12gb now, up to 24gb in the future).
If the cost isn't an issue, why not buy a workstation class motherboard, a Xeon processor and RDRAM that's known to work with that combination? There's nothing like ECC RAM when stability is a prime requirement.
I'd recommend an Asus Rampage III Extreme only if you can find a reliable site that has tested it with 12GB of RAM (preferably with 24GB) and had no crashes or other issues for several days or more. Unfortunately most sites test motherboards with 4-6GB of RAM for a few hours.
Now you really got me thinking. 2 years ago I actually seriously considered getting a true workstation with a XEON, but then decided on desktop PC with i7.
I'll have to look into that again, thanks for reminding me! It didn't even cross my mind, I just quickly looked for a replacement for current system.
But, if I stay with i7, should I go for one of Asus WS boards instead?
Oh, if it helps: with my PC I'll mostly be doing heavy multitasking (work related software + browsing & usual things), where the majority of software constantly reads from a database with occasional writing (but not much). The problem is that I have like 10-15 such things running, totaling at about 8GB in memory use.
I haven't used my PC for gaming for like 5 years, I also don't really use any other heavy graphics ...
The problem with the i7 is the lack of support for ECC memory and RDRAM. I believe that your P6T should be stable with 12GB of memory at 1333 MHz if you install only 3 modules that are on the QVL. I know that it's quite different, but I use an older Q6600 with 8GB of RAM, Windows Server 2008 and several VMs with Oracle databases and it has been running for over 6 months without issues.
Can you explain how a PC crash got you to lose money? Aren't your database and important files stored on a dedicated server with regular backups?
I've also been running 8GB for almost 2 years, not a single crash. Then I started running out of memory (using right around 8GB in total), so I added 2x2GB. I tried setting them to 1333, but that didn't help much.
The crash lost me money because I was right in the middle of something, so I wasn't able to complete some transactions and then it was too late. It's hard to explain.
Loss of data isn't much of a problem, I have backups & even HDDs in RAID 1.
As for the whole system. The 2 key points are memory (because of heavy multi-tasking & multi-programming) and drive speed. I'll fix the latter with a SDD.
Right now I'm checking some XEON vs. i7 comparisons, but to my limited knowledge, while i7 is fantastic for software using brute force, it doesn't really perform that good with multi-tasking & programming. I think ...
An i7 and a Xeon are basically the same, but the Xeon has ECC support as long as the motherboard also supports it. Xeon 5500 and 5600 series support 2 processors per motherboard, but such motherboards are rather large.
I googled "x58 motherboard 24gb of ram" and I found several post where people claim that they successfully use 24GB of memory, but I haven't found one using an Asus P6T. Have you tried a 12GB kit (3 x 4GB modules) that's on the QVL? That might work better than 4 modules that are not identical.
I thought about it the whole day, but now I'm even less sure what to do. I talked with some people doing similar things to what I do, and they doubt XEON & ECC is even needed.
Also, I didn't have ANY PROBLEMS for like 4 years (current & previous PC), I don't even remember the last time my PC froze (before this past week when I needed to add 4 more GBs due to higher usage, obviously).
As for my current P6T board. The problem is that with the version I have (2 years old), it even says in the manual that there are problems with running 12gb of ram (especially at high MHz).
But it's 2 years since then and it should be different now. I see many boards able to support 24gb of ram, up to 2000 Mhz, so should I even worry about them not being able to handle 12gb? (I do need to worry a bit if I plan to upgrade in the future)
A new board might be fine, but you should choose one that is known to work with 24GB of RAM (6 x 4GB modules). Then you would be relatively sure that it will work with only 3 modules if they are on the QVL for 24GB.