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Three workstation video cards on a X16, x8, x4 board?

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October 15, 2011 5:59:11 AM

I am putting together a desktop with 12 ( Dell U2412M ) 24 inch monitors for watching stock market charts.

I have bought three ATI FirePro 2460 Cards, each supporting 4 monitors. According to AMD, these cards are designed to do just that.

http://www.amd.com/us/products/workstation/graphics/ati...

I need help choosing a motherboard for three ATI FirePro 2460 running in non-crossfire mode.

I am limited to what is available in following two websites because of my location. ( You just might get surprised )

http://www.theitwares.com/computer-hardware-motherboard...

http://www.theitdepot.com/products-Motherboards_C13.htm...

I can't afford to make a mistake because of no return & no refund policy.

I would appreciate all the help.

Thank You.



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October 15, 2011 10:47:05 PM

So it's not just me, it's a tough question :) 

The slot is physically an x16 slot, I think. I believe all three slots are X16 in electrical and size terms.

Apparently, it's just a question of bandwidth available? Anyone?
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October 16, 2011 7:13:04 AM

Proximon said:
So it's not just me, it's a tough question :) 

The slot is physically an x16 slot, I think. I believe all three slots are X16 in electrical and size terms.

Apparently, it's just a question of bandwidth available? Anyone?


I hope some experts coming back from weekend would chime in.

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October 16, 2011 8:09:53 AM

I agree with Proximon.Any motherboard with 3 PCI-E x16 slots should work fine with the cards
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October 16, 2011 8:48:53 AM

Maziar said:
I agree with Proximon.Any motherboard with 3 PCI-E x16 slots should work fine with the cards


Yep, with actual three PCIe x16 slots.

But with two boards in question he made following argument :


" The problem is actually a bit more technical. The third PCI-E slot on these boards does not even go through the same controller.

The first two slots are controlled by the CPU directly. The third slot is controlled by the chipset, P67 or Z68 depending on the board
."

That raises lots of doubts about Asus P8P67 Pro & P8Z68 V Pro actually having 3 PCIe x16 slots.
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October 16, 2011 4:40:10 PM

It's definitely safer to go with a more expensive board that has the NF200 controller I think. That also gives you a 4th slot for another card and the slight speed edge the high end boards provide.
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October 16, 2011 5:26:38 PM

Agreed^
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October 16, 2011 5:34:03 PM

For what your needs are (NOT GAMING aka 2D) an x16/x8/x4 has no bearing any bandwidth is fine. You need a NF200 MOBO like a hole in the head.

Start here - http://sites.amd.com/us/business/products/pro-graphics/...

Regarding a MOBO/CPU - "watching stock market charts" is low CPU/GPU usage so any current CPU and MOBO with 3 PCIe full slots will work with AMD.

Example - 12 monitor system -> http://www.naplestech.com/shopcart/quadstation_12.asp
Example of GPU's used -> http://www.naplestech.com/shopcart/products.asp?cat=10

As long as the GPU outputs can connect to the monitor you're good.

Example:
ASUS P8Z68-V
i5-2500
2x4GB DDR3-1333
(3) FirePro 2460 DVI ONLY or FirePro 2450 DVI & VGA
(12) Monitors
(2) 6 Monitor stands
IMO (2) HDD in RAID 1
850W PSU ; I like Corsair
Mid-Tower Case ; I ; I like the Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced
Window 7 Professional
DVD
Keyboard & Mouse
Luck in Trading ;) 
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October 16, 2011 5:49:32 PM

The 2460s pull a very small amount of power, so I doubt the 850W PSU is needed.

The descriptions of these cards also states "PCI Express x16 slot required."
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October 16, 2011 5:59:08 PM

My calculations came to 650W to 750W - I deliberately left room. The PRO GPUs often pull a little more than the HD's. So IMO better too big than too small i.e. Return Policy.
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October 16, 2011 6:28:12 PM

Not sure where I got my figures now... Nothing specific here but similar cards seem to pull 20-50W
http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=264

"Low maximum power, less than 20 watts"
http://www.amd.com/us/products/workstation/graphics/ati...

But you have to wonder how that would be. I'd like to see actual draws once you are feeding 4 monitors with one. Maybe a slightly larger PSU would be in order.
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October 16, 2011 7:17:32 PM

You're harping on PSU, then "My calculations came to 650W to 750W" one of those. I spent 3 seconds of thought on the PSU.

The OP could put a 1500W and it would work, BUT too small and havoc.

SAME PRICE ($4) -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|17-139-011^17-139-011-TS%2C17-139-010^17-139-010-TS which one would you get??
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October 16, 2011 7:35:13 PM

Yep, that wasn't the point of the post, you are right. OP is in India though, and I'm not seeing many Corsair PSUs there.

I was just concerned that the third x4 slot on the board would not support a third card. I can't find any reference to anyone using it for video. If the first two PCI-E slots function at x8 and the controller onboard the CPU has 16 lanes, where does the other x4 come from?

If the PCI-E lanes get too overloaded will it effect the SATA 6GB/s and USB 3.0 performance? I know the NF200 chip will effectively split the load from the lanes, and I was thinking that might result in smoother performance all around.

These cards don't NEED a lot of bandwidth. I get that. My concern is how much bandwidth they will tie up.

The pre-built you linked is on an X58 platform. Way more PCI-E bandwidth available there.
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October 16, 2011 8:06:57 PM

georgetok said:
I am putting together a desktop with 12 ( Dell U2412M ) 24 inch monitors for watching stock market charts.

I need help choosing a motherboard for three ATI FirePro 2460 running in non-crossfire mode.

I am limited to what is available in following two websites because of my location. ( You just might get surprised )
http://www.theitwares.com/computer-hardware-motherboard...
http://www.theitdepot.com/products-Motherboards_C13.htm...

I can't afford to make a mistake because of no return & no refund policy.

I answered the question regarding a MOBO, and looked at the OP's site to confirm availability.

The India site has Corsair and Seasonic both are excellent PSU's
(CMPSU-750TXV2) INR 5915 ($121 USD)
(CMPSU850TXV2) INR 6660 ($136 USD)

This isn't a 3D build it's a 2D and slow at that for market ticker, graphs and charts.

If the OP was wanting to watch 6 movies, play some games, and otherwise an 'off-use' then sure I'd start thinking about more PCIe lanes and saturation. I seriously doubt each FirePro 2460 will saturate more than x1 PCIe lane much less x4 and you're kidding x8.

Scaling -> http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GTX_480_PCI-E... even on 'gaming' note some of the x4 vs x8 vs x16.

Next, the OP will NOT be using 12 x Resolution as you do in 'gaming' instead each screen is it own thing aka independent. Otherwise if the OP maximized a screen (Window) it would go across ALL 12 monitors.
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October 16, 2011 8:40:49 PM

Corsair HX750W INR 7750 ($158 USD)
Corsair CMPSU-850HXUK INR 8840 ($180 USD)

Hopefully Corsair honors their rebates Globally.
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October 17, 2011 8:47:56 AM

Would Intel Motherboard DX58S0 & 3 FirePro 2460 work ?


And are there more than one versions of DX58S0 ? I mean some with only 2 PCIe x16 slots & other with 3 PCIe x16 slots ?
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October 17, 2011 10:18:06 AM

That's an X58 board, not compatible with the CPU.
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October 17, 2011 12:35:16 PM

georgetok said:
Would Intel Motherboard DX58S0 & 3 FirePro 2460 work ?


And are there more than one versions of DX58S0 ? I mean some with only 2 PCIe x16 slots & other with 3 PCIe x16 slots ?

I don't like that MOBO because it has too many problematic issues, nor do I recommend Intel MOBOs in general though I know they're making a point to build more aggressive ones for LGA 2011 so the verdict is still out. Sure you can use an X58, thought you might be thinking about it after the 12 monitor links. I looked and I didn't see that you purchased anything more than the GPUs and perhaps a slue of Dell monitors.

I have 11 ASUS P6X58D-E for my office, love them - work flawlessly. link - http://www.theitdepot.com/details-Asus+P6X58D-E+24GB+DD... Many will argue performance to price LGA 1155 vs LGA 1366, but the performance differences are negligible, though the i7-970/980 are indeed expensive so it might be worth waiting a few weeks until mid-November for both an LGA 2011 MOBO and LGA 2011 CPU (Core I7-3930K / 6 core) and Quad Channel memory 4x4GB DDR3-1333.

ASUS P6X58D-E PCIe 2.0 (x16, x8, x8) - http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1366/P6X5...
Intel Core i7-960 (4 core) - http://ark.intel.com/products/37151/Intel-Core-i7-960-P...(8M-Cache-3_20-GHz-4_80-GTs-Intel-QPI)
Intel Core i7-980 (6 core) - http://ark.intel.com/products/58664/Intel-Core-i7-980-P...(12M-Cache-3_33-GHz-4_8-GTs-Intel-QPI)

ASUS P6X58D-E
Intel Core i7-960 (4 core) <or> Intel Core i7-970 (6 core) <or> Intel Core i7-980 (6 core)

3x4GB DDR3-1333
(3) FirePro 2460 DVI ONLY or FirePro 2450 DVI & VGA
(12) Monitors
(2) 6 Monitor stands
IMO (2) HDD in RAID 1
850W PSU ; I like Corsair
Mid-Tower Case ; I ; I like the Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced
Window 7 Professional
DVD
Keyboard & Mouse
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October 18, 2011 12:29:19 AM

How much difference would LGA 2011 MOBO and LGA 2011 CPU would make for my application ?

Approximately how much a price difference would be ?

Is it certain that it would come out in Mid November & be available in plenty at retail stores ?

Thanks
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October 18, 2011 1:32:21 AM

I second the P6X58D-E for X58. I have it and love it so far.
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October 18, 2011 1:34:32 AM

jaquith said:
See for yourself -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Bridge#Desktop_proce...

November 14, 2011 - http://vr-zone.com/articles/sandy-bridge-e-will-launch-...

I would look at the i7-3930K, 6-core and $583 est USD.

Both the Prices and Release date have remained CONSTANT since the Intel 'B2' recall, otherwise that SB-E / LGA 2011 would have been for sale already for a month or two...


Thank You.

Any idea of what percentage performance difference it would make ?
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October 18, 2011 1:36:44 AM

Watching stock market charts, right? No noticeable difference I'd bet.
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October 18, 2011 1:48:59 AM

EXT64 said:
Watching stock market charts, right? No noticeable difference I'd bet.


It is not just the charts most non technical people are used to seeing it.

Depending on the chart application you use it could be quite intensive.

In my case I will be watching 12 charts on 12 Monitors. Each chart has 14 indicators that has to be recalculated for each new data point that comes in every mili second.

I don't know how that compares to some other complicated applications.
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October 18, 2011 2:16:09 AM

Sorry, what I mean is it is likely that both the current Intel 6 core and SB-E 6 core will do close to the same in it, or neither will be sufficient. I'd expect the former.
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October 18, 2011 3:30:31 AM

EXT64 said:
Sorry, what I mean is it is likely that both the current Intel 6 core and SB-E 6 core will do close to the same in it, or neither will be sufficient. I'd expect the former.


Oh ! OK. No need to apologize. You guys are tremendous help.
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October 18, 2011 6:44:58 AM

It would certainly resolve all my concerns about it if you went with an X58 (LGA 1366) board or waited for an Ivy Bridge (LGA2011).
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October 18, 2011 11:59:27 AM

georgetok said:
Thank You.

Any idea of what percentage performance difference it would make ?

Ego up, Performance same. Hey it always good to feel 'good' about your system :D 

Now if you are analyzing 5 year histories on a database with 100's or 1000's of stocks on your PC in some form of complex relational calculations that takes several minutes to perform the differences might be a few seconds.

However, all the Day Traders I know rely on stock database servers outside their home/office to do the computations and 'push' the data to them. Meaning all your PC is doing is being a 'Terminal' slapping data per request on to the screen, and the best ways to improve that performance are: 1. Good ISP with short 'ping rates' (low latency) and sufficient bandwidth (Telco vs Third party ISP - less hops). 2. Good Stock service provider, 3. RAM, 4. SSD, 5. LAN performance (Commercial CISCO Router/Switches and NIC Card - Intel vs Realtek/Marvell - you probably couldn't perceive it).

Ping you Stock Service Provider and count the hops and see the ms delays.
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October 22, 2011 4:30:03 AM

jaquith said:
Ego up, Performance same. Hey it always good to feel 'good' about your system :D 

Now if you are analyzing 5 year histories on a database with 100's or 1000's of stocks on your PC in some form of complex relational calculations that takes several minutes to perform the differences might be a few seconds.

However, all the Day Traders I know rely on stock database servers outside their home/office to do the computations and 'push' the data to them. Meaning all your PC is doing is being a 'Terminal' slapping data per request on to the screen, and the best ways to improve that performance are: 1. Good ISP with short 'ping rates' (low latency) and sufficient bandwidth (Telco vs Third party ISP - less hops). 2. Good Stock service provider, 3. RAM, 4. SSD, 5. LAN performance (Commercial CISCO Router/Switches and NIC Card - Intel vs Realtek/Marvell - you probably couldn't perceive it).

Ping you Stock Service Provider and count the hops and see the ms delays.


Makes sense, although the stock computations I am using are not so complex but just too many for each chart & multiply that by 12.

I don't have much choice as far as ISPs. I think I have the best among very few to choose from & 2 Mbps bandwidth which is nothing compared to you guys have but on the top of the range they are offerering here & Premium Price.

Data provider is one of the industrie's best but there is a Ping problem & nothing I can do about it too.






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October 22, 2011 4:36:17 PM

Yeah mine, Verizon FIOS, is 50Mbps down / 20Mbps up on fiber with unlimited data. However, I clearly remember my metered ISDN 128Kbps days.

Fortunately, 2Mbps is more than plenty bandwidth for the type of data you're analyzing but if the Ping is high there's no point in an expensive NIC.

So what did you decide on?
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October 24, 2011 8:15:17 AM

You're looking at 2D stuff? An x4 slot will do the job easily, just pick a cheap Z68 and get on with it....

An x1 slot is still faster than your internet :) 
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October 24, 2011 1:33:40 PM

^+1 Hey - I tried!

1st post:
"For what your needs are (NOT GAMING aka 2D) an x16/x8/x4 has no bearing any bandwidth is fine.
Example:
ASUS P8Z68-V
......"
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October 24, 2011 5:29:44 PM

jaquith said:
^+1 Hey - I tried!

1st post:
"For what your needs are (NOT GAMING aka 2D) an x16/x8/x4 has no bearing any bandwidth is fine.
Example:
ASUS P8Z68-V
......"
If anyone really wanted to insist on more lanes they could have been recommending AMD all along!
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October 24, 2011 5:49:03 PM

I don't (rarely) recommend AMD especially IF the tread begins with 'Intel' ;) 

Also, I assumed you were a P67 ASUS WS + SB guy?! I like (your) MOBO for 3-WAY + PhysX.
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October 24, 2011 7:38:53 PM

jaquith said:
I don't (rarely) recommend AMD especially IF the tread begins with 'Intel' ;) 

Also, I assumed you were a P67 ASUS WS + SB guy?! I like (your) MOBO for 3-WAY + PhysX.
I'm just saying it's OK to lower the bar, the system this guy describes doesn't need gaming-level performance.
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October 24, 2011 8:49:13 PM

It did actually occur to me... maybe I should have linked the original thread :) 

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/323633-31-please-buil...

Quote:
You know, perhaps we are doing this wrong. What if we change the platform entirely? Do you really need all that computational power?

Gigabyte 890FX AM3 board
http://www.theitwares.com/gigabyte-ga890fxaud5-890fx-sa...

AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition
http://www.theitwares.com/phenom-1100t-black-edition-th...

There's a board that will support all three cards for less, and a 6-core processor that will do nicely. It's not as fast as the Intel CPU, but are you really going to be doing that much computationally?


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October 24, 2011 9:22:25 PM

Crashman said:
I'm just saying it's OK to lower the bar, the system this guy describes doesn't need gaming-level performance.

I wasn't thinking 'Gaming' by recommending ASUS P8Z68-V, it's a solid MOBO. The cheapest 'Gaming' MOBO I recommend is the Z68 ASUS P8Z68-V PRO or P8P67 PRO {x8/x8 + x4} P67. The Intel i5-2500 is a good 4-core CPU and not the 'K' and the Day Trader's I know don't need or use Hyper-Threading Apps, DDR3-1333 vs higher frequencies will yield no improvements plus the cost per GB + common sense is 8GB especially if a lot of Apps and Charts are open. Anything more is as I said "Ego up, Performance same."

Example:
ASUS P8Z68-V
i5-2500
2x4GB DDR3-1333


The other issue I have with AMD and in particular AM3+ (FX series) CPU's -- if your shipped BIOS is PRE-Zambezi then you're SOL. You'll need to buy a cheapo AM3 CPU <or> RMA for a BIOS flash. I see no point in recommending older 'Phenom II X6 1100T'.

Think about it, Being Real, no one who is throwing $3,200+ USD just in monitors wants a cheapo rig - not anyone I know ;) 

Further, with MONEY on the line -- IF it were me it would only be on a Workstation (Xeon, ECC, RAID, etc).
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October 24, 2011 9:35:33 PM

jaquith said:
I wasn't thinking 'Gaming' by recommending ASUS P8Z68-V, it's a solid MOBO. The cheapest 'Gaming' MOBO I recommend is the Z68 ASUS P8Z68-V PRO or P8P67 PRO {x8/x8 + x4} P67. The Intel i5-2500 is a good 4-core CPU and not the 'K' and the Day Trader's I know don't need or use Hyper-Threading Apps, DDR3-1333 vs higher frequencies will yield no improvements plus the cost per GB + common sense is 8GB especially if a lot of Apps and Charts are open. Anything more is as I said "Ego up, Performance same."

Example:
ASUS P8Z68-V
i5-2500
2x4GB DDR3-1333


The other issue I have with AMD and in particular AM3+ (FX series) CPU's -- if your shipped BIOS is PRE-Zambezi then you're SOL. You'll need to buy a cheapo AM3 CPU <or> RMA for a BIOS flash. I see no point in recommending older 'Phenom II X6 1100T'.

Think about it, Being Real, no one who is throwing $3,200+ USD just in monitors wants a cheapo rig - not anyone I know ;) 

Further, with MONEY on the line -- IF it were me it would only be on a Workstation (Xeon, ECC, RAID, etc).
WS boards are great, but if he can't see the extra performance he isn't using the extra performance :) 
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October 25, 2011 6:31:16 AM

It's all complicated by the fact that he has somewhat limited sources and a need to deal with someone locally, but hopefully with all the advice he's got a clearer picture now. I really appreciate the help. I just wasn't certain on how that third PCI-E slot would handle any video, because it's connected to the system differently than the other two.
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October 25, 2011 6:54:50 AM

Proximon said:
It's all complicated by the fact that he has somewhat limited sources and a need to deal with someone locally, but hopefully with all the advice he's got a clearer picture now. I really appreciate the help. I just wasn't certain on how that third PCI-E slot would handle any video, because it's connected to the system differently than the other two.
Yes, the performance of that slot sux, but only relative to the main slots and only in high-bandwidth games :) 

Also look at some motherboard reviews, some midrange motherboards disable onboard controllers when a third graphics card is used because the chipset runs out of lanes. Cheaper boards that have fewer controllers don't have that problem :) 
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October 25, 2011 4:20:34 PM

Crashman said:
WS boards are great, but if he can't see the extra performance he isn't using the extra performance :) 

The 'purpose' of a real Workstation (Xeon, ECC, RAID) isn't necessarily the 'performance' it's the lack of errors; i.e. Error Correction. Quality vs Quantity. I seriously doubt the OP has a money problem. To justify 12 monitors I could easily assume the OP is trading in the Millions of USD. My few 'Day Trading' neighbors all of them have their home office's filled with TV's and multi-monitor PC's and are trading $300K+ per day - none of them though have 12 monitors.

Analogies - You're thinking Hyundai, I'm posting Lincoln and with LGA 2011 I'm thinking Mercedes or Bentley - maybe the OP is Bugatti.

Oddly, no one asked the OP BUDGET?!
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October 25, 2011 5:15:50 PM

Well, the OP is already pushing $5k with the monitors and graphics cards alone.
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October 25, 2011 5:35:03 PM

I hope the OP is paying closer to $3,900~$4,000; $247*3 + $266*12 = $741 + $3,192 = $3,933 USD. However, in India ?? When I plugged it into an ASUS P8B WS build I did a couple times the total cost was ~$5,500 (no KB/Mouse/Stands). The stands alone are an extra ~$1,100+ USD.
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October 25, 2011 6:00:51 PM

For the $5k I just did a quick glance for that monitor and the ones I saw were $300-350, so I'm not surprised it can be found cheaper.
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