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X58 vs P67 vs Z68 vs X68

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March 11, 2011 12:58:23 PM

I was all set to buy a P67 setup before the recall, yet now as the new motherboards are becoming available again I am having second thoughts. I read recently that a multiple monitor setup does not perform well on a P67 system. I currently have a 1920x1080 display, yet would like to get another at some point. My question is which chip to get or wait for? Should I go back a generation and get the X58? I am well aware that the P67 is a better processer, yet I am wary of the recall and the issues people seem to be having with the boards even after the recall. Will the Z68 be a better option, or should I just wait it out until the X68 becomes available at the end of the year? I am looking to build a high end rig with whatever processer and board I start with; most likely looking at the HAF X, 16/12 gig ram, 120 gig SSD, 1TB HD, Blu Ray Burner, 850 PSU, and GTX 580. Usage will be Gaming, Adobe CS5, Microsoft Office, Web. Thanks for all of the help in advance. I have seen a lot of questions surrounding this issue, yet no thread that concerns all of the chips. So feel free to hijack the thread if you have a similar question.

More about : x58 p67 z68 x68

March 11, 2011 1:25:17 PM

Why do you think a multiple monitor setup doesn't work with the P67? The P67 doesn't have anything to do with graphics as it doesn't have onboard graphics. This is also true with the X58. The monitor setup would be entirely driven by what video card you have, and most modern video cards can support at least two monitors with a single card.

What the Z68 chipset is bringing to the table is a combination of the H67 and P67 features. The H67 chipset would allow a user to use the integrated graphics of the Sandy Bridge CPUs, but not the overclocking available to the "K" series. The P67 would allow overclocking, but doesn't support the integrated graphics. The Z68 allows both overclocking and integrated graphics (basically just Quick Sync, as anyone buying the Z68 is likely to have a discrete GPU) support on the same board.

I would like to point out that the Z68 isn't going to be out for another couple of months, so unless you can wait until then, there is no point in considering the Z68. There is absolutely no reason to consider an LGA1366 CPU at all. The highest end CPUs available on it (the i7-980X and 990X, both around $1,000+) are easily outclassed by the only LGA1155 CPUs available, even at stock.

As for the X68, it's impossible to say if you should wait. It's too early to get previews of what the new CPUs will offer in terms of performance or what they'll cost. If you need a new machine now (or relatively soon), there's no point in thinking about waiting for a product that may or may not be released.

As for the rest of your build, I see some issues with the basic setup. The largest of them is that you've only detailed the least important part of the build (the case), but I'll just treat the other parts as if you've picked high quality/high performance parts.

First, there is no reason to get a $180 case, much less the HAF X. You get the same features with the HAF 932 for $120. If you just wanted a high-end case, there are better options, like anything from Lian Li, Silverstone's Fortress series, Silverstone's Raven series, or anything from Antec (I consider the 1200 and P183 high end).

Second, BluRay has no practical use for PCs right now, much less burning them. Drop that out and get a regular DVD burner. You can add a BR drive later when either the prices become reasonable or a PC specific use shows up.
March 11, 2011 1:25:33 PM

McBane505 said:
I read recently that a multiple monitor setup does not perform well on a P67 system.
Where did you read this? It seems unusual it would be related to the P67 motherboard since it doesnt do video output. More likely a video card issue, wouldn't you think?
Are you getting your 'issues people seem to be having with the boards even after the recall' from the same source? What was that source?
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March 11, 2011 1:38:55 PM

Thanks for all of the great information.

I am well aware that the multiple monitors deal with the graphics card that is why I was so confused. I actually read that information on a tom’s thread, but I can not find it now….., but apparently this is not an issue. I just wanted to check to make sure before I went with a P67 build.

About the motherboard issues, it seems to me that a lot of posters are having issues booting with the bios, I am looking at the P8P67 Pro. If you google “site:tomshardware.com boot issues p8p67 pro” there are many, many threads dedicated to the boot issues. Do the revised boards come with the most recent bios updated? Or are the just updating the faulty parts?

About the case, I like the HAF X. It has a lot of space to build, front USB 3.0 integrated, and substantial cooling. Also, this will be my first build, so the extra space is a factor to make the build easier.

About the Blu Ray, I have a substantial Blu Ray collection already and would like the ability to watch them on my PC. The burners are only around $50 more then a standard drive so I thought I would look to the future.

March 11, 2011 1:48:08 PM

All builds can have boot issues, especially newer builders using new tech that isn't as well documented online. It's a non-issue.

You'll have plenty of extra space in any of the other cases I mentioned. Most of them are absolutely massive. As for the USB 3 port on the front of the case, it's also not really a feature. There's still a large gap in it being useful. The majority of boards don't have USB 3 headers (because the majority of cases don't either), and the majority of USB devices don't use USB 3 either. It's a long way from being useful too, and not only because most tech doesn't support it. Most tech also doesn't need the added speed. Until they start throwing SSDs into USB devices, you won't need USB 3 speeds. I'd guess it's a good 3-4 years before it's actually useful. Is it really worth $60 for that? It wouldn't be for me.
March 11, 2011 2:02:31 PM

Thanks for the insight on the USB 3.0. You mentioned that the x68 is still several months away. I have heard maybe even Q1 2012 at this point. Is late this year like Q3/Q4 more likely or is Q1 2012 the most likely option due to the SB motherboard recall?
March 11, 2011 2:05:18 PM

What feature of the Z68s will you want that isn't also in the P67? And how much extra will you be willing to pay for it?
March 11, 2011 2:12:46 PM

I would choose the P67 over the Z68. The Z68s do not offer any functionality that I would use over the P67s. My main question at this point is whether to wait for the X68. I could be wrong, but it is the true successor to the X58 making it geared to performance. I think that this would last longer than the P67 due to the X68s inclusion of PCIE 3.0. I would assume that Nvidia and AMD will gear their high end cards to this spec once it is available.
March 11, 2011 2:42:21 PM

If you're not bumping up against your budget limit buying at the top end of the performance spectrum and you don't mind waiting till the fall you have the option to wait.
March 11, 2011 2:52:37 PM

MadAdmiral said:
There is absolutely no reason to consider an LGA1366 CPU at all. The highest end CPUs available on it (the i7-980X and 990X, both around $1,000+) are easily outclassed by the only LGA1155 CPUs available, even at stock.


Please show me the benchmarks where a Sandy Bridge CPU can compete with the 990X at stock, because the ones at Toms Hardware disagree with you.

The 990X might be significanly less cost-effective than a 2600K, but it's at least 20% faster in both single-threaded and multi-threaded apps due to being clocked higher and having 2 more cores which offer 4 more threads. Please know what you're talking about before giving out advice.
March 11, 2011 3:01:39 PM

I was debating about X58 or P67 for my first build myself. But the truth is that X58 is dead and SB is the future. I haven't encountered any major issues with this build so far (fingers crossed) and everything has worked as it should...
March 11, 2011 3:03:47 PM

Majin thanks for the insight in your experience. It is nice to hear a success story.
March 11, 2011 3:06:21 PM

WR2 thanks for the insight. I am still undecided. I would like the peace of mind that the new hardware brings and I do not mind waiting, but at the same time $2000 is about my limit and the price at release of the x68 may eclipse this.
March 11, 2011 3:14:28 PM

Ten98 said:
Please know what you're talking about before giving out advice.
-1 for content and -2 for attitude.

Comparing $1000 CPU with $220 CPU

March 11, 2011 3:17:31 PM

The rest of the benchmark comparison is here.
And you can choose to compare the 4core/8 thread i7 2600K instead of the 4core/4thread i5 2500K.
March 11, 2011 3:19:09 PM

Ten98 said:
Please show me the benchmarks where a Sandy Bridge CPU can compete with the 990X at stock, because the ones at Toms Hardware disagree with you.


March 11, 2011 3:22:04 PM

Ten98 said:
Please show me the benchmarks where a Sandy Bridge CPU can compete with the 990X at stock, because the ones at Toms Hardware disagree with you.

The 990X might be significanly less cost-effective than a 2600K, but it's at least 20% faster in both single-threaded and multi-threaded apps due to being clocked higher and having 2 more cores which offer 4 more threads. Please know what you're talking about before giving out advice.


Here you go: Tom's 990X review. All Tom's reviews are done at stock. It only uses the i7-2600K, but that's a Sandy Bridge CPU.

Here's the score from Tom's, for those of you who can't be bothered to actually do research (Ten98, that's you):

PCMark Vantage: Big win
3DMark11: win, though only narrowly
SiSoftware Sandra: wash (wins two, loses two)
Content Creation: wash (loses 3DS render, Photoshop, and Preimer, but wins After Effects, Blender and Cinebench)
Productivity: loss (wins Lame and WinZip, loses ABBYY FineReader, WinRAR, and Win7)
Media Encoding: narrow loss (wins iTunes, loses Main Concept by 5 seconds and Handbrake by 7 seconds)
Gaming: wash (1-2 FPS ahead or behind in all benchmarks, which is not a significant result)

Here's the score from AnAndTech against the 980X (which is essentially the same as the 990X):

General Performance: Big win
Video Encoding: wash (3 wins, 3 losses)
3D Rendering: win (3 wins, 2 loses)
File compression/decompression: win (3 wins, 1 loss)
Video Creation: loss, but a respectable showing on times
Gaming: win (7 wins, 3 losses)
Power Consumption: BIG win

If you tally those up, the i7-2600K has 7 wins, 3 losses, 4 ties (79% win or tie percentage), resulting in 700 big reasons why you shouldn't touch the 990X or 980X. The i5-2500K is behind the i7-2600K of course, but it's close enough in performance that the 990X is still not worth it.

So Ten98, I think YOU should do some research before offering advice. More cores, more threads, and higher clock speeds don't necessarily mean better performance. What matters most is how the CPU is engineered, and the Sandy Bridge CPUs are engineering masterpieces.
March 11, 2011 3:37:05 PM

Thanks for the benchmarks.
March 11, 2011 3:41:33 PM

^You are entirely welcome.

I should also point out that with the amzing overclocking ability of the Sandy Bridge CPUs is phenomenal. You can get a lot more speed with very little effort. AnAndTech did an overclocking test and put a 1 GHz overclock on the i7 and i5, which doesn't even get near the maximum that they can go (I've heard 5.0 GHz on air is possible), and got another 25-30% in the benchmarks. The 990X and 980X, which both produce a lot more heat and use a lot more power, can't overclock as well, so they fall even further behind if you compare all the CPUs at their maximum stable overclock.
March 11, 2011 3:43:22 PM

What the benchmarks don't show is the future upgrade path of the socket 1155 motherboard taking the next gen Ivy Bridge CPUs with and extra 20% - 30% performance boost.

And just about anyone that cares to try can get 4.2Ghz on the i5-2500K on stock voltage and the 2600K does better. Both SB CPUs surrender no ground to the X990 overclocking.
March 11, 2011 3:57:40 PM

Good point about the upgrade path to Ivy Bridge. What are your feelings on PCIE 3.0. Worth waiting for or like USB 3.0, will not be relevant for a few years?
March 11, 2011 4:01:32 PM

Considering that it hasn't even been released yet, I'd say it even further from being relevant. I'd say the next time you were looking at a full rebuld (4-5 years), it'll be the new thing to buy.
March 11, 2011 4:12:51 PM

Thanks for the insight Mad. That was one of the points I was thinking about when considering waiting for X68. At this point there does not seem like any relevant reasons to wait for X68 and instead I should go with the P67.
March 11, 2011 4:30:17 PM

I should clarify on the PCIe 3.0 comments a little bit. To clarify, what I meant to say is that USB 3 itself is not useless, but USB 3.0 headers are. First, the benefit of having a USB header is that you can quickly swap devices through it. However, there aren't a lot of devices (think not only external HDDs, but also mp3 players, phones, USB sticks, etc.) that actually use USB 3. Besides HDDs, there aren't likely to be many for a few years, as the companies that make the other devices will want a customer base before offering a USB 3 product.

Second, the benfit of USB 3 is the faster speeds is only really useful in some cases. Such as you're in the habit of copying a lot of large files at once. If this is the case, you'd have a reason to have a USB 3 external HDD, but it's unlikely you would be needing to swap it quickly. In this case, you'd need USB 3, but not necessarily on a header.

Finally, if you do copy large files regularly, there are better ways to do it than USB devices. You'd prbably want to be using eSATA or firewire instead. These will be faster, though less common on consumer external devices. These ports as headers are much more common than USB 3 headers.

So basically, in my opinion, until they start making 1 TB iPods and iPads, having USB 3 headers isn't going to be that useful.

On to some additions about PCIe 3.0...

Since PCIe 3.0 is backwards compatible (3.0 cards will work in 2.0 slots and vice versa) and I don't believe the PCIe 2.0 (or 2.1) slots are bottlenecking current GPUs and you will have the option of adding a secone card in SLI, you won't need PCIe 3.0's features for many years.

Also, you said you were looking at the GTX 580, which will be sufficiently powerful to do the vast majority of tasks for several years (I usually say 3-4 years). You would then have the option to add a second one later when the single card begins to struggle. That will add another 2-3 years to the life of the build. In that 5-7 year timeframe, you will not have needed PCIe 3.0's benefits. Therefore, if that is the only feature you'd want from the X68 chipset, there is no point in waiting for it.
March 11, 2011 4:34:54 PM

Thanks for the insight Mad. I see your point about the USB 3.0 headers. And other than the PCIE 3.0, I did not see anything that seemed really relevant in the x68 for my usage. So it looks like I will be going P67 and be waiting like everyone else for all of the boards to become available again.
March 13, 2011 2:20:07 PM

Not sure how this really shows that the 2600K "outclasses" the 990X.

In a handful of synthetic benchmarks the 2600K scores slightly higher than the 990X, but the majority of synthetic benchmarks show in favour of the 990X.

It's a similar picture in the the real-world usage tests. Most show in favour of the 990X, especially those where the X's 12 virtual cores can be used to full effect as opposed to the 8 of the K.

I'm not saying anyone should actually buy a 990X, you'd have to be crazy to do that at this point, all I'm saying is the 990X is faster in the majority of use-cases.
April 11, 2011 5:09:29 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Why do you think a multiple monitor setup doesn't work with the P67? The P67 doesn't have anything to do with graphics as it doesn't have onboard graphics. This is also true with the X58. The monitor setup would be entirely driven by what video card you have, and most modern video cards can support at least two monitors with a single card.

What the Z68 chipset is bringing to the table is a combination of the H67 and P67 features. The H67 chipset would allow a user to use the integrated graphics of the Sandy Bridge CPUs, but not the overclocking available to the "K" series. The P67 would allow overclocking, but doesn't support the integrated graphics. The Z68 allows both overclocking and integrated graphics (basically just Quick Sync, as anyone buying the Z68 is likely to have a discrete GPU) support on the same board.

I would like to point out that the Z68 isn't going to be out for another couple of months, so unless you can wait until then, there is no point in considering the Z68. There is absolutely no reason to consider an LGA1366 CPU at all. The highest end CPUs available on it (the i7-980X and 990X, both around $1,000+) are easily outclassed by the only LGA1155 CPUs available, even at stock.

As for the X68, it's impossible to say if you should wait. It's too early to get previews of what the new CPUs will offer in terms of performance or what they'll cost. If you need a new machine now (or relatively soon), there's no point in thinking about waiting for a product that may or may not be released.

As for the rest of your build, I see some issues with the basic setup. The largest of them is that you've only detailed the least important part of the build (the case), but I'll just treat the other parts as if you've picked high quality/high performance parts.

First, there is no reason to get a $180 case, much less the HAF X. You get the same features with the HAF 932 for $120. If you just wanted a high-end case, there are better options, like anything from Lian Li, Silverstone's Fortress series, Silverstone's Raven series, or anything from Antec (I consider the 1200 and P183 high end).

Second, BluRay has no practical use for PCs right now, much less burning them. Drop that out and get a regular DVD burner. You can add a BR drive later when either the prices become reasonable or a PC specific use shows up.


What he said. I'm in the same situation.(son and I are gamers). Think I'm getting Asus P8P67 pro/i7-2600k now. X68 is 6 months away, and will be very expensive for the cpu's IMHO...(like the extreme series)...
April 11, 2011 6:29:53 PM

Ten98 said:
Not sure how this really shows that the 2600K "outclasses" the 990X.

In a handful of synthetic benchmarks the 2600K scores slightly higher than the 990X, but the majority of synthetic benchmarks show in favour of the 990X.

It's a similar picture in the the real-world usage tests. Most show in favour of the 990X, especially those where the X's 12 virtual cores can be used to full effect as opposed to the 8 of the K.

I'm not saying anyone should actually buy a 990X, you'd have to be crazy to do that at this point, all I'm saying is the 990X is faster in the majority of use-cases.


I know I'm a bit late to the party here, but I'd say the benches they have put up definitely show the 990x being outclassed. The fact that the 2600k is pretty even with the 990x while having 2 less cores, having 4 less threads, using less power, producing less heat, and costing 1/3 of the price is proof positive of how much the 2600k outclasses the 990x.
April 20, 2011 8:01:28 AM

bbtennis1 said:
What he said. I'm in the same situation.(son and I are gamers). Think I'm getting Asus P8P67 pro/i7-2600k now. X68 is 6 months away, and will be very expensive for the cpu's IMHO...(like the extreme series)...



My question is about z68 motherboard.

if i am using z68 motherboard and using integrated Graphic ( I-GPU ) and want to do overclocking as well at the same time,

so is it possible to overclock both Integrated GPU and CPU WHILE USING INTEGRATED GPU?



because i read on internet somewhere that with z68 motherboard either you can use Integrated Gpu or you can do overclocking but NOT BOTH TOGETHER.

Thanks

Aslam
May 20, 2011 4:29:45 PM

majin ssj eric said:
I was debating about X58 or P67 for my first build myself. But the truth is that X58 is dead and SB is the future. I haven't encountered any major issues with this build so far (fingers crossed) and everything has worked as it should...

wow the x58 is dead and to think i just bought an asus x58 sabertooth mobo and a core i7 in jan 2011.waisted my money i guess.lol
June 18, 2011 8:30:35 PM

2280153,24,511676 said:
...USB 3 itself is not useless, but USB 3.0 headers are. First, the benefit of having a USB header is that you can quickly swap devices through it... Besides HDDs, there aren't likely to be many [other USB 3.0 devices] for a few years...

Second, the benfit of USB 3 is the faster speeds is only really useful in some cases. Such as you're in the habit of copying a lot of large files at once. If this is the case, you'd have a reason to have a USB 3 external HDD, but it's unlikely you would be needing to swap it quickly. In this case, you'd need USB 3, but not necessarily on a header.

Finally, if you do copy large files regularly, there are better ways to do it than USB devices. You'd prbably want to be using eSATA or firewire instead. These will be faster, though less common on consumer external devices. These ports as headers are much more common than USB 3 headers.

So basically, in my opinion, until they start making 1 TB iPods and iPads, having USB 3 headers isn't going to be that useful./quotemsg]

It truly is fun to see how different we all are. Judging by the graphics cards they choose and comments like above, it seems many of the build-it-yourselfers here are gamers. I don't game at all (though I might start with my next mega build). I'm a video professional — camera, primarily, not even a full-time editor — and I currently own 7 TB of data. Once I have my next build in place (I'm thinking i7-2600k and the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe) I project that 7 TB will quickly grow to 12 TB in the next year, easily!

My current system (a 4 year old laptop) doesn't have ANY USB 3.0 connections (obviously). But I purchased my first 2 TB USB 3.0 drive in March. I plan to phase out my 1TB USB 2.0 HDDs and replace all of them with 2TB USB 3.0 drives, while adding a few more. Why USB 3.0 and not Firewire or eSATA? A camcorder is typically filling my Firewire spot. Some kind of Media card reader, is typically filling my eSATA connection. Plus, hard drives are more expensive with Firewire or eSATA.

Under the new system, I would likely have my two most commonly accessed hard drives occupying the back USB 3.0 ports. All of my hard drives currently sit powered and ready to go, just behind my monitor. I have a snake pit of cable ends sitting near the USB ports, all of them labeled (Drives F, G, M, T, U, V, W and X) ready to be plugged in whenever I need them. While some simple edits of Standard-Definition footage can be edited directly from the USB 2.0 drives. It's less than ideal and doesn't work at all for most of my HD formats. So when I need to edit a client's job that was shot in HD, I copy all of the footage (10GB for a small vignette up to 300GB or more for longer pieces). I usually have to start that footage copying the night before an edit. with USB 2.0 we're talking 3 - 4 hours to copy.

I keep most of my client footage for a few weeks to a few months — for their offsite backup as well as for my peace of mind from clients who will almost certainly call and ask me for it, not 5 minutes after I've deleted it. Some footage is kept as backup indefinitely.

In addition to this, I keep regular system backups on a backup drive (which is only connected to the computer when performing my weekly back up). And still other hard drives need to be introduced to create redundancy every drive I currently have.

Yes, I swap drives constantly, while requiring my current working files to be on my internal SATA hard drives. You can see why I don't want to be digging around in the back of my computer to find the only two USB 3.0 connectors all of the time. I cannot tell you how excited I am to ditch my USB 2.0 HDDs. I, for one, cannot get enough USB 3.0 headers!

September 22, 2011 11:40:13 PM

MadAdmiral said:
I should clarify on the PCIe 3.0 comments a little bit. To clarify, what I meant to say is that USB 3 itself is not useless, but USB 3.0 headers are. (...) there aren't a lot of devices (think not only external HDDs, but also mp3 players, phones, USB sticks, etc.) that actually use USB 3. Besides HDDs, there aren't likely to be many for a few years, as the companies that make the other devices will want a customer base before offering a USB 3 product.


I have to disagree about this! I am currently using USB 3 ports for "external" SATA 2 and SATA 3 HDD by using this dongle (Koutech IO-ASU330 SATA 6G Device to SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Host Bridge Adapter)... Top throughput using SATA 6Gbps or SATA 3Gbps, available NOW, not "in a couple of years"... :sol: 

More over, you are missing a huge difference between USB2 and USB3 : the later is Two-way communication. In USB 3.0, full-duplex communications are done when using SuperSpeed (USB 3.0) transfer. In previous USB versions (i.e., 1.x or 2.0), all communication is half-duplex and directionally controlled by the host. WHich means that you'll be able to navigate your external HDD while transferring files without any hiccup, as if it was an internally plugged HDD.
September 22, 2011 11:58:01 PM

FWIW, you are posting in a 3-6 month old thread...
September 23, 2011 2:42:11 AM

tsnor said:
FWIW, you are posting in a 3-6 month old thread...

Yes I know. But as for myself, I'm sure that others wil arrive on this page while browsing for information (I was looking up to see what was the Marvel chipset used for controling SATA 3-6Gbps on the Sabertooth X58, if I should instead look for a P67 mobo, targeting a mid-level graphic/media production desktop with a HD 6990). IMHO this thread is still "actual" and merit a little update since we're talking about the very same technology. However I agree that I should've simply add these facts which are not recent, instead of saying "you're wrong" - in regard to the assertion that USB3 wouldn't be of much use until a couple of years -, or such tone. My apologies.

At the risk of repeating myself, I feel that I must insist upon this marvelous little piece of hardware, for those looking up for a cheap but very effective way to use the full potential of USB3 with external HDD - Actually an internal SATA2/3 HDDs used as an external device, bringing forth a solution which is much cheaper and at least as efficient - if not more - than using current dedicated external HDD boxes. I love to have my flat 2.5inch SATA 6Gbps Vertex SSD under hand in my pocket while carrying my work for clients : big files are transfered quite fast ;) 

P.S. Question - Maybe off-topic - The later solution is the only way I've found yet to use the full potential of USB3 or SATA3 (6Gbbps) interfaces for external storage purposes while using cheaper internal HDDs or SSDs. However I don't remember my readings : can an eSATA interface (e.g. on current chassis offerings) be hooked-up to one of the mobo's SATA 3 (6Gbps) ports?
!