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Seeking single-CPU LGA 2011 MoBo w/ 2 x16 PCIe 3

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May 24, 2012 1:52:05 PM

It also needs to have Intel's C600 chipset and only ONE cpu socket. It needs AT LEAST 2 x16 PCIe 3.0 slots.

The only one on Newegg is SuperMicro. I have difficulty believing that's really the option. Does anyone know of off-brand workstation/server motherboard vendors I can check?

More about : seeking single cpu lga 2011 mobo x16 pcie

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May 24, 2012 2:47:48 PM

Technically the C600 chipset does not support PCIe 3.0
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/chipsets/server-...

Actually, now that I think about it none of the LGA-2011 chips support it, so even if the board had the slots, you wouldn't be able to run them at PCIe 3.0 speeds.

That said, there is a solid X79 from Intel that has 2x PCIe 3.0 slots.
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/motherboards/des...

Why are you looking at C600 instead of X79?
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May 25, 2012 4:33:45 AM

First of all, thanks for the reply.

Now, the main thing to know about Socket R (LGA 2011) is that you get 40 lanes of PCIe 3.0 direct from a E5-series Xeon. Here's an Intel C602 board featuring PCIe 3.0:

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/motherboards/ser...

Secondly, I've seen a table of C600 versions where it said some did support PCIe 3.0 and others didn't. I wasn't entirely clear on whether they were talking about its connection to devices or its DMI connection to the CPU. I don't really care, however. The only slots I need to be PCIe 3.0 are the x16's, and those don't go through the chipset (see above).

The reason I don't want X79 is that I plan to do some serious GPU computing and I want DDIO. As far as I can tell, that feature isn't enabled in the X79 boards. I also plan to use a Xeon and ECC memory. Many X79 boards support neither (though Asus makes a X79-based workstation board that supports both).
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May 25, 2012 3:09:39 PM

I apologize, you are correct.

I knew the Desktop versions of 2011 chips didn't have PCIe 3.0, so I assumed the same for Xeon. But they do indeed have Rev 3.0.

I know this is a dual CPU board, but it will run with a single proc.
http://www.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=270-SE-W88... Family&series=All Motherboards&sw=5

It seems to support everything you are looking for. Either 3 PCIe 3.0 @ 16, or 2x16, 2x8. ECC RAM, and the E5's.
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June 4, 2012 4:01:53 AM

itzdanielp said:
I know this is a dual CPU board, but it will run with a single proc.
http://www.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=270-SE-W88... Family&series=All Motherboards&sw=5

It seems to support everything you are looking for. Either 3 PCIe 3.0 @ 16, or 2x16, 2x8. ECC RAM, and the E5's.

Thank you for your helpful reply. Unfortunately, I'm not willing to run a dual-CPU configuration, and running a single CPU in a dual-CPU board will leave some of the PCIe slots disabled (again, because most PCIe lanes come directly from the CPUs, not the chipset like they did in previous generations).
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June 4, 2012 4:26:40 AM

Why the Intel C600 series chipset?

Look at the Gigabyte LGA 2011/C604:
GA-6PXSV3 - http://b2b.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...
GA-6PXSV1 - http://b2b.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...

They are new and IDK where to find them.

For most folks I'd recommend the P9X79 WS (X79) - http://www.asus.com/Server_Workstation/Workstation_Moth...
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June 4, 2012 4:40:07 AM

jaquith said:
Why the Intel C600 series chipset?

Look at the Gigabyte LGA 2011/C604:
GA-6PXSV1 - http://b2b.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...

Ooh, excellent. I mean, it's actually a little less appealing than the one I had in mind, which offers 2 x16 PCIe 3.0 slots:
Supermicro X9SRA - http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/C60...

but it's close, and it's an alternative I hadn't seen.
For most folks I'd recommend the P9X79 WS (X79) - http://www.asus.com/Server_Workstation/Workstation_Moth... said:
For most folks I'd recommend the P9X79 WS (X79) - http://www.asus.com/Server_Workstation/Workstation_Moth...

Ahh, but unless you can tell me that DDIO works on X79, I'm not interested. I need Xeon support, ECC support, and DDIO.

The only thing wrong with the Supermicro X9SRA is that I wish it had one more PCIe slot (even a 2.0 x1 slot would do) and an eSATA connector or two. Actually, if it had the extra PCIe slot, I'd just use it for a controller card, many of which have eSATA. I'd happily give up the second Ethernet and my left nut (the sinister one ;) ) for that extra PCIe slot.

Anyhow, thanks for the reply!
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June 4, 2012 4:54:44 AM

bit_user said:
Ahh, but unless you can tell me that DDIO works on X79, I'm not interested.

Specs - nothing about the 'chipset', and since SB all of the PCIe functions are on the CPU and no longer part of the Chipset as in pre-SB CPU's i.e. X58 where the PCIe ran through the Chipset.

/edit (forgot the link) - http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/docum...

The only requirement seems to be an E5 Xeon, and the ASUS P9X79 WS (X79) supports both the E5's and ECC.

Contact ASUS and request the Server folks and if needed request Tier 2 support. 'I' feel comfortable "DDIO works on X79" as long as the E5 is fully supported...but I don't guess.
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June 4, 2012 5:12:44 AM

Well, I think we all know it's an arbitrary market segmentation thing. Intel could simply choose to enable it or not, depending on what chipset you have.

I also looked at the Supermicro X9SRA manual and really liked the scrubbing & other ECC features I saw. That's something you only tend to find in more server-oriented platforms.

As for the specific ASUS board you mentioned, it has exactly the same PCIe connectivity (and no eSATA sockets or PCI slot) as the Supermicro X9SRA, given that both x16 slots are being used at full x16 capacity.

Now, I did just download the C600 chipset datasheet, and it doesn't contain a single reference to DDIO. However, I'd still need some good evidence that the feature will work in a X79 board, as opposed to a lack of evidence that it won't.
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June 4, 2012 5:24:57 AM

I have nothing at all against the SuperMicro. You seemed to be looking for alternatives and other possibilities. I remember prior ASUS WS that forgot to add VT-d support (fixed in a later BIOS revision), so anything is possible.

The X79 or C600 series chipsets are all about 'other' I/O using the shared x8 PCIe 2.0 lanes i.e. SATA, SAS, USB, etc and have zip to do with the dedicated GPU PCIe lanes (completely different paths).
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June 4, 2012 5:46:24 AM

jaquith said:
I have nothing at all against the SuperMicro. You seemed to be looking for alternatives and other possibilities.
The only problem I have with the Supermicro X9SRA is that I want one more PCIe slot. That's all, really.


The X79 or C600 series chipsets are all about 'other' I/O using the shared x8 PCIe 2.0 lanes i.e. SATA, SAS, USB, etc and have zip to do with the dedicated GPU PCIe lanes (completely different paths). said:
The X79 or C600 series chipsets are all about 'other' I/O using the shared x8 PCIe 2.0 lanes i.e. SATA, SAS, USB, etc and have zip to do with the dedicated GPU PCIe lanes (completely different paths).
I know there's no good reason for it to be affected by the chipset. But unless I or someone else has independently verified that it works with the X79 chipset, I won't know for sure that there's not something special in the BIOS of C600 chipset boards that enables the feature on E5 Xeons.

I'm just suspicious by Intel's use of the word "platform", in some of their material on the subject. As you know, the X79 is just a hobbled version of the C600 chipset, and that could be one of the features they disabled.
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June 4, 2012 5:49:11 AM

BTW, I wish Toms would benchmark the impact of DDIO on GPGPU and games. In so doing, maybe they'd find out whether the feature is tied to the chipset, CPU, or both.
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June 4, 2012 6:23:10 AM

bit_user said:
But unless I or someone else has independently verified that it works with the X79 chipset, I won't know for sure that there's not something special in the BIOS of C600 chipset boards that enables the feature on E5 Xeons.

Contact ASUS and more than likely Tier 2 folks...
bit_user said:
I'm just suspicious by Intel's use of the word "platform", in some of their material on the subject. As you know, the X79 is just a hobbled version of the C600 chipset, and that could be one of the features they disabled.

Everything seems to point to this being a built-in E5 feature.
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June 15, 2012 6:36:13 AM

I'm still looking, guys. Looking to pull the trigger, this weekend. Any more suggestions?

Thanks.
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June 22, 2012 12:07:08 AM

Eh, so I went with the Supermicro X9SRA for my graphics & GPU-compute workstation build. I'd happily trade one of the two ethernet ports for another PCIe x1 slot. eSATA would also be nice. Those are really my only qualms about this board.

I'm just not willing to risk buying a X79 board. I haven't found any evidence that DDIO will work on those boards, and I don't trust board vendors to be honest about it. I think the temptation is there for them to just say that it works, so that they'll get rid of me and I'll buy their board. I wish I had the means to test for myself.

On the plus side, the ECC functionality described in the X9SRA's user manual is way beyond anything I can find in the few x79 boards that claim support for E5 Xeons and ECC. Not that I'd really use anything more than basic scrubbing.

I also hope it'll be more reliable than the average X79 board. The PC I'm replacing originally had an ASUS board that died after like 2 years (out of warranty). I didn't overclock it and used the best quality PSU I could find at the time, plus a high-quality surge protector with active powerline filtering. Plenty of cooling, too.
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July 2, 2012 12:05:19 AM

In the end, I stuck with my original choice, the Supermicro X9SRA. However, since Jaquith found those Gigabytes I hadn't previously seen, "best answer" goes to Jaquith.

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July 2, 2012 12:54:30 AM

I'd also just like to point out (as I'm sure many have before) some annoying things about the current Q & A implementation:

1. Having to select a best answer.

2. Being nagged via email until I do (this wouldn't be a problem if some of the following points were fixed).

3. Not being able to give partial credit.

4. Not being able to credit multiple responses.

5. Not being able to credit my own replies (in some cases, I found the answer and posted back to my own thread, and it's not as helpful to others if I can't indicate that post as the answer).

6. Not being able to close an old thread that hasn't gotten any useful answers.

7. Flood detection that nukes a second reply, if it's within a couple minutes of the first. That's too sensitive.

[steps down from soapbox].
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July 2, 2012 12:55:08 AM

Best answer selected by bit_user.
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July 2, 2012 5:28:22 AM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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