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Z77 vs x79?

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July 5, 2012 9:37:24 PM

Is there any reason (aside from price) to go for a z77 over an x79 chipset? Im building a higer end gaming rig and don't want to make the wrong choice.

More about : z77 x79

a c 715 V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
July 5, 2012 9:43:11 PM

Folks will argue it both ways, so I'll say this 3 or 4 WAY SLI/CF X79 otherwise Z77.
a b V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
July 5, 2012 9:52:32 PM

z77 = LGA1155 and i3/5/7-2xxx-37xx
x79 = LGA2011 and i7-38xx/39xx

Since you need to buy an Extreme-series CPU, going with x79 will cost you at least $200 more for the CPU itself.

Since there already is no difference between the i5-3570 and i7-3770 for gaming, there is almost no difference between 1066 and 2133MHz DDR3 for gaming and there is almost no difference between PCIe 2.0 x16 and x8 with current video cards, there will be little to no gain between LGA1155/z77 and LGA2011/x79 for gaming.

Short version: not worth it. At all.
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July 6, 2012 12:23:07 AM

No difference today, but surely going forward in the next 6 months to a year or more the system requirements will increase and the extreme series cpu etc will offer a preformance benifit, no ?
a b V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
July 6, 2012 5:45:52 AM

Games are barely starting to fully leverage dual cores with most of the quad core benefits coming simply from background OS tasks and minor worker threads landing on extra cores rather than games actually using more than two cores.

It took the better part of 10 years for game programmers to start getting around to making meaningful use of two active threads, it is going to take many more years for games to start making significant explicit use of quad core. LGA2011 will be superseded long before then.
a c 715 V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
July 6, 2012 11:49:22 AM

First off -- I really don't care to debate folks here... This is 'my opinion' and what I would do. so if you do it some other way then ... good for you.

It depends on what's your setup & budget. There's no downside to the LGA 2011 and SB-E, and I've yet to find a SB-E that I cannot OC to 4.8GHz easily and 5GHz if you're willing to sacrifice longevity of the CPU.

There's not one what I consider an 'extreme system' that I've built since SB-E that's not LGA 2011. Sure I've built some LGA 1155 rigs but nothing that I consider extreme where multiple monitors and multiple GPU's.

To achieve 3 or 4-WAY SLI/CF on LGA 1155 you need a MOBO with the PLX chipset but IMO they're jerry-rigged LGA 1155's.

My recommendations (core system):
CPU: i7-3930K ; money not object then i7-3960X some gains 0~3FPS *
MOBO: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme (R4E) LGA 2011
GPU(s): GTX 680 4GB vRAM ; 4GB will prevent vRAM bottlenecks in 3xHD resolutions with Ultra settings plus high AA
Monitors: 3D Vision - http://www.nvidia.com/object/3d-vision-system-requireme...
PSU: Corsair AX1200 or ENERMAX EMR1350EWT (good for 3/4-WAY SLI)
PSU Options: Corsair sleeved - http://www.corsair.com/us/power-supply-units/psu-access...
SSD: (2) one for boot and OS and one for Steam
HDD: (2) RAID 1
RAM: 4x4GB DDR3-1600 1.35v~1.50v ; faster will only yield 0~3FPS but instability can be the added burden *

* Sure I've used i7-3960X and much >DDR3-1600
a c 145 V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
July 6, 2012 12:11:27 PM

lieutenantfrost said:
No difference today, but surely going forward in the next 6 months to a year or more the system requirements will increase and the extreme series cpu etc will offer a preformance benifit, no ?


They offer performance benefits now. If the x79 platform wasn't solidly more performant than the z77 platform it would be priced along with the Bulldozer CPUs in the bargain bin. The question that you need to answer is whether or not these benefits apply to you.

Functionally the LGA2011 CPUs are midway between the LGA1155 Sandybridge and Ivybridge CPUs. They have the instruction and lithography of the Sandybridge but the memory and PCIe support of Ivybridge.

The extra PCIe lanes are an absolute must for anyone running a large number of PCIe adapters such as 2 or more graphics cards, a sound card, RAID controller, etc... Because of the way that PCIe works this not only provides more links per slot but allows for a greater number of slot combinations per motherboard. This is just PCIe lanes pulled out from the CPU itself, additional lanes can be pulled out from the add-in chipset at PCIe 2.0 speeds only.
a b V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
July 6, 2012 2:14:02 PM

Pinhedd said:
The extra PCIe lanes are an absolute must for anyone running a large number of PCIe adapters such as 2 or more graphics cards

With current games and video cards, even x8 PCIe 2.0 is enough to get most of the performance out of today's cards. With Ivy Bridge having x16 PCIe 3.0, there is plenty of bandwidth to easily drive a pair of cards so SB-E's 40x PCIe 3.0 only come into play if you are going for 3-4 cards.

With something like a PEX8749 (48 lanes PCIe3 switch), it would be possible for z77 boards to drive 3-4 cards setup with little to no compromise performance-wise.
a c 715 V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
July 6, 2012 2:32:32 PM

GPU PCIe lanes:

LGA 1155 = x16 PCIe 2.0 or PCIe 3.0 + x8 PCIe 2.0 to the remainder chipset + DMI 2.0 to PCH
x16/x0 or x8/x8 PCIe 2.0 or PCIe 3.0 ; PCIe 3.0 requires IB CPU, GTX 600 series or HD 7000 series GPU(s)

LGA 2011 = x32 PCIe 2.0 or PCIe 3.0 + x8 PCIe 2.0 to the remainder chipset + DMI 2.0 to PCH
x16/x0/x16/x0, x16/x8/x8/x0, x8/x8/x8/x8 (depending on MOBO) ; PCIe 3.0 requires GTX 600 series* or HD 7000 series** GPU(s)
* - http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3135...
** - AMD didn't play the PCIe game like nVidia

PLX Requires IB CPU (jerry-rigged):
LGA 1155 = (PLX x32 PCIe 3.0 ; funneled back) => x16 PCIe 3.0 + x8 PCIe 2.0 to the remainder + DMI 2.0 PCH
x16/x0/x16/x0, x16/x8/x8/x0, x8/x8/x8/x8 (depending on MOBO) ; PCIe 3.0 requires IB CPU, GTX 600 series or HD 7000 series GPU(s)
July 7, 2012 6:03:58 AM

Jaquith I really do appreciate you taking the time to provide those details above, but Im not informed enough to make proper sense of them.

is it just to determine what card is requred for which specs?
a b V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2012 6:12:41 AM

lieutenantfrost said:
is it just to determine what card is requred for which specs?

It boils down to one question: does your definition of extreme gaming PC means 1, 2, 3 or 4 graphics cards?

If it is less than 3, you definitely do not need x79 since an IB CPU has 16x PCIe 3.0 lanes which are more than enough to drive a pair of PCIe 3.0 cards (HD7xxx or nVidia 6xx) with 8 lanes each directly off the CPU, all you need is a motherboard wired that way.

For 3+ video cards, you need to pick your motherboard more carefully.
a c 715 V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2012 12:35:23 PM

Quote:
...so I'll say this 3 or 4 WAY SLI/CF X79 otherwise Z77.

As I first stated and others have echoed it depends on the number of GPU(s) you're going to need and use.

IF your are only using a single HD monitor (1920 x 1080) or even a 30" monitor (2560 x 1600) resolutions then you don't need more than 2 GPU's, it's only when you use 3xHD (5760 x 1080) where 3 or 4 GPU's can become necessary for certain games under 3D, ultra high details, AA, etc.

I use the the LGA 2011/SB-E but I run SQL testing and coding, for others video and rendering.
July 7, 2012 5:28:58 PM

Jaquith, my apologies for not correctly understanding your earlier response. I posted in another thread about muti monitor setups, as I have never run one befoe and was considering setting one up.

Im assuming you have such a set up base on your previous reply, If I wanted to set up a 3 monitor rig that could run BF3, GW2, etc at max settings and be somewhat future proof, What kinda cards am I looking at needing for an intel system? gtx 680s? And is 3 of them an absolute must?
a c 145 V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2012 5:32:37 PM

lieutenantfrost said:
Jaquith, my apologies for not correctly understanding your earlier response. I posted in another thread about muti monitor setups, as I have never run one befoe and was considering setting one up.

Im assuming you have such a set up base on your previous reply, If I wanted to set up a 3 monitor rig that could run BF3, GW2, etc at max settings and be somewhat future proof, What kinda cards am I looking at needing for an intel system? gtx 680s? And is 3 of them an absolute must?


7970s are the king of Eyefinity right now. I would recommend two for most games.
a c 715 V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2012 6:42:11 PM

lieutenantfrost said:
Jaquith, my apologies for not correctly understanding your earlier response. I posted in another thread about muti monitor setups, as I have never run one befoe and was considering setting one up.

Im assuming you have such a set up base on your previous reply, If I wanted to set up a 3 monitor rig that could run BF3, GW2, etc at max settings and be somewhat future proof, What kinda cards am I looking at needing for an intel system? gtx 680s? And is 3 of them an absolute must?

Yes my daughter uses a 3D Vision 3xHD setup. At least 3-WAY GTX 670/680 with 4GB vRAM running on an LGA 2011 with a SB-E i7-3930K and the PCIe 3.0 mod - http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3135...

Nice Thread - http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=1537816
Nice Article - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-680-sli...
Another Article - http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1904/4/

2-WAY drops the frame rates too low:
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