Greetings people, I'm really trying demystify the X79 vs X58 in terms of if I should upgrade system. I use the machine for audio production ONLY. I'm running Sonar X1 as my primary audio application. There are two glaring issues that I need to understand when considering to upgrade,
My current system(built in 08):
Core i7 920
1x - Sata II SSD
3x - Sata II HDD
24 gigs of DDR3 1333
Win7 64 bit
Upgrade Build# 1:
Sabertooth x58 chipset
2x Sata III SSD
Problem: This is the logical evolution of my current PC. But, I have read on this site from various people that the Marvell 9128 controller doesn't not perform well with the Sandforce style Sata 3 controllers, which results in not reaching the full potential new Sata 3 drives. How much of a performance difference? Is it noticeable or negligible? The kind of data I work with can range in size from a couple megs to a few hundred to even a gig. I'd prefer this option, but only if the perform is negligible.
Upgrade Build# 2: Sandy Bridge-E and everything that comes with that.
So this option is clearly more expensive, as I would need new ram, motherboard, fan, processor, & SSD drives. Plus other components, if I decide to keep my Core i7 920 up and running. But, what is driving my desire to go this option are: Native sata 3 ports(or at least better performing controller) & AVX instruction set, which is exclusive to the Sandy Bridge-E chips.
This link is an article where Intel talks about working with Cakewalk. Cakewalk specifically designed it's software to take advantage of this new new instruction set. The article boast great numbers in terms of improved performance, but I couldn't determine what that increase performance was compared to. Are they stating that this chip has a performance increase, as much as 40%, over the old LGA 1366 core i7 or over a P4\Core2, or Athlon\Phenom system? Over the 920, that's a HUGE selling point, but over the latter, not so much. But, I can't imagine that instruction set performing that much better than the 920, as it's still a beast 4 years later.
Also, a company known as Acustica Audio, who makes a great software effect that can use Cuda, even they recommend getting a processor that uses the new AVX instruction set(although, they are re-writing their plugin so that the entire plugin suite can use Cuda). But, when I add the fact that X79 chipset also has better performing sata 3 ports and quad channel memory, I start to wonder if this is a no brainer, even though the entire build will set me back at least 2k.
If you're into music production, why don't you look at upgrading memory (full slots) with stable SSD that doesn't use Sand-Force controller?
Stability and flexibility is the key if you are going to work for long hours just to complete such a project...
Second, look for socket 1155 motherboard (Z68), such as "ASUS P8Z68-V PRO". It performs better than x58 and a lot cheaper than x79 series motherboard.
Third, don't go for DDR3 memory which operates at 1333MHz. There are now better sticks which are cheaper and runs @1600MHz! Please look for them instead...
My current build is maxed out at 24 gigs of ram, I have an Intel 320 SSD drive and currently its the Marvell controller on the Sabertooth X58 that has an issue with most if not all sata3 SSD drives. Flexibility is the same as upgradeablity and unfortunately there isn't much on the market for upgrading the LGA 1366 processors other than the updated X58 boards which uses a so-so sata3 controller.
2nd, cost is an issue here, which is why I would prefer to just upgrade my motherboard. But, only if the so-so Marvell controller's lack of performance is negligible in comparison to the sata3 controllers on the Z68 & X79. I'm sure it performs better than sata2, but how much better considering the under performance of the marvell controller.
3rd, Z68 vs X79? Roughly the same price for chip & motherboards, unless your looking at the under $150 crowd, but those boards limit me from a flexibility standpoint. Upgrading from X58 to that Z68 board only increases my ram by 8 gigs, which is small potatoes when you already have 24gigs, IMO. X79 is more expensive, but has a lot more going for it that justifies it's price.
4th, DDR3 1333MHz does fine as that's whats running with my 920 currently. But, if I were upgrading to Sandy Bridge-E, I would be getting DDR3 1600 anyway and it's not that much cheaper.
I will thank you Laircouk for pointing to the Z68\LGA1155 platform I didn't realize that it too uses the new AVX instruction set. But, if I have to purchase a new processor, I might as well go with the newest one, since the processor price are neck and neck, and the newer processor has a better chipset by far in the X79. I just don't see the value in the Z68 with the X79 being out there.
My question still remains..........does the AVX instructions yield better performance, 20-40% better, than the older Core i7s or previous generation of processors i.e. P4\Core2 processors?
Also, does X58 with sata3 perform at an acceptable level over sata2? and is the performance difference between X58 marvell sata3 & the newer x79 sata3 controllers, negligible or noticeable slower?