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New build: Ivy bridge vs Sandy Bridge-E

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February 24, 2012 12:51:36 AM

I'm about to build my first high end desktop, and the specs are as follows:

Processor: Need help deciding between Ivy 3770k, and SB-E 3820.

Cpu cooler: Cooler master Gemini s524(already purchased).
This is the biggest cooler that will fit in my case. It only has 5mm of clearance.

Graphics: Nvidia kepler or AMD 7970?

Sli/Crossfire: Yes, but not within a year.

Ram: Gskill Sniper 4x4gb 1600mhz ram kit(already purchased)

Case: Aerocool Qx-2000(already purchased)

Psu: Old Diablotek 650 watt(soon to get Corsair HX-850)

Motherboard: Either Asus Maximus Gene-z with the Z77 chipset for Ivy, or http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_2011/Ramp... for SB-E.

Monitor: 1080p

Parts not required: Keyboard, Mouse, HDD, Disk Drive, or fans.

Processor: I am really having a hard time deciding which one to get. The only reason why I am even considering Lga 2011 at all, is because I will be able to simply drop-in an Ivy Bridge Lga 2011 six/eight core processor in the future. Is it worth it?

Gpu: I am a bit of a Nvidia fanboy from my previous experiences with laptops. HOWEVER, I have no problem with getting a 7950 or a 7970 because I hear that AMD is not so bad in the desktop sector. I am waiting for Nvidia's word on Keplar though...

Other Thoughts: I plan on buying sometime within the next three months. Money is no obstacle for the most part.
February 24, 2012 1:29:39 AM

Ivy bridge will be skt 1155 not 2011 (unless they do an ivybridge-e)

so you would needs an sandybridge Z68 motherboard in order to drop an ivy bridge cpu in later on.

and there are no Z77 boards out yet.

are you looking at buying now (next week or so) or can you wait until june (for ivy bridge & GTX 7xx)
February 24, 2012 1:33:46 AM

HugoStiglitz said:
Ivy bridge will be skt 1155 not 2011 (unless they do an ivybridge-e)

so you would needs an sandybridge Z68 motherboard in order to drop an ivy bridge cpu in later on.

and there are no Z77 boards out yet.

are you looking at buying now (next week or so) or can you wait until june (for ivy bridge & GTX 7xx)

I can wait until june easily. I found out that they are going to do an Ivy Bridge-E FOR SURE. Only problem is, it is scheduled for release early next year(2013)
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February 24, 2012 1:34:21 AM

I would go with ib because it is better, cheaper and newer.
February 24, 2012 8:20:20 AM

The CPU is not the major issue here, it is the chipset you choose. If one decides for the 1155 platform, there are only 16 PCIe lanes available. Great for one video card, but if you need to add a dedicated raid controller, a Matrox or BlackMagic card, you reduce the video card to PCIe-8x and that will lead to around 10-15% performance loss in certain situations.

The 2011 platform has 40 PCIe lanes available. So the question is more: What do you want to do with your system and will the 16 PCIe lanes on the 1155 platform be a real limitation?
February 24, 2012 8:39:01 AM

Darth415 said:
I'm about to build my first high end desktop, and the specs are as follows:

Processor: Need help deciding between Ivy 3770k, and SB-E 3820.

Cpu cooler: Cooler master Gemini s524(already purchased).
This is the biggest cooler that will fit in my case. It only has 5mm of clearance.

Graphics: Nvidia kepler or AMD 7970?

Sli/Crossfire: Yes, but not within a year.

Ram: Gskill Sniper 4x4gb 1600mhz ram kit(already purchased)

Case: Aerocool Qx-2000(already purchased)

Psu: Old Diablotek 650 watt(soon to get Corsair HX-850)

Motherboard: Either Asus Maximus Gene-z with the Z77 chipset for Ivy, or http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_2011/Ramp... for SB-E.

Monitor: 1080p

Parts not required: Keyboard, Mouse, HDD, Disk Drive, or fans.

Processor: I am really having a hard time deciding which one to get. The only reason why I am even considering Lga 2011 at all, is because I will be able to simply drop-in an Ivy Bridge Lga 2011 six/eight core processor in the future. Is it worth it?

Gpu: I am a bit of a Nvidia fanboy from my previous experiences with laptops. HOWEVER, I have no problem with getting a 7950 or a 7970 because I hear that AMD is not so bad in the desktop sector. I am waiting for Nvidia's word on Keplar though...

Other Thoughts: I plan on buying sometime within the next three months. Money is no obstacle for the most part.



What matters is your budget, we all know that Sandy Bridge-E(LGA 2011 socket) is really expensive compared to Sandy Bridge(LGA 1155 socket) if you got the dough? go for Sandy bridge-E.
Computer performance depends on so many factors: CPU clock speed, MB, chipset, Video card, Memory and storage(SSD or HDD) if you want more juice out of the CPU? Do overclocking! If its just for gaming, you don't need a 6 core CPU with hyper threading but if you do multi-tasking and doing some heavily threaded application like video editing and stuff, go for Sandy Bridge-E.
February 24, 2012 8:39:53 AM

HugoStiglitz said:
Ivy bridge will be skt 1155 not 2011 (unless they do an ivybridge-e)

so you would needs an sandybridge Z68 motherboard in order to drop an ivy bridge cpu in later on.

and there are no Z77 boards out yet.

are you looking at buying now (next week or so) or can you wait until june (for ivy bridge & GTX 7xx)

from the rumors and leaks so far: mainstream ivb will fit lga 1155 sockets and most motherboards that carry it e.g. h61, h67, z68, p67 but not corporate/executive chipsets like b and q series.
a z68 mobo is not needed to use ivb cpu. a bios update is needed to run ivb cpu. for that a sandy bridge cpu might have to be present. h75, h77, z75 and z77 chipsets will natively support ivb.
Harm Millaard said:
The CPU is not the major issue here, it is the chipset you choose. If one decides for the 1155 platform, there are only 16 PCIe lanes available. Great for one video card, but if you need to add a dedicated raid controller, a Matrox or BlackMagic card, you reduce the video card to PCIe-8x and that will lead to around 10-15% performance loss in certain situations.

The 2011 platform has 40 PCIe lanes available. So the question is more: What do you want to do with your system and will the 16 PCIe lanes on the 1155 platform be a real limitation?

according to this:
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-ivy-bridge-proce...
mainstream ivb cpus will carry 20 pcie 3.0 lanes. that's roughly equivalent to 40 pcie 2.0 lanes. higher end z77 motherboard will support up to x8+x8+x4 modes.
until intel actually releases ivy bridge cpus, all these are speculations. OP should wait till ivb launches and gets reviewed.
February 24, 2012 8:53:10 AM

Current 1155 mobos have 20 PCIe lanes, but 4 are used by the mobo, leaving only 16 for cards. Additional chips on the mobo do not help, since those artificial lanes still need to go over the same 16 lanes, like a highway with 6 lanes being reduced to 2 lanes.

Intel initially planned 40 PCIe-3.0 lanes for the 2011 platform, but did not make it official with the current chipset. Anyway, since there are no PCIe-3.0 cards available yet, the point is moot. Also take into consideration that some mobo manufacturers claim PCIe-3.0 compatibility for all 40 lanes on the 2011 products.
February 24, 2012 9:04:51 AM

Harm Millaard said:
Current 1155 mobos have 20 PCIe lanes, but 4 are used by the mobo, leaving only 16 for cards. Additional chips on the mobo do not help, since those artificial lanes still need to go over the same 16 lanes, like a highway with 6 lanes being reduced to 2 lanes.

Intel initially planned 40 PCIe-3.0 lanes for the 2011 platform, but did not make it official with the current chipset. Anyway, since there are no PCIe-3.0 cards available yet, the point is moot. Also take into consideration that some mobo manufacturers claim PCIe-3.0 compatibility for all 40 lanes on the 2011 products.

actually the pcie controller is built into the recent intel core cpus. current sandy bridge cpus carry 16 pcie 2.0 lanes while the h67, p67 and z68 chipsets have 8 secondary pcie 2.0 lanes and h61 has 6 lanes (that's why it supports less i/o ports natively).
sb-e cpus have 40 pcie 3.0 lanes. x79 has 8 secondary pcie 2.0 lanes. the secondary lanes are used for storage and connectivity.
h and z 7x series chipsets will have secondary pcie 2.0 lanes as well.seems like all mainstream chipsets will carry 8 pcie 2.0 lanes.
currently there are 4 gpus available that run on pcie 3.0 interface - radeon hd 7970, 7950, 7770 and 7750. next month 2 more - 7870 and 7850 will be coming out. games don't take advantage of pcie 3.0 bandwidth yet, but gpu computing shows improvement.

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February 24, 2012 10:12:46 AM
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SB-e is pretty much useless if you don't have the dosh to spend on it. 3-4 way sli/crossfire is nice if you can afford 3-4 $600 cards, add to that you will need a $300+ PSU, drop $200 on RAM and not to mention $1000 on a CPU. The gains minimal at best. Ivybridge will save you a ton and perform better, and seriously who on dogs green earth needs more than two GPU's?
February 24, 2012 10:29:48 AM

sarinaide said:
SB-e is pretty much useless if you don't have the dosh to spend on it. 3-4 way sli/crossfire is nice if you can afford 3-4 $600 cards, add to that you will need a $300+ PSU, drop $200 on RAM and not to mention $1000 on a CPU. The gains minimal at best. Ivybridge will save you a ton and perform better, and seriously who on dogs green earth needs more than two GPU's?


In my case SB and IVB are pretty useless because of the lack of PCIe lanes. The only choice, it is not even an option - at least for me - is SB-E on the 2011 platform. I'm not willing to take the performance hit of 10-15% because the video card can only use PCIe-8x, or even more when using two video cards, because I need a 24 port dedicated PCIe-8x raid controller with 20+ disks internally. But that is my situation. Others may have different needs.
February 24, 2012 11:15:48 AM

Harm Millaard said:
In my case SB and IVB are pretty useless because of the lack of PCIe lanes. The only choice, it is not even an option - at least for me - is SB-E on the 2011 platform. I'm not willing to take the performance hit of 10-15% because the video card can only use PCIe-8x, or even more when using two video cards, because I need a 24 port dedicated PCIe-8x raid controller with 20+ disks internally. But that is my situation. Others may have different needs.


Thats great for you...but we should be sticking to the topic...

Since IVB and nVidia 6XX(not 7XX) are not out yet, there is no true performance reviews. If you are investing in a high end desktop and want this build to last as long as possible, I would suggest waiting for the new toys to come out with reviews. Right now, as previously stated throughout the numerous post, is pretty-sure-to-be-facts facts about IVB, and on top of that nothing is really known about IVB-E. Then again, if money is no obstacle, and are willing to drop $600 on a new CPU in like a year for IVB-E, then go right ahead for it, that will be your best option for performance not matter what. The only thing to add to that is you will probably be waiting to buy nVidia 6XX GPUs, so why not wait on CPUs, too.
February 24, 2012 11:27:15 AM

sarinaide said:
SB-e is pretty much useless if you don't have the dosh to spend on it. 3-4 way sli/crossfire is nice if you can afford 3-4 $600 cards, add to that you will need a $300+ PSU, drop $200 on RAM and not to mention $1000 on a CPU. The gains minimal at best. Ivybridge will save you a ton and perform better, and seriously who on dogs green earth needs more than two GPU's?


Extrem 3 monitor users who want to get a rid of microsttutering.

Edit: To the OP benchmark shown cross-fire to be performing bether then sli in gaming, especialy at high resolution.

the 6950 vs 570GTX. The 570 won on most single GPU benchmark while the 6950 won every single 2560x 1600p with 2x and 3x GPU used.

So even if the 6xx could beat the 7xxx it doesn't mean they will perform any bether on multiple GPU set-up until it has been tested.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crossfire-sli-3-way...
February 24, 2012 12:03:31 PM

That pretty much is the connundrum here, everybody wants a cheap solution to play the best graphical games at 2560x1600 which is beyond the capability of any single card, GPU's generally scale badly and the exponential fall off in performance gains the more cards you add make the GPU industry look primative at best. Then you have the power problem. If you want a ultimate game killing rig then prepare to drop $8000 easy.

A Ivybridge with a single GTX 6XX or HD7XXX is more than copious and you won't be contributing to the national debt.
February 24, 2012 12:38:41 PM

Intel has started to become Apple-ish - everytime they release a new generation/series of processor, it requires a new motherboard due to socket incompatibility. Thus, until I see it for my own two eyes on a product description of a released item I will remain skeptical.

Main benefit of going 2011 is PCIE 3.0 slots - I believe they're currently the only ones ready to use them. When the new Nvidia & AMD cards drop next quarter, that is going be more significant. If you're willing to wait til June, I would just wait for the first branch of Ivy Bridge procs to release and re-assess your build then.

If I were buying a proc today, I would still stick with the 2011 board but get the i7-3820.

Nvidia vs AMD seems to be preferential based on what you want to do with it. If you want LOTS of monitors, you can rock an eyefinity card. If you want LOTS of power specifically to play BF3, you can get a 580 Ultra. I have had more success with Nvidia but I am not necessary in either camp.
February 24, 2012 1:07:21 PM

1) I hear ya on ATI laptop GPU (had one and hated it so much had to sell the dam laptop because of the lack of ATI Drivers making some game almost unplayable).

2) For a single monitor 1080p set-up a single GPU's is more then enough. a 7950 will last you for a couple of years probably but if your on a budget the 78xx will probably be good enough (and you can always buy a second one in a year or 2). If your not in a hurry you can always wait for the Nvidia 6xx.

HD7950: 460$ + free dirt: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Rumors says the HD7850 and 7870 will sell betwins 250-350$ and would probably be the best bet for a 1080p set-up if you plan to go crossfire later on (speculation).

3) Personaly I'm waiting for the ivy-bridge to be released but I'm going for on 5000$+ only for the desktop (3 monitor in 5670x 1080p). otherwise the i5-2500k will be more then enough to hold your 1080p gaming rig for years and the E series would be kinda sexy. But waiting for an ivy-bridge E make no sense and you should wait for the first generation of ivy bridge only if you do realy not care too.
February 24, 2012 1:29:55 PM

game junky said:
Intel has started to become Apple-ish - everytime they release a new generation/series of processor, it requires a new motherboard due to socket incompatibility. Thus, until I see it for my own two eyes on a product description of a released item I will remain skeptical.

Main benefit of going 2011 is PCIE 3.0 slots - I believe they're currently the only ones ready to use them. When the new Nvidia & AMD cards drop next quarter, that is going be more significant. If you're willing to wait til June, I would just wait for the first branch of Ivy Bridge procs to release and re-assess your build then.

If I were buying a proc today, I would still stick with the 2011 board but get the i7-3820.

Nvidia vs AMD seems to be preferential based on what you want to do with it. If you want LOTS of monitors, you can rock an eyefinity card. If you want LOTS of power specifically to play BF3, you can get a 580 Ultra. I have had more success with Nvidia but I am not necessary in either camp.


Ivybridge + mobo with PCI-E 3.0 support means PCIE 3.0 in LGA 1155 too.
February 24, 2012 3:24:17 PM

In the article at http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-4100-core-i3-210... a single HD6850 was able to play every game tested with "good" settings up to 1920x1080. With money no object, I'm sure you'll want even better settings (or multiple monitors / higher resolution), but you need not spend just to spend. Make sure you get something for your money. One HardOCP review of the HD7970 said they thought it was overkill for 1920x1080, which perhaps means it should be extremely future-resistant for that resolution. If you prefer nVidia, Kepler will be out soon and I am sure there will be reviews out just as quickly.
The point being, it does NOT take "$8000" to play games. Of course, the OP has not stated the purposes for this rig. Is it for gaming, or for something else? Recommendations could be drastically different.
I know this industry changes rapidly, but I would be entirely skeptical if someone tried to convince me that an i5-2400 would be unable to play games at or near max settings, even in a couple of years.
One vital note here: Your Diablotek PSU-shaped object is among the worst junk out there. Do not attach it to any of your nice new parts if you plan to connect it to an A/C power source at the same time. It isn't something to replace "eventually," it is something to replace FIRST. I'd be surprised if it can handle a weekend gaming session with a HD6870 or GTX560 without blowing. At idle, it may smoke if your wife turns on a hair dryer or runs the garbage disposal, as any input filtering was probably replaced with a couple of shunts.
February 24, 2012 9:21:43 PM

aqe040466 said:
What matters is your budget, we all know that Sandy Bridge-E(LGA 2011 socket) is really expensive compared to Sandy Bridge(LGA 1155 socket) if you got the dough? go for Sandy bridge-E.
Computer performance depends on so many factors: CPU clock speed, MB, chipset, Video card, Memory and storage(SSD or HDD) if you want more juice out of the CPU? Do overclocking! If its just for gaming, you don't need a 6 core CPU with hyper threading but if you do multi-tasking and doing some heavily threaded application like video editing and stuff, go for Sandy Bridge-E.

I will use this for gaming only. I really dont want to spend more than 350 on the processor.
February 24, 2012 9:46:59 PM

Onus said:
In the article at http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-4100-core-i3-210... a single HD6850 was able to play every game tested with "good" settings up to 1920x1080. With money no object, I'm sure you'll want even better settings (or multiple monitors / higher resolution), but you need not spend just to spend. Make sure you get something for your money. One HardOCP review of the HD7970 said they thought it was overkill for 1920x1080, which perhaps means it should be extremely future-resistant for that resolution. If you prefer nVidia, Kepler will be out soon and I am sure there will be reviews out just as quickly.
The point being, it does NOT take "$8000" to play games. Of course, the OP has not stated the purposes for this rig. Is it for gaming, or for something else? Recommendations could be drastically different.
I know this industry changes rapidly, but I would be entirely skeptical if someone tried to convince me that an i5-2400 would be unable to play games at or near max settings, even in a couple of years.
One vital note here: Your Diablotek PSU-shaped object is among the worst junk out there. Do not attach it to any of your nice new parts if you plan to connect it to an A/C power source at the same time. It isn't something to replace "eventually," it is something to replace FIRST. I'd be surprised if it can handle a weekend gaming session with a HD6870 or GTX560 without blowing. At idle, it may smoke if your wife turns on a hair dryer or runs the garbage disposal, as any input filtering was probably replaced with a couple of shunts.

Money isn't COMPLETELY no object, but I definitely want this build to last me at least 3 years, and still maintain high/very high settings. I am afraid to get anything less than the best because I don't want next-gen consoles to show my shiny new rig whose boss. I will start out with a single gpu, then add a second around August next year. I'm considering using both of my 1080p displays, but will not be getting any ultra-high resolution monitors any time soon.

As for the Diablotek... My friend gave it to me for free. I had been using it in an old dual core desktop for ~6 months with... only a few issues. He told me that while he had it, he saw it smoke and spark one time. However, I was not aware that a psu could harm my motherboard. I do not currently have enough money to buy everything at once, but if it has a chance of messing my new comp up, I can wait on the graphics card and get a psu (Corsair hx-850)instead. It is important that I get a modular psu because my case is so small.
March 3, 2012 3:04:21 AM

I have decided to wait for Ivy Bridge. Intel recently confirmed that it was delayed until June, so that makes my wait for Nvidia's Keplar easier. Thanks for all of your help everyone!
March 3, 2012 3:07:47 AM

Best answer selected by Darth415.
March 3, 2012 3:24:39 AM

it's just this, if you can afford go buy and go extreme, but if you can't go bang for buck, but i like my sb-e performs well in games and since i earn candy from my work related stuff so it's important for me to have those extra juice
!