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Intel Z68 Express Chipset Preview: SSD Caching And Quick Sync

Benchmark Results: 3DMark 11 And MediaEspresso 6.5

This is more of a spot check than anything. Lucidlogix claims you should be getting native performance from discrete cards in discrete mode. Indeed, with a GeForce GTX 580 installed and using the latest drivers, we’re getting 100% of our performance before and after installing Virtu.

While we initially had trouble launching MediaEspresso with a pair of Radeon HD 6970s in CrossFire installed (this has since been fixed), the two graphics cards still handled their 3D workload without a problem. This is one huge benefit of running natively from a discrete card: if compatibility bites you, media transcoding is affected, not gaming.

Drop in a single Radeon HD 6970 or GeForce GTX 580 into Z68 and you won’t have any trouble at all with Virtu. Even virtualized, transcoding performance is near-native. We lose one second from our previously 17-second workload. That compares to a 1:12 task if we’re using the Radeon HD 6970’s acceleration.

Lucidlogix recommends against running in this configuration, since it doesn’t impart any power-saving benefits. However, this is exactly the way an enthusiast is going to want to use Z68. Kudos to Lucidlogix for turning around so quickly to address our most critical feedback.

  • James296
    interesting read
    Reply
  • aliened
    Nice. Thanks for the quick heads up, I was just starting to build my new rig but now that I read this I'm going to wait for the Z68 MOBOs :D
    Reply
  • compton
    I am one of those ssd+hdd users who prefer manually managing the drives. Recently I discovered some of the older ssd + hdd cache devices(Silverstone made one). I wasn't impressed. However,I could see the Intel cache set-up as being advantageous for me. Why? I have a boot SSD, large storage HDD, and a third SSD. I could still boot from the boot drive, then use the second SSD and HDD together. I like that idea enough to wait for the Z chipset before I ditch the H chipset.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    compton, problem with that SilverStone unit was that it didn't have any intelligence built-in--it was simply mapping the first sectors of the hard drive, if what I remember reading a year ago was right...
    Reply
  • masterofevil22
    waiting for Bulldozer...
    Reply
  • Crashman
    Excellent Work, Mr Angelini! Now it's my job to make sure the motherboard manufacturers follow through!

    -Your Adversarial Colleague
    Reply
  • haplo602
    wow ...

    I am thinking what is more restricting ... a ZFS supporting OS or the stupid Intel list for SSD caching.

    The only impresive part of Sandy Bridge is the single-threaded performance. Everything else is a disaster (chipsets, QuickSync restrictions, price, linux drivers and bugs etc.) or was already available in previous generations.

    Waiting on AMD Bulldozer and Llano ... I just hope those 2 won't be similar disasters.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    haplo602wow ... I am thinking what is more restricting ... a ZFS supporting OS or the stupid Intel list for SSD caching.The only impresive part of Sandy Bridge is the single-threaded performance. Everything else is a disaster (chipsets, QuickSync restrictions, price, linux drivers and bugs etc.) or was already available in previous generations.Waiting on AMD Bulldozer and Llano ... I just hope those 2 won't be similar disasters.In regards to Linux, isn't that like saying "Toyotas are junk because they're always dirty"? I mean, Linux is maintained by its "owners".
    Reply
  • So would ssd caching work on a raid 0 setup with 2 samsung spinpoint F3's or would this add an additional risky element without much performance gain?...or say a raid 1 where I have backup...would it cache both drives or 1?..Sorry new to this and also waiting for a z68.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    tradeshowhoundSo would ssd caching work on a raid 0 setup with 2 samsung spinpoint F3's or would this add an additional risky element without much performance gain?...or say a raid 1 where I have backup...would it cache both drives or 1?..Sorry new to this and also waiting for a z68.
    Yes, so long as all members of the array are hard disks.
    Reply