I've been using P6X58D-E with i7 950 for couple of years now, all is well. But I need more CPU power to do renderings, so I got a Xeon W3680. Then I realized that I was reading CPU support list of P6X58E-WS instead of my mobo, P6X58D-E which doesn't support Xeon according to Asus. Interestingly, this guy is overclocking W3680 on a P6X58D-E.
So my question is, is it safe to run and overclock a Xeon W3680 on P6X58D-E? Will it be stable? I haven't broken the seal on the Xeon W3680, so I can return it. I'm looking at three options:
A. Use W3680 on my P6X58D-E, if it is safe and stable.
B. Return it and get a i7 980X.
C. Return it and do a major system upgrade, get a new LGA 2011 mobo with i7 3930K. This costs more, and is a very time consuming process.
After some googlings, here is what I found out. Correct me if I'm wrong here.
The main difference between Xeon and i7 is ECC capability, otherwise they are almost identical chip. Both have ECC built in, but it is disabled on i7 brand. It's the same difference between P6X58E-WS and P6X58D-E, the latter one doesn't support ECC. Therefore Xeon is not listed in its supported CPU. However, all ECC modules such as CPU and RAM would work on a non-ECC mobo. They just won't have ECC function.
ECC modules are designed for stablity in mind. That is crucial for 24/7 all year round data servers. But ECC is less important in creative workstations that do photo, video editing and 3D stuff as they are not running 24/7 all year round. However, ECC workstation might be useful in rendering animation or any CPU intensive processing job that takes longer than a few hours to complete. The last thing you want is a crash after the job has been process 12+ hours. Using ECC modules on gaming rigs is a waste of money, unless in case like W3680 which is currently cheaper than i7 980x.
Awesome! I can't go wrong with a comfirmation from forum moderator. Thanks, ericoed! I installed it last night without overclocking and ran a rendering that took i7 950 (no OC) 81 minutes to render, W3680 did it in 48 minutes. I can't wait to OC it. Thanks again!