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Overcloking a dual or quad socket system ?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
This is probably a dumb question but googling for a bit did not yield me enlightenment.

Can you overclock the server boards, for example G34 socket ones ?

As far as I can see a dual socket G34 (LGA 1944) boards are going for approx the same as LGA 2011 boards and CPU's can be had for roughly the same cost as well (although the new i7-3820 tilts the total cost slightly in favor of LGA 2011, but thats mainly bcos you can have one CPU in there).

For background information - I'm a bang for buck guy overall. I'm also a scientist (physics) modelling wave propagation in solids with nonlinearities and micro-structure present which in general terms translates in practice into solving systems of nonlinear partial differential equations with a script written in python (which in turn uses FORTRAN wrapper for most of the actual number crunching) and visualizing the results in matlab. Parts of my solver make heavy use of fast Fourier transforms which can be paralellized relatively easily, however, some parts of the core are relatively sensitive towards single threaded performance.

I use a personal machine for this stuff (I do have access to institute cluster as well but its pain in the arse to get the tech guys at that upgrade the stuff running on that to 64 bit version while all other guys are happy to run 32 bit) so I'm free to torture the hardware as I feel and void any warranties I like. But as I use personal hardware for this stuff (most of the time) I'm kinda price sensitive - and that is why I'm asking.

The more RAM I have the bigger chunk I can simulate. G34 can have a good pile of RAM (I prefer non ECC unregistered though as its a lot cheaper)

Planning to upgrade later in the summer and looking at dual socket G34 they seem pretty nice. So does LGA 2011 ofc (although dual socket R is out of my budget I think).
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post #2 of 12
Interesting question which i can't sadly answer as I've never used this kind of hardware. But you should ask in the folding section. There are some users with 2p or 4p MBs. Just a thought
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post #3 of 12
You can OC depending on the board.

This is the cheapest quad socket G34 board:

http://www.wiredzone.com/Supermicro-H8QGL-IF+-Motherboard-SWTX-w--Quad-1944-pin-S-G34~10021077~0.htm

It allows overclocking AFAIK, but don't expect to go very high.
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post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Good to know that some OC can be had (usually).

As the multi is usually locked in server chips I assume that OC is done the usual way through pumping up FSB. Does that push up the PCI-e frequencies as well or is it decoupled from FSB on the server boards as well (like its usually done on desktop boards).

Are there usually any "artifial" limitations on what you can achieve- for example some code in BIOS (or UEFI in the case of server boards usually?) that limit the thermal envelope without possibility of overriding it. I take that voltage regulators are not intended for that as well on server boards usually ? But as these are built more for reliability than for performance usually I hope they can take moderate overloads - especially if there is air moving (the racks tend to have low airflow?).

I remember that I have asked something similar a while ago although not exactly about overclocking the server board and answer I got was that supermicro boards tend to OC a bit but are usually limited to something like 7 - 10 % max. So I'm wondering here whats the limitation and can I do, lets say, + 50% if I am able to take care of the heat (by, for example, watercooling stuff).
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post #5 of 12
The overclock is board limited like you said above. They are limited to a 12.5% overclock. I don't remember what exactly the reasoning is to why it is limited at 12.5%, but that is what I know and you won't be able to go any farther then that.

Also I want to mention RAM. The boards don't like anything higher than 1333MHz RAM, so it's best to get like some CAS 7 1333MHz for best performance.
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanx for the information. I was not aware that there is "hard" limit on the server boards capping OC capabilities although I did suspect that something like that might exist. Otherwise they should have been capable of doing more than that same as the regular CPU's (assuming PCI-e is decoupled from FSB).

I take the Intel offerings are similar in this regard ? Considering they like to lock down even their desktop parts. Well other than these Xeons going on SR-2 ofc, but I think this might be a bit outside my budget (and SR-2 is several years old platform as well).

Also if SuperMicro is usually limited at 12.5% is the Asus OC cap similar for the AMD Opteron boards ?
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post #7 of 12
Its limited to 12.5% because I think its due to not being able to increase the vcore ahh I think best person to ask is DesertRat since him and some other ppl where totally trying to maximize there PPD with G34 socket SuperMicro Server boards but they where running linux with add ons to configure to get the best out of the system as by default the cpu scheduler is not optimized for that many cores or something like that.
Quote:
Also if SuperMicro is usually limited at 12.5% is the Asus OC cap similar for the AMD Opteron boards ?

If you plan on folding SuperMicro board is your best better for maximum results unless you can find out somewhere else Im wrong as [H] had a modded bios that allows the changing of the HT or w/e they call it for the server cpus but I bet its the same. Oh and something about being able to also set your ram timings too as that effects the PPD alot. Wish I could find the massive thread about as it was about 2P & 4P F@H setups and they were making a killing in points and screwing up WUs the SR-2 could only dream about doing for around the same price point lol
Edited by terraprime - 5/5/12 at 12:27am
 
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniflex View Post

Thanx for the information. I was not aware that there is "hard" limit on the server boards capping OC capabilities although I did suspect that something like that might exist. Otherwise they should have been capable of doing more than that same as the regular CPU's (assuming PCI-e is decoupled from FSB).
I take the Intel offerings are similar in this regard ? Considering they like to lock down even their desktop parts. Well other than these Xeons going on SR-2 ofc, but I think this might be a bit outside my budget (and SR-2 is several years old platform as well).
Also if SuperMicro is usually limited at 12.5% is the Asus OC cap similar for the AMD Opteron boards ?


Some server boards won't even allow ANY OC. As far as I know, SuperMicro is the only brand that allows OC'ing on their boards which is why they are the preferred brand of choice. I don't know much on the Intel side of server boards/chips, but I would assume it is very similar in the OC'ing regard.

Here is a great 2/4p building guide with tons of information that might help answer some more of your questions:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1212613/guide-building-a-2p-4p-from-start-to-finish-along-with-ppd-benchmarks-gallery
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post #9 of 12
Gah i just found that thread and was about to post it tongue.gif
 
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post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Interesting thread it is. I'll have some reading up to do it seems.

A somewhat unrelated question - does anyone know if it possible to make desktop boards to communicate with each other in semi-reasonable way (leaving out atm the question if windows or linux supports it natively) through a PCI-e interface. I mean, does there exist a PCI-e (preferably x16 v2.0 at least) card that lets you make an "virtual" one machine out of several desktop motherboards ? It would be ofc a lot laggier than a true multi socket board but might be

(1) cost effective (if the card itself does not cost arm and leg)
(2) overclokable.

Would be sorta nice, I think to jam, lets say four mATX boards in a custom case connected through PCI-e x16 to each other. PCI-e should be still faster (at least as far as latency goes) I assume than using a network protocol for inter-processor communication.
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Intel Core i7 3820 X79-UP4 Gigabyte 390X G1 Club3D 7870 Eyefinity 6 
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64 GB Barracuda 3 TB WD Green 3 TB Crucial M4 256 GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Crucial M4 64 GB Barracuda 4 TB Corsair LE 480HB Sythe big shuriken rev B 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Nexxos 280mm radiator DC-LT Alphacool GPX 390M04 Windows 7 Pro 64 bit 
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
DELL U2311H (x3) DELL U2312HM (x2) 9.7'' 2048x1536 (x3) IPAD3 retina Asus PB287Q 4K 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
CM Quickfire TK (red) Corsair AX-1200i Significantly modded Jupiter .. something alumi... Logitech G700s 
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3M Ergonomic 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i7 3820 X79-UP4 Gigabyte 390X G1 Club3D 7870 Eyefinity 6 
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64 GB Barracuda 3 TB WD Green 3 TB Crucial M4 256 GB 
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Crucial M4 64 GB Barracuda 4 TB Sythe big shuriken rev B Windows 7 Pro 64 bit 
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
DELL U2311H (x3) DELL U2312HM (x2) 9.7'' 2048x1536 (x3) IPAD3 retina Asus PB287Q 4K 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
CM Quickfire TK (red) Corsair AX-1200i Modded Sharkoon VS-3 Logitech G700s 
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3M Ergonomic 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i7 3820 X79-UP4 Sapphire 7950 FleX OC XFX 6770 Eyefinity 5 
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Custom loop Windows 7 Pro 64 bit DELL U2311H (x3) DELL U2312HM (x2) 
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9.7'' 2048x1536 (x3) IPAD3 retina Asus PB287Q 4K CM Quickfire TK (red) Corsair AX-1200i 
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