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Trifire on PCI-E 3.0, Traditional setup or PLX bridge?

post #1 of 9
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I'm thinking on doing an upgrade to my HTPC and setting 3x 7950/7970,. to make it a rendering/BOINC workstation and gaming rig when i'm away from home (it will be my work pc), and i'll need a ton of GPU power. While i know x58/x79 is the preferred way for more than 2 GPU's, i'm fitting everything under Ivy Bridge and a 3770k to fit my budget as x79 is still expensive, lower heat dissipation, and increase IPC a bit compared to x58.

I've seen most IB motherboards have a 3rd PCI-E slot which is not rigged to the PCH, since IB can make a x8/x4/x4 setup. But i'm wondering if that will present a better or equal performance to a motherboard equipped with a PLX bridge, for x16/x8/x8, or i will have just more heat on it. Which of those two setups would be best?
   
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post #2 of 9
PLX will be better for three cards
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Bump for more answers
   
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post #4 of 9


Won't make a difference using PLX or no PLX with Crossfire. Nvidia SLI, however, requires a PLX chip to run on Z77/Z87.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbomba View Post

Bump for more answers

What specific mobo are you looking at? And what pci bandwidth do you really need? I think it unlikely you will saturate even 4x with those cards, and worst case, it may costa few fps. On gpu rendering will be limited mainly by the gpus, not pcie badwidth. Now, if you start rendering at 4k or multiple of 4k, vram and pcie bandwidth matter.
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbomba View Post

I've seen most IB motherboards have a 3rd PCI-E slot which is not rigged to the PCH, since IB can make a x8/x4/x4 setup. But i'm wondering if that will present a better or equal performance to a motherboard equipped with a PLX bridge, for x16/x8/x8, or i will have just more heat on it. Which of those two setups would be best?


Do not run a gpu off the chipset when the other two cards are going thru the cpu. That's a recipe for heartache.
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinaesthetic View Post



Won't make a difference using PLX or no PLX with Crossfire. Nvidia SLI, however, requires a PLX chip to run on Z77/Z87.

Thanks for the chart. I'm not going SLI since Nvidia always asks for at least x8 bandwidth between their cards and i know a x8/x4/x4 setup will not work with them, that is why i'm going with AMD for this project.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpmboy View Post

What specific mobo are you looking at? And what pci bandwidth do you really need? I think it unlikely you will saturate even 4x with those cards, and worst case, it may costa few fps. On gpu rendering will be limited mainly by the gpus, not pcie badwidth. Now, if you start rendering at 4k or multiple of 4k, vram and pcie bandwidth matter.

I do plan to work with 4K renderings if i'm asked to (i'm broadening my portfolio) but mostly i work in 1080p/1440p stuff. I'm looking for the best bang for buck motherboard, not to cheap but not too expensive. I'm even considered to go with an i7-3820 and a not-too-expensive x79 motherboard if a Z77 motherboard turns out to be more expensive that what i need.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsm106 View Post

Do not run a gpu off the chipset when the other two cards are going thru the cpu. That's a recipe for heartache.

I agree, that's why i'm not using my current motherboard, since i know the 3rd PCI-E slot goes to the PCH. That is why i'm forced to either upgrade to Ivy since SB does not allow for a x8/x4/x4 setup, or go SB-E, if it is the same price or cheaper.
   
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post #8 of 9
Are you in the US?
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post #9 of 9
Subbing this because its interesting. Nice graph showing the PLX chip doesnt negatively effect FPS. I heard it did.
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