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SB Options for PCI-E x8/x8/x4?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am just finishing up my Sandy Bridge build and had a couple of questions about motherboard options and PCI-E.

I am going to start with a single NVIDIA GTX 570. However, down the line I intend to add another and go SLI. Therefore I want to leave myself with an option of going x8/x8 for the video cards.

The additional catch is that I plan on going with the OCZ Revodrive x2 which is PCI-E x4. Therefore in the future I will need x8/x8/x4.

The problem is that I am planning on going with a Core i7-2600K. Since it only has 16 PCI-E lanes, obviously something has to budge. Throw in the onboard components and we have a serious shortage of lanes.

Do I need a motherboard with the NVIDIA NF200? Are there other options? Does the NF200 add significant latency such that it does more harm than good? Should I go X58?

I was looking at the Gigabyte P67A-UD7. What about the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe? I was originally planning on going with either Gigabyte or ASUS.

Any thoughts or opinions are appreciated.

Dan
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post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBordello View Post
I am just finishing up my Sandy Bridge build and had a couple of questions about motherboard options and PCI-E.

I am going to start with a single NVIDIA GTX 570. However, down the line I intend to add another and go SLI. Therefore I want to leave myself with an option of going x8/x8 for the video cards.

The additional catch is that I plan on going with the OCZ Revodrive x2 which is PCI-E x4. Therefore in the future I will need x8/x8/x4.

The problem is that I am planning on going with a Core i7-2600K. Since it only has 16 PCI-E lanes, obviously something has to budge. Throw in the onboard components and we have a serious shortage of lanes.

Do I need a motherboard with the NVIDIA NF200? Are there other options? Does the NF200 add significant latency such that it does more harm than good? Should I go X58?

I was looking at the Gigabyte P67A-UD7. What about the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe? I was originally planning on going with either Gigabyte or ASUS.

Any thoughts or opinions are appreciated.

Dan
With the setup you specified you will have to go x4/x4/x4. This will seriously hurt your graphics card's performance.

I would recommend getting a SATA SSD instead of the RevoDrive you specified. It will allow your Graphics Cards to be x8/x8 which doesn't hurt SLI performance that bad. You will probably see a 5-10% difference between x8/x8 vs x16/x16, which really isn't a big deal considering the performance you will get with those 570s anyway.

Your other choice would be to go X58, though Sandy Bridge looks like it will overclock significantly better than X58. 4.7GHz appears to be very easily achievable. Obviously that is way out of what you can expect out of a current i7, so overall performance I would recommend my former recommendation.

Hope I helped.
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post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airolden View Post
With the setup you specified you will have to go x4/x4/x4. This will seriously hurt your graphics card's performance.

I would recommend getting a SATA SSD instead of the RevoDrive you specified. It will allow your Graphics Cards to be x8/x8 which doesn't hurt SLI performance that bad. You will probably see a 5-10% difference between x8/x8 vs x16/x16, which really isn't a big deal considering the performance you will get with those 570s anyway.

Your other choice would be to go X58, though Sandy Bridge looks like it will overclock significantly better than X58. 4.7GHz appears to be very easily achievable. Obviously that is way out of what you can expect out of a current i7, so overall performance I would recommend my former recommendation.

Hope I helped.
Airolden,

Thanks for the reply.

It is my understanding that some of the higher-end boards (such as the GA-P67A-UD7) can do tri- and quad- SLI. This is enabled by the use of a NVIDIA NF200. I would think that if they can handle 3 * x8, adding my poor little x4 SSD wouldn't be a problem?

Thoughts?
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post #4 of 18
The UD7 (http://gigabyte.com/products/product...px?pid=3646#sp)

Does x16 x16 or x8 x8 x8 x8 I believe


Though I could be wrong because it's worded really confusing like on the website.
    
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post #5 of 18
Yeah, the UD7 does x16/x0/x16/x0 or x8/x8/x8/x8. If you're gonna 2-way SLI/XFire AND use another PCIe expansion card OR 3-way/4-way (not sure the latter is even possible on current P67 chipsets ?) SLI/XFire then you need a board with the NF200 chip.
SPECULATION: I think I read in Sin0822's UD7 review that because the P67 mobos have no Northbridge, because those functions are build in to the CPU (I dont know the correct words but essentially its this), they have no SLI support either UNLESS they have a NF200 chip. But I am not sure about this.

And also, SLI in x8/x8 mode will result in a performance decrease of max 5% compared to x16/x16. But as soon as one card is in x4 mode, f.x using a third expansion card on a mobo with no NF200 chip, there will be a huge performance decrease. Having an NF200 chip on your mobo will result in a near indistinguishable performance decrease so no worries.

Bottom line is this: For single GPU - no NF200 is fine. For SLI/XFire NF200 is highly recommended. (But then again this is just be talking )
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post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBordello View Post
Airolden,

Thanks for the reply.

It is my understanding that some of the higher-end boards (such as the GA-P67A-UD7) can do tri- and quad- SLI. This is enabled by the use of a NVIDIA NF200. I would think that if they can handle 3 * x8, adding my poor little x4 SSD wouldn't be a problem?

Thoughts?
Hmmm... Well I have heard (please note I have only heard) that tri sli and quad sli would only run on x4/x4/x4 or x4/x4/x4/x4 and not x8/x8/x8 as you had suggested. Though this may be false.

I am aware of NVIDIA NF200, though I am not very familiar with HOW it works exactly. So your guess is as good as mine I assume.
Edited by Airolden - 1/2/11 at 7:27pm
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post #7 of 18
x16 cpu link -> NF200 chip -> 32 pcix lanes


There is some lag created by it, but not much.
    
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post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
It sounds like the NF200 should hit the spot.

So the GA-P67A-UD7 is one option. Would any of the 73 options from ASUS work? Although I like Gigabyte, the UEFI bios does sound nice. I figure having a couple of options wouldn't be bad.

Thanks,
Dan
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post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bastyn99 View Post
Yeah, the UD7 does x16/x0/x16/x0 or x8/x8/x8/x8. If you're gonna 2-way SLI/XFire AND use another PCIe expansion card OR 3-way/4-way (not sure the latter is even possible on current P67 chipsets ?) SLI/XFire then you need a board with the NF200 chip.
SPECULATION: I think I read in Sin0822's UD7 review that because the P67 mobos have no Northbridge, because those functions are build in to the CPU (I dont know the correct words but essentially its this), they have no SLI support either UNLESS they have a NF200 chip. But I am not sure about this.

And also, SLI in x8/x8 mode will result in a performance decrease of max 5% compared to x16/x16. But as soon as one card is in x4 mode, f.x using a third expansion card on a mobo with no NF200 chip, there will be a huge performance decrease. Having an NF200 chip on your mobo will result in a near indistinguishable performance decrease so no worries.

Bottom line is this: For single GPU - no NF200 is fine. For SLI/XFire NF200 is highly recommended. (But then again this is just be talking )
Wow that is really wrong

First off, the 5% - 10% everyone is saying is from P55. P55 had a DMI of 5GT/s vs P67 20 GT/s , on top of that, PCIe lanes on P67 are bi directional, instead of uni directional, doubling bandwidth from 2.5 gt/s to 5 gt/s.

Introducing an NF200 chip does nothing but add latency it does NOT add PCIe lanes, it simply splits them. That being said, if you want to do TRI SLI or anything liek that you need it. But if you simply want to run a PCIe x4 SSD like the Revo, you can get the P8P67 Deluxe which has 2 PCIe x16 and another one that runs at x4.
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post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by btdvox View Post
Wow that is really wrong

First off, the 5% - 10% everyone is saying is from P55. P55 had a DMI of 5GT/s vs P67 20 GT/s , on top of that, PCIe lanes on P67 are bi directional, instead of uni directional, doubling bandwidth from 2.5 gt/s to 5 gt/s.

Introducing an NF200 chip does nothing but add latency it does NOT add PCIe lanes, it simply splits them. That being said, if you want to do TRI SLI or anything liek that you need it. But if you simply want to run a PCIe x4 SSD like the Revo, you can get the P8P67 Deluxe which has 2 PCIe x16 and another one that runs at x4.
I think the deluxe is actually 8x/8x/4x if i read correctly, but then again i cant even get booted into windows to check. LOL
    
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