Some misc notes on Z9PE-D8 in the year 2020
I recently ended up with this mobo as an affordable transition to something more modern.
The current cost of used components makes this less costly than a Ryzen 3800x with similar performance via two E5-2690 V2
The current advantage with this older mobo is the 256GB DDR3 RAM which is still very expensive in DDR4 which also needs an expensive Threadripper mobo and a Threadripper CPU.
Misc Notes for Personal Computer or Workstation scenarios:
- in 2020, the Ryzen is probably a better starting point if starting from scratch, and for sure if you don't have any "Tinkerer" in your genes. The E5 V3s are finally showing up cheap in surplus but that needs a V3/V4 mobo and DDR4 RAM. The V3 but not the V4 has a "Haswell Hack" overclock for running all cores in Turbo but given the price hit on DDR4, the Ryzen is still a better choice for most people, although if your needs hit a Threadripper choice, there is an agonizing "value of money" versus "Future Proof" consideration there.
- the 32 GB DDR3 RDIMM has price and availability that fluctuates a lot so much patience is required to get 8 of them at a decent price
- There is ZERO practical benefit to the almost non-existent overclocking of E5 dual CPUs
- when selecting two CPUs for personal use, you want clock speed over 3Ghz and a TDP rating of 130 watts or more. The Xeon will not exceed it's power rating so that means you want the 150 watt 2687 or the handful of 130 watt units
- without a modded BIOS, you must boot from a SSD which is not horrible and you can use multiple NVMe Drives in the expansion slots. You won't find an affordable adapter that understands PCIe bifurcatiuon but you have so many slots that 2 or three $10 NVMe slot adapters should meet most WS needs. I am using the ADATA XPG SX-8200 Pro which meets its 3000 MB/sec spec.
- GPU slot placement is sensitive and anything powerful these days kills 2 slots so one of the original scenarios of 8 GPUs is no longer useful.
- most of the enormous list of issues in this thread goes away with the latest BIOS available combined with the latest Windows 10 drivers and the result is very stable. By "latest drivers" that does not mean the default Microsoft drivers. A lot of Intel drivers don't default right etc. just list all the hardware and get various chip manufacturer drivers where often something dated 2011, 2014 etc will be "latest" compered to Windows default. Very noticeable difference in stability when making this extra effort.
- you will probably want to add a USB 3 card, since the 4 included ports is low for everyday usage as a PC.
- you will want to strongly consider your personal comfort with disabling Spectre and Meltdown patches for older Intel CPUs since for many people they just kill some performance for almost no security improvement. I personally don't want a useless perf hit on my 20 real cores!
- when initially setting up the hardware, you might need to use a full CMOS Reset far more often than you are used to doing. But it works for mysterious non booting for simple things like RAM re-config and changing GPU slot etc.
- also, on many hardware changes some sort of test seems to get invoked and the board can seem like it won't boot, but just give it an extra 2 minutes!
- compared to a single CPU consumer mobo, once it is all working, the hardware seems to flow extra fast and smooth probably due to the huge increase in PCIe lanes.
- my initial experiments with multiple GPUs suggest things will work better when using slots connected to a single CPU, so I have my GPUs on the first CPU and all the NVMe drives on the second CPU.
Last edited by 10Dev; 05-08-2020 at 11:38 PM.