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Old 04-28-2012, 05:44 AM   #1
Shodan486
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Default New Build - Questions Asked

Hi everyone!

It's just been another amount of time since I contributed something little with, thus I suppose the right opportunity would be this one.

I finally decided to build my last machine that I actually would have a ''crush'' on, to have something little special about it. Of course it has to be a certain architecture I adore or really appreciate & has got to be powerful enough to sustain the utmost stress and heavy load from games that pose as a beacon of technological advancement (Crysis etc.).

This would be the Core2 platform definitely - not just because it slammed AMD for a few years down in all aspects. If someone asks what I mean under the term 'aspect', then correct me, but I saw advantages in Core2 VS all AM to AM2+ CPUs like the mentioned cache subsystem; prices in shops, which was quite strange for Intel strategy; and the motherboard quality that supported this chip was visibly higher than the AMD counterparts. Maybe even the real performance per 1MHz might favor the Core2, but I'm just guessing that. It's not that I neglect the AMD nor hate, I was a long time user of AMD Opteron chips, which really showed me what they're capable of and it was astonishing, not to mention their easy overclockability (2xx series) - had 2 pairs of 285s on the mobo with 4 cores quite not that stressed as I have my E6750 now under many games, I'll try talk numbers later.

Core2 CPUs have great tolerance towards overclocking activities, so I had to choose carefully what motherboard I'd pick up that would suit the chip well - and this is also the little thing I'd love the most about this machine - its 'backbone'. Definitely seeking from the biggest players, I had been browsing the net even before I had the Opteron machine, and found these big fellaz for the party:

DFI X48 - T3RS



ASUS Rampage Extreme



So these two guys are the ones which enchanted my consciousness by various traits. Apart from a quite impressive layout of parts, the cooling system deserves some observation as well as used components:

DFI bets on the heat dissipation resolved by air cooling, also using heatpipes as interconnection, thus suits me perfectly in my case, I have a huge airflow setup for it. As for the used components, I really prefer the contemporary solutions - ''inboxed'' coils and polymer caps must be present without a question. A little specialty about this motherboard can be seen up in the VRM section - DFI decided to equip it with digital regulators that, according to DFI, should consume lower power & dissipate less heat than its analogue multiphase counterparts plus they are supposed to deliver cleaner and more stable power to the CPU to achieve rock solid stability and overclockability.

ASUS designed a very nice piece of cooling system - quite a robust one covering all the important chips, even the RAM VRM area has its own heatspreader. A big plus for overclockers or silent design gurus is the water-ready option. As for the power delivery equipment, we see that ASUS retains the traditional multiphase design, this time the 16-way analogue delivery, a strong solution in those days. But note the little silver chiplike item under the RAM VRM heatsing - its a Fujitsu capacitor with a similar attributes as the Proadlizer has. FYI, there are 2 additional ones on the mobo - one under the northbridge heatspreader and the other one is placed on the other side of the mobo, supporting the CPU. ASUS calls this a ''Next-generation dynamic multi-phase power management'', which should ensure absolute stability under critical circumstances.

---

Eventually I wanted to get my hands on both of the mobos, but I was only able to acquire the DFI board, though that Asus could be bought a year ago here in Slovakia. Nevermind that now, let's carry on with the build.

So I finally found that DFI mobo on Ebay and started to look for my screwdriver . Replaced the old mobo in my signature with the new one and viola!, this is the result:

Mobo: DFI UT X48-T3RS
CPU: Intel Core2 Duo E6750 @ 2,6GHz with AC 6 heatpipe cooler
RAM: Corsair XMS3 1x2GB @ 1333MHz / CL9-9-9-24
VGA: ASUS HD6950 Reference Edition*
Storage: Seagate 120GB + LG DVD-RW PATA / 320GB Seagate SATAII.
PSU: Corsair AX850.
Case: Cooler Master HAF932
Physx Accelerator PCIe, NZXT 5 Fan Controller

Perhaps some pics could illustrate it better:

P1000696.jpg

P1000698.jpg

P1000699.jpg


Alright, enough of the hardware porn , let's talk about something else, mainly I've got questions about certain things

First target would be the mobo's BIOS, which is absolutely flawless, haven't seen any glitches nor freezes, no problems with USB mice and keyboards etc. Just perfect. Numerous options of voltage settings & other optimizations show great interest of making the mobo exclusive, but this is where I wanna ask the first queston : Anyone played with something called ''Clockgen voltage''? Or have any particular experience with this ability? I reckon this may be of help when increasing the FSB clock, but how effective is to modify its value (I've got 3,45v). Otherwise the other options reflect todays high-end motherboard BIOSes in many ways (excluding UEFI).

Second thing relates to the chipset / mobo desing, particularly the PCIe bus. This mobo has one 1x PCIe slot & one 8x PCIe in a 16x slot type and of course a duo of full size 16x PCIe slots. My concern is which of these connect to which chipset - I presume the full-length 16xs are under the supervision of the Northbridge, whilst the rest (including the onboard devices) are to be connected with the Southbridge. I'm posting a diagram, just to get a picture what I want to ask:



- I've seen such diagrams countless times, as well as you guys, but I always forget to ask knowledgeable people this : Look at the SATA part connected to the Southbridge. Now imagine there's an additional box with a PCIe1x JMB36x SATA/PATA controller. I've seen many diagrams of any mobos using this solution additionally to the southbridge's SATA/PATA controller. My queston is to what bus is the integrated southbridge's controller connected? Everest reports PCI, for the extra controller PCIe. So that means that the southbridge is inferior in data transfers to the extra controller, not to mention it has to share the bus with certain devices as the USB controller, audio etc?

- I'm using my Physx card in the PCIe 8x slot, which is connected to the southbridge (Everest proves this fact). Looking at the diagram, I see the DMI interconnection bandwidth value, and it seems rather low, so I was thinking moving the card into the first 16x slot to decrease the traffic in the southbridge itself as well as to free up some space in the NB to SB interconnection. Would this little change prove my theory?

---

I've found a site specially regarding this DFI's flagship motherboard, proper bios settings in overclocked state and so, but I was looking for more pragmatic insight of anybody who came across this particular piece. My biggest concern is the DDR3 2000 ready notion which has been attributed many times to it, but I'm gonna test this with my friend's modules that are already clocked at 2GHz.

Of course any experience with the ASUS Rampage Extreme is welcome too.
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Mobo: MSI K8N Master2-FAR CPU: 2x Opteron 265 OC'd @ 2,25GHz RAM: 2x2GB Crucial DDR400 CL3 ECC/Buff. (ECC OFF), VGA: ASUS HD6950 2GB Reference edition FLASHED TO HD6970 HDD: 80GB ATA133 Seagate ,OnBoard: 2xGLAN, 8-Ch. Realtek audio, USB2.0/Firewire, PCIe Physx card PSU: 850W Corsair AX Case: Cooler Master HAF932 + NZXT 5 Fan Controller.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:27 AM   #2
mariushm
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Default Re: New Build - Questions Asked

Isn't nVidia disabling the Physix when you couple it with an AMD video card?

The extra sata controller is usually conected on a pci express x1 link - up until the latest chipsets they were pci express 1.1 so the bandwidth is 256 MB/s in each direction.
I believe you get more bandwidth per sata port with the integrated controller.

The physix card shouldn't use much bandwidth, I would guess a few MB/s of traffic through the link. I doubt it would matter where it's connected.
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:22 AM   #3
Shodan486
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Default Re: New Build - Questions Asked

Thanks for the comment man, i'll try to find more about that.

As for the Physx card, we're talking a standalone physics accelerator made by Ageia, the inventor. Nvidia bought Ageia and dismantled this company after the acquisition, only to get the technology under control and started to provide services to game developers like getting them a proper physics engine for a price, or based upon other forms of agreement; and released only a few games that still supported the Ageia accelerator - this is what my colleague states for he's more into the video card industry + accessories thing, really never came across such information nor have such interest . But it's true that after some driver revision Nvidia stopped to support the accelerators, only the solutions on their VGAs were in the scope. Anyways, Nvidia is the owner of the Physix technology now and yes, Nvidia disables Physix on your Nvidia VGA when you plug an AMD VGA to your computer, possibly other functions, but this is Nvidia's approach, not Ageia's.
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: New Build - Questions Asked

I would not use the jmicron for anything other than optical drives. Of course, that's IMO and YMMV.

Now for the overclocking and voltage adjustments. The only voltages you are going to need to touch will be Vcore, VTT (goes by the name FSB Voltage and others, check your mobo manual), NB and memory voltages. You can of course experiment with all the bells and whistles, but those four are the basics, and the extra voltage controls aren't likely to get you much further that what those four can provide. Use IntelBurnTest to verify stability of CPU/RAM, and FurMark for the video card. Don't let temps get over 70C load. And that's it.
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:50 PM   #5
Uranium-235
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Default Re: New Build - Questions Asked

the 6750 isn't exactly the best for gaming. before I upgraded the rest of my rig, I put a gtx 285 in with my 6750 and the chip really held me back

how much are you getting the core2 for? AMD's FM1 stuff spanks it, and its usually cheaper. don't get me wrong I love intel too, but you get your best bang for your buck with amd. Besides core2 arch is several generations ago.

if you want to go intel I would reccomend a celeron G530/540. Its sandy bridge and spanks the 6750, also costs ~$50 new.
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