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Xeon vs i7 for extreme gaming rig/motherboard

Discussion in 'UO Resources' started by Fat Midnight, May 19, 2011.

  1. Fat Midnight

    Fat Midnight Visitor

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    I have not considered myself a PC enthusiast for a long time so I am a bit out of date on alot of things. The machine would be used 90% gaming/%10 other.

    I know that when bench-marked the Xeon w3690 marginally outperforms the i7 995x but I am wondering how they would stack up in real world use. I have read some opinions that the i7 may actually be better than the xeon for gaming, but I cant find any proof going either way.

    When I say gaming I am not only talking about UO, but also modern FPS.

    Now onto the motherboard I am have the following requirements:

    Dual Xeon or i7 support
    SLI/crossfire ready( I want to run Two GPUs for the main display, One GPU for the two secondary displays)
    Exact GPUs TBD
    5 PCIE slots
    Support for a Highend digital output sound card
    Raid 5 support
    Ram OC to 2000, upto 32 GB( im not posotive on this, is it true windows 7 may not support more than 24 gigs???)

    I am not sure what route I am taking for the case, I am considering a refrigerated case, in addition to liquid cooling




    Anyone know of a motherboard that would suit my needs? Any thoughts on the rest of the build? The budget is $15k-20k
     
  2. RawHeadRex

    RawHeadRex Slightly Crazed
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    They are both ridiculously efficient, you will not see any 'seat of the pants' difference IMHO. Both have 6 logical cores with Hyperthreading totaling 12 threads. They (995 & 3690)don't overclock as well as the i7 2600k but something tells me you're not worried about clocking. Also the Xeon's will need registered memory, not a problem per say but needs noting.

    Um ... lol ok. If you want to run SLI, last time i checked you can't run dual monitors at the same time while running SLI. Each card has two+ dvi ports so each card can run minmum of two monitors, but not while running SLI. A work around to this is to employ a third party device to go after the SLI setup, like the MatroxTH2GO(i have the vga one, also comes in dvi form.) Run sli then out to the MTH2G which takes the SLI signal and spans it to TWO or THREE monitors.

    Even if you bought two nVidia 590's and ran them in SLI, all four gpu's would be working as one. That one signal out can only go to one monitor while in SLI config. Now if you turn off SLI in the nVidia control panel, you can run 4+ monitors acting as one. Hope that made sense. Now if memory still serves, Crossfire doesn't suffer from this problem with its Hydravision, although I could be wrong.
    Regarding max memory allowed, Win7 64bit limits are:
    Starter: 8GB
    Home Basic: 8GB
    Home Premium: 16GB
    Professional: 192GB
    Enterprise: 192GB
    Ultimate: 192GB

    One of the main problems to using SLI on a Dual socket mobo, is finding the nVidia 200 controller on a dual socket mobo that allows SLI. So choices are limited even more. The good news is many dual socket mobo's support Crossfire more so than SLI. Also it is possible to run dual i7's on a dual xeon mobo but the bios and other things need to be altered. Normally you can't run non-xeons on a dual socket mobo.
    Five pci-E slots ? EVGA's X58 Classified 4-way SLI board should suffice. This is the only board that I know of that allows i7's to run with an altered bios.
    Other makers provide dual socket mobos but only support Xeons and can't guarantee 5+ pci-E slots.

    A refrigerated case sounds interesting, do you have any examples ? Since you are considering dual socket mobos, a product like the Prometeia (I run a promie) is not an option. So >IMHO< water cooling or upgraded air cooling is the way to go. But you need to confirm if you're going to clock your cpu before you need to consider even water cooling. The i7 will clock to 4 GHz on air alone without coming close to it's thermal max even under load.

    Sound card and raid is not an issue, easily solved by third party of choice.

    I feel like a gave birth, getting a beer.
     
  3. Fat Midnight

    Fat Midnight Visitor

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    Now that I look a little more into the refrigerated cases I think my options are pretty slim. I might have to modify an existing case to suit my needs if I really want to go this route.

    I think I am leaning more in the direction of dual i7 and ATI cards.
     
  4. RawHeadRex

    RawHeadRex Slightly Crazed
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    Sounds good.

    I don't want to be negative but running a dual i7 may be more trouble than it's worth. Let me explain. In order to flash the bios that allows non-xeons to be used... you need to populate one of the slots with a xeon in order for the computer to POST in the first place. Once it POST'S , you can boot from a floppy and flash the BIOS to allow i7's to work.

    no matter which i7 you choose(2600k or 995) you will have eight or twelve cores working for you. imho dual socket would be slightly unnecessary.
     
  5. Fat Midnight

    Fat Midnight Visitor

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    Points taken sir....