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Old 11th Aug 2012, 13:49   #1
Slowlemon
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Cheap Sandy Bridge-EP Xeons

Hi Everyone

I have spotted these on e-bay Xeon 2650.

Warning
These are engineering samples not retail chips, they are not supported in any way by Intel. They are advertised as stepping C0, Trusted Execution Technology and Intel Virtualization Technology do not work on this revision. They are used.

Performance
Xeon E5-2650 should give about the same performance as Opteron 6172 but with lower power consumption. A dual Xeon 2650 system will offer 32 threads and should be fast enough to meet the Bigadv-16 deadlines.

Logistics
Because the 2011 socket is used on X79 enthusiast motherboards there is a good selection of suitable RAM and coolers available. Dual Xeon boards are mostly SSI EEB form factor so there are plenty of tower cases available. If you build for lowest power consumption (1.35v RAM, SSD, low power GPU) it should be possible to get down to 250 to 270W or about the same as an overclocked i7 3930K

I have decided to take the risk and order two processors from Japan. When they arrive I will start to buy the rest of the parts starting with an Asus Z9PE-D8 motherboard.

Fold on
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Old 11th Aug 2012, 14:17   #2
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Looks interesting

Looking forward to following the build
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Old 11th Aug 2012, 19:44   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowlemon View Post


I have decided to take the risk and order two processors from Japan. When they arrive I will start to buy the rest of the parts starting with an Asus Z9PE-D8 motherboard.

Fold on
You are certainly a braver man than I am hope your processors turn up in good order.

Really looking forward to your build - it will be interesting to see how it folds.

A 3930K @ 4.3GHz in the summer months with H80 on medium speed is pulling approx 300W.
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Old 11th Aug 2012, 20:19   #4
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Update

Hi all

The seller has responded very quickly with an invoice. He is charging me 40.00 USD for postage, that makes a total of 576.00 USD for the order. That is equivalent to 379.00 GBP for 2 processors, about what you would pay for 1 used Opteron 6172. Seller has now marked the order as dispatched, seems a bit optimistic, it must be the middle of the night in Japan

I will probably have to pay import duty and customs charges at this end . I am still only 90% sure that this will work. If it does work then it`s a real bargain.

Wish me luck
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Old 11th Aug 2012, 20:25   #5
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Old 12th Aug 2012, 06:19   #6
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Old 12th Aug 2012, 10:40   #7
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Best of luck to you buddy, I'd like to try my hand at a similar build. Look forward to reading more.

J.
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Old 13th Aug 2012, 03:56   #8
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I just joined this forum to post a reply to this thread and give you a little heads up about what to expect. I am running a very similar build and got a pair of those same 2650's a few days ago from him. Very good seller, you should have no issues with the chips.

Now, on to the main point. These are C0 QS1 chips not ES. As such, don't try to enable Vt-d with them or you will have a heck of a time getting the BIOS unbricked (ask me how I know). The ES chips (B0/B1) seem to have Vt-d working but these do not.

Also, if you're folding with them setting the C-state to no limit, Energy performance to performance mode and long duration power limit to 130w they should maintain 2.8ghz turbo clocks all the time. Be careful messing around in the BIOS, this board is very very picky and I had to remove the CMOS battery and unplug it a number of times after it refused to POST.

Best of luck with your build! Its a folding monster for the relative price of the CPU's. I started trying to run a VMware folding machine but my TPF on an 8101 was ~33 minutes, moving to native Ubuntu 10.10 dropped it down to ~23 minutes.
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Old 13th Aug 2012, 22:13   #9
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Hi Scorpion49

Thank you very much for posting. Your feedback has given me a lot more confidence in this project. The seller did in fact dispatch my order within hours of me paying and has provided a tracking number.

So you have been able to run these chips at max turbo on all cores, that is very good news. All the reviews of E5-Xeons I have seen say that no overclocking is possible. I wonder if the reviewers were told to keep quiet by Intel?

What cooling are you using? What are the temps like at 2.8GHz? Do you know how much power it`s using? Please stick around as I am sure I will need help with this at some point. Which team do you fold for? I lurk on some of the other forums looking for useful information.
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Old 13th Aug 2012, 23:00   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowlemon View Post
These are engineering samples not retail chips, they are not supported in any way by Intel.
They are not "not supported" by Intel, they are property of Intel and anyone who is selling or buying is selling/buying stolen goods.
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Old 14th Aug 2012, 02:08   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowlemon View Post
Hi Scorpion49

Thank you very much for posting. Your feedback has given me a lot more confidence in this project. The seller did in fact dispatch my order within hours of me paying and has provided a tracking number.

So you have been able to run these chips at max turbo on all cores, that is very good news. All the reviews of E5-Xeons I have seen say that no overclocking is possible. I wonder if the reviewers were told to keep quiet by Intel?

What cooling are you using? What are the temps like at 2.8GHz? Do you know how much power it`s using? Please stick around as I am sure I will need help with this at some point. Which team do you fold for? I lurk on some of the other forums looking for useful information.
Its not overclocking per se, but more tricking it into thinking it has a higher thermal design and allowing it to run full blast all the time. YMMV of course, but the minimum I saw with all 16C/32T active at 100% was 2.4ghz. I was able to get up to 105mhz bclk but that only bumped it up a tiny bit, not even worth the instability.

My temps are great, I'm using an H100 on each of them (custom loop coming this week), they idle at 38*C and full load at 41*C, very little spread. At max load my machine is using 340w from the wall as measured with a Kill-A-Watt. At 2.4ghz it was pulling only 280w.

I will say if you plan to fold 24/7 then make sure to cool the RAM and VRM heatsinks, they get very very hot. EK is releasing a full cover chipset/VRM block set soon and I will be getting that and RAM blocks as well to keep it running happily for a long time to come.

I mostly hang out at OCN and [H], you can find me under the same user name. I'll check back in this thread and see if you have any questions now and again. I fold for OCN's team 37726.

Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin View Post
They are not "not supported" by Intel, they are property of Intel and anyone who is selling or buying is selling/buying stolen goods.
This is true, thats why its best to just refer to it as an E5-2650 and leave out the ES part if you're worried.
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Old 14th Aug 2012, 19:25   #12
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Update

Hi All

My chips are on the move. I placed the order on Saturday, they were posted on Sunday and arrived in the UK on Tuesday. They have not yet cleared customs. I will have to start planning the rest of the build.

Scorpion49 once again thanks for your reply, this is all useful information . Good tip about the VRMs and RAM. I am planning on air cooling this build, I will have to make sure there is plenty of airflow over the motherboard, this may affect the choice of case.

So far on the list are:
Asus Z9PE-D8 WS motherboard
Thermolab Trinity CPU coolers
Corsair HX650 power supply (new gold rated version)

I need to sort out:
RAM
Case
Storage (HDD or SSD)

RAM issues
I would like 1600MHz 2Gb modules, preferably 1.35V. Corsair vengeance heat spreaders are probably too tall to fit under the Trinity heat sinks. 8Gb quad channel kits seem to be thin on the ground, there is more choice in 16Gb kits. Can anyone suggest suitable RAM?

OCN is not one of the forums I read but Zotac has popped up many times when I have been Googling around.
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Old 15th Aug 2012, 03:57   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowlemon View Post
Hi All

My chips are on the move. I placed the order on Saturday, they were posted on Sunday and arrived in the UK on Tuesday. They have not yet cleared customs. I will have to start planning the rest of the build.

Scorpion49 once again thanks for your reply, this is all useful information . Good tip about the VRMs and RAM. I am planning on air cooling this build, I will have to make sure there is plenty of airflow over the motherboard, this may affect the choice of case.

So far on the list are:
Asus Z9PE-D8 WS motherboard
Thermolab Trinity CPU coolers
Corsair HX650 power supply (new gold rated version)

I need to sort out:
RAM
Case
Storage (HDD or SSD)

RAM issues
I would like 1600MHz 2Gb modules, preferably 1.35V. Corsair vengeance heat spreaders are probably too tall to fit under the Trinity heat sinks. 8Gb quad channel kits seem to be thin on the ground, there is more choice in 16Gb kits. Can anyone suggest suitable RAM?

OCN is not one of the forums I read but Zotac has popped up many times when I have been Googling around.
A few things, first that PSU will not work with the Z9PE-D8. It MUST have dual EPS 8-pin or an 8-pin and 4+4 pin. It will not even turn on otherwise. I cannot stress enough how bad of an idea it is to use any kind of molex EPS adapter especially with high powered chips like these.

Secondly, I would try and find a set of RAM that is on the compatibility list. I've tried both the Corsair 1.35v LP (in the machine now) and the Samsung UDIMM 30nm stuff, the board will not OC either of them to rated timings, nor will it detect and run the XMP settings. It seems like it needs to be 1.5v or 1.65v for the board to use the XMP setting. There is also nothing wrong with mixing kits as long as you aren't expecting to hit 2133mhz or similar high OC's.

I can't comment on that heatsink choice as I know nothing about it, but I can say the chips put out a lot of heat, I attempted to use an H60 on one of them on my first boot and my idle temps rapidly climbed to over 60*C. I had to switch to the H100 to keep it under control. Good airflow over the VRM heatsink is important as well, so those might actually do a good job if they are pointed upwards.
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Old 15th Aug 2012, 20:18   #14
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Hi Scorpion49

I am planning to use a PCI-e 6pin to EPS 8pin adaptor to get the extra CPU power. This is not ideal as the 6+2 pin cable is only rated for 150W and it means there is an extra connection between the power supply and the board. However the PCI-e standard is a minimum rating and I am sure a quality power supply will easily exceed the minimum.

Good point, I had not thought to check the Asus qualified memory list, I will have a look. Maybe I should be looking at 1.5V dual channel kits, That would give me a lot more choice.

The Thermolab coolers should be ideal for 2.4GHz 95W operation but they may be marginal for 2.8GHz 130W settings. The reason I like them is because the fan is set lower than the heat sink so that it blows air over the VRMs.
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Old 16th Aug 2012, 00:59   #15
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Old 16th Aug 2012, 11:17   #16
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Great effort and risk with the build bud, really hope it works out, I want to build another dual CPU rig sometime soon so will be watching with much interest
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Old 20th Aug 2012, 12:57   #17
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Slowlemon, how is the build going?
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Old 20th Aug 2012, 23:08   #18
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Update

Hi All

Not much progress to be honest. The chips have arrived in Bristol and are being held awaiting payment of the charges. I have not had the bill yet, hopefully it will come tomorrow. I have not ordered any other parts just in case there is a problem with the chips.

Parts List so far
Motherboard Asus Z9PE-D8 WS
RAM Corsair XMS3 Classic 4Gb Dual channel x 4 kits
Case NZXT Switch 810 Black
Power Supply Corsair HX650
Adapter Akasa PCI-e to ATX 12V

RAM issues
The RAM I am looking at is 1600MHz 9,9,9,24 1.5V part number CMX4GX3M2B1600C9 and is sold for use with Sandy Bridge desktop systems. Scorpion49 it sounds like the motherboard is reading the SPD settings from the RAM, these are usually safe settings. Most server boards will not read XMP profiles so you will have to change the settings manually in the BIOS. If the BIOS will not let you change the settings then the next option is to flash the SPD profile on the RAM modules, this is a whole extra can of worms. On the XMS3 Classic the only difference between the SPD and XMP profiles is standard is 1333MHz and XMP is 1600MHz. As most motherboards allow you to select memory speed I should be able to get the rated performance.

Cooling issues
I am very tempted to go for water cooling, but it would add a lot of cost to the build. The question is how hard is it to cool these Xeon processors? Server chips have a large die size and run at relatively low clock speeds, this is a very different problem to an overclocked quad core chip with a small die size running at very high speed. The only temperature results I could find were using Corsair H100 coolers, people are getting core temps in the low 40s. This tells me that the H100 is more than adequate for this application. Using the CPU testing results on OC3D to compare the H100 to other coolers shows that it has equal performance to big twin tower heat sinks like the Noctua NH-D14. Good single tower heat sinks run about 10 degC hotter than the H100, that would mean temps in the low 50s for the Xeons. Thermolab say the Trinity is optimized for 150W to 200W loads so it might be enough heat sink after all.
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Old 21st Aug 2012, 05:05   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowlemon View Post
Hi All

Not much progress to be honest. The chips have arrived in Bristol and are being held awaiting payment of the charges. I have not had the bill yet, hopefully it will come tomorrow. I have not ordered any other parts just in case there is a problem with the chips.

Parts List so far
Motherboard Asus Z9PE-D8 WS
RAM Corsair XMS3 Classic 4Gb Dual channel x 4 kits
Case NZXT Switch 810 Black
Power Supply Corsair HX650
Adapter Akasa PCI-e to ATX 12V

RAM issues
The RAM I am looking at is 1600MHz 9,9,9,24 1.5V part number CMX4GX3M2B1600C9 and is sold for use with Sandy Bridge desktop systems. Scorpion49 it sounds like the motherboard is reading the SPD settings from the RAM, these are usually safe settings. Most server boards will not read XMP profiles so you will have to change the settings manually in the BIOS. If the BIOS will not let you change the settings then the next option is to flash the SPD profile on the RAM modules, this is a whole extra can of worms. On the XMS3 Classic the only difference between the SPD and XMP profiles is standard is 1333MHz and XMP is 1600MHz. As most motherboards allow you to select memory speed I should be able to get the rated performance.
Yes, this is the problem I had: if you force a certain speed the board will refuse to POST. Attempting to replicate the XMP or even the highest bin JEDEC setting on 3 types of RAM I have tested resulted in the board refusing to POST. However, all of those sets have been low voltage. I tried a set of DDR3-2000 I had for another build and was able to get it working just fine at 1.65v. Just food for though, its plenty fast running my LP whites (1600mhz XMP) at 1333mhz/1.5v/8-8-8-24-1T.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowlemon View Post
Cooling issues I am very tempted to go for water cooling, but it would add a lot of cost to the build. The question is how hard is it to cool these Xeon processors? Server chips have a large die size and run at relatively low clock speeds, this is a very different problem to an overclocked quad core chip with a small die size running at very high speed. The only temperature results I could find were using Corsair H100 coolers, people are getting core temps in the low 40s. This tells me that the H100 is more than adequate for this application. Using the CPU testing results on OC3D to compare the H100 to other coolers shows that it has equal performance to big twin tower heat sinks like the Noctua NH-D14. Good single tower heat sinks run about 10 degC hotter than the H100, that would mean temps in the low 50s for the Xeons. Thermolab say the Trinity is optimized for 150W to 200W loads so it might be enough heat sink after all.
I got mine running under water for ~300 USD. I think its worth it, as I will expand the loop to accommodate the upcoming EK full cover PCH/VRM block. I'm running a pair of XSPC Raystorms, an XSPC EX360, and an older MCP350 I got for cheap with a dual-bay res. Add in tubing and fittings and it was like $275 total. My temps went from 38*C idle 40-43*C load with the H100's to 33*C idle and 38*C load after folding for 48 hours straight at 2.8ghz, so I feel safe that I have enough radiator to expand the loop later. My ambients are pretty high as well, its been hovering in the high 80's (around 30*C).

Here is a pic of it up and running in the switch for some eye candy:
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Old 21st Aug 2012, 17:32   #20
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wow! what lighting have you used? it looks so bright in there....

im currently in the process of building a evga sr-2 rig with 2 5620 xeons
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