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Old 10th Sep 2012, 12:13   #1
coolamasta
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Coolamasta's SandyBridge-EP (Xeon) build! - Some Pics Up!

Well after following Slowlemon's thread with his Sandybridge Xeon build and seeing the brilliant PPD/Watt factor I have decided to build one myself taking bit of a risk with a pair of E5 2660 Xeons from a company on eBay with them coming from Hong Kong! The seller has great rep and offers DOA and 60-day warranties so it should all be good!

I am currently trying to decide whether to go for an Asus Z9PE-D8 WS or an EVGA SR-X motherboard, might go with the Asus as its cheaper but will have a think over the next day or so.

I already have a spare PSU with dual 8-pin CPU connectors and various cases sat about to build it into so I just need to sort some RAM and work out how I'm going to cool it, I don't want to go the water cooling route with this so will need to find some decent heatsink/fans up to the job, any suggestions welcome

Pictures to come when the hardware starts to turn up

Cheers,
Rob.
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Last edited by coolamasta; 23rd Sep 2012 at 16:41.
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Old 10th Sep 2012, 12:37   #2
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Looking forward to the build and pictures.
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Old 10th Sep 2012, 16:17   #3
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Seeing as you cannot OC anyway, why stump for the more expensive board? Does it actually have ANYTHING that would be useful to you? Can't imagine you would be using SLi.

I know it is a pretty damn sexy board but so is the Asus, and its 130 cheaper.

And I don't know if you have checked, but a X9DAi Supermicro is about 300 on eBay, another 130 cheaper than the Asus.
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Old 10th Sep 2012, 19:08   #4
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+1 re TaRka's comments, the EVGA board has had some bad reviews and in no way justifies its price premium over Asus or Supermicro IMO.

Good luck with whatever you choose, I'm sure it will be a stunning build
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Old 10th Sep 2012, 19:34   #5
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Hi Coolamasta

I have had no problems with the Asus board but I have not yet been able to replicate the turbo speeds that Ben and Scorpion have managed. I highly recommend the Corsair RAM that I used, the part number is listed in my Xeon thread. Of course you could go OTT and get some real high speed RAM .

I am sure air cooling is perfectly adequate but cooling may be a factor in my lack of overclocking success. We need to get hold of Ben and find out what cooling he is using. It`s best to have air coolers blowing upwards but this means the fins will cover all the RAM slots so you need to check there is clearance before you buy. Also the heat pipes must fit between the RAM slots, some coolers might not fit.
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Old 10th Sep 2012, 22:22   #6
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Cheers guys, like you say not like these CPU's can be overclocked so the Asus or Supermicro will do the trick, I am gutted though as I noticed this as I was finishing work, added it to saved items, thought about it driving home and decided that I will go for it, got home signed into eBay and the foooker was sold, noooooo - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2008119895...84.m1423.l2649

Should have bought it the second I saw it, doh!!

Thanks Slowlemon, will check out the RAM model you bought, do you happen to know if for now I could run it on 4 slots, IE one on each side of each CPU, I know it will drop it to dual channel instead of quad channel but as long as its posts and I can see all 32 threads, its just I need to check the CPUs are ok when they arrive as money for the rest of the build will have to wait a month, so if I can buy half the RAM for now it would be better on my pocket

Cheers
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Old 10th Sep 2012, 22:59   #7
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Hi Coolamasta

You can run the Asus board with just 1 DIMM, or 1 DIMM per CPU, or 2 DIMMs per CPU, or 8 DIMMs. The manual has a table that tells you which slots to use.
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 19:11   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolamasta View Post
Cheers guys, like you say not like these CPU's can be overclocked so the Asus or Supermicro will do the trick, I am gutted though as I noticed this as I was finishing work, added it to saved items, thought about it driving home and decided that I will go for it, got home signed into eBay and the foooker was sold, noooooo - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2008119895...84.m1423.l2649

Should have bought it the second I saw it, doh!!

Thanks Slowlemon, will check out the RAM model you bought, do you happen to know if for now I could run it on 4 slots, IE one on each side of each CPU, I know it will drop it to dual channel instead of quad channel but as long as its posts and I can see all 32 threads, its just I need to check the CPUs are ok when they arrive as money for the rest of the build will have to wait a month, so if I can buy half the RAM for now it would be better on my pocket

Cheers
Damn it wish I had seen this myself, didnt realy expect these boards to come up for sale on ebay yet. Two cpus will run with only one stick of ram between them if need be and I recon for folding two sticks per cpu won't make that much difference due to the large cache.
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 19:15   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowlemon View Post
Hi Coolamasta

I have had no problems with the Asus board but I have not yet been able to replicate the turbo speeds that Ben and Scorpion have managed. I highly recommend the Corsair RAM that I used, the part number is listed in my Xeon thread. Of course you could go OTT and get some real high speed RAM .

I am sure air cooling is perfectly adequate but cooling may be a factor in my lack of overclocking success. We need to get hold of Ben and find out what cooling he is using. It`s best to have air coolers blowing upwards but this means the fins will cover all the RAM slots so you need to check there is clearance before you buy. Also the heat pipes must fit between the RAM slots, some coolers might not fit.
My cooling is nothing special just like what you are running. Your times per frame are a bit faster than mine (23min 50s) with thekraken installed so either the v7 client is faster than my 6.34 or your chips are running faster than mine anyway. I did check them in windows at 2.5ghz but havent checked them out in linux mainly due to running headless but your TPF are good for sure.
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Old 12th Sep 2012, 18:29   #10
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Hi Ben

V6.34 or V7 should make no difference, the calculations are done by the core and P8101 work units call for the a5 core. I think memory bandwidth will make some difference. What speed and timings are you running your RAM. You can check your CPU clock speed while folding by using a program called i7z. I wonder if some feature of the Ubuntu kernel is causing throttling of the CPUs, I will look into this.

I notice you are catching me up at a ferocious rate, it looks like I got the 2P going just in time .
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Old 12th Sep 2012, 19:09   #11
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Originally Posted by Slowlemon View Post
Hi Ben

V6.34 or V7 should make no difference, the calculations are done by the core and P8101 work units call for the a5 core. I think memory bandwidth will make some difference. What speed and timings are you running your RAM. You can check your CPU clock speed while folding by using a program called i7z. I wonder if some feature of the Ubuntu kernel is causing throttling of the CPUs, I will look into this.

I notice you are catching me up at a ferocious rate, it looks like I got the 2P going just in time .
I am suspecting that the linux kernel does not use speedstep in the same way as windows and I recon my cpus may be only running at just under 2.3ghz but I may be wrong. My memory is at 1680mhz 9.9.9.24 timings, next time I maintain the pc I will run i7z to find out what is going on but yours seems faster which I am not happy about ! I was gaining ground until you got bigadv running but now I am struggling was hoping you might have a few technical hitches lol. Fortunately my bank account can't support any more folding projects for now much to my frustration.
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Old 12th Sep 2012, 20:16   #12
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I am suspecting that the linux kernel does not use speedstep in the same way as windows and I recon my cpus may be only running at just under 2.3ghz but I may be wrong. My memory is at 1680mhz 9.9.9.24 timings, next time I maintain the pc I will run i7z to find out what is going on but yours seems faster which I am not happy about ! I was gaining ground until you got bigadv running but now I am struggling was hoping you might have a few technical hitches lol. Fortunately my bank account can't support any more folding projects for now much to my frustration.
I have done my sums and the TPF I am getting is about right for 2.5ghz so not sure what is going on with yours but wouldnt mind knowing what it is !
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 21:29   #13
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Hi Ben

I have not done enough testing to prove what works yet but here are some BIOS settings I am using that may be beneficial. All these are in the advanced menu.
In CPU configuration:
Server Class = High Performance(HPC)
In CPU Power Management:
Energy Perfomance = Perfomance
In Chipset Configuration/ Memory Configuration:
NUMA = Enabled
DDR Speed = Force DDR3 1600
In ACPI Settings:
Enable ACPI Auto Configuration = Enabled

I do not know if any of these settings make any difference but try them out and let me know how you get on. According to i7z I have one processor running at about 2210MHz and the other at 2340MHz. I still have not figured out what is controlling the clock speed of the processors but I am working on it.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 19:12   #14
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Hi Coolamasta

Any news on your chips? Have you made any decisions on parts for the rest of the build?
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 21:30   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowlemon View Post
Hi Coolamasta

You can run the Asus board with just 1 DIMM, or 1 DIMM per CPU, or 2 DIMMs per CPU, or 8 DIMMs. The manual has a table that tells you which slots to use.
Cheers thanks for confirming bud

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Lamb View Post
Damn it wish I had seen this myself, didnt realy expect these boards to come up for sale on ebay yet. Two cpus will run with only one stick of ram between them if need be and I recon for folding two sticks per cpu won't make that much difference due to the large cache.
Yeah I should have got with my gut feeling and bought it on the spot, ah well win some loose some with eBay!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowlemon View Post
Hi Coolamasta

Any news on your chips? Have you made any decisions on parts for the rest of the build?
No not received CPU's yet, going to give it until Wed and then start chasing, fingers crossed everything has gone OK and I will get them soon...

Think I've more or less decided on the Asus Z9PE-WS just going to wait until I have CPU's in my hand before purchasing the board. I have a load of 2GB DDR3 1333mhz memory sticks to hand so was going to give them a try at running 1600mhz before I go purchasing any new stuff, if it wont post with those then I have various other DDR3 modules in different voltages and speeds sat about to try!

Just not sure on what CPU coolers to use, silly thing is I have 2 x Titan Fenrir's sat about which are awesome but I don't have the socket 2011 backplates for them, any idea if I can get some? Maybe I could make some, hmmmm.....
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 21:47   #16
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Coolers

Hi Coolamasta

You don`t need backplates for LGA2011, the cooler screws straight into the socket. The spacing is the same as LGA1366 and the holes are threaded M4. Most LGA2011 coolers use adapters because the holes in the brackets are too small for M4 screws.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 22:21   #17
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Oh does it, never played with an LGA2011 board so have no idea! Technically then I just need some M4 bolts and maybe some strong springs to hold it on, liking that idea
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 09:03   #18
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Wooooooooooooooop Xeons turned up 5 mins ago

No laser markings on them at all, just someone written QA90 on them, supposed to be very similar spec to E5-2660, now to get a motherboard quick time....


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Old 18th Sep 2012, 11:32   #19
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Wooooooooooooooop Xeons turned up 5 mins ago

No laser markings on them at all, just someone written QA90 on them, supposed to be very similar spec to E5-2660, now to get a motherboard quick time....


These should be ok the QA90s are B0 stepping which is good as it has vtd working, it is the B1 chips you dont want as they are unsupported by nearly all motherboards. The asus motherboards seem out of stock everywhere at the moment hopefully they become available soon.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 11:58   #20
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Cool cheers for the info Ben

I am actually having 2nd thoughts about the Asus board now and considering the SuperMicro X9DAi, reason being is that a lot of people have had issues with the Asus board and certain model Nvidia graphics cards not working and also it does not suppose Win 8 or Server 2012, if you try to install either the machines hangs with "ACPI_BIOS_ERROR".

Asus is being totally rubbish with helping people get the graphics card problem sorted, one person has been waiting over 2 months for a BIOS that will fix it and still waiting now, also they announced that they are currently trying to develop Windows 8 compatibility BUT it will NOT SUPPORT Server 2012 as its a workstation board and to go and buy there Z9PE-D16 server board if you want 2012 compatibility, how crap is that!

Really making me think twice, I know right now im not going to be running powerful graphics cards or Server 2012 but I would like to have the option further down the line which is why im thinking about the SuperMicro X9DAi, also the X9DAi has on-board graphics, double the RAM slots and a Mini-SAS port.... Hmmmm.....
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