SLI Server Or Workstation Motherboards SLI-supported motherboards
Hello All:

I am looking at server or workstation motherboards for my next build.

I have SLI in all my other computers, so of course I want SLI for this one too.

I would like to use this computer for both CAD and gaming, if possible.

I was looking into dual-CPU motherboards.

Specifically dual LGA2011 CPUs.

I found a bunch of them by Intel, Tyan, SuperMicro and ASUS.

However, of all of them, only the ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS actually specifies that it has 4-way SLI support.

Up till now, all my previous motherboards have been either ASUS or Gigabyte, so I just thought that all motherboards could support SLI.

Since none of the other dual-LGA2011 motherboards I have seen actually come out and say they include SLI support, does that mean that if I installed two EVGA 03G-P3-1595-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) Classified ULTRA 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 video cards with an SLI bridge connector on those other motherboards, that even 2-way SLI would not work and I would only be getting the power of one of the cards?

So my first question is...does there have to be some special SLI hardware feature to be embedded in a motherboard for SLI to work?

My second question is...do any of you know any other dual-LGA2011 motherboards that have SLI support?

My final question is...what high-end video card would you recommend that can handle both CAD rendering and gaming?

I looked at the "Quadro" series from PNY, but they seemed to be ridiculously over-priced, and did not really get very good reviews (considering their excessive cost).

So after further investigation I found the EVGA 03G-P3-1595-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) Classified ULTRA 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5, which got stunning reviews, and is only about $550 at NewEgg.

My only reservation is that all the reviews I have seen so far relate to how the EVGA 03G-P3-1595-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) Classified ULTRA 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 performs as a gaming card.

I have not found any mention of its performance for CAD purposes.

Any and all constructive advice you could render would be most appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Marc
Hello All:



I am looking at server or workstation motherboards for my next build.



I have SLI in all my other computers, so of course I want SLI for this one too.



I would like to use this computer for both CAD and gaming, if possible.



I was looking into dual-CPU motherboards.



Specifically dual LGA2011 CPUs.



I found a bunch of them by Intel, Tyan, SuperMicro and ASUS.



However, of all of them, only the ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS actually specifies that it has 4-way SLI support.



Up till now, all my previous motherboards have been either ASUS or Gigabyte, so I just thought that all motherboards could support SLI.



Since none of the other dual-LGA2011 motherboards I have seen actually come out and say they include SLI support, does that mean that if I installed two EVGA 03G-P3-1595-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) Classified ULTRA 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 video cards with an SLI bridge connector on those other motherboards, that even 2-way SLI would not work and I would only be getting the power of one of the cards?



So my first question is...does there have to be some special SLI hardware feature to be embedded in a motherboard for SLI to work?



My second question is...do any of you know any other dual-LGA2011 motherboards that have SLI support?



My final question is...what high-end video card would you recommend that can handle both CAD rendering and gaming?



I looked at the "Quadro" series from PNY, but they seemed to be ridiculously over-priced, and did not really get very good reviews (considering their excessive cost).



So after further investigation I found the EVGA 03G-P3-1595-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) Classified ULTRA 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5, which got stunning reviews, and is only about $550 at NewEgg.



My only reservation is that all the reviews I have seen so far relate to how the EVGA 03G-P3-1595-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) Classified ULTRA 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 performs as a gaming card.



I have not found any mention of its performance for CAD purposes.



Any and all constructive advice you could render would be most appreciated.



Thank you in advance for your consideration.



Marc

#1
Posted 04/01/2012 12:24 AM   
EVGA's SR-X is the only other one I know of.

Any high end GeForce card is fine for CAD etc. Quadros are specifically geared towards CAD and so on, which is why they are more expensive...
EVGA's SR-X is the only other one I know of.



Any high end GeForce card is fine for CAD etc. Quadros are specifically geared towards CAD and so on, which is why they are more expensive...
[quote name='-{RaptoR}-' date='01 April 2012 - 03:16 PM' timestamp='1333311368' post='1390816']
Quadros are specifically geared towards CAD and so on, which is why they are more expensive...
[/quote]

And not geared towards gaming. Thus why you would see bad reviews on them.

SLI 'hardware' is the chipset on the motherboard. Not all chipsets support SLI or Crossfire. Some support 1 card running at x16 and the second at x4. These are the ones that should be avoided if at all possible. x8/x8 is fine. Hardly even noticeable from x16/x16. Obviously x16/x16 is what you hope for.
[quote name='-{RaptoR}-' date='01 April 2012 - 03:16 PM' timestamp='1333311368' post='1390816']

Quadros are specifically geared towards CAD and so on, which is why they are more expensive...





And not geared towards gaming. Thus why you would see bad reviews on them.



SLI 'hardware' is the chipset on the motherboard. Not all chipsets support SLI or Crossfire. Some support 1 card running at x16 and the second at x4. These are the ones that should be avoided if at all possible. x8/x8 is fine. Hardly even noticeable from x16/x16. Obviously x16/x16 is what you hope for.

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Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium powering Logitech z-5300e 5.1 THX Surround & Creative Fatal1ty Pro headset
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#3
Posted 04/01/2012 08:52 PM   
I assume you want to be able to run both profesinal and casual utilities. Games and Work.
I am in a similar situation.

Most of todays current top of the line games can be run on a single GPU
a good one is the GTX570, not the latest and not the greatest but a single 570 will get you good to great results, 2 will get you killer on games, 3 will blow away games and be great for proffesional work.

If it is dollars that is your road block 3 ASUS ENGTX 570 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI will run you 1k that includes shipping. While an equivelent Quadro will run 3 to 4k easy.

I chose a setup with these specs

ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
64GB DDR3 1600 RAM
2 240GB SSD in a raid (for play)
2 120GB SSD in a raid (for work)
a 3 tb usb 3.0 backup
3 ENGTX 570 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI (tri slot each card so cool your chassis)
Core I7 3930k 6 core CPU
Ram coolers x2
H100
corsair link so can control all cooling from OS
Cooler Master Cosmos 2 case modded with all ten fans (very important to mod your case)
2x ASUS vh226 hdmi monitor for work
1 ASUS 27 inch hdmi for gaming

ASUS Rampage IV Extreme has a duel Bios setup. Setup one bios config for work and one bios config for play.

Haven't built it yet so I cannot give you performance stats

The Xeon class of processor wil vastly outperform the Core I7 in applications such as CAD/Game design/Arcitectual apps but it will fall short on everyday tasks. Sure it will handle email web browsing light gameing. But It is just not designed for it. The Core I7 lags behind the Xeon Class in work apps but the I7 shines in day to day tasks.

With SSD and a large amount of ram you can vastly help the I7
Their really is no advantage in server/workstation builds till you get into Hundreds of GB Ram options and that will cost 10+k

Qoute marccunn
My only reservation is that all the reviews I have seen so far relate to how the EVGA 03G-P3-1595-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) Classified ULTRA 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 performs as a gaming card

The reviews are comming from gamers mostly. Professinals who use this card generaly arnt reviewers. They are out there... somewhere
I assume you want to be able to run both profesinal and casual utilities. Games and Work.

I am in a similar situation.



Most of todays current top of the line games can be run on a single GPU

a good one is the GTX570, not the latest and not the greatest but a single 570 will get you good to great results, 2 will get you killer on games, 3 will blow away games and be great for proffesional work.



If it is dollars that is your road block 3 ASUS ENGTX 570 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI will run you 1k that includes shipping. While an equivelent Quadro will run 3 to 4k easy.



I chose a setup with these specs



ASUS Rampage IV Extreme

64GB DDR3 1600 RAM

2 240GB SSD in a raid (for play)

2 120GB SSD in a raid (for work)

a 3 tb usb 3.0 backup

3 ENGTX 570 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI (tri slot each card so cool your chassis)

Core I7 3930k 6 core CPU

Ram coolers x2

H100

corsair link so can control all cooling from OS

Cooler Master Cosmos 2 case modded with all ten fans (very important to mod your case)

2x ASUS vh226 hdmi monitor for work

1 ASUS 27 inch hdmi for gaming



ASUS Rampage IV Extreme has a duel Bios setup. Setup one bios config for work and one bios config for play.



Haven't built it yet so I cannot give you performance stats



The Xeon class of processor wil vastly outperform the Core I7 in applications such as CAD/Game design/Arcitectual apps but it will fall short on everyday tasks. Sure it will handle email web browsing light gameing. But It is just not designed for it. The Core I7 lags behind the Xeon Class in work apps but the I7 shines in day to day tasks.



With SSD and a large amount of ram you can vastly help the I7

Their really is no advantage in server/workstation builds till you get into Hundreds of GB Ram options and that will cost 10+k



Qoute marccunn

My only reservation is that all the reviews I have seen so far relate to how the EVGA 03G-P3-1595-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) Classified ULTRA 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 performs as a gaming card



The reviews are comming from gamers mostly. Professinals who use this card generaly arnt reviewers. They are out there... somewhere

#4
Posted 04/02/2012 05:58 AM   
[quote name='-{RaptoR}-' date='01 April 2012 - 03:16 PM' timestamp='1333311368' post='1390816']
EVGA's SR-X is the only other one I know of.

Any high end GeForce card is fine for CAD etc. Quadros are specifically geared towards CAD and so on, which is why they are more expensive...
[/quote]

Thank you very much, Raptor.

This is extremely helpful!

[quote name='Mourning Star' date='01 April 2012 - 03:52 PM' timestamp='1333313553' post='1390830']
And not geared towards gaming. Thus why you would see bad reviews on them.

SLI 'hardware' is the chipset on the motherboard. Not all chipsets support SLI or Crossfire. Some support 1 card running at x16 and the second at x4. These are the ones that should be avoided if at all possible. x8/x8 is fine. Hardly even noticeable from x16/x16. Obviously x16/x16 is what you hope for.
[/quote]


Thank you very much, Mourning Star.

In particular, thank you for the explanation about the various sppeds and combinations.

I had seen those specs before, but I could't figure out what they meant.

Where did you get this info?

Is there somewhere here on the nVidia site that explains this?

Thanks again.
[quote name='-{RaptoR}-' date='01 April 2012 - 03:16 PM' timestamp='1333311368' post='1390816']

EVGA's SR-X is the only other one I know of.



Any high end GeForce card is fine for CAD etc. Quadros are specifically geared towards CAD and so on, which is why they are more expensive...





Thank you very much, Raptor.



This is extremely helpful!

[quote name='Mourning Star' date='01 April 2012 - 03:52 PM' timestamp='1333313553' post='1390830']

And not geared towards gaming. Thus why you would see bad reviews on them.



SLI 'hardware' is the chipset on the motherboard. Not all chipsets support SLI or Crossfire. Some support 1 card running at x16 and the second at x4. These are the ones that should be avoided if at all possible. x8/x8 is fine. Hardly even noticeable from x16/x16. Obviously x16/x16 is what you hope for.







Thank you very much, Mourning Star.



In particular, thank you for the explanation about the various sppeds and combinations.



I had seen those specs before, but I could't figure out what they meant.



Where did you get this info?



Is there somewhere here on the nVidia site that explains this?



Thanks again.

#5
Posted 04/06/2012 08:57 PM   
[quote name='Waxman' date='02 April 2012 - 12:58 AM' timestamp='1333346291' post='1390954']
I assume you want to be able to run both profesinal and casual utilities. Games and Work.
I am in a similar situation.

Most of todays current top of the line games can be run on a single GPU
a good one is the GTX570, not the latest and not the greatest but a single 570 will get you good to great results, 2 will get you killer on games, 3 will blow away games and be great for proffesional work.

If it is dollars that is your road block 3 ASUS ENGTX 570 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI will run you 1k that includes shipping. While an equivelent Quadro will run 3 to 4k easy.

I chose a setup with these specs

ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
64GB DDR3 1600 RAM
2 240GB SSD in a raid (for play)
2 120GB SSD in a raid (for work)
a 3 tb usb 3.0 backup
3 ENGTX 570 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI (tri slot each card so cool your chassis)
Core I7 3930k 6 core CPU
Ram coolers x2
H100
corsair link so can control all cooling from OS
Cooler Master Cosmos 2 case modded with all ten fans (very important to mod your case)
2x ASUS vh226 hdmi monitor for work
1 ASUS 27 inch hdmi for gaming

ASUS Rampage IV Extreme has a duel Bios setup. Setup one bios config for work and one bios config for play.

Haven't built it yet so I cannot give you performance stats

The Xeon class of processor wil vastly outperform the Core I7 in applications such as CAD/Game design/Arcitectual apps but it will fall short on everyday tasks. Sure it will handle email web browsing light gameing. But It is just not designed for it. The Core I7 lags behind the Xeon Class in work apps but the I7 shines in day to day tasks.

With SSD and a large amount of ram you can vastly help the I7
Their really is no advantage in server/workstation builds till you get into Hundreds of GB Ram options and that will cost 10+k

Qoute marccunn
My only reservation is that all the reviews I have seen so far relate to how the EVGA 03G-P3-1595-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) Classified ULTRA 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 performs as a gaming card

The reviews are comming from gamers mostly. Professinals who use this card generaly arnt reviewers. They are out there... somewhere
[/quote]

Yes, Waxman, you are right on!

I want to use this as an all-round computer, but with the extreme power to do CAD and music editing and conversion.

I don't mind if the Xeons aren't as good for e-mail and the like as the i7s.

Since this box is primarily designed for work, the everyday tasks can be handled by my other computers.

I am just curious about one thing....

Above you indicate that three (3) ASUS ENGTX 570 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI would be a great setup

I can only get a max of 128Gb RAM for the dual-LGA2011 ASUS board (8 slots at 16Gb each).

Do you think that would be enough to accomodate 3 graphics cards, or should I only do two (2) cards.

Money is no object with this particular computer.

I have been saving my pennies for a good long time waiting for the dual LGA2011 boards to arrive.

Now I find that only 2 support SLI - The ASUS and the EVGA SR-X - so I don;t have much of a choice.

I want this computer to last me a good long time, so I don't mind spending extra up front to get the best components.

I just didn't want to pay for the Quadros, since I think they are way overpriced.

As I understand it, they are basically the same cards as "enthusiast" cards, but they have much more sophisticated drivers.

There used to be a way to use Quadro drivers on the old 7xxx cards, but nVidia apparently plugged that loophole when it came out with the new generation of 4xx and 5xx cards,

So now we are stuck buying either the "enthusiast" cards or the Quadros.

Of course, the "enthusiast" cards are way more versatile.

Please do let me know how your new computer benchmarks.

Most of mine are about 6-8 years old now, running WXP Pro 32-bit, but they still score in the 85th percentile range against others.

I hope your new computer gets up into the 99th percentile range, and I hope my new dual LGA2011 rig at least cracks the 90th percentile.

Do let me know how yours turns out!

Thanks again for your advice.
[quote name='Waxman' date='02 April 2012 - 12:58 AM' timestamp='1333346291' post='1390954']

I assume you want to be able to run both profesinal and casual utilities. Games and Work.

I am in a similar situation.



Most of todays current top of the line games can be run on a single GPU

a good one is the GTX570, not the latest and not the greatest but a single 570 will get you good to great results, 2 will get you killer on games, 3 will blow away games and be great for proffesional work.



If it is dollars that is your road block 3 ASUS ENGTX 570 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI will run you 1k that includes shipping. While an equivelent Quadro will run 3 to 4k easy.



I chose a setup with these specs



ASUS Rampage IV Extreme

64GB DDR3 1600 RAM

2 240GB SSD in a raid (for play)

2 120GB SSD in a raid (for work)

a 3 tb usb 3.0 backup

3 ENGTX 570 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI (tri slot each card so cool your chassis)

Core I7 3930k 6 core CPU

Ram coolers x2

H100

corsair link so can control all cooling from OS

Cooler Master Cosmos 2 case modded with all ten fans (very important to mod your case)

2x ASUS vh226 hdmi monitor for work

1 ASUS 27 inch hdmi for gaming



ASUS Rampage IV Extreme has a duel Bios setup. Setup one bios config for work and one bios config for play.



Haven't built it yet so I cannot give you performance stats



The Xeon class of processor wil vastly outperform the Core I7 in applications such as CAD/Game design/Arcitectual apps but it will fall short on everyday tasks. Sure it will handle email web browsing light gameing. But It is just not designed for it. The Core I7 lags behind the Xeon Class in work apps but the I7 shines in day to day tasks.



With SSD and a large amount of ram you can vastly help the I7

Their really is no advantage in server/workstation builds till you get into Hundreds of GB Ram options and that will cost 10+k



Qoute marccunn

My only reservation is that all the reviews I have seen so far relate to how the EVGA 03G-P3-1595-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) Classified ULTRA 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 performs as a gaming card



The reviews are comming from gamers mostly. Professinals who use this card generaly arnt reviewers. They are out there... somewhere





Yes, Waxman, you are right on!



I want to use this as an all-round computer, but with the extreme power to do CAD and music editing and conversion.



I don't mind if the Xeons aren't as good for e-mail and the like as the i7s.



Since this box is primarily designed for work, the everyday tasks can be handled by my other computers.



I am just curious about one thing....



Above you indicate that three (3) ASUS ENGTX 570 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI would be a great setup



I can only get a max of 128Gb RAM for the dual-LGA2011 ASUS board (8 slots at 16Gb each).



Do you think that would be enough to accomodate 3 graphics cards, or should I only do two (2) cards.



Money is no object with this particular computer.



I have been saving my pennies for a good long time waiting for the dual LGA2011 boards to arrive.



Now I find that only 2 support SLI - The ASUS and the EVGA SR-X - so I don;t have much of a choice.



I want this computer to last me a good long time, so I don't mind spending extra up front to get the best components.



I just didn't want to pay for the Quadros, since I think they are way overpriced.



As I understand it, they are basically the same cards as "enthusiast" cards, but they have much more sophisticated drivers.



There used to be a way to use Quadro drivers on the old 7xxx cards, but nVidia apparently plugged that loophole when it came out with the new generation of 4xx and 5xx cards,



So now we are stuck buying either the "enthusiast" cards or the Quadros.



Of course, the "enthusiast" cards are way more versatile.



Please do let me know how your new computer benchmarks.



Most of mine are about 6-8 years old now, running WXP Pro 32-bit, but they still score in the 85th percentile range against others.



I hope your new computer gets up into the 99th percentile range, and I hope my new dual LGA2011 rig at least cracks the 90th percentile.



Do let me know how yours turns out!



Thanks again for your advice.

#6
Posted 04/06/2012 09:18 PM   
I don't believe the amount of RAM you can put in the machine will affect how many graphics cards you can have it...am I wrong in saying that? I mean, I suppose you can have too little memory for the OS to be unhappy, but other than that, your cards shouldn't be limited to 2. Correct me if I'm wrong, folks!

BTW, sounds like an impressive build. :)
I don't believe the amount of RAM you can put in the machine will affect how many graphics cards you can have it...am I wrong in saying that? I mean, I suppose you can have too little memory for the OS to be unhappy, but other than that, your cards shouldn't be limited to 2. Correct me if I'm wrong, folks!



BTW, sounds like an impressive build. :)

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#7
Posted 04/19/2012 02:24 AM   
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