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PCIe Bandwidth Graphics Motherboard RAID

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#1 snahl

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 09:26 PM

Hello,
I need to build a powerful Graphics-Workstation (Windows7-64 prof.) for Video editing.
WS shall be equipped with one professional graphics controller (PCIe 16x) and 2x LSI MegaRAID-9270-8i controllers (both at PCIe 8x) reuslting in two RAID5-Arrays consisting of 8 drives each.
The workload is as follows: Large files 2-6GB+ (sometimes several) are read from any of the 2 LSI MeagRAIDs while (often at the same time) Video-sequences are cut, pasted, rendered etc..
No other PCIe slots will be used.
 
I find it hard to find a suitable motherboard that supports PCIe Version 3 without bandwidth limitation on any of the PCIe-lanes or slots.
 
Which Motherboard(s) would conform to (or best meet) the setup described?
 
Chipset Z87 supports PCIe Ver 3, but most boards I've seen multiplex the lanes with a PEX8747 chip.
AFAIK Chipset X79 supports PCIe Ver 2.
However, I would think the primary bottleneck might be the disk-write-speed (despite an 8-drive RAID5-array). Therefore a MoBo with PCIe Ver 2 would probably do the job as well.
But which one?
Any other thoughts or suggestions?
 
Your advice is highly appreciated.
Thanks
 

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#2 cppguru

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:30 AM

Have you considered this one:

 

https://www.asus.com...ions/P9X79E_WS/


#3 Brian

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 09:08 AM

Have you considered infusing any flash into the rig? You're the target use case for many vendors who want to tap into the creative space. 


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#4 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 11:19 AM

On the motherboard side, there are quite a few options available and honestly I wouldn't look any farther than Supermicro. This is one example that would work, although maybe not their best offering for this usecase:

 

http://www.storagere...n_5037ai_review

 

That particular board has some legacy attachments in it, but they do have other models more power-user driven with plenty of PCIe gen3 slots.


#5 snahl

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 11:47 AM

@Brian

>> infusing any flash into the rig?

I don't quite understand. Dou you mean Flash-Memory like an SSD?

What exactly do you mean?

 

>> target use case for ... the creative space

Exactly -.You hit the nail on its head!

 

@cppguru

Yes, we do consider the ASUS P9X79E-WS.

Apparently this board does support PCIe Version 3.0!

In contrast to Intels specification of the Chipset X79: http://www.intel.com...ss-chipset.html)

I find this rather confusing.

As of now I have not yet found a block diagram for this MoBo and wonder how ASUS actually implemented PCIe Version 3 into this MoBo.

I'd assume that ASUS (just like Gigabyte, ASRock, EVGA, MSI) are using the Processors Sandy-Bridge-E and/or the Ivy-Bridge (40-lanes PCIe 3.0) via a multiplexer like the PEX8747 Chip.

 

We're aiming at a Chipset that fully supports PCIe Version 3.0. But I am afraid that does not exist yet.

(hope we're missing something)


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#6 snahl

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 12:23 PM

found the Block diagram for ASUS P9X79E-WS: http://www.anandtech...9x79-pro-review

 

According to ASUS the Slots 1,2,3,5,6,7 are all PLX routed. One PLX for slots 1,2,3 another for 5,6,7. Slot 4 is direct to the CPU.


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#7 snahl

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 12:35 PM

@Kevin OBrien

 

You got a point for sure. Supermicro is really great.

Still, I am afraid the Chipset for that broad use case is not here yet.

Guess we have to wait.


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#8 Brian

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 02:27 PM

@Brian

>> infusing any flash into the rig?

I don't quite understand. Dou you mean Flash-Memory like an SSD?

What exactly do you mean?

 

 

Yes, flash storage. 


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#9 snahl

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:18 PM

@SR Admin

 

Using Flash-Memory and/or storage would make this Graphics-WS even more expensive - but certainly worth to think about twice.

In this scenario PCIe Rev.3 would really take off - so YES, we will take this into more serious consideration.

But then funds are not unlimited.

So we have to propose solutions for 2 scenarios. One for 'current optimal' and one for 'low cost'.

What's your take?


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#10 Brian

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 05:00 PM

Well if you ask guys like Fusion-io or OCZ, they'd love to be selling you flash storage on PCIe to essentially use as your high-speed scratch disk. Depending on your workflow though, that may not solve your pain point. If you're issue is transferring to/from your permanent storage warehouse, then local flash isn't going to help. If your issues are waiting around for the PC to compile or do whatever it needs to do, flash can be a big help. Tell us more about your workflow and perhaps we can offer some suggestions as to where flash may help. 


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#11 cppguru

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 09:57 PM

 

 

We're aiming at a Chipset that fully supports PCIe Version 3.0. But I am afraid that does not exist yet.

Is there any specific reason you need PCIe Ver 3.0 X16 lanes? The reason I ask is because you are looking at tops 5% performance difference between PCIe Gen 2.0 x16 lane compared to a PCIe Gen 3.0 x16 lane. Unless you are working with very large datasets (> 4GB per gpGPU), I doubt you will notice much difference between the bandwidth from a practical application standpoint.


#12 Nemoes

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 08:00 AM

I have an MSI board running as the head node of a GPGPU cluster built for doing some serious number cruching - not a pro set up mind you, just for some home research.

 

https://uk.msi.com/p...tml#/?div=Basic

 

A good value board and has been ultra stable for me so far.If you are using NVIDIA gpu's they have a PCIE 3.0 disclaimer that states its isnt supported with the X79 chipset. There's lots of threads on this on the internet. It should just  be a case of getting the correct drivers and config.


#13 Nizzen

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 08:35 AM

Areca pci-e 3.0 cards and LSI pci-e 3.0 hba`s  works for me with:

 

Gigabyte x79 ud7 OC and 3930k

Asus Rampage Black x79 with 3930k and 4960x

Evga Dark with 4960x.

 

Yes I have pci-e 3.0 speeds:

 

Example: Areca 1883i

 

1883i8xm3pAnvil.png

 

1883i8xm3passd.png


Edited by Nizzen, 30 March 2014 - 08:36 AM.

#14 continuum

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 01:07 AM

Nizzen, which SSD's, how many, and what RAID configuration?


#15 Nizzen

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 01:06 PM

Nizzen, which SSD's, how many, and what RAID configuration?

 

It is 8x plextor m3p in r-0. 

 

The result is high because of the 2gb of ddr3 cache onboard the controller.

 

Areca 1883ix - 24 8GB next  B)

 

Areca is the best :)

 

Regards from Areca fanboy 


Edited by Nizzen, 04 April 2014 - 01:07 PM.

#16 Brian

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:51 AM

We have some new Areca cards in for testing, we'll see if it's best ;) Looks a lot like LSI. 


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#17 continuum

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 06:22 PM

I hope Areca gets more timely about firmware and driver updates, not to mention hardware compatibility testing-- that's one area we have found Areca severely lacking in timeliness compared to LSI and Adaptec.

 

Then again the only Areca I currently have in use is an old ARC-1680i, and I think that's going into the dust bin soon because it hasn't gotten a firmware update in 18 months, and the last couple of driver revisions for it never worked-- running a driver a few versions back that does work though, so not a huge deal on the driver. (of course for a card this old, not seeing firmware updates often doesn't surprise me either... time to upgrade!).






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