Dual E5 2670 workstation motherboard recommendation

tanders12

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Apr 27, 2016
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I'll be using the system for a wide range of tasks, including programming, data processing, VR/AR development, gaming, CAD, and video transcoding.

My initial plan was to go with a S2600CP from Natex. I had some concerns about the lack of PCIE 16x, but from doing a little research it sounds like there's not likely to be a large performance hit with modern GPU's on PCIE 3.0.

The S2600CP is 175USD. Another option would be something like the ASROCK C602, which is more like 300USD (EDIT: was looking at a single CPU model. Dual's are much more expensive). Feature-wise I think the S2600CP would be fine, but youtubers (who tend to be doing workstation builds as opposed to servers) mostly seem to be using the ASROCK boards.

Any input on these boards or other suggestions?

Thanks
 
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RyC

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Oct 17, 2013
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If you're looking to do intensive GPU tasks, you may want to stay away from the Intel board. IIRC, due to Intel's shenanigans, PCIe 3.0 devices operate at 2.0 speed (unless on a pretty old BIOS/whitelist that almost nothing is on)
 

tanders12

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Not necessarily, but as cheap as possible with the features I need. Don't have crazy SATA requirements or 3+ SLI etc. Basically just want to get those 2670's up and running with a decent GPU while spending minimum monies.
 

tanders12

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Probably not. I guess I've just gotten spoiled by instant resume on my laptop. Haven't had a desktop system in years. Cold boot with an SSD is pretty fast I guess. What are typical hibernate resume times?
 

tanders12

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@gigatexal what sorts of issues have you have with the S2600CP? Even running at PCIE 2.0 8x there doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence that GPU performance is hit very much.
 

rubylaser

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Jan 4, 2013
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eh, stay away from the intel mobo and spring for the ones in teh 300 usd range. the intel motherboards are finnicky at least my SC2600CO is.
Mine has been a rock. I have it running as a server with (3) H310s and a Mellanox X-2. I also have a Supermicro X9SRL-F 2011 build setup as a workstation. I have experienced no difference between the two in terms of reliability or "finnickness"on my SC2600CP :) Also, my Supermicro board does not sleep in an S3 state.

The only problem with either is if you want to use them as workstations, there is no onboard sound so you either need a video card with audio, add a PCIe sound card, or a USB sound card.
 

gigatexal

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Well I have the CO version which probably just needs a bios update. Here are some shortcomings in the bios, the pcie express thing just annoys me but probably makes no noticeable difference with my GPU. I also have very long boot times with this particular board.
 

tanders12

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From what I've read Sandy Bridge doesn't support PCIE 3.0 anyway, so I wouldn't expect it to work. Does the S2600CP have a separate PCIE controller?

EDIT: Interesting, according to the specs[0] the S2600CP supports PCIE 3.0 (with the huge caveat that it don't work), but I don't see an extra controller in the layout (looking at page 26). Anyone know how they managed that?

[0] http://www.intel.com/content/dam/su...cp/sb/g26942005_s2600cp_p4000cp_tps_rev19.pdf
 
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s2600gl

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Apr 1, 2016
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People stuck with S2600XX MB:s with a newer BIOS might still be in luck if the V2 version of the E5:s drop in price as dramatically as the V1:s.

The root cause of the problem was apparently some PCIE 3.0 cards generating errors in the System Event Log despite meeting
specifications and being PCI SIG compliant. Intel's BIOS "fix" corrected the problem for the V2 version but at the same time forced the
V1 version to run @ 2.0 if the card is not found on a very limited whitelist.

Kudos to @J Hart for pointing out this caveat.

And sorry for hijacking this thread.
 

tanders12

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@s2600gl I don't know that it will matter much for me. From what I've read, a GTX 980 running at effective PCIE 2.0 8x might be pushing the memory limits, but there shouldn't be a significant drop in performance. So correct me if I'm wrong but the only use case where you could actually be limited would be with something like a PCIE SSD.
 

tanders12

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Z9PA-D8 sold out at Newegg, and it's +22USD after tax at Amazon :/ Leaning towards S2600CP right now.