Intel C202, C204, C206 Xeon E3 Bromolow Motherboards Thread

Patrick

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I thought I would start a thread with all of the Intel C202, C204 and C206 motherboards for the Xeon E3 series (see the Intel Xeon E3-1200 Series Information Thread) and the Core i3-2100 series

ASUS
P8B-X C202
See the STH ASUS P8B-X Review

P8B-M C204

P8B-C/4L quad Intel Lan

P8B-C/SAS/4L C204 With onboard SAS 2.0

P8B-E/4L C204, quad Intel LAN, PIKE

P8B WS C206
See the STH ASUS P8B WS Review

Intel
S1200BTS C202, 82574L and 82578DM LAN

S1200BTL C204

Supermicro
X9SCM and X9SCM-F C204
See the STH Supermicro X9SCM-F Review

X9SCL and X9SCL-F C202

X9SCL+-F C202 with dual Intel 82574L Gigabit LAN controllers

X9SCA and X9SCA-F C204

X9SCi-LN4 and X9SCi-LN4F C204 with quad Gigabit LAN

Tyan
S5512GM2NR C204

S5512GM4NR C204, quad Intel LAN

S5512WGM2NR C204, onboard SAS 2.0, triple Intel LAN
See: Tyan S5512WGM2NR Review on ServeTheHome

S5512G2NR-LE C202

Feel free to post updates.

Updated for newly released boards.
 

ubiquityman

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Very useful summary.

So far, I've not be able to find any C20X motherboards.
Has anyone else found any available (via retail)?
 

Patrick

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Patrick,

Can i hope about any P8B future review :) ?
Probably not in the next two weeks or so. I have quite a bit of higher-end stuff (24-48 threads) on tap that I need to get through. Also have some things like the P8P67 Deluxe, E3-1270 and such that need reviews in the near term. After that, I would guess that I will get to C206.
 

ChiefAJ

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Quick Feature Comparison

I thought I'd share some info I have been gathering in order to do a motherboard comparison (i'll be buying one). It only includes the features I'm interested in, but it might help somebody.

At the moment, I am leaning towards the SM X9SCM-F given I have a few x8 HBAs and expect any future cards will be x8 or x4 also.

Code:
Manufacturer		Tyan	Tyan	Tyan	Tyan	Tyan	Tyan	Tyan	Tyan	S'micro	S'micro	S'micro	S'micro
Model			S5512	S5512	S5512	S5512	S5510	S5510	S5510	S5510	X9SCM-F	X9SCL-F	X9SCA-F	X9SCI-LN4F
			GM2NR	WGM2NR	G2NR-LE	GM4NR	GM3NR	G2NR	G2NR-LE	G2NR-HE
								[BTO]		[BTO]
Chipset			C204	C204	C202	C204	C204	C204	C202	C204	C204	C202	C204	C204
Size			ATX	ATX	ATX	ATX	mATX	mATX	mATX	mATX	mATX	mATX	ATX	ATX
Slots													
PCIE 2.0 x16		-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	1 	1 
PCIE 2.0 x8 (in x16)	1	1	1	1	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
PCIE 2.0 x8		1	1	1	1	2	2	2	2	2 	2 	-	-
PCIE 2.0 x4 (in x16)	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
PCIE 2.0 x4 (in x8)	1	-	-	1	2	2	2	2	2 	1 	2 	-
PCIE 1.0 x4 (in x8)	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
PCIE 2.0 x1		2	2	2	2	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
PCIE 1.0 x1		-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
PCI			1	1	1	1	-	-	-	-	-	-	3 	1 
LAN													
Intel 82574L		2	2	2	4	3	2	2	2	1 	1 	2 	4 
Intel 82579LM		-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	1 	1 	-	-
Intel 82578DM		-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
IO													
SATA II 		4	4	6	4	4	4	6	4	4 	6 	4 	4 
SATA III		2	2	-	2	2	2	-	2	2 	-	2 	2 
SAS LSI2008		-	8	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
Management													
IPMI			Y	Y	N	Y	Y	N	N	N	Y	Y	Y	Y
Mngt LAN		Y	Y	N	Y	Y	N	N	N	Y	Y	Y	Y

Fixed: S5510G2NR-HE [BTO] has C204, not C206.
Haven't looked at the Intel and Asus boards yet, and didn't bother with the "non -F" Supermicro boards - I assume they are the same as the "-F" ones, just missing the IPMI features.

I find it interesting that I haven't come across one similar to the SM X8SIA-F or Intel S3420GPLX that has a PCIE switch in it to expand the number of PCIE lanes.
 
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Patrick

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ChiefAJ, thanks for that. Look at the ASUS P8B WS above. Bad thing is no IPMI :-/
 

ChiefAJ

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Quick Feature Comparison

To follow on, the Intel and Asus boards included.

Code:
Manufacturer		Intel	Intel	Asus	Asus	Asus	Asus	Asus	Asus
Model			S1200	S1200	P8B-X	P8B-M	P8B-E	P8B-C	P8B-C	P8B-WS
			BTL	BTS			/4L	/SAS/4L	/4L
Chipset			C204	C202	C202	C204	C204	C204	C202	C206
Size			ATX	mATX	ATX	mATX	ATX	ATX	ATX	ATX
Slots									
PCIE 2.0 x16		-	-	1	1	1/0 b	1	1	1/0 b
PCIE 2.0 x8 (in x16)	1	1	-	-	0/2 b	-	-	0/2 b
PCIE 2.0 x8		1	1	-	-	-	-	-	-
PCIE 2.0 x4 (in x16)	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	2
PCIE 2.0 x4 (in x8)	1	-	1	2	1	1	1	-
PCIE 1.0 x4 (in x8)	1	1	-	-	-	-	-	-
PCIE 2.0 x1		-	-	2	-	-	-	-	1
PCIE 1.0 x1		1	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
PCI			1	1	2	1	3	5	5	1
LAN									
Intel 82574L		1	1	2	2	4	4	4	2
Intel 82579LM		-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
Intel 82578DM		1	1	-	-	-	-	-	-
IO									
SATA II			4	6	6	4	4	4	6	4
SATA III		2	-	-	2	2	2	-	2
SAS LSI 2008		a	-		-	c	8	-	-
Management									
IPMI			Y	N	N	Opt	Opt	N	N	N
Mngt LAN		Opt	N	N	Y	Y	N	N	N
Notes:
a. Intel S1200STL - optional 4-port SAS RAID module available.
b. Asus P8B-E/4L, P8B-WS - 4 x16 slots as x16/-/x4/x4 or x8/x8/x4/x4.
c. Asus P8B-E/4L - PIKE slot included, optional 4/8-port SAS RAID module available.
 
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Michael Logies

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More about the C206, e3-1225 would be welcome...

I`m a small business owner (dentist), looking for a new terminal server (for 5 people) instead of my PIV 3 GHz, 3 GB RAM. It will be my workstation, too. For me the e3-1225 together with the C206 looks most interesting. I have just ordered one with the Asus P8B WS, 16 GB ECC-RAM. What I hope for is that the processor has an outstanding single core performance like the i5-2500k (in this price bracket). I have a lot of old software running only on single core. I like your benchmarks, but I miss this aspect a bit. I`m not interested in games at all, but HD-Video has become common, and at least the i5-2500k is flying through it. I added 2* Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 HUA723030ALA640 3TB, which are made for RAID and will run in a RAID1.
 

ubiquityman

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Mar 18, 2011
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ASUS P8B WS & E3-1240, Intel Quicksync?

Patrick, great information on this site. You guys keep it very fresh and up-to-date. That's fantastic. I can barely keep up reading. :)

Partly based on the information here, I went with the ASUS P8B WS + E3-1240 + 16GB ECC.
I'm thrilled that Intel is now offering ECC compatible CPUs at little to no premium.

One of my requirements is to run multiple monitors. A minimum 2, possibly 4 in the near future. I didn't see that the E3-12x5 CPUs with built in video would support 2 monitors. Does anyone how many monitors the on-chip GPU can run?

Also, I had problems previously installing two video different drivers in Windows 7 (ie. running ATI+nVidia simultaneously.) There was Windows security issue that prevented this. Has that changed? If one installs a discrete video card, is the on-chip video essentially disabled? With a discrete video card, can the on-chip video in the CPU serve any functional purpose?
 

ubiquityman

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I`m a small business owner (dentist), looking for a new terminal server (for 5 people) instead of my PIV 3 GHz, 3 GB RAM. It will be my workstation, too. For me the e3-1225 together with the C206 looks most interesting. I have just ordered one with the Asus P8B WS, 16 GB ECC-RAM."
Michael,

Looks like we ordered very similar systems.

What I hope for is that the processor has an outstanding single core performance like the i5-2500k (in this price bracket). I have a lot of old software running only on single core. I like your benchmarks, but I miss this aspect a bit. I`m not interested in games at all, but HD-Video has become common, and at least the i5-2500k is flying through it.
If you want optimal single core performance, disable hyperthreading.
If you are doing video conversion though, you probably want hyperthreading enabled. It depends on what is more important to you.

I added 2* Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 HUA723030ALA640 3TB, which are made for RAID and will run in a RAID1.
Since you need to keep medical records, etc, you are probably sensitive to security concerns.
In terms of security and convenience, I've switched to an external Synology NAS with RAID 5 and I use the built in encryption for storing data and sensitive files. The backups of the encrypted files are also encrypted on the removable device so the security workflow is reasonable.
A reason to use RAID 5 over RAID 1 is for security. If a HD ever fails and is returned to the manufacturer, there is no way for an unscrupulous tech person to pull coherent data off a failed RAID 5 drive. Other methods of encryption such as EFS can be very unsecure and easily broken in minutes.
 

Patrick

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I`m a small business owner (dentist), looking for a new terminal server (for 5 people) instead of my PIV 3 GHz, 3 GB RAM. It will be my workstation, too. For me the e3-1225 together with the C206 looks most interesting. I have just ordered one with the Asus P8B WS, 16 GB ECC-RAM. What I hope for is that the processor has an outstanding single core performance like the i5-2500k (in this price bracket). I have a lot of old software running only on single core. I like your benchmarks, but I miss this aspect a bit. I`m not interested in games at all, but HD-Video has become common, and at least the i5-2500k is flying through it. I added 2* Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 HUA723030ALA640 3TB, which are made for RAID and will run in a RAID1.
Thanks for the feedback Michael. Single threaded performance these days is really dominated by clock speed. If you look at Intel CPUs since Bloomfield the clock-for-clock single core performance has not changed that much. On the other hand, clock speeds are up, more cores are available, power consumption is way down and AES encryption is essentially "free."
 

XZed

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Feb 3, 2011
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More info about Asus P8B WS here. Did u see other C206 MBs out there?
Thank you. Any other C206 mobo for the moment ?

Probably not in the next two weeks or so. I have quite a bit of higher-end stuff (24-48 threads) on tap that I need to get through. Also have some things like the P8P67 Deluxe, E3-1270 and such that need reviews in the near term. After that, I would guess that I will get to C206.
No problem :). You already do an amazing review work and was just asking to know if it was something you'll consider next weeks :). Thank you

To follow on, the Intel and Asus boards included.
ChiefAJ : Thank you very much :) !!!! Indeed, i'm currently thinking about a next configuration and, as usual, i needed to make a comparison matrix : i'm so relieved you already did it :) :) :) !!!

I admit being enough disappointed about C2xx pci-e lanes quantity :/ ...
 
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XZed

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I find it interesting that I haven't come across one similar to the SM X8SIA-F or Intel S3420GPLX that has a PCIE switch in it to expand the number of PCIE lanes.
After reading P8P67 WS review, i began to fear PCI-e switches that can be problematic (VMDirectPath). By the way, while searching & filtering w/ pci-e slots quantity : how do i distinguish deal breaker mobos (all native pci-e slots) from the ones using pci-e switches ?

Thank you
 

Michael Logies

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Apr 8, 2011
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Re: More about the C206, e3-1225 would be welcome...

@ubiquityman: Thanks for the hint, that hyperthreading can be switched off in the E3-12xx. I have a Linux-NAS (for pictures of patients) and want to get rid of it - too much hassle through the different ways of granting access rights in NTFS vs. the Linux-file-system. My PostgreSQL-Server with medical data (no pictures) is running in a VM (VMware Player). And all files of the VM are sitting in a Truecrypt-container. For continuous backup, the open database, using shadow copy of Win XP, is copied to another Truecrypt-container on the network every 15 min (with SyncbackPro from within the VM). For complete backups I simply copy the Truecrypt-container (40 GB) to other machines and external harddisks. The impact of this encryption layer on performance has been negligible. I think I will use the same solution for pictures on the new machine.

@Patrick: Turbo boost really seems to help single core tasks, have a look here: http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.p...sk=view&id=664&Itemid=63&limit=1&limitstart=8
My database application (Delphi, C++) only uses one core, so I hope turbo boost will help in the short periods of peak demand.
 

XZed

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Feb 3, 2011
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About lanes and to understand pci-e functionment :

Let's say i have a PCI-e Gen2 8x slot but electrically cabled 4x.

It can handle 2Gbs (4 x 500Mbs), right ?

Now let's say i plug in it a PCI-e Gen1 8x card.

Card can also handle 2Gbs (8 x 250Mbs).

But as i don't how pci-e communications are handled (lanes quantity or overall bandwidth slot), i prefer ask it...

Indeed, how pci-e communication will occur :

- PCI-e generations aren't considered but only max bandwidth : 8 physical contact lanes between card and slot. Lane bandwidth reduced to Gen1 (because of card lower gen) : 8 x 250Mbs = 2Gbs, then is considered max bw allowed by electrical slot (4 * 500Mbs = 2Gbs).?

or

- slot will only consider 4 lanes ("electrically cabled 4x"), even if all 8x lanes are in physical contact, and, finally, will reduce communication to the lower pci-e card generation (gen1), so 4x250Mbs = 1 Gbs.

I think option 2 is right but option one would be so great lol :) ...


Thank you
 
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PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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Your "option 2" is correct.

The number of lanes that will be used is the smaller of the number of lanes supported by the socket or the number of lanes supported by the card. The physical size of the socket does not matter - only the number of lanes actually wired in it.

The transfer rate per lane will be the smaller of the transfer rate supported by the socket or the transfer rate supported by the card.