What happened with LGA 2011-3 Motherboards for Haswell-E with DDR3?

zir_blazer

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As the title says, at some point, there were some LGA 2011-3 Motherboards for Haswell-E planned that had DDR3 Slots in them. Yet that news article is already 3 years and half old, and I think that I never hear about them again. Where the hell are those Motherboards? One has to guess that after 3 years, they should be already becoming available in the used market...

Considering the obscene prices of DDR4 Memory Modules and that DDR3 RDIMMs can usually be got for cheap, a Haswell-E/Broadwell-E platform using DDR3 would be an excellent alternative in the second hand market. I think that only a few specific Processor models had official DDR3 support, so Motherboard and Processor should be matched.
I also don't recall if Broadwell-E had a hybrid DDR3/DDR4 Memory Controller or not, nor Skylake-E status. Heck, Haswell-E was not supposed to support DDR3 on the first place...
 

i386

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Where the hell are those Motherboards?
I think they were never produced in mass in first place (if they were ever produced!): You would need other sockets (240 vs 288 pins) and two "different" manufacturing & qa processes that would drive up the costs.

Considering the obscene prices of DDR4 Memory Modules and that DDR3 RDIMMs can usually be got for cheap
From what view? From a homeusers or a (large) enterprise?

I also don't recall if Broadwell-E had a hybrid DDR3/DDR4 Memory Controller or not, nor Skylake-E status. Heck, Haswell-E was not supposed to support DDR3 on the first place...
According to the wikipedia article about the broadwell microarchitecture it supports ddr3 & ddr4.
 
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Pri

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I remember reading the original article and I asked Asrock for clarification, they told me the DDR3 thing was a typo, they merely copy and pasted the english specifications from the LGA 2011 (Sandy/Ivy) boards and updated the information but they forgot to update the DDR3 to DDR4. They later fixed the error on their site.
 

alex_stief

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Considering the obscene prices of DDR4 Memory Modules and that DDR3 RDIMMs can usually be got for cheap, a Haswell-E/Broadwell-E platform using DDR3 would be an excellent alternative in the second hand market. I think that only a few specific Processor models had official DDR3 support, so Motherboard and Processor should be matched.
If that is what you are up to, I would recommend Ivy-Bridge Xeons. They are not noticeably slower than Haswell and can take cheap DDR3 reg ECC when combined with ASRock X79 motherboards. And the CPUs are cheaper as well, I once got lucky with a Xeon E5-1650v2 for 90€. The only thing that gets more expensive are X79 motherboards due to low supply. And they only take 8x8GB maximum, 16GB DIMMs are not compatible unfortunately.
 

Pri

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If that is what you are up to, I would recommend Ivy-Bridge Xeons. They are not noticeably slower than Haswell and can take cheap DDR3 reg ECC when combined with ASRock X79 motherboards. And the CPUs are cheaper as well. The only thing that gets more expensive are X79 motherboards due to low supply.
This is what I did. I started off in 2014 with a 6 core sandy bridge XEON in a dual-socket board (only one socket populated). Then late last year I upgraded it to dual Ivy Bridge 8 Core XEON's (I needed clock speed more than core counts) thus maximising my server.

I spent $300 x 2 on those CPU's so $600 total. When the processors were brand new they cost $2,000 each. Heck of a saving and they are fast as hell. E5-2667v2's which are 8 cores / 25MB L3 Cache / 3.6-4.0GHz.

They have really great turbo boost scaling aswell. I did consider buying Skylake or EPYC or Threadripper for that matter (as they all have ECC support) but the DDR4 pricing for 64GB of RAM which I already own as DDR3 ECC was like another $1000. Just ridiculous really.

The older stuff is great value especially with the chips flooding ebay.
 

Pri

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alex_stief

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I did not need extended storage and networking capabilities for the intended use case, so my build is pretty basic in this regard ;)
 

Pri

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I did not need extended storage and networking capabilities for the intended use case, so my build is pretty basic in this regard ;)
You got a lot more ram than I have! - I'm just rocking 8 x 8GB. But I bought that RAM in 2014 and the prices for DDR4 then were high, I paid about $600 just for 64GB. I think if I was buying DDR3 ECC 1600MHz now (which my current 8GB ones are) I'd prob get 128GB or more for the same price.
 

Patrick

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I think by the time you are buying a new system, the cost (after launch) of DDR4 v. DDR3 was not that different so nobody did this. I believe the Xeon D-1500 can also support DDR3 even though it was not implemented. That may be a wild misrecollection but generally, when there was DDR3/DDR4 support, everyone just did DDR4.
 

zir_blazer

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According to the wikipedia article about the broadwell microarchitecture it supports ddr3 & ddr4.
Consumer Broadwell works with DDR3. Heck, even Skylake and Kaby Lake can work with DDR3, there are a few LGA 1151 Motherboards with DDR3 Slots. However, no one knows if Broadwell-E does simply because we didn't even hear rumours about a DDR3 platform for it (Maybe a BIOS upgrade for the DDR3 Haswell-E Motherboards). There is no reason to believe that the Integrated Memory Controller of Broadwell and Broadwell-E supports the same features.


I remember reading the original article and I asked Asrock for clarification, they told me the DDR3 thing was a typo, they merely copy and pasted the english specifications from the LGA 2011 (Sandy/Ivy) boards and updated the information but they forgot to update the DDR3 to DDR4. They later fixed the error on their site.
Here is the AsRock EPC612D8T Motherboard Manual. Check this:

CAUTION: Please note that C612 platform is only compatible with the LGA 2011-3 socket, which is incompatible with the LGA 2011 socket. his motherboard only supports the DDR3 compatible CPU (E5-2669 v3, E5-2649 v3, E5- 2629 v3). You cannot power on the system if you use a DDR4 compatible CPU.
Must be the World's Greatest Typo...

Funnilly enough, here is a pic from CPU-World with a Xeon E5-2629v3 running with DDR4. Supposedly, they were DDR3-only.


If that is what you are up to, I would recommend Ivy-Bridge Xeons. They are not noticeably slower than Haswell and can take cheap DDR3 reg ECC when combined with ASRock X79 motherboards. And the CPUs are cheaper as well, I once got lucky with a Xeon E5-1650v2 for 90€. The only thing that gets more expensive are X79 motherboards due to low supply. And they only take 8x8GB maximum, 16GB DIMMs are not compatible unfortunately.
I don't even have the spare money to actually purchase a Ivy Bridge-E, let alone a newer and terribly rare Haswell-E. But I drool at the possibility...
X79 is too stupidly old for my tastes. That thing didn't even had a Chipset based xHCI USB Controller. Moreover, Haswell introduced a feature that mitigated some of the Spectre/Meltdown overhead, Ivy Bridge would have a higher penalty, so the performance difference could be a bit bigger than some months ago.
 

zir_blazer

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I think by the time you are buying a new system, the cost (after launch) of DDR4 v. DDR3 was not that different so nobody did this. I believe the Xeon D-1500 can also support DDR3 even though it was not implemented. That may be a wild misrecollection but generally, when there was DDR3/DDR4 support, everyone just did DDR4.
What are the chances that someone appears this late with a new DDR3 Motherboard? I don't see it as an impossible, wasn't there a no name chinese manufacturer selling rather generic X79 Motherboards in eBay? If anything, the problem would be if you require special Processors and not a standard one.
I know that such a product would only fill a temporary niche while used DDR3 RDIMM is still cheap and DDR4 expensive as hell, but I have seen worse niches being filled. I mean, anyone remember those AsRock Motherboards for Socket 939 with the optional AM2 upgrade Daughterboard?
 

alex_stief

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Well that won't happen before there is a shortage on X99 motherboards just as there is currently on X79 motherboards. So at least 1-2 more years I guess. And fingers crossed DDR4 will be cheaper then, which would make the niche for these boards pretty small. Not to mention that there will be other cheap options then. X79 was a great way to get CPUs with more than 4 cores and decent performance on the cheap. First gen Ryzen CPUs will fill this gap in the future.