Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

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Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:23 pm

If I were to buy an AM2+ chipset right now, I really would not know what to choose. Last I read, the SB700 did not correctly support NCQ and/or AHCI. Does anyone know if these issues have been resolved?

The alternative is nForce, but it seems that their revisions just get increasingly buggy with decreasing performance and reduced features. I am not claiming that as fact, just presenting my impression, and if others have different impressions (and especially links to good reviews, positive or negative) I'd be happy to hear them.

What board does a person buy if they want quality, AM2+ support, and working features? Are there any, or is it best to stick with an AM2 nForce 570?
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:28 pm

If nobody in the TR forums can name a Socket AM2+ motherboard that works correctly, it makes me feel sad for AMD's future.
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:38 pm

s939 here. :wink:
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:55 pm

Saber Cherry wrote:If I were to buy an AM2+ chipset right now, I really would not know what to choose. Last I read, the SB700 did not correctly support NCQ and/or AHCI.



I am running the Gigabyte 780G chipset using AHCI. It installed under XP just fine (sorry, not Vista). I have no idea if NCQ is working correctly. I am afraid I cannot be of much help, but is there anything I can check for you or tinker around with to confirm/deny your concerns?
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:46 pm

For most desktop usage patterns NCQ is not going to be that useful.
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:57 pm

Flying Fox wrote:For most desktop usage patterns NCQ is not going to be that useful.


Yeah, I just wish I could turn it off. There is not option in the device manager with my drivers and I ain't going to go through the tedious process of reinstalling Windows without AHCI.
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:01 am

Flying Fox wrote:For most desktop usage patterns NCQ is not going to be that useful.

It's not necessarily going to hurt anything though. I just wouldn't work too hard on getting it functional or pay extra for it.
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:04 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:For most desktop usage patterns NCQ is not going to be that useful.

It's not necessarily going to hurt anything though. I just wouldn't work too hard on getting it functional or pay extra for it.

Bottom line: don't sweat about it. You are not going to unplug your (likely) only drive while it is running. NCQ is a wash. So does it make a difference if AHCI works or not?
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:04 am

Spyder22446688 wrote:I am running the Gigabyte 780G chipset using AHCI. It installed under XP just fine (sorry, not Vista). I have no idea if NCQ is working correctly. I am afraid I cannot be of much help, but is there anything I can check for you or tinker around with to confirm/deny your concerns?


I suppose you could try to copy two large (~1GB+) directories at the same time (two file copy windows), and see if it takes far longer than it would take to do them one after another. With NCQ working it should take equal or possibly less time to do them in parallel than in series. Without NCQ, it should take equal or more time in parallel. That makes it hard to test for certain, but on the plus side, it should only take a minute (and I really appreciate your offer). As for XP, that's fine - maybe the board works perfectly in XP but not in Vista. Since I will never buy Vista nor tell anyone else to, I don't really care :)

What I really want to know is whether, when I am doing disk I/O (say, zipping a huge folder), and I start doing additional disk I/O (launching an application), all of a sudden both tasks will take forever to complete, like on my current computer. Because I REALLY hate that. My main HDD is ATA-66; pre-NCQ.

Flying Fox wrote:Bottom line: don't sweat about it. You are not going to unplug your (likely) only drive while it is running. NCQ is a wash. So does it make a difference if AHCI works or not?


If AHCI is required for NCQ, and some board requires you to hop through weird, tedious hoops when to set it up properly, I would avoid it and certainly not recommend it to someone who is new at building computers. And my computer has 5 drives - 3 HDDs, 2 optical - though it is true, I never would unplug them while on. However, eSATA is a totally different matter (though I don't know it it requires AHCI). As for NCQ being a wash: almost every performance problem I have experienced on a modern computer, aside from 3D game framerates, has been largely due to naive/simple/stupid/broken HDD control algorithms that make disk I/O throughput go at under 1% of its peak. My usage patterns cause my HDDs to routinely become massively fragmented, so badly that the crippled XP defragmenter cannot help (but fortunately I found quality freeware that works). NCQ does NOT help when all you do is single sequential transfers... but that's not what I do.

Besides... I have a big problem with buying things that claim to do something, and don't. And I can't morally condone advising someone to buy such a thing without a proviso, which becomes confusing - "Wait, you're telling me I should buy X, even though it is broken? I don't understand."
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:33 am

Saber Cherry wrote:I suppose you could try to copy two large (~1GB+) directories at the same time (two file copy windows), and see if it takes far longer than it would take to do them one after another. With NCQ working it should take equal or possibly less time to do them in parallel than in series. Without NCQ, it should take equal or more time in parallel. That makes it hard to test for certain, but on the plus side, it should only take a minute (and I really appreciate your offer). As for XP, that's fine - maybe the board works perfectly in XP but not in Vista. Since I will never buy Vista nor tell anyone else to, I don't really care :)

What I really want to know is whether, when I am doing disk I/O (say, zipping a huge folder), and I start doing additional disk I/O (launching an application), all of a sudden both tasks will take forever to complete, like on my current computer. Because I REALLY hate that. My main HDD is ATA-66; pre-NCQ.
NCQ is not going to have much impact on either of those tests. There just won't be enough outstanding I/Os for re-ordering to make a difference. It's only on server loads that it matters (and no, "doing a bunch of things at the same time" on a desktop does not approximate a server load in this regard -- simultaneously zipping to a file and launching an app will result in just a handful of concurrent I/Os). Stepping up to any modern drive from an ATA-66-era HD is going to be such a huge improvement that NCQ will be lost in the noise.

You will need AHCI if you want eSATA (well, if you want to be able to hot-plug/unplug it -- though note not all hardware supports that anyway).
As for NCQ being a wash: almost every performance problem I have experienced on a modern computer, aside from 3D game framerates, has been largely due to naive/simple/stupid/broken HDD control algorithms that make disk I/O throughput go at under 1% of its peak. My usage patterns cause my HDDs to routinely become massively fragmented, so badly that the crippled XP defragmenter cannot help (but fortunately I found quality freeware that works).
Then you misunderstand NCQ. Single-user operations, even when you're multitasking, involve relatively few outstanding I/Os -- and NCQ works by reordering I/Os. Not many I/Os...not much NCQ can do. Even if you have a heavily fragmented disk, and you've got a program doing something disk-intensive, NCQ rarely helps. If the system is trying to read or write a file on the disk and a sector goes by that happens to be from somewhere later in the file, the drive won't pick it up because it doesn't know it is needed yet. NCQ doesn't help with that, because you're still dealing with just a single I/O. On the other hand, if you're running a web server and there are 30 active threads, and each of them happens to be asking for a file, NCQ will re-order those 30 outstanding I/Os so it picks up clusters to service one request "in passing" while it is moving the head to service others. NCQ works when you have many outstanding I/O requests, not when you have just a handful (even if those happen to be requesting very large or heavily-fragmented files). NCQ can even hurt in the single-user case where there are few I/Os (though that's less of an issue than it was with older drives in the early days of the tech, you can still see it in the linked storage review tests); on the other hand, if you regularly have more than 30 outstanding I/Os you should be looking at SCSI drives that do it even better.

If your usage pattern leaves your HD heavily fragmented, then (a) you need a larger disk (more free space slows down the fragmentation process, and makes defragmentation easier) and (b) you need to invest in some good defragmentation software -- and that tends not to be free. You might also want to consider a 10+K drive, since fragmentation increases seeks and seek performance is related to spindle speed (and the higher RPM drives have faster heads too, over and above the lowered rotational latency).
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:59 am

This is SR's link about access patterns. Even you think you are "intensive", your pattern is still more localized. If you are doing the stuff that you have described at the same time, you really should think about how to use your 3 HDDs better. Copy/Zipping from one drive to another, installing that other app on the other drive. Remember a single HDD only has a single set of arms and you can only do so much with it. Multiple physical spindles ensure independent operations, but of course if one of your drives is super slow then it is out the window.
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:24 am

Got the 790FX chipsets here. Works great for my gaming. Runs about 50C, bu thats with no fan, passive.
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:34 pm

Stupider / older programs that don't do asynchronous I/O can bring a machine to its knees, too, if it's doing something disk intensive with a slow drive.

And I don't suppose that ATA-66 drive is FAT formatted, is it? NTFS doesn't eliminate fragmentation problems but it can greatly reduce them (and it makes defragmentation quicker/easier). A largish drive formatted as FAT32 with a bad choice of allocation unit size can make for a lot of extra I/O overhead also (though again that's not the kind of thing NCQ much helps).
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:12 pm

Hey everyone.

Since were on the subject of SB700. I've caught some brief talk some where on the net there is going to be some revisions of the SB 700 series. I cant find the orginal source to save my life and only kept finding the blasted wikipedia.com sources.

I honestly loved the review on gigabyte's 780G version of the board, but my feelings about it are still "meh" since it performs so simliar to the SB 600. (ie SATA performance) :-?

My question is, does any know anything about the next revisions correcting this? Release dates?
Reasons im asking is because im looking to buy a mobo around 100 that will be phenom ready and pci e 2.0 "future proof" and i dont want to throw down 100 bucks just to settle down on something I know that could be better. I have a BE-2300 thats begging to be overclocked too.


Heres the blasted wiki in case some of you were wondering. Sorry i couldnt find the source that made me feel like writing this post in the first place.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_700_chipset_series


PS.

the SB that caught me eyes was the SB710. said something about I/O improvements. Ya think that will improve the Sata performance? Still quite noobish, sorry if its a dumb question. :wink:
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:41 am

I read somewhere, prolly here, that the new chipset will also have better overclocking on the Phenoms.
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2008 7:42 pm

http://xtreview.com/addcomment-id-5104- ... delay.html

an updated SB750 will probably be finished in june, and ready soon after.
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Re: Is the SB700 still broken - or, which AM2+ chipset is best?

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2008 4:38 pm

GeForce6200 wrote:I read somewhere, prolly here, that the new chipset will also have better overclocking on the Phenoms.


I read that too, but I fail to see how a Southbridge would make any difference.

VILLAIN_xx wrote:http://xtreview.com/addcomment-id-5104-view-amd-sb750-another-delay.html

an updated SB750 will probably be finished in june, and ready soon after.


I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they get it right this time! It's not that chipsets are easy, but there's little point in releasing a major new revision of pretty much anything, if it doesn't address the major flaw in the old revision.
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