are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

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are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:48 am

I was a kid and without funds as this trend came and passed I was in college and poor as a homeless person when skull trail came and went. I'm now a moderately successful industrial designer with a curiosity towards such things and wondered what ever happened to extreme consumer dual socket solutions. As I'm not familiar with xeon CPU's overclocking they present to much of a trade off at the insane but not unobtainable. The Sr-2 was pretty late to the table and it seems that Intel has kinda but a kabosh on that boards relevancy.

Just wondering if I could strike up an interesting discussion on these excessive designs and what is happening or not in the industry/market at the moment.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:10 am

The dual-socket consumer board died when the first dual-core processors appeared.

There is, of course, nothing stopping you from using a 2P server board for a personal computer or workstation, but you're right, they are... excessive.
Last edited by FuturePastNow on Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:12 am

Ya you're not going to find a modern-day BP6, but a lot of that is because the 440BX chipset supported SMP. Today's "consumer" chipsets don't.

They're awesome, though. :drool:
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:27 am

I will say I'm not well versed in this subject matter but it has always interested me. There is no real all encompassing articles or threads I've seen addressing what the laymen me sees when exploring this subject.

For example the Intel Xeon W3670 is supposed to be the 970 equivalent or something like that... At any rate its a dramatically cheaper processor but no benchmarks exist showing how relevant it might be. It would appear to be a decent processor to drop two of in a sr-2 and OC. The SR-2 isn't about replicating server anything but rather harnessing it and exceeding what is possible on the desktop through traditional means. I wonder what kinda OC's you could get out of a 3670 on a SR-2 and what performance you would net with that. More importantly how does the 3670 compare in a benchmark to a 5650? So much of what makes the server processors what they are and priced how they are makes no sense to me. Are they not fundamentally under-clocked desktop parts that are dual socket compatible?

have sandybridge revisions made it to server processors yet?
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:27 am

Also, those SMP boards tended to have high throughput PCI / PCIe slots. The results were drool-worthy. The newer consumer boards have slow PCI slots and I'm not (yet) willing to lay out a ton of cash to buy PCIe storage controllers and then have to reformat and reconfigure raids because the old controller configured disks are not compatible. One nice thing about the old PCI controllers was you could move them or their disks from system to system and it was all good. The upward migration path sort of fell off a cliff. My current best system in sig is incompatible with my storage arrays. :roll:
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:37 am

Yeah, low end "consumer" dual socket setups have gone the way of the dodo, but there are reasonable (in comparison to very high-end single socket boards) dual LGA1366 atx Boards. Now the dual socket capable cpu's aren't particularly reasonable, and you have to go pretty high end to get a setup better than an overclocked single socket sandy bridge, but if you are interested in spending $5K+ on a workstation capable of pushing 24 threads and have real applications for such a beast, it's doable.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:00 pm

Mr Bill wrote:Also, those SMP boards tended to have high throughput PCI / PCIe slots. The results were drool-worthy. The newer consumer boards have slow PCI slots and I'm not (yet) willing to lay out a ton of cash to buy PCIe storage controllers and then have to reformat and reconfigure raids because the old controller configured disks are not compatible. One nice thing about the old PCI controllers was you could move them or their disks from system to system and it was all good. The upward migration path sort of fell off a cliff. My current best system in sig is incompatible with my storage arrays. :roll:



sorry about the array issues. Storage problems were huge for me for over a year a while back due to some EVGA magic on my 680i and 780i mobos so I relate.

xeon x vs w chips, it is proposed that w chips don't support dual socket motherboards but that seems to not be a for sure thing.

Apparently the E5645 is the cheapest dual socket hex core processor. http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=12 ... print=true

At any rate the construction of a system where in the 2 processors and mobo account for 1,700 dollars would be interesting but ultimately I don't spend enough time on my home machine to justify it. Perhaps when I start working from home I would do this build. I do however enjoy doing this research and constructing the rig mentally, I'm a huge window shopper.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:20 pm

I wonder how sandybridge-e xeons will work with the sr-2. knowing that the consumer equivalents can only be OC'd by the upper multiplier I wonder if they will not OC at all on that mobo?

Edit:

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/sandy- ... ommentaire
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:59 pm

EVGA hasn't given up:

http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=13 ... print=true

wonder how it will OC the rather rigid designs of those CPUs
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:04 pm

FuturePastNow wrote:The dual-socket consumer board died when the first dual-core processors appeared.

There is, of course, nothing stopping you from using a 2P server board for a personal computer or workstation, but you're right, they are... excessive.
This. Before, a cheap pair of processors (Celeron 550's in PPGA packaging) on a relatively cheap board (Abit BP6 on 440BX) was fun.

However, the last few attempts at consumer dual-socket boards have been expensive and needed expensive processors, putting them beyond the reach (and beyond reasonable!) for all but the highest-end enthusiasts, and with the ability to get dual-cores on a single socket, or now quad or even six cores (although six cores are only at highest-end pricing!)... it just doesn't make sense.

A few still buy 'em or build 'em, but yeah, the market was almost invisible to start with, now it's microscopic...
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:36 pm

In a nutshell... there's very little incentive for mobo makers to produce dual-socket consumer boards because 99.9% of consumers (and even most consumers of the "enthusiast" variety) have no need for 8+ cores.

There's nothing (other than cost) stopping you from building a desktop system around a server board if you really need/want a 16-core workstation for some reason.

continuum wrote:However, the last few attempts at consumer dual-socket boards have been expensive and needed expensive processors, putting them beyond the reach (and beyond reasonable!) for all but the highest-end enthusiasts, and with the ability to get dual-cores on a single socket, or now quad or even six cores (although six cores are only at highest-end pricing!)... it just doesn't make sense.

Phenom II X6 chips aren't even particularly expensive (though they do seem to be edging northwards slightly lately). The 8-core AMD FX-8xxx series is nominally aimed at the consumer market as well.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:22 pm

I keep forgetting about AMD, I was thinking Intel's pricing. Thanks for the catch!
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:41 pm

Server motherboards are in the consumer price range...

http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory ... gesize=100

Choose your preferred socket type and how many. If you looked at AMDs recent pricing for their chips, you can get a 12 core chip for $500ish. It was on the front page, but I can't find it now.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:45 am

Tyan used to make some dual boards but unless you're willing to spend a few grand at least, it won't make sense. For most consumer apps and games, the multicore approach is more economical than two CPU, and gives almost the same performance unless you're running heavy database or math loads, which are not typical consumer apps.

Better to spend the money on 2-4 gpus, a fast sandy bridge extreme, and an ssd raid, with lots of fast ram than a specialized board that can run two CPUs that are likely not optimized for games.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:13 am

As other people have pointed out, there isn't a need for a dual socket consumer board. A single socket with a multi-core chip will be bring more then enough performance to the table without the headaches of mixing consumer and server stuff and with a better price/performance ratio.

I speak from experience. I built my current desktop around a dual-socket Tyan ATX board, and for the money I spent, I could have built a three or four regular desktops. Plus, finding a power supply that would wold work with the dual-socket board was an ordeal. I had a high end Enermax that would cut out because it thought the second CPU was a short. All in all, this was the most maddening build I've ever done.

Don't get me wrong, I really like my desktop. It's over the top, excessive, and totally awesome. :D I've always wanted a dual-socket desktop, so I built one. I probably won't build another desktop like this, but I'll know I owned one once. :)
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:05 am

The components aren't nearly as expensive as that. A few years ago, I built a dual-socket system for $200-300 (with 2 dual core opterons). I'm not saying that they're any better than single-socket ones, but they aren't as expensive as people think.

As for pricing today:
ASUS dual-socket C32 ATX board: $300
Opteron 4122 (quad-core): $100

IMO, that's pretty cheap, but there is better performance-per-$ in single-socket stuff.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:47 am

You're right the parts are not that expensive. My desktop is about a $2000 system, which includes everything, and then all the extra parts I bought to troubleshoot that silly power supply issue ballooned everything up to $3000. I usually shoot for $600-1000 for a build, so it was really expensive.

Now that I think about it, I do have an extra Tyan S2927A2NRF, a single Opteron 2218, and 1GB stick of ECC RAM from that fiasco that I should get rid of.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:37 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:As other people have pointed out, there isn't a need for a dual socket consumer board. A single socket with a multi-core chip will be bring more then enough performance to the table without the headaches of mixing consumer and server stuff and with a better price/performance ratio.

I speak from experience. I built my current desktop around a dual-socket Tyan ATX board, and for the money I spent, I could have built a three or four regular desktops. Plus, finding a power supply that would wold work with the dual-socket board was an ordeal. I had a high end Enermax that would cut out because it thought the second CPU was a short. All in all, this was the most maddening build I've ever done.

Don't get me wrong, I really like my desktop. It's over the top, excessive, and totally awesome. :D I've always wanted a dual-socket desktop, so I built one. I probably won't build another desktop like this, but I'll know I owned one once. :)
:lol: I'm with you there. For my dual MP setup I had to link together two ATX power supplies, one for the motherboard and the other for the storage. This setup draws 600W when running. The one in my sig is pulling 240W.

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So with those being the total load I see a draw of 255 Watts at idle on the 510ATX TurboCool PSU
and that jumps to say 275W when viewing a movie.

So the second PSU is an Antec Truepower 480 I am using it to run...
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this draws 140 watts while computer is at idle

So thats 400W and if you add in the monitors you hit 600W easy. :D

eliplan312 wrote:The components aren't nearly as expensive as that. A few years ago, I built a dual-socket system for $200-300 (with 2 dual core opterons). I'm not saying that they're any better than single-socket ones, but they aren't as expensive as people think.

As for pricing today:
ASUS dual-socket C32 ATX board: $300
Opteron 4122 (quad-core): $100

IMO, that's pretty cheap, but there is better performance-per-$ in single-socket stuff.

Mmmm, That is tempting if you spend another $400 for two of the 3.3GHz Valencia cores.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:41 pm

I used to run a dual Barton MP rig (on a Tyan Tiger MPX) as my main desktop too. And yes, it was quite a space heater!
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:35 pm

This is what I'm talking about I really enjoy this discussion its a blend of ideas and info. I was just looking around and there isn't much noise about dual socket anything out there beyond OC nerds drooling about owning one, wait I might be one of those. :P But right now I'm more focused on resolving my GPU disparities then my storage short falls. After that who knows. When I win the lotto I'll get and SR-3
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workstations

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:51 pm

I'm typing this on a dual socket xeon workstation made by HP. You might be able to find one of these used on ebay or something...
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:01 pm

dual CPU systems are for sissies...Quad CPU systems only. LOL just kidding. intel and supermicro make some workstation boards that are dual cpus and are a little bit cheaper then the server boards.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:03 pm

I can't imagine twelve HT enabled SB-E cores would be anywhere near necessary for anything short of high load servers or science/medicine... that said, if Skulltrail II existed and I had that kind of money, I would totally build it.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:09 pm

OP, dual-socket have always been mostly in the realm of prosumers. 440BX and dual-Slot 1 boards were an oddity in this crowd, due to the chipset's support for dual-sockets a rarity among customer-grade chipsets. Dual-socket 462 and 760MPX boards are a close runner-up (technically the 760MPX was built for workstations).

These days, dual-sockets are clearly tailored to prosumer crowd by offering features that primarily benefit workstation/servers: ECC support, registered memory,ton of DIMM slots, stability = little or no overclocking, abundance of 8x/16x PCI-e slots.


You also need to get Xeon and Opteron grade chips with dual or quad-links in order to take advantage of multi-socket boards, since they have the required and QPI (Quickpath) and HTP (Hypertransport) links needed for it. AMD/Intel charge a hefty premium for this feature.

This wasn't the case for yesterday's dual-socket boards which could work with mainstream CPUs, since the chipset drive the link between the CPUs. The large caveat with this setup was that both CPUs had to share the same limited FSB. This create a number of performance and cache coherency issues.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:31 pm

I don't understand, there is an entire area on Newegg for server motherboards and chips... none of them are that expensive unless you start reaching for the really high end stuff. There isn't a huge divide between consumer and server motherboards. 'Server' class motherboards reach right down into the $100 price range depending on what you buy. It's all product segmentation.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:54 pm

Bensam123 wrote:I don't understand, there is an entire area on Newegg for server motherboards and chips... none of them are that expensive unless you start reaching for the really high end stuff. There isn't a huge divide between consumer and server motherboards. 'Server' class motherboards reach right down into the $100 price range depending on what you buy. It's all product segmentation.
The discussion is about dual-socket boards specifically. The cheapest dual socket (1366) Intel board on NewEgg right now is $259; the cheapest dual AMD G34 board is $419. You may be able to find something cheaper using last-gen sockets, though I don't see much of a price break on NewEgg for 771 or C32 boards -- and for a new build unconstrained by any requirement for fleet homogeneity, I don't see why you'd go last-gen anyway.

And then you have to buy the MP-qualified CPUs, which are generally more expensive than their 1P equivalents, as others have noted.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:24 pm

kamikaziechameleon wrote:EVGA hasn't given up:

http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=13 ... print=true

wonder how it will OC the rather rigid designs of those CPUs

Best part of that thread were the posters complaining that the board "looks out of balance" and "that's the kind of thing that matters to me" because the slave CPU has four memory slots to the master CPU's eight even though the slave CPU still operates in quad channel. One poster even suggests that if the slave CPU can't have eight slots, then the master CPU should be reduced to four in order to maintain the aesthetic.

Who are these people? :o
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:30 pm

Are there still problems with software licensing on multi socket? I seem to remember all kinds of funny schemes when multi core came along but is that still a concern today?
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:38 pm

cheesyking wrote:Are there still problems with software licensing on multi socket? I seem to remember all kinds of funny schemes when multi core came along but is that still a concern today?


Depends on what software you're running. As OP mentioned, multi-socket isn't all that common any more except in some workstation class machines and servers.

Shortest answer is: yes.
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Re: are dual socket consumer boards behind us?

Postposted on Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:57 pm

cheesyking wrote:Are there still problems with software licensing on multi socket? I seem to remember all kinds of funny schemes when multi core came along but is that still a concern today?

AFAIK Microsoft OSes and server products are licensed per processor, where a processor is defined as something that fits into a single socket (regardless of how many cores/threads/modules that processor may have). I believe Oracle (which along with Microsoft and IBM is one of the top three software vendors) uses the same model.

Or you could run Linux, and not worry about licensing... :lol:
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