Sunday, October 27, 2013
3D evolves, HD video demands resources yet INTEL's X79 chipset with LGA2011 socket looks promising for now and I decided to go for an upgrade. It was few months adventure of carefully picking up the components that should work nice and stable next few years as my digital tool.
I have been fan of ASUS motherboards since 2001/02 when I bough my first ASUS TUSL2 and P4B-266 motherboards. I was amazed with their stability and compatibility. P5B, P5K and P5Q PRO confirmed my trust so this time I made the same choice with ASUS P9X79 PRO. I was thinking about SABERTOOTH or standard P9X79 motherboards but after some comparisons, PRO version is simply the best choice and perfect balance of features, quality and price. DELUXE version is seamlessly expensive, WS (work station) version has no PCI slots so, PRO is just fine. I will not talk about its specifications and detailed features because it can be found on ASUS official site...
Facts based on few weeks of expiriance:
- X79 has 8 slots for RAM and supports up to 64 gigs of RAM. Use that feature for RAM / DISC feature or smoother video editing BUT full RAM speed is questionable if you use all DIMMs so review ASUS compatibility listing before choosing modules. For best results, revise kits of 16,32 or 64 gigs because X.M.P. feature will be most stable if you consider memory combination you want.
- ASUS SSD CACHING solution is not stabile and a bit expensive way to have faster system. It has issues because drivers chase so buying bigger SSD for OS is absolutely better choice. If you dont want to use SSD CACHING be sure to setup system drive on SATA1 connector and you will avoid boot up lags.
- ASUS SSD CACHING feature will not work properly if initiated with drive with more than one partition so, you should initiate SSD CACHING on one partition drive and make additional partitions after completed initialization. All this issues with ASUS SSD CACHING makes me uncomfortable...
- Too many overclocking parameter. Be ready for BSODs with wrong parameters... Do we have time to experiment???
- Simple SATA configuration changes in BIOS might corrupts OS installation. This was not an issue on my ex ASUS P5Q PRO mobo so be careful.
- If you want 32 gigs of RAM go for 32 gigs KIT or you will not be able to use XMP profile but just default 1600mhz speeds or have to go with frustrating manual overclocks.
- If you have no choice but 2 x 16 gig kits on 2133 (like this rig) go for 1.725 volts. PATRIOT warned me to NOT go above 1.6 but I did and it works just fine.
- Check the BIOS updates for more compatibility and stability. Its relative new chipset...
- Solid design
- Good cable management
- Good fan management
- 2 low noise fans included
- Good disk management
- CORSAIR H100 and other coolers with big radiator ARE NOT recommended for this case if you use X79 motherboards because the only way they fit is to separate radiator and its fans with case grill and you dont want that because airflow will be bad.
- 1 SSD case suppor
- Please revise fan and software setup as described bellow for best cooling performance!!!
Here is the best fan hardware AND ASUS AI SUITE SOFTWARE setup with full system load
Front panel with USB 3, shut down and reset switches:
Under the hood:
3 hard disc slots could be taken out for longer video cards:
Such a simple and well organized cable management holes:
Upper extra space for water cooling (not recommended) or 2 120mm fans with dust filter:
Front intake with 2 fan slots:
Between many cards on the market, with various designs, chipsets and memories... as a balance of performance / price / design, my choice was ASUS G Force GTX 660 Direct CU 2 OC, 2GB. Great cooling design, decent chipset, direct CUDA and 2 gigs or speed RAM, enough reason to get this card. Its great balance between gaming and working with motion graphic and editing software.
The facts are:
The facts are:
- Great cooling design with 2 silent fans giving a low temperatures on full OC loads
- Good price for the top brand, integrated chipset and amount of memory
- Connect up to 4 monitors with no fear with its 2 gigs of RAM
- Fast response in V-Ray RT rendering in 3D apps
- Easy desktop VBIOS update.
Interesting... easy VGA BIOS update from desktop: