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Budget Resolve motherboards

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Chris Ramey
Budget Resolve motherboards
on Aug 5, 2012 at 9:41:58 pm

Building a Windows Resolve system around two GTX 580s (jumping from the Apple ship too). While I understand the benefits of using certified parts (ASUS P9X79 PRO mobo or an HPZ820)... I can't help but wonder if the following two motherboards would give me more bang for my buck. The bandwidth on the PCI slots is impressive for my needs. I work in HD but I do see 2k projects coming down the pipe this year.

ASUS Maximus V EXTREME Z77 (Ivybridge) PCIe3.0 @ x16/x8/x8/x8 (PCIe speeds with 4 cards)

ASUS Rampage IV Extreme LGA 2011 X79 PCIe3.0 @ x16/x16/x8/x8 (PCIe speeds with 4 cards)

Anyone have experience out there with these? Or general opinions about straying away from certified parts? Is a "consumer" Ivy bridge system insanity? Both mobos seem to accommodate two 580s, DecklinkExtreme3D & SAS RAID controller.


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John Pilgrim
PCIe lane constraints
on Aug 6, 2012 at 6:30:57 pm

The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme LGA 2011 looks to be the same price if not more expensive than a ASUS P9X79 PRO, so there's not much savings there.
I just built a ASUS P9X79 PRO system for R9, since I wanted to keep my 2009 Mac Pro for existing R8 projects.
Considering the total system cost and what my time is worth, I don't see any point straying from the "approved" Asus P9X79 PRO board.


One thing to note is that each Sandy Bridge CPU (either an i7-3930K like I used or a single beefy E5-2687W) only provides 40 PCIe lanes.

40 lanes

A GUI card takes 16 lanes.
A GPU card takes 16 lanes.
A Decklink card takes 4 lanes.
A RAID card will usually take 4 lanes.

So all 40 lanes are used at that point.

To add a second GPU and/or a Red Rocket, one would need to switch to a dual CPU board to increase the number of PCIe lanes.


Something to think about.
Hope this is helpful,
John


-----

MacPro Early 2009 ("MacPro4,1")
OS X 10.6.8
dual 2.93GHz quad-core Xeon (Nehalem) CPU
24GB RAM
nVidia Quadro 4000 for GUI
nVidia Quadro 4000 for GPU
Decklink HD Extreme 3D+





Asus P9X79 Pro motherboard
Windows 7 64-bit & Ubuntu Linux 12.04 64-bit (dual boot)
single 3.2GHz Intel i7 3930K 6-core CPU
64GB RAM
nVidia Quadro 4000 for GUI
nVidia GTX580 3GB for GPU
(TBD: Ultrastudio SDI or Decklink HD Extreme 3D+)


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Chris Ramey
Re: PCIe lane constraints
on Aug 6, 2012 at 6:50:31 pm

Thanks for the clarification. Ignoring the Ivy bridge mobo, I'm guessing the only benefit left to the Rampage IV Extreme is that it can take a Decklink Extreme 3d instead of relying on a Blackmagic USB3.0 SDI card? Maybe that is not worthwhile straying from the approved config. And now I understand why there is no Cubix option for the P9X79 PRO, as the 40 lanes would bottleneck.

But also, what about this equation, would Resolve "do better" with:
GUI in a 16x + GPU in a 16x (Asus P9X79 PRO)
or
GUI in a 16x + GPU in a 8x + GPU in a 8x (ASUS Rampage IV Extreme)


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John Pilgrim
Re: PCIe lane constraints
on Aug 6, 2012 at 7:00:55 pm

I'm sure the BMD reps will chime in, but I doubt you'll get much Resolve performance out of GUI or GPU cards in x8 slots instead of the X16 slots the require.
Resolve is a different graphics process than gaming, and the spec that the cards are 16x isn't flexible.

On the Mac side, I tried
GT120 in PCIe x4
eSATA in PCIe x4
Q4000 Mac in x16
Q4000 Mac in x16
and ran into performance issues b/c the GUI card was in x4 instead of x16.
My Standard Candle tests in that config were good, but I dropped frames with HD footage if my video monitoring was at 10bit (as it needs to be) as opposed to 8-bit.

John


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Juan Salvo
Re: PCIe lane constraints
on Aug 6, 2012 at 8:16:27 pm

GUI card does need x16 lane... however for GPUs If you consider that a Cubix shares a single x16 lane slot over 3-4 cards. A dedicated x8 lane slot may not be much of a performance hit. For what it's worth.

Colorist | Online Editor | Post Super | VFX Artist | BD Author

http://JuanSalvo.com


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John Pilgrim
Re: PCIe lane constraints
on Aug 6, 2012 at 9:44:42 pm

Good to know Juan.
I stand corrected.
---------
I have an extra GTX580, so maybe I'll try

Q4000 GUI x16
GTX580 GPU x8
GTX580 GPU x8

in the P9X79Pro

and see how that compares to the current

Q4000 GUI x16
GTX580 GPU x16.

--------

The downside is that I'm also using this system for Houdini 12, which only uses one GPU, and probably expects it to be have x16 lanes.

--------

John


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Scott Thomas
Re: PCIe lane constraints
on Mar 21, 2014 at 12:01:30 pm

John. I have just got Resolve 10 on my PC which has the P9X79 motherboard and I came across this post.

Could you let me know the slots you used for this config with the nVidia Quadro 4000 for GUI
nVidia GTX580 3GB for GPU

Many thanks.

Scott


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John Pilgrim
Re: PCIe lane constraints
on Apr 1, 2014 at 7:39:51 pm

Quadro 4000 in Slot 1
GTX580 (actually now a Tesla 2070) in Slot 5
Per the manual, this gives 16-lanes for each slot.

A Decklink Mini Monitor is in Slot 4, getting the remaining 8-lanes.

Asus P9X79-Pro:


A second GTX580 could go in Slot 3 (albeit with the removal of the Decklink Mini Monitor from Slot 4), but that would give both GTX580s only 8-lanes each—the 3card scenario in the graphic above.
I had meant to see what impact this would have on Standard Candle tests, but never got around to it.
My next system build will be a P9X79E-WS motherboard, which uses a PCIe switch chip to switch 16-lanes alternately between the two slots. Still not as good as a dual Xeon mobo which has enough PCIe lanes to dedicate 16 to each slot, but better than the P9X79-Pro situation.


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