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SSD Galore @ Some help deciding.. Building this week!!


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#1 Rocky82

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 04:54 AM

I don't even know where to begin here.. We all know SSD drives are so different as time goes on. It's utterly confusing the heck outta me.. Man, over the last 10 years and longer I've kept up with cpu's gpu's even mechanical hard drives.. But SSD's just alluded me I never thought they'd become so diverse..

 

Anyways, I'm building a gaming rig with a Skylake 6700k. I wanted an SSD card to go with me new build and to utilize the Skylakes features.. My main concern in the SSD's are the random access times.. With that being said, there are SO many different interfaces to choose from that it's making me have a headache.. Bottom line, I've looked for hours and came to the conclusion my best buy would be a PCIE 3.0 x4. The Samsung 950 PRO M.4. For write times, read times and most importantly Random access times.. ( what is M.4? and NVMe?) <-- Those words confuse me.. And of those using M.4, I also don't understand the lettering means after M.2 either like m.4E) (does it mean size of card?) and NVME which is better?... Confused**

 

Now are those better/faster than the SATA 6's? or SATA expresses?

 

Remember this isn't about price/performance ratio for me. This is about speed! Random access speed to be precise). I'd probably grab a 256gb fast drive for gaming and for the OS speed increase..

 

One more thing, I ASSUMED those were the fastest SSD interfaces.. If there are any others faster than those two I listed, please educated me. Thanks :)

 

Another things that worries me is, will my future board accept the interface? idk... You experts tell me :)

 

Now I plan on getting a single video card on the PCI express x16 slot GTX 980.. Now if I install a SSD card on a X4 slot, will it slow my primary video card PCIEx16 video card down to 8x? This is a very important question to me..  . .

 

Here are a rough-set of MOBO ill buy this week. Keep in mind I WILL NEVER SLI/Crossfire

 

1) Asus ROG Maximus VIII Hero

 

2) ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII RANGER

 

3) ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII GENE

 

4) ASUS Z170-DELUXE

 

5)  MSI Gaming Z170A GAMING TITANIUM

 

Also guys, I'm not all about the bells n whisltes. I don't need a Sli or a 3way video card, I'm all about speed plain and simple.. Gaming, Movies, Media etc. I want the best motherboard for those attributes and gaining.

 

 AND MOST IMPORTANTLY I LOVE to overclock so keep that in mind when you make your suggestions.. Thank you guys so much for reading my post and I hope you can show me the way to go!

 

SSd's are confusing me and so are new motherboards I need your expert opinion.. I want a 8+ Year proof system and there's no better place to get this advice from you experts.. Thanks again guys, can't wait for some answers!!. :) :) :)

 

Any questions you have that I forgot to mention above Ill answer as soon as I'm able!! :)


Edited by hamluis, 04 March 2016 - 03:25 PM.
Moved from System Building to Internal Hardware - Hamluis.


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#2 Rocky82

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 02:29 PM

Crap.. Judging by all the posters in this subforum getting 0 replies maybe I Shoulda asked in a more popular forum category.. I'll try to figure this out myself since my time is kinda limited... but guys, ANY input would help me greatly.. :/



#3 Captain_Chicken

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 03:55 PM

M.2 is a faster standard than sata 3. A 950 pro ssd can get 2500MB/S read and 2000MB/S write while sata drives are bottlenecked at around 550MB/S read and write. M.2 drives are more expensive. M.2 is enthusiast while sata is mainstream.

NVMe is a communications interface/protocol developed specially for SSDs by a consortium of vendors including Intel, Samsung, Sandisk, Dell, and Seagate. Like SCSI and SATA, NVMe is designed to take advantage of the unique properties of pipeline-rich, random access, memory-based storage.

All those motherboards should work well. There should be little to at all speed difference.

You will be able to use all the pcie slots on your motherboard. Your graphics card will still run at 16x, and even if it was at 8x, there would be no performance difference.

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#4 Rocky82

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 05:01 PM

Wow thank you for that thought out post.. The only thing I'm worried about is the PCIx16 downgrading to 8x because another PCI port is being used... I've read about those things all the time, yet I truly don't understand the full extent to it.. I will get a PCI SSD.. I will NOT get it if it effects my video card though.. I know you answered the question that the SSD wont effect my 16x video card but since I read it everywhere could you elaborate a little bit on that..

 

So basically you're saying that even if my video card DID run at 8x, it wouldn't effect speeds or benchmarks? That being said, so it DOES effect the 16x slot huh? Oh well I loved your answer so thank you sir! :) I wish they still used old school PCI slots in modern boards :(

 

Also which MOBO would you recommend from a gamers stand point?


Edited by Rocky82, 04 March 2016 - 05:03 PM.


#5 SEANIA

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 05:56 PM

Wow thank you for that thought out post.. The only thing I'm worried about is the PCIx16 downgrading to 8x because another PCI port is being used... I've read about those things all the time, yet I truly don't understand the full extent to it.. I will get a PCI SSD.. I will NOT get it if it effects my video card though.. I know you answered the question that the SSD wont effect my 16x video card but since I read it everywhere could you elaborate a little bit on that..

 

So basically you're saying that even if my video card DID run at 8x, it wouldn't effect speeds or benchmarks? That being said, so it DOES effect the 16x slot huh? Oh well I loved your answer so thank you sir! :) I wish they still used old school PCI slots in modern boards :(

 

I assume you mean PCIe x16. Not PCI. 

Multiple benchmarks have shown that running your GPU in a modern X8 port won't effect its performance. If you'd like I'm sure we could source some of these for you. You are fine.

 

 

I will get a PCI SSD..

 

 

I should let you know this before you get a PCIe or M.2 SSD. Most programs have a a point where once they reach a particular read speed, their loading doesn't get any faster. Meaning if you dump more money into a PCIe SSD, unless you're running professional software that heavily relies on storage, you're not going to see a difference between it and a SATA SSD. 

Again, there are ​multiple real world benchmarks showing that it won't matter. 

More advice~

Would stay away from the M.2 drives. They have been known to overheat and throttle themselves down to the speed of regular SATA SSDs after a few hours of use. 

If you do opt for a SATA SSD. I highly recommend a Samsung 850 EVO or 850 Pro. They both use their new 3D nand tech. Which means they can make memory in them using older more tested and stable methods of making SSD storage while not loosing any storage capacity and increasing speed. To give you an idea of how stable it is- a standard SSD comes with a 2 or 3 year warranty. However the 950 pro comes with a 10 year warranty. That's how confident in the tech they are. 

 

 

Also which MOBO would you recommend from a gamers stand point?

 

Am going to start this with stay away from anything labeled "gaming grade" or "for gamers". Motherboards do not realistically effect performance in any way, and the "gamer" ones are usually very buggy because they add a bunch of weird features to make it seem flashy, but end up just making the board unstable and your games perform worse. 

Saying it a third time XD There are multiple real world benchmarks, and even synthetic tests, that show a less then 3% performance difference on parts between boards. Differences that small can be taken as margins of error. So again, doesn't matter.

Most important thing is to get a board that is stable and has the ports you want. By ports I mean external USB connectors enough to use all your devices and enough internal SATA connectors to use all the drives you may be getting over the years. 

 

All the motherboards you listed are overclocking boards. If you don't plan to overclock, then getting the 300$ board that can VS the 70$ board that cant is almost entirely a waste of 230$. Again, motherboards effect your in game performance very veer very little if at all. A 50$ board will earn you the same FPS as a 400$ board. 


99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#6 Rocky82

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 06:41 PM

Oh man.. You totally got in my head right now.. Thank you for you're answers! I'm gonna be thinking long an hard about my upcoming purchases now...  Like I said I care less about bells and whistles on MOBOs and if I can save 100s of dollars for things I wouldn't use and games still play the same I may have to re think my MOBO list here.... I also didn't know about the SSD thing you mentioned.... Ok I need time to think.. Thank you so much bro!! :)



#7 Rocky82

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 02:43 PM

Ok so pciex16 vs x8 makes really no difference in current and more than likely near future video cards?.. Thats cool.. I need help buying a mobo though.. I need a socket 1151.. I'm trying to get a skylake before they make the cpu only work for windows 10.. Is this true? I read somewhere that later versions of skylake won't allow you to run earlier versions of windows.. What's up with that? I hope I misread that. Anyway when it comes to MOBO, I'm looking for a good overclocking MOBO.. I currently have the first version of ASUS Maximus.. I like it but it's old and im in need of an upgrade.. But between the 3 versions of  the latest MAXIMUS series vs GIGABYTE vs MSI, which would you buy? I am looking for an board with the latest chipset (Z170 I believe). Any advice would be appreciated.



#8 Ram4x4

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 02:45 PM

Don't worry about affecting your x16 video card if you use an M.2 connected drive.  All these X4, X8, X16 ratings are related to the number of PCIE lanes available.  The PCIE bus in your system has a total number of "lanes", or you can think of them as "channels".  Throughput for a PCIE device is a function of the number of lanes a device uses.  If a device needs more throughput, the manufacturer aggregates, or increases the lanes the device uses.

 

X1 is the smallest PCIE connection.  It uses 4 wires (or traces) and transmits 1 bit per cycle.  2 wires for sending and 2 wires for receiving (simultaneous bi-directional communication).  X2 is 8 wires and 2 bits per cycle, etc.  So, now you probably wonder if an X1 connection runs at 1 bit per cycle, how much data does that amount to per second?  The answer to that depends on whether it is PCIE 1.1, 2.0 or 3.0.  Everything in a PC runs on a clock cycle.  The higher the clock cycle speed, the more data per second.  While X1 only moves 1 bit per cycle, if you speed up the clock, you transmit more bits per second.  So, PCIE 3.0 X1 connections move more data per second than an X1 1.1 or 2.0 connection because the clock rate for the PCIE 3.0 bus is higher.  They're all still moving only 1 bit per cycle, but 3.0 is running more cycles per second.

 

PCIE 1.1 X1 = 2.5GHz clock speed = 250MB/s

PCIE 2.0 X1 = 5.0GHz clock speed = 500MB/s

PCIE 3.0 X1 = 8.0GHz clock speed = 1000 MB/s (1 GB/s)

 

In a system, there is a total of PCIE lanes available and that total is determined by the CPU and the chipset. For example:

 

Intel socket 1150 CPUs = 16 lanes

Intel socket 2011v3 CPUs = 28-40 lanes (depending on the CPU as the I7-5820K (the lowest end CPU in this family) is 28 lanes, the two 2011v3 CPU's above it each have 40 lanes).

 

The chipsets associated with these sockets add PCIE lanes for use with peripherals such as SSD's, NICs, etc.  For example, the Z97 chipset used with socket 1150 CPU's added 8 additional PCIE lanes over the 16 lanes the CPU's have for a total of 24 lanes. 

 

In the case of your Skylake 6700K choice, it's a new socket, socket 1151.  The 6700K CPU itself is still only 16 lanes, but the new Z170 chipset adds 20 PCIE lanes to the mix.  How all those lanes are divided up for use is up to the motherboard manufacturer. 

 

M.2

 

M.2 is a "form factor", that means it designates a style of connector and is not in itself an indicator of how fast it is.  IDE connectors are different in size and shape than SATA, and so M.2 also is different.  All similarities at that point end though as IDE and SATA, in addition to being different in shape and size also indicated relative speed, not so with M.2.

 

M.2 is also different in that it can work via SATA or PCIE protocols for different speeds.  So, an M.2 connection using SATA III will equate to a standard SATA III connection in terms of speed.  M.2 connected to PCIE will run at whatever "X" lanes are used on the connection.  Typical M.2 connections on a modern motherboard will be able to use either SATA or PCIE devices and the PCIE speeds it can run are X1, X2 or X4.  You have to check the specs on the motherboard to be sure as some M.2 connectors are either SATA or PCIE only, but that is becoming rare.

 

Typically, the PCIE lanes provided by the CPU are used for the video card(s) and the chipset based PCIE connections are used for everything else. 



#9 Ram4x4

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 03:04 PM

Ok so pciex16 vs x8 makes really no difference in current and more than likely near future video cards?.. Thats cool.. I need help buying a mobo though.. I need a socket 1151.. I'm trying to get a skylake before they make the cpu only work for windows 10.. Is this true? I read somewhere that later versions of skylake won't allow you to run earlier versions of windows.. What's up with that? I hope I misread that. Anyway when it comes to MOBO, I'm looking for a good overclocking MOBO.. I currently have the first version of ASUS Maximus.. I like it but it's old and im in need of an upgrade.. But between the 3 versions of  the latest MAXIMUS series vs GIGABYTE vs MSI, which would you buy? I am looking for an board with the latest chipset (Z170 I believe). Any advice would be appreciated.

 

 

Realistically the X16 vs X8 in terms of video performance is negligable right now primarily because of other bottlenecks in the system.  That does not mean it won't matter in the future :-) 

 

Regardless of which modern CPU/chipset you use, if you run only a single video card it is going to run at X16.  It is only when you start running 2 or more video cards does it start to divide up the PCIE lanes.

 

As for OS support, yes it is true.  The primary reason is drivers and updates for interrupt processing, bus support and power states.  Since Windows 7 is already past mainstream support, and Windows 8.1 is getting near, the architectural changes in the new Skylake (and future Kaby) CPU's will need either drivers or updates to work with those older OSs.  Microsoft won't be creating the updates and manufacturers will begin to taper off driver support.

 

The current stated deadline from Microsoft is July 17, 2017 for any updates, and after that date, only the "most critical" security fixes will be released and those fixes will only be made available for non-skylake systems.



#10 Rocky82

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 03:20 PM

Ok so let me make sure what you said I understand.. So a single video card will run at x16 as long as its only one card.. But what I also want is a PCIe SSD card as well. Now will that slow the video card to x8 since it occupies an addiction pci slot? or does the only thing changing the PCIE16's are just extra video cards?

 

As for skylake, so what you're saying is, is that what I said is true BUT later down the line third party drivers could be made later to make use of older OSes? At which point it really doesn't matter which skylake one buys  right? Or am I wrong?



#11 SEANIA

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 05:06 PM

 Anyway when it comes to MOBO, I'm looking for a good overclocking MOBO.. I currently have the first version of ASUS Maximus.. I like it but it's old and im in need of an upgrade.. But between the 3 versions of  the latest MAXIMUS series vs GIGABYTE vs MSI, which would you buy? I am looking for an board with the latest chipset (Z170 I believe). Any advice would be appreciated.

 

This is very important part when buying a motherboard to overclock on.

Some years ago, Intel moved most of their power management related things onto the CPU. How that pertains to you is that as long as a motherboard has a overclocking enabled chipset (for the 1151 socket that's Z170) the differences in overclocking your CPU between a 100$ board and a 400$ board is almost non existent. If your CPU max overclock is 4.7Ghz on the 100$ Z170 board, the max you'd get on the 400$ overclocking board is maybe 4.8Ghz if that.

Modern overclocking designed motherboards aren't made for standard 24/7 overclocking. They're designed with sub zero suicide run world record breaking overclocking in mind. Where the CPU and all power delivery components are pushed to the max. Way outside what you or I would ever be capable of doing as the only 24/7 below 0 coolers cost 1000$+. That's even if you could get it stable, but at those speeds and voltages the CPU could die at any moment. 

 

Bit winded. Point of all of that, just buy a low end Z170 board if you want to overclock. Realistically nothing over 150$ Buying the higher end will do nothing for you in the OC department as all Z170 boards are built for standard overclocking as a feature, and doing the crazy stuff those higher end boards are made for will most likely kill your brand new CPU anyways. 

 

 

Ok so let me make sure what you said I understand.. So a single video card will run at x16 as long as its only one card.. But what I also want is a PCIe SSD card as well. Now will that slow the video card to x8 since it occupies an addiction pci slot? or does the only thing changing the PCIE16's are just extra video cards?

 

Putting anything into the other slot will slow it down to x8 speed. Even running a GPU in x4 3.0 speed has been shown not to cause slow downs though. It's only when it's drop in a x2 slot has a in game performance loss of around 12% been seen. The x8 is enough to run all cards made today without problems, and from the looks of it, all future cards that'd make sense to pair with the CPU in your system as well. 

 

 

The 6700K CPU itself is still only 16 lanes, but the new Z170 chipset adds 20 PCIE lanes to the mix.  How all those lanes are divided up for use is up to the motherboard manufacturer. 

 

Last bit very important. Usually only one or two of the PCIe expansion slots use are made to use the CPU PCIe lanes. The rest of the slots will typically use the other lanes and will be marked as such in some way. Putting something in those other slots will not effect how the one/two dedicated x16/x8 slots coming off the CPU run at. 

 

 

But between the 3 versions of  the latest MAXIMUS series vs GIGABYTE vs MSI, which would you buy? I am looking for an board with the latest chipset (Z170 I believe). Any advice would be appreciated.

 

One of the following 3-

MSI Z170A SLI Plus

 

ASUS Z170-E

 

GIGABYTE GA-Z170XP-SLI

 

All 3 of those have a third PCIe x16 slot that doesn't use the CPU x16 PCIe lanes. So if you put anything in that third slot it's not going to change your GPU PCIe bandwidth to x8. Again though, it running at that wouldn't matter anyways. They also are a fraction of the price of some of the ones you listed, and I guarantee them to be just as stable if not more then that of the more costly boards. Believe it or not, the more expensive boards tend to run into more stability issues then the other cheaper ones. 

 

If you can't decide out of those 3. I'd pick the ASUS one purely because they're really popular so if something goes wrong, getting support to help fix it will be really really easy. Followed by MSI because they have amazing customer support. With Gigabyte in last since their willingness to fix issues has been reportedly slow as of late. 


99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#12 Rocky82

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 10:50 PM

Wow, I'm learning a lot. I never knew z170 was dedicated to overclockers and I also didn't know that a cheaper board with that chipset would match the speeds of the $300 motherboards down to a >=2% difference. Thank you for that very helpful tidbit of knowledge. :) I got even more excited when you said that boards have a PCIE slot that doesn't interact with the video lanes and cause any x16 to turn x8.. (although I understand it wouldn't matter, it's just a pet peeve of mine) Very cool! I will not forget that! ..

 

I will admit though when you speak of lanes I'm not too familiar with what you mean about CPU lanes.. What does CPU lanes have to do with the PCIE slots? I'm assuming the more lanes the better. You say the skylake only uses 16 lanes.. Is that good or bad? I thought skylake was top dog for upper tier computer makers... Help me understand more.. What are the highest lane cpus made today? Ok (little embarrassing) I'm not going to erase what I said just now but I see a previous post about lanes I'm going to look at that now to see if some of my questions have already been answered hehe . . . .. .  .   . . .   . . .

 

Ok.. I understand lanes a bit more now..Ok so maybe I should switch to a 2011v3 board since it has more lanes? Or since the z170 on the 1151 adds 20 more its not worth it?

 

Also a noob question what are the small slots located in between the PCIE slots? What are they primarily used for? I thought strictly for SLI setups .. Or SSD card input..?  Also I learned that m.2 is compatible with SATA 3 as well.. So that's convenient.  thanks SEANIA and Ram4x4! You guys are so helpful :) Another (minor) problem I have is I still have alot of regular PCI cards that just wont work with these new boards.. They come with ZERO pci slots.. Not even one for a sound card or even another ethernet.. Oh well..

 

Lastly with the boards you listed I only had a problem with one.. In fact it's probably not even a problem but I love asus, had their boards for years and years I love em.. I click the asus board you listed but it has only 1 review.. Those kinds of buys scare me.. What are your thoughts on that? Also I have such a hard time thinking that boards $100's of dollars cheaper than the $300 dollar boards which are the most popular and have the highest buy rate and good reviews be only SLIGHTLY better.. There has to be more to it.. I'm still kind of confused.. Sorry for blabberin away It's past my bed time :) thanks for the help guys, I'll talk to you guys later!!



#13 SEANIA

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 09:56 AM

Also a noob question what are the small slots located in between the PCIE slots? What are they primarily used for?

Those really short slots in between are PCIe slots. They're just PCIe x2 slots. You could technically plug any PCIe device into them and it work..granted at lower speeds.

Before you ask YES you could technically plug a graphics card into every single one of those, but it's generally only ever done for server or science computing type of stuff where graphics cards are used for mass calculations. Most games can only use a single graphics card. The ones that an use multiple usually only use up to two, and in very very very rare games up to four can be used.

 

I will admit though when you speak of lanes I'm not too familiar with what you mean about CPU lanes.. What does CPU lanes have to do with the PCIE slots? I

 

 

Ok this is another weird thing Intel did awhile back, where some functions of the chipset got built into the CPU. The chipset and the CPU both have PCIe lanes coming out of them.

The ones coming out of the chipset are meant to be used for additional built in devices on the motherboard (USB port controllers, sound chips, ect), and are also usually used for some of the expansion slots for things like adding more storage (like the PCIe SSD you want), wireless cards, additional USB ports (if what it has isn't enough), Ethernet ports, and a plethora of other things that you may wish to add into your computer.

The ones coming out of your CPU are generally meant for your video card, but can be used for other things and vice versa with the ones from the chipset. Was done to specifically avoid issues where plugging something into the other PCIe slots might effect your graphics card. 

 

Why most of the Z170 boards have two slots coming out of the CPU, instead of just one, is to use two graphic card simultaneously running at PCIe x8 speed. Yes, running a graphics card at x8 speed is something they support doing. That way neither has to resort to using the chipsets PCIe lanes.

 

 

Ok.. I understand lanes a bit more now..Ok so maybe I should switch to a 2011v3 board since it has more lanes? Or since the z170 on the 1151 adds 20 more its not worth it?

 

The 2nd one. The 20 additional lanes the Z170 has are built specifically for what you're trying to do. 

 

 

 They come with ZERO pci slots.. Not even one for a sound card or even another ethernet.. Oh well.

 

Actually....a lot of them do come with older PCI slots, and specifically for the reason that everyone has a ton of PCI cards that have been around forever.

PCI isn't built into any modern chipset, but board makers will commonly add in a chip that uses some of the chipsets PCIe lanes for PCI slot. In fact, if you look at the Gigabyte board I linked, it has 2 PCI slots on it.

 

PCIe came out in 2004 as a replacement for both PCI that had come out in 1992, and AGP (graphics card port) that came out in 1996. Much in the same way that PCI has replaced and combined the use of ISA slots that came out in 1981, MCA ports made in 1987, and VLB ports that came out in 1992.

So every PCI card you have. There is a PCIe variant of it now. 

 

Also, like I said, most of the things you'd need a dedicated card before are built in to the board now. Unlike before where the built in sucked.... they're generally pretty good now because all those extra feature are really cheap to add in a good version of. Like the only difference you'll find between the built in audio and a dedicated card is that the dedicated card might have a specific port you desire. Such as a toslink in and RCA out/in, where as integrated audio usually only ever has toslink out in standard 1/8inch jacks in/out for audio. 

Only thing they seem to neglect building in to desktop boards is a wireless cards. Since it's a desktop they'd expect you to run a the more stable/faster Ethernet cable to it. 

 

 

Lastly with the boards you listed I only had a problem with one.. In fact it's probably not even a problem but I love asus, had their boards for years and years I love em.. I click the asus board you listed but it has only 1 review.. Those kinds of buys scare me.. What are your thoughts on that? 

 

That's more of a mess up on Neweggs part putting down multiple listings of the same board. If you check the Gigabyte board I linked you'll see it has 80+ reviews. Sure you'll find a ton of reviews on the ASUS board I linked if you checked other sites. The MSI board only has 8 reviews cause I'd assume that they're not as popular a brand as ASUS or Gigabyte. Can assure you that all three boards are perfectly fine. 

 

 

 You say the skylake only uses 16 lanes.. Is that good or bad? I thought skylake was top dog for upper tier computer makers... Help me understand more.. What are the highest lane cpus made today? Ok (little embarrassing) I'm not going to erase what I said just now but I see a previous post about lanes I'm going to look at that now to see if some of my questions have already been answered hehe . . . .. .  .   . . .   . . .

 Lots of questions asked...typing lots of answers XD hope it's not all to long.

 

Skylake is Intels newest CPU architecture for their newest consumer socket (1151). Don't let the term consumer mislead you. You'll still find Intels consumer sockets in plenty of professional workstations and offices. In fact it's designed to better suit the kind of load games put out. As it's made to support fewer cores, but higher clock speed, CPUs. Most you'll find on it is a 4 core, 8 thread (virtually seen as 8 cores, lengthy explanation), CPU running at 4Ghz stock speed. As most games won't properly use over 4 cores, and the ones that do use more don't see any real benefit over 8.

 

Intel also makes a separate socket and CPU line made for high end computer enthusiasts, massive workstations, servers, and supper computers. That current socket is 2011-V3. Made for running multiple CPUs with quad or even seven video card setups. With so much power you could run literally seven high end gaming rigs at once off of one of said systems. No joke, a PC enthusiast channel on youtube made such a system for a company to demo at a tech show. Video is titled "7 gamers 1 CPU". 

CPUs made for that socket have a high core count (up to 18 cores with 32 threads) with a low clock speed (somewhere around 2.2Ghz). Yes people have tried to play games on these CPUs anyways, but they performed worse in games compared to the best of the "consumer" socket CPUs. The consumer socket CPU costing 365$ compared to the over 4000$ server/workstation CPU. 

They do make 3 more... consumer oriented CPUs for the socket, but they're running a older architecture that will perform worse then the new Skylake ones do. They're mainly made for people who need to do professional work during the day, but play games at night. They are also bought by people who want to push their systems balls-to-the-wall while throwing budget out the window. Buying a 1000$+ below 0 cooler or 600$ of water cooling, and making those normally low clockspeed CPUs run at 4Ghz regardless. 

 

*clears throat* Ahem. With that out of the way, yes 2011-v3 has more CPU PCIe lanes. It does, but that fact that it does shouldn't effect your decision.


Edited by SEANIA, 06 March 2016 - 09:59 AM.

99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#14 Ram4x4

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 10:16 AM

Ok so let me make sure what you said I understand.. So a single video card will run at x16 as long as its only one card.. But what I also want is a PCIe SSD card as well. Now will that slow the video card to x8 since it occupies an addiction pci slot? or does the only thing changing the PCIE16's are just extra video cards?

 

As for skylake, so what you're saying is, is that what I said is true BUT later down the line third party drivers could be made later to make use of older OSes? At which point it really doesn't matter which skylake one buys  right? Or am I wrong?

 

 

No, putting a PCIE SSD will not affect the video lanes if you are using only a single video card.  In the Z97 chipset example, if you recall you have 24 lanes total - 16 lanes from the CPU and 8 from the chipset.  The CPU provides its 16 PCIE lanes to the physical slot(s) on the motherboard for video cards.  The M.2 slot for the PCIE SSD gets its PCIE lanes from the 8 provided by the chipset.  Right now PCIE SSDs come in X1, X2 and X4 configurations, so even the X4 will work without interfering with the video card because the chipset provides 8 lanes. Typically, onboard NICs will also use 1 of the chipset PCIE lanes too, so unless there are other devices built in to the mobo using PCIE, or you have other PCIE devices plugged in, you'd still have 3 PCIE lanes available without affecting the 16 lanes to the video card.  You could use another X2 and X1 based device without interfering with your video in this case.

 

The Z170 chipset of Skylake provides 2.5 times as many PCIE lanes as the Z97 chipset for a total of 20 lanes just from the chipset.  The 6700K CPU still has 16 lanes itself for the video slots.

 

Z170 allows you to make use of more PCIE based peripherals, like SSDs, 2 GB/s + NICs, wifi cards, etc without affecting the lanes provided for video.  Z170 also provides PCIE 3.0, so the lanes are faster than the PCIE 2.0 lanes in the Z97 chipset/CPU set up.

 

One other change Skylake makes is in the connection between the chipset and CPU.  This communication connection is known as Direct Media Interface (DMI).  Skylake moves from DMI 2.0 to DMI 3.0.  The older DMI 2.0 ran at roughly 20Gbits/s over an X4 link.  The new DMI 3.0 runs at 8 GT/s (as in "giga transfers per second"), so it is a change to how data is moved and how it is measured.  This new DMI link was needed to accommodate the 2.5x increase in PCIE lanes provided by the chipset.  DMI 2.0 also had a rather horrendous overhead in its protocol, something like 20%, but the new DMI 3.0 only has around 1.5% overhead making it a lot more efficient as well as much faster.

 

Skylake also moves from DDR3 to DDR4 memory (although I have seen at least one Socket 1151 mobo that supports DDR3).  DDR4 is becoming the standard, so there is really no need to try to go DDR3.  DDR4 is only slightly more expensive than DDR3, if at all.

 

On the OS, no I am saying Microsoft is specifically saying support for older OSs on the newer architecture is ceasing.  Driver development will cease as well, so newer Skylakes and the follow-on Kaby architecture will not have updates and driver support for older OSs at all.  Third party drivers won't be developed.  This is nothing new with newer CPU's and chipsets as they usually stop working with older OSs as they progress.  What's different in this case is the lack of support for ANY older OS at all.  Typically the newest CPU/chipset has supported at least one generation of older OS.

 

The current Z170 chipset also represents a departure from normal practices in the past.  Typically, when a new CPU architecture came along the chipset released initially was always a lower end one and later the higher end performance chipset comes out.  For Skylake, the Z170 chipset is the upper end performance one.  Future releases of chipsets for Skylake will be lower end chipsets.  The CPU's however will ramp up.  The plus side to this is anyone buying a current Skylake setup will have the option of simply buying a newer CPU down the road for optimal upgrade vs having to buy a whole new motherboard and CPU to get the performance chipset and a new CPU.

 

I suspect the OS dilemma is a result of timing.  It's just been a long time since the last major architecture change and the life cycle of the Windows OS was also decreased along the way.

 

I think the paradigm shift with the new chipset is aimed more for competitive marketing strategy.  It removes a potential barrier for buying Intel based set ups.  Historically, enthusiasts always waited when new architectures came along because not only do they want the newer, faster CPU, but also the performance chipset, so they would wait until that new chipset came out before they invested in the new hardware.  That doesn't need to be the case anymore.  Enthusiasts can jump onboard now with no appreciable loss of performance and have a simpler, cheaper upgrade path once newer, faster CPUs come out.



#15 Ram4x4

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 10:53 AM

Ok.. I understand lanes a bit more now..Ok so maybe I should switch to a 2011v3 board since it has more lanes? Or since the z170 on the 1151 adds 20 more its not worth it?

 

 

 

 

Welll...switching to 2011v3 will also change the CPU selection, but should only be done so for specific reasons.  We're really getting away from PCIE lane concerns here and starting to look at CPU cores instead.

 

Yes, 2011v3 has more lanes overall, but the CPU's available for this socket are 6-core and 8-core I7's and the server/workstation class Xeon CPUs.  The popular I7-4790K's and the other 4-core I7's and i5's won't work in this socket.

 

Now, why is this important?  Let's just lay it out like this:

 

If your goal is maximum gaming performance you would be better served by staying with socket 1150 or 1151.  The reasons are:

 

      1.  The 4-core I7's have faster clock speeds than the 6-core and 8-core I7's.

      2.  Few, if any games use more than 2 CPU cores, ergo the higher clock speed means better frame rates in games.

      3.  6 and 8 core I7's and associated hardware are more expensive.

 

Does that mean a 6 or 8 core set up won't game well, not at all, they will, but the 4 core socket 1150/1151 setups will beat them in gaming...and do it cheaper.

 

On the other hand, if you spend a lot, or most of your time using software that will make use of multiple cores, like CAD, photoshop, video editing, or running virtual machines then your goal is to have as many CPU cores as you can afford.  6 or 8 cores, even at slower clock speeds will beat the 4 core CPUs, even with their higher clock speed in these environments.

 

Also, Intel makes use of a technology known as "Hyperthreading".  This technology generally means a single CPU core can process 2 threads, so a 4 core CPU with Hyperthreading represents an effective 8 CPU cores to the system.  The 6 core CPU with Hyperthreading equates to 12 cores, the 8 core CPUs to 16 cores.

 

Note:  The i5 series of CPUs do NOT have Hyperthreading, so 4 cores is all they have, period.

 

For an example, let's say you intend to run a virtual machine.  Each virtual machine has to have processors (CPU cores) and memory allocated to it because virtually, it is a separate computer).  If I have the 6 core I7 5820K, I effectively have 12 CPU cores I can divide up across the VM and the local host (the main PC itself).  I could run my VM with 6 CPU cores and half the system memory and my host would still have 6 cores and the other half of the memory.  With the 4 core Skylake 6700K, I could only dedicate 4 CPU cores to the VM and 4 to the local host.  If we start running 2 or more VMs simultaneously, well, you can see how the extra CPU cores come into play.

 

If I were running photoshop or CAD, those programs will use all the available CPU cores, so the effective 12 cores of that I7 5820K will process things faster than the total effective 8 cores of the Skylake.

 

Keep in mind, frame rates in games also depend heavily on the video card, so you need a match of CPU power and GPU power.  A 6 core I7 5820K paired with say, an nVidia GTX 970 will out game a 4 core i7 4790K paired with an nVidia GTX 960.  If you run the same make/model of video card, the 4 core 4790K will beat the 5820K 6 core because of a higher clock rate on the CPU (4.0GHz vs the 3.3GHz of the 5820K).

 

Overclocking can potentially even the playing field, but the 4790K will probably overclock to a higher speed yet, so still wins in gaming. 






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