P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x

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highcommander
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2011/02/19 22:06:18 (permalink)
I have done some extensive research to plan for my new build. The P67 chipset and 2600k looked promising although I recently discovered that the P67 only supports 8x PCIe lanes when 2 or more cards are run in an SLI setup. As I understand it, current cards in the mid-range don't require 16xPCIe lanes to pull full bandwidth. Thus 2 x 8xPCIe runs almost as fast as 2 x 16xPCIe lanes.
 
The problem with that is there really isn't much documentation on bandwidth loss with the 560ti, 570, 580 and other mid to high range cards that support tesselation. How do I know this? I called a dozen companies asking for documentation none of which were able to point me into the direction of anything other some fan tests. Even those tests were a good deal dated.
 
So what do I need? Can anyone test 2 x 560ti (or any of the 500 series) in SLI @ 16x/16x then at 8x/8x and share those tests with me here? I would be intrested in an assortment of scores, maybe a few game FPS's and furmark. Be sure to include some with tesselation.
 
Finally, if anyone knows of good documentation that features 500 series cards IN SLI (saw a couple reports with individual cards) with benchmark comparisons of 8x/8x vs 16x/16x I would forever be in your dept.
 
Otherwise I am leaning to 1366 chips on older boards that will support full on 16xPCIe sli.
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    thend005
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/19 22:12:20 (permalink)
    highcommander

    I have done some extensive research to plan for my new build. The P67 chipset and 2600k looked promising although I recently discovered that the P67 only supports 8x PCIe lanes when 2 or more cards are run in an SLI setup. As I understand it, current cards in the mid-range don't require 16xPCIe lanes to pull full bandwidth. Thus 2 x 8xPCIe runs almost as fast as 2 x 16xPCIe lanes.

    The problem with that is there really isn't much documentation on bandwidth loss with the 560ti, 570, 580 and other mid to high range cards that support tesselation. How do I know this? I called a dozen companies asking for documentation none of which were able to point me into the direction of anything other some fan tests. Even those tests were a good deal dated.

    So what do I need? Can anyone test 2 x 560ti (or any of the 500 series) in SLI @ 16x/16x then at 8x/8x and share those tests with me here? I would be intrested in an assortment of scores, maybe a few game FPS's and furmark. Be sure to include some with tesselation.

    Finally, if anyone knows of good documentation that features 500 series cards IN SLI (saw a couple reports with individual cards) with benchmark comparisons of 8x/8x vs 16x/16x I would forever be in your dept.

    Otherwise I am leaning to 1366 chips on older boards that will support full on 16xPCIe sli.

    there is something out there on the high end P67 boards EVGA classied and Gigabyte UD7 called the NF200 chip, which simulates 16x16 for 2 graphics cards since they can't both run natively at that. if you plan on getting a P67 boards in the next few weeks when manufactures have a majority of them back out i suggest getting one with this chip if you wish to SLI and get the max possible capability out of your graphics cards, regardless of which ones you pick, hope that helps.


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    thend005
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/19 22:13:24 (permalink)
    here is a link to the thread i was referring to.
    http://forums.evga.com/tm.aspx?m=804524&mpage=1 


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    highcommander
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/19 22:54:53 (permalink)
    thank you for the links. Although I found that thread contained anything of little use, it did link to another thread with the benchmark I was looking for. http://www.xtremesystems....=SLI+Performance+NF200 there x58 16x/16x was compared to a board running 8x/8x at different clocks (2 card sli 570's).
     
    Interestingly enough the NF200 chip is something I am pretty familiar with (having done some research). The idea is that the NF200 chip only assists in 3 way SLI and (at least on paper) will hurt your latency. That link I provided shows that the 8x/8x series actually outperforms the 16x/16x setup BECAUSE most games/applications don't rely strictly on GPU. It is more of a CPU/GPU balance that the new series 6 chips win out, even gimped at 16x/16x.
     
    I think I was actually thinking about this issue backwards. I wanted a benchmark of 8x/8x vs 16x/16x but I neglected to realize that since the P67 only features 8x/8x what I really was looking for was a x58 vs P67 benchmark... something that link provided.
     
    Thanks again!
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    doorules
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/19 23:42:43 (permalink)
    my ud7 p67 mobo has two 16x slots and I have 580's in both, no problems, you have bad information my buddy, in terms of vantage my scores are right there with the 980x boys, i have reached 57500 so far in vantage

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    highcommander
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 00:08:15 (permalink)
    doorules

    my ud7 p67 mobo has two 16x slots and I have 580's in both, no problems, you have bad information my buddy, in terms of vantage my scores are right there with the 980x boys, i have reached 57500 so far in vantage

     
    Is the top slot occupied by something other than a GPU? because for a 16x/16x setup you need 3 way PCIe occupied with the top slot engaging NF200. I am not debating that p67 boards can't compete with the x58 equivalents with inherent 16x/16x SLI (in fact I have seen testing that shows the 67's beat them). Everything I am readying says do not engage 8x/16x/16x PCIe mode by throwing something (like a sound card) in the top slot. Instead go with 8x/8x SLI as NF200 will add in latency that will under-perform the 8x/8x configuration.
     
    So if you could clarify, are you doing 8x/16x/16x? Because if not there is no other way to get 16x/16x SLI on a P67 (if you say there is please share with us the details as Intel seems to disagree with you.)
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    doorules
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 00:27:12 (permalink)
    no sound card, only pcie devices I have installed are 2 580's and both run at 16x, and I just confirmed it again by checking gpu-z, you are reading too much into the latency of the nf200, my last mobo had 2 nf200's and the mobo could run bench's with anyone, I cannot speak for any other oem's p67 but mine definately has 16x on both gpu's with no other pcie devices attached

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    #7
    micas
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 00:48:47 (permalink)
    You're quibbiling over 1 or 2 percent max. 
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    doorules
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 00:57:09 (permalink)
    it's not the 1 - 2%, he is just under the impression that my mobo will not do 16x on both gpu's, but it does, the 1 - 2% is a whole other conversation

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    highcommander
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 00:57:47 (permalink)
    doorules

    no sound card, only pcie devices I have installed are 2 580's and both run at 16x, and I just confirmed it again by checking gpu-z, you are reading too much into the latency of the nf200, my last mobo had 2 nf200's and the mobo could run bench's with anyone, I cannot speak for any other oem's p67 but mine definately has 16x on both gpu's with no other pcie devices attached

     
    Just checked into it. That board does not have true 16x/16x sli. Let me explain. The old days of SLI had the chipset built into the northbridge. Prior to that they had a NF200 chip design that could be incorporated into the board to make it SLI compatible. These new P67 boards have no notherbridge, traditionally that is what controls the memory although now that is integrated into the CPU. Thus to make the boards SLI compatible they brought back the old NF200 chips and added them in to replace the removed northbridge.
     
    So far good right? Well here is where things get sticky. The P67 series (and H67 for that matter) run a second video card at 8x, THEN the NF200 adds bandwidth to the 2nd card's lanes. It does not add more PCIe lanes, just adds bandwidth.
     
    By design the NVIDIA NF200 chip supports 32 PCI-E 2.5GT/s lanes. So on your board it takes the native 8 lane 5GT/s bus and doubles the bandwidth to 16x5GT/s so you would have 32 lanes of 2.5GT/S PCI-E bus for a on-the-fly 16x SLI. Although it is not a true 16xPCIe by splitting the PCIe lanes already present and adding bandwidth it can run in 16x/16x mode. It should be noted that a 3rd card will be reduced to 8x as there is not enough bandwidth to support full on 16x/16x/16x.
     
    So far still good right? I mean what is the difference between "true" 16x/16x and "NF200 16x/16x" right? Well in all the motherboards I have reviewed so far there is a difference because the NF200 receives ALL PCI-E lanes from the processor. The new P67 Platform Controller Hub (PCH) connects to all of these devices through a secondary PCI-E bus, that has its own clock generator, and its own set of 8 PCI-E switches. The PCH then communicates to the CPU through a high speed 20GB/s DMI interface.
     
    If your following me so far you will start to see where the issue arises. Secondary resources dictate the bandwidth of the PCI-E slots and delegate the communications too and from the CPU (something not necessary in true 16x/16x SLI boards.) IN ALL THE MOTHERBOARDS EXCEPT THIS ONE the NF200 secondary resources control all communications to and from the NF200 and PCI-E slots together.
     
    Here is the good news: On your board the 8 PCI-E switches on the PCH are split up via need.
    You need:
    USB3.0(NEC) x2 switches
    Realtek (LAN) x2 switches
    Marvell SATA6Gx2switches
    iTE PCI Ports (1x) x1 Switch
    PCI-E x1 (x1) switch
     
    So the board has 8 places in need of switches, so that if it is not in use the extra bandwidth can be used for other devices. What about the PCI-E sli cards? Those are allowed to communicate through the PCH but are turned on and off via the CPU. This is an unique P67 board design which allows your peripherals to not interfere with SLI performance and vice versa.
     
    A noble setup that so far is the best P67 layout for a 2-way SLI that I have seen, although still not a true 16x/16x SLI in my eyes. Again, I will add that I believe that it runs just as if those cards were on an x58 board. I do not doubt they run even better than if they were on an x58 board, but don't be fooled... you do not have true 16x/16x SLI.
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    highcommander
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 01:02:57 (permalink)
    doorules

    it's not the 1 - 2%, he is just under the impression that my mobo will not do 16x on both gpu's, but it does, the 1 - 2% is a whole other conversation

     
    Yes exactly... although I think my previous post clarifies my standing on if a NF200 PCH can really be counted as 16x/16x SLI as it really is just a "turbo mode" for 8x PCI-E slots.
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    KingLeo
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 01:09:21 (permalink)
    I have run 570's sli @ 8/8 and 16/16 on p67. The difference is moot. I chose a nf200 board for maybe going 3x in the future. the sound card is pci.


     
     

       
     
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    highcommander
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 01:17:18 (permalink)
    ty for the screenshots. Again though this isn't the question of 8x/8x vs 16x/16x on an NF200 board. It is the question of 16x/16x on a true SLI board (such as those in the x58 series) vs benchmark on the P67 chipsets.
     
    overall this question is really moot after having done extensive research I have found that x58 (northbridge SLI controllers) vs P67 (NF200 PCH controllers) vs NF200 8x/8x vs NF200 16x/8x vs NF200 16x/16x really all comes out with a 1 to 2 FPS in games and 1 to 2 percent score in most benchmarks.
     
    What bothers me about all this isn't the speed bu HOW each P67 Platform Controller Hub (PCH) on a given P67 board is set-up. So far that GB one is the best I have seen in how PCI-E bandwidth lanes are delegated.
     
    Think it doesn't matter? I bet I could run a benchmark that uses USB 3.0 in turbo mode while running a Graphics SLI benchmark and transfer using LANx2 and show a significant drop in GPU performance (vs a MB that utilizes a shared PCH switching technology.)
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    KingLeo
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 01:37:50 (permalink)
    Granted, the more pcie lanes without a nf200 chip the better. For end use the cpu has got to play a part in it also. the headroom sandy has negates the 1 to 2 percent loss unless you are using 980 or better. To me, apples to apples is more about price point. Not ghz. Although I don't know if money plays a part in your research

       
     
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    highcommander
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 01:40:03 (permalink)
    By the way check out the last few minutes of this unboxing, around 13:15... it shows native 8x/8x on a Asus Maximus IV Extreme vs the NF200 16x/16x conversion. Results say it all.
     
    http://www.youtube.com/us...Tech#p/u/2/-Bg1Z2ljKXY
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    highcommander
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 01:43:53 (permalink)
    KingLeo

    Granted, the more pcie lanes without a nf200 chip the better. For end use the cpu has got to play a part in it also. the headroom sandy has negates the 1 to 2 percent loss unless you are using 980 or better. To me, apples to apples is more about price point. Not ghz. Although I don't know if money plays a part in your research

    Oh KingLeo money is a HUGE factor in my personal research in my search for my next build. In the results I leave it out of consideration when I share with others because it is so simple just look up costs of product on ones own.
     
    Personally I agree with you that when you compare an x58 setup (have to go with 980 to compete with the i7 2600k) you HAVE to consider the price point too. There is no question the series 6 processors (and the matching P67 boards if you can find them) are the best buy for your money. This becomes very clear when you look at the $300 AMD and previous generation intel chips in comparison to the same price 2500/2600 and k models.
    post edited by highcommander - 2011/02/20 01:46:25
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    Tropickz
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 02:08:08 (permalink)
    Just my two cents.. 
    But you put a 8x8 next to a 16x16 and play a game, couldn't prolly pick which one was running 16x16 .... It's only by the numbers and benchmarks would you be able to tell....but I pick games over math anyday.  

     
     
     
     
     
     
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    highcommander
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 02:31:23 (permalink)
    Tropickz

    Just my two cents.. 
    But you put a 8x8 next to a 16x16 and play a game, couldn't prolly pick which one was running 16x16 .... It's only by the numbers and benchmarks would you be able to tell....but I pick games over math anyday.  

    Depends on the card and board. For example dual HD 5970's would suffer greatly in 8x/8x (granted they are the top of the line dual GPU's with optional 4GB memory), also if you go with a cheap P67 board you can loose bandwidth through PCI-E resource sharing among USB, LAN and other controllers.

    So yah sit me down besides 2 pc's with 560ti's in SLI on a Sabertooth board and run them in 8x8x vs 16x16x and I wont be able to tell a difference. Then sit me down infront of a P67 entry level board from intel running 2 x HD 5970 XFX Radeon HD 5970 Black Edition 4 GB Retail Cards in SLI and I bet you 999 out of 1000 people could see a difference in 16x/16x vs 8x/8x.
     
    So you have a valid point as far as it address my build concerns, although it gets less valid with specific situations including poorly designed P67 boards and high end graphics.
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    Tropickz
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 03:23:54 (permalink)
    I see your point, but radeon's would be crossfire not so much sli 
     
    have you looked into waiting for x68 ?
     
    http://www.guru3d.com/news/intel-lga2011-socket-x68-express-chipset-photo/
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
    #19
    AlphaNerd
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 08:21:15 (permalink)
    I have the p8p67 deluxe from Asus as well, I am also running to gtx570's in sli - CUTS LIKE A HOT KNIFE THROUGH BUTTER... I am so glad I went the SB route ..... Anyway, that's my 2 cents for the day.


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    highcommander
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 16:17:39 (permalink)
    LOL would people stop saying they have a p67 running sli and it is smoken' fast... that is not the debate here :) I really do appreciate the reviews but other threads would be more suited for that.
     
    [link=showprofile.aspx?memid=754407]@Tropickz[/link] The LGA 2011 and x68 sounds pretty amazing although it really is unclear when we should start seeing them... Same goes for the  Bulldozer from AMD. Part of me knows waiting will bring about a superior product although I am under some time constraints. I don't think I will be able to hold out long enough for them.
     
    At the very least if they are far superior I will be able to keep most of my parts and purchase a new CPU and board (assuming I go with 2011).
     
    All I have decided at this point is that going with a x58 for discrete SLI 16x/16x is going backwards. I plan on going with at LEAST a p67/2600k with an eye on the possibility of getting the new x68 if a release date beats me to the market.
    #21
    AlphaNerd
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 18:59:39 (permalink)
    I do believe that going with the 8x/8x wont even be noticeable to your eye. If everyone is telling you that they are running sli and it is awesome with 8x/8x why would the numbers matter.... If you keep trying to squeeze out every high number you can you will never be satisfied....


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    blacksapphire08
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/20 19:41:59 (permalink)
    On my board I ran my GTX 460 at x16 and then at x8, did not even notice a difference in fps in games. Also ran the 3DMark11 bench and there was a 100 point difference between x16 and x8. It's really not a big deal.

     
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    highcommander
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    Re:P67/H67 16xPCIe SLI runs @ 8x/8x 2011/02/21 03:33:31 (permalink)
    ty again for the suggestions, again it is not a question of 8x vs 16x on a board. It is a question of NF200 16x/16x vs 16x/16x inherent on some boards (ie.. the x58)
     
    But I really do appreciate the advice and I am strongly leaning to the P67 board with the NF200 controller.
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