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Intel unleashes Mac-bound "Woodcrest" server chip - Page 12

post #441 of 566
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by BradMacPro
I'd bet that Apple will keep the Yonah around for the first go 'round. By the time the Merom's are speed bumped, then the Yonah's will finally be replaced with price cut Merom. Of course it could be a bit different for the MacBook if Apple wants to use the Merom to boost battery life and not speed.

Back to the big boys: How many readers of this Forum would really buy a Quad Woodcrest, or would be reasonably happy with a nice Conroe Extreme Edition dual Mac Pro? Nice as in >=2GB of RAM and >=250GB disk space. It would have a faster clock rate to brag about and we might still have enough money for gasoline.

I am buying the 3GHz woodcrest with an Nvidia x2 card most likely because I am starting to think that they wont come through with dual 16X PCI -E lanes, but I'll take it, and hope that the next revision has them.
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post #442 of 566
two 16 lane PCIe slots, one 8 lane, and one 4 lane works out to 44 lanes, plus two for Firewire and one for Bluetooth comes to 47 lanes. That's a lot, especially for a 2-socket board

Or what if they use 16x slots timed to 8x? that'd be only about 40 lanes (including dedicated FW/BT lanes), which is more doable. All slots are 16x sized, only timing varies. You could have a 16x lane, 2 8x lanes, and a 4x lane, in this order: 16-8a-8b-4

When you do SLI, the x16 speed slot shuts off half its lanes, so you have SLI'd 8-lane (like most early SLI solutions did). When you're not in SLI mode, the 16x lane works normally, allowing for a Quadro or 7950GX2 to use the full bandwidth easily.

They could even drop to the current 36 lanes if they take 8b down to a 4x solution. Having 8b allows for SLI and Fibre Channel or eSATA on one machine, which is nice, but may not be totally necessary for them to support.
post #443 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by BradMacPro
Back to the big boys: How many readers of this Forum would really buy a Quad Woodcrest, or would be reasonably happy with a nice Conroe Extreme Edition dual Mac Pro? Nice as in >=2GB of RAM and >=250GB disk space. It would have a faster clock rate to brag about and we might still have enough money for gasoline.

What it comes down to is what rabbit Apple pulls out of their hat (or asses, if you will), and when they do it. The expense of a quad without much software that supports it is pretty much moot. Quicktime maxes out at 2P, parts of iLife (I know iDVD for sure) don't even try to use more than 1P even if it needs it. I would hope that Apple doesn't wait for Kentsfield to release their next line.

I was considering replacing the old 2P workstation that I have for a work computer, but in reality, there's nothing wrong with it. It would have been nice to get a quad, one that runs OS X too, have parallels run two operating systems, but in reality, I don't need OS X for work.
post #444 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
What it comes down to is what rabbit Apple pulls out of their hat (or asses, if you will), and when they do it. The expense of a quad without much software that supports it is pretty much moot. Quicktime maxes out at 2P, parts of iLife (I know iDVD for sure) don't even try to use more than 1P even if it needs it.

Don't be surprised to see that change quickly. Apple has an all-dualcore line (minus the low-end Mini), and so is going to jump on multithreading and multi-processor. Vista is supposed to struggle with more than 2-4 core multiprocessing. 4-8 core could become standard by 2009 (Vista's successor's release date), and Apple will have performance advantage if Macs take more advantage of multi-core than PCs do.
post #445 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by ZachPruckowski
Don't be surprised to see that change quickly. Apple has an all-dualcore line (minus the low-end Mini), and so is going to jump on multithreading and multi-processor. Vista is supposed to struggle with more than 2-4 core multiprocessing. 4-8 core could become standard by 2009 (Vista's successor's release date), and Apple will have performance advantage if Macs take more advantage of multi-core than PCs do.

Likey some time next year will be able to buy a 2 cpu 8 core amd system.
post #446 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by Joe_the_dragon
Likey some time next year will be able to buy a 2 cpu 8 core amd system.

There will be 8 core Intel systems as well.
post #447 of 566
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Joe_the_dragon
Likey some time next year will be able to buy a 2 cpu 8 core amd system.

Are you saying "we'll" as in "we will" be, or "will" be? Because I'm not sure what it is your saying.

Either way - By the end of this year 4 core processors will be available from intel, and Apple should upgrade their high-end workstation with at least one single socket, and dual socket configuration sometime after that point IMO. Probably a one more thing in Jan @ MWSF, but it will be big bank. Although Woodcrest configurations might get lowered slightly at that time as well.
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post #448 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
Are you saying "we'll" as in "we will" be, or "will" be? Because I'm not sure what it is your saying.

Either way - By the end of this year 4 core processors will be available from intel, and Apple should upgrade their high-end workstation with at least one single socket, and dual socket configuration sometime after that point IMO. Probably a one more thing in Jan @ MWSF, but it will be big bank. Although Woodcrest configurations might get lowered slightly at that time as well.

Now: Quad-2.00/Quad-2.33/Quad-3.00
January: Quad-2.33/Quad-3.00/Octo-something (whatever fits the price)
post #449 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
What it comes down to is what rabbit Apple pulls out of their hat (or asses, if you will), and when they do it. The expense of a quad without much software that supports it is pretty much moot. Quicktime maxes out at 2P, parts of iLife (I know iDVD for sure) don't even try to use more than 1P even if it needs it. I would hope that Apple doesn't wait for Kentsfield to release their next line.

In reality though, that doesn't matter so much. Rarely do you just run iDVD or just Quicktime. No, you're more likely to set something off encoding and then get on with other work so even badly threaded programs running on only one or two of your processors leaves you with other processors left over to do other work.

I think that will change quite rapidly though. Apple have a long history of dual CPU machines so they're in a better position than most software wise. 4 and 8 cores in computers in the next year or so will quickly get developers thinking of better threaded software.

If only they'd bought BeOS instead of NeXT though. <sigh>
post #450 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
In reality though, that doesn't matter so much. Rarely do you just run iDVD or just Quicktime. No, you're more likely to set something off encoding and then get on with other work so even badly threaded programs running on only one or two of your processors leaves you with other processors left over to do other work.

I can usually do plenty of work with a computer even if the CPU meter is pegged. I just resent the idea that I have two processors and one is simply idle when the process is taking too long encoding MPEG2 DVD with a single thread. I think it is odd, especially when the software maker has a complete line of dual processor computers but no single piece of software, save some pro apps, that takes advantage of it, even when it is relatively easy pickings.
post #451 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
I can usually do plenty of work with a computer even if the CPU meter is pegged. I just resent the idea that I have two processors and one is simply idle when the process is taking too long encoding MPEG2 DVD with a single thread. I think it is odd, especially when the software maker has a complete line of dual processor computers but no single piece of software, save some pro apps, that takes advantage of it, even when it is relatively easy pickings.

There's certainly some glaring gaps in Apple's multi-cpu support and Quicktime is one of them. Since it's at the heart of so many media apps, you'd think they'd spend some time getting it running well multi-cpu. The update from Quicktime 6 to 7 was a big rewrite. Maybe they'll finish the rewrite in Quicktime 8 and then many of the apps that don't perform so well will get instant updates.

That's one of the beautiful things with using Apple's frameworks and also one of it's curses.
post #452 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign

If only they'd bought BeOS instead of NeXT though. <sigh>

Boy, do I remember the arguments we used to have in the usergroup about that one!
post #453 of 566
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Placebo
The low-end Mac Mini isn't a Celeron D. The low-end iMac isn't a Pentium 4. The low-end Macbook Pro isn't a Pentium M...I doubt they'd make that significant of a change at the lowend [Conroe in lowest model Mac Pro]. Especially since it would reduce the bulk they can buy motherboards in since they'd no longer be unified.



Yeah, design considerations/ only-one-motherboard wise, that would move more towards an all-Woodcrest Mac Pro line.
post #454 of 566
[QUOTE]Originally posted by onlooker
I am buying the 3GHz woodcrest with an Nvidia x2 card most likely because I am starting to think that they wont come through with dual 16X PCI -E lanes, but I'll take it, and hope that the next revision has them.


You're still *hoping vaguely* that SLI/Crossfire will show up and you're *hoping somewhat* that they'll offer the nVidia 7950gx2 What if both don't happen?


[QUOTE]Originally posted by ZachPruckowski
...When you do SLI, the x16 speed slot shuts off half its lanes, so you have SLI'd 8-lane (like most early SLI solutions did). When you're not in SLI mode, the 16x lane works normally, allowing for a Quadro or 7950GX2 to use the full bandwidth easily...


Newer PC motherboards eg. from Asus have x16 x16 SLI lanes (marketed as 32X SLI or something). But yeah, they can do this because that's 32 PCIExpress lanes, there's only 2 16x PCIEx slots for GPU, the rest is PCI. Since Apple would like to have 4x and 8x PCIex slots, so yes, you have a point on total number of lanes. I'm not going to get too bitchy but I am just going to reiterate generally IMO Apple is NOT going to have SLI/Crossfire.
post #455 of 566
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by ZachPruckowski
two 16 lane PCIe slots, one 8 lane, and one 4 lane works out to 44 lanes, plus two for Firewire and one for Bluetooth comes to 47 lanes. That's a lot, especially for a 2-socket board

Or what if they use 16x slots timed to 8x? that'd be only about 40 lanes (including dedicated FW/BT lanes), which is more doable. All slots are 16x sized, only timing varies. You could have a 16x lane, 2 8x lanes, and a 4x lane, in this order: 16-8a-8b-4

When you do SLI, the x16 speed slot shuts off half its lanes, so you have SLI'd 8-lane (like most early SLI solutions did). When you're not in SLI mode, the 16x lane works normally, allowing for a Quadro or 7950GX2 to use the full bandwidth easily.

They could even drop to the current 36 lanes if they take 8b down to a 4x solution. Having 8b allows for SLI and Fibre Channel or eSATA on one machine, which is nice, but may not be totally necessary for them to support.

Not true. The AMD Pro boards never did that. Only the intel ones were not true 16X Dual lanes. Nvidia's Nforce4 boards do not do that either. They are true dual full speed 16x PCI-E lanes.
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post #456 of 566
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Quote:
Originally posted by sunilraman
You're still *hoping vaguely* that SLI/Crossfire will show up and you're *hoping somewhat* that they'll offer the nVidia 7950gx2 What if both don't happen?


I'm not hoping for crossfire. ATI sucks, and their so called crossfire idea doesn't even compete with SLI.

I have faith. If Apple does not provide (I think they will) I'll probably attempt to HW mod a PC version.
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post #457 of 566
Onlooker said:
"Nvidia's Nforce4 boards do not do that either. They are true dual full speed 16x PCI-E lanes."



My Asus A8N-SLI [normal, not "Premium" or "Deluxe"] has 2 PCIExpress slots. Nforce4 chipset. AFAIK when running SLI it is only overall PCIExpress x16 communicating with the 2 GPUs.

Dual x16 requires something like a Asus A8N32-SLI :
http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2589&p=2
These Dual x16 for Intel and AMD setups came after the initial SLI mobos made it to the market.
post #458 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by sunilraman
Yeah, design considerations/ only-one-motherboard wise, that would move more towards an all-Woodcrest Mac Pro line.

I forget how many Pro towers Apple has typically sold, but if they are making several tens of thousands of them in each price bracket, there is a chance that it is more economical to have two distinct boards.
post #459 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
I forget how many Pro towers Apple has typically sold, but if they are making several tens of thousands of them in each price bracket, there is a chance that it is more economical to have two distinct boards.

Whether it's economical or not doesn't seem to stop them. See the iMac transition from G5 to Intel - how short lived was that? Or any of the PowerMacs from the G3 up, different models have had different motherboards.

By the way, I'm saddened to see the gamers have taken over the thread again. WTF cares if you can run dual gamer cards in a Pro mac?
post #460 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
Whether it's economical or not doesn't seem to stop them. See the iMac transition from G5 to Intel - how short lived was that? Or any of the PowerMacs from the G3 up, different models have had different motherboards.

By the way, I'm saddened to see the gamers have taken over the thread again. WTF cares if you can run dual gamer cards in a Pro mac?

The volume of iMac sales is probably so high that they might have made the money back by changing some components. More iMacs are probably sold in a quarter than the Pro towers in a year.

I don't think it makes sense to run games on the Pro towers (IMO, better to buy a Windows computer for that), but there might be some 3D app use.
post #461 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
I don't think it makes sense to run games on the Pro towers (IMO, better to buy a Windows computer for that), but there might be some 3D app use.

IMO better to buy a console. For the price of one of the cards alone you get a whole system that you can use from the comfort of your sofa on your TV.
post #462 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
IMO better to buy a console. For the price of one of the cards alone you get a whole system that you can use from the comfort of your sofa on your TV.

That's a completely different discussion, another argument that really doesn't have a place here.
post #463 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
That's a completely different discussion, another argument that really doesn't have a place here.

Here being outside the realms of common sense.
post #464 of 566
I wouldn't assume you'll be able to buy a quad with a relatively low clock rate. Also don't assume you'll be able to upgrade a dual to a quad later. The current G5 models have soldered in CPU(s), so you can't upgrade a dual core (single chip) to a dual chip (quad cores). The chips don't have pins like in the old days. So no pins, no socket, so no upgrade, unless the go back to the CPU daughterboard scheme. That takes up space, leaving less for the heat sink. And while I'm on that subject, why doesn't Apple use more efficient copper heat sinks? They can't be that more expensive.
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post #465 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
Not true. The AMD Pro boards never did that. Only the intel ones were not true 16X Dual lanes. Nvidia's Nforce4 boards do not do that either. They are true dual full speed 16x PCI-E lanes.

He may be confused over that because the first SLI and Crossfire mobo's used two 8 lane slots.
post #466 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
I'm not hoping for crossfire. ATI sucks, and their so called crossfire idea doesn't even compete with SLI.

I have faith. If Apple does not provide (I think they will) I'll probably attempt to HW mod a PC version.

You know, while some people have said that, testing hasn't shown that to be true. Besides, just as SLI has improved, Crossfire has as well. The old limitations are no longer there. The original scheme had limitations imposed by the chip on the Master card that processed the combined data - not enough bandwidth, though, even that didn't show up on real world usage.

Advantages are that you don't have to use two of the same boards.
post #467 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
I forget how many Pro towers Apple has typically sold, but if they are making several tens of thousands of them in each price bracket, there is a chance that it is more economical to have two distinct boards.

While Apple makes a big deal about its mobo's, it really isn't a big deal. There are several mobo makers who have at least a half dozen boards apiece on the market. They come out with boards every 3 months. These boards go retail for an average price of $150. They include the latest tech on the better boards, and some can overclock like crazy!

Apple really needs to wake up here. Now that they are competing more directly with the PC market, they are going to have to compete on mobo features as well. While they may have to be dragged kicking and screaming into this new world they joined, eventually, they won't have much choice.

Apple has been selling 100 thousand towers per quarter the last 18 months or so. Likely the sales have dropped even further the past few months.
post #468 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign

By the way, I'm saddened to see the gamers have taken over the thread again. WTF cares if you can run dual gamer cards in a Pro mac?

Amen.
post #469 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
He may be confused over that because the first SLI and Crossfire mobo's used two 8 lane slots.

I'm not confused, I recognize that dual 16-lane solutions exist, but those solutions have almost no other PCIe lanes, whereas the Mac Pro needs at least another 8-lane slot, and probably a 4-lane slot. The 8-lane slot would be for Fibre Channel or eSATA cards, and I assume the other 4 or 1 lane slot would be for whatever else the pro uses. That runs to 44 or 41 lanes, without counting in Firewire and Bluetooth. The most lanes I've heard of was on a dual-16-lane board that had 43, and it was a gamer board.

Because the Mac Pro isn't entirely (or even mostly) a gaming machine, it can't spare the lanes to give 32 to SLI graphics, but it might be able to spare 24 (16-lane & 8-lane), with another 8 lane and a 1 or 4 lane slot. That's still 36 lanes, which is a lot for a dual-socket board under $400-500. But it's the only way Apple could do SLI (if they choose to) while still allowing enough other card slots for people who would never use dual graphics solution.
post #470 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by ZachPruckowski
I'm not confused, I recognize that dual 16-lane solutions exist, but those solutions have almost no other PCIe lanes, whereas the Mac Pro needs at least another 8-lane slot, and probably a 4-lane slot. The 8-lane slot would be for Fibre Channel or eSATA cards, and I assume the other 4 or 1 lane slot would be for whatever else the pro uses. That runs to 44 or 41 lanes, without counting in Firewire and Bluetooth. The most lanes I've heard of was on a dual-16-lane board that had 43, and it was a gamer board.

Because the Mac Pro isn't entirely (or even mostly) a gaming machine, it can't spare the lanes to give 32 to SLI graphics, but it might be able to spare 24 (16-lane & 8-lane), with another 8 lane and a 1 or 4 lane slot. That's still 36 lanes, which is a lot for a dual-socket board under $400-500. But it's the only way Apple could do SLI (if they choose to) while still allowing enough other card slots for people who would never use dual graphics solution.

You are confused, because I said that the early solution used two 8 lane slots.

If you think that one 16 and one 8 lane slot can be used together for SLI, that is wrong. Both slots must be the same.

I couldn't care less if Apple gets SLI, Crossfire, or any other two card solution.

That requires a chip that supports it as well.
post #471 of 566
Thread Starter 
I think your both confused about what the other just said the last time.

And Zach is using the term "slot" where he should be using the term "lane" if I understand him correctly.

40 lanes is going to be the standard for a fully capable board because Nvidia's Nforce4 SLI 16X board is really the one who set the standard, and theirs is the only current board that is firing on all cylinders IMO.

And also. What makers a motherboard a Gamer board? I don't see any difference between a Gamer board, and highend 3D graphics workstation board component wise. The board isn't what makes a machine a gaming machine. It's the user.
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post #472 of 566
Sunilraman, why in hell can't you quote normally like the rest of us?
post #473 of 566
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by sunilraman
Onlooker said:
"Nvidia's Nforce4 boards do not do that either. They are true dual full speed 16x PCI-E lanes."



My Asus A8N-SLI [normal, not "Premium" or "Deluxe"] has 2 PCIExpress slots. Nforce4 chipset. AFAIK when running SLI it is only overall PCIExpress x16 communicating with the 2 GPUs.

Dual x16 requires something like a Asus A8N32-SLI :
http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2589&p=2
These Dual x16 for Intel and AMD setups came after the initial SLI mobos made it to the market.

Yeah, Quote like a normal human you alien freak. Just kidding.

The first boards were no ones fault but the manufacturers. Tyan was AFAIAC the only one to get it right almost right away. Once people started to note that you needed 2 full speed 16X lanes Tyan came out with the Thunder K8WE (S2895) board which is what I have in my Alienware MJ-12 workstation. Freaking awesome board, and a wicked awsome 3D machine if I do say so myself. This I believe was also the same board that BOXX opted for in their AMD workstations.
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post #474 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
I think your both confused about what the other just said the last time.

And Zach is using the term "slot" where he should be using the term "lane" if I understand him correctly.

40 lanes is going to be the standard for a fully capable board because Nvidia's Nforce4 SLI 16X board is really the one who set the standard, and theirs is the only current board that is firing on all cylinders IMO.

And also. What makers a motherboard a Gamer board? I don't see any difference between a Gamer board, and highend 3D graphics workstation board component wise. The board isn't what makes a machine a gaming machine. It's the user.

It does get complex. There are slots that are mechanically able to accept 16 lane boards, that is, boards that will transfer data over 16 lanes if the ability of the slot to do so is there. But, one of the confusing aspects of Express is that the slots can be mechanically able to accept a 16 lane board, while be electrically able to only function as an 8 or even 4 lane slot (or 2, or even 1). Apple does this with its current Express machines. Only the slot designated as the "normal" graphics slot is both mechanically AND electrically functionable as a 16 lane slot. The others will accept 16 lane boards, but will only function as an 8 or 4 lane slot.

Cheaper mobo's have slots that aren't mechanically able to accept a 16, 8, 4,or even 2 lane board. they, therefore, can't accept graphics cards, as Apple's other slots will, though with less performance.

The original concept for SLI and Crossfire was that there wasn't enough bandwidth and lanes available for two 16 lane slots in addition to what was needed for the rest of the board. Therefore, the first SLI and Crossfire solutions only were able to have 8 lanes per graphics slot working. Two slots, therefore, had only a total of 16 electrical lanes. There was a lot of unhappiness about that in the gaming community, and the latest boards have two 16 electrically active lanes per slot.
post #475 of 566
Mel Gross are you related to Todd Gross the weatherman?



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post #476 of 566
Ok, let me try to clarify myself:

1) PowerMacs have all the PCIe slots at size x16, but wired differently.
2) You can use dual-x8 or dual-x16 to run SLI.
3) 40 PCIe lanes is the maximum limit we're expecting here, since that's a high number already, and dual-socket boards tend to have fewer lanes (or so it seems).

My idea was for Apple to create a way to have a lane that can run as either x16 or x8, through some method that disables half the lanes when it's in SLI mode. This way, you can have an SLI-mode that's dual x8, or a single card mode that's x16 and an adjacent x8. That'd be a new feature for motherboards (AFAIK), but pretty sweet if it happened.

At one point, Apple was advertising having like 8 monitors on the Powermac, by pointing 6600GTs in the x4 slots and the x8 slot. Which leads me to believe that a dual-x8 solution wouldn't be horrible for a 7x00 series SLI. This is because I've heard that most graphics cards don't use all the bandwidth of a x16 slot wired to 16 lanes.

However, Quadros and 8x00 series cards will absolutely need 16 lanes, and people who go the single graphics route will want a fully 16-lane-wired slot.

Apple can't afford dual-x16, because they then couldn't have more than an additional 4-lane slot (which might be x16 sized), since they need 2-3 lanes for FW and BT.

I was trying to create a theoretical way for Apple to be able to include SLI on it's mobos.
post #477 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by ZachPruckowski


My idea was for Apple to create a way to have a lane that can run as either x16 or x8, through some method that disables half the lanes when it's in SLI mode. This way, you can have an SLI-mode that's dual x8, or a single card mode that's x16 and an adjacent x8. That'd be a new feature for motherboards (AFAIK), but pretty sweet if it happened.


I was trying to create a theoretical way for Apple to be able to include SLI on it's mobos.

They have board that do that.
post #478 of 566
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by ZachPruckowski

My idea was for Apple to create a way to have a lane that can run as either x16 or x8, through some method that disables half the lanes when it's in SLI mode. This way, you can have an SLI-mode that's dual x8, or a single card mode that's x16 and an adjacent x8. That'd be a new feature for motherboards (AFAIK), but pretty sweet if it happened.



Apple can't afford dual-x16, because they then couldn't have more than an additional 4-lane slot (which might be x16 sized), since they need 2-3 lanes for FW and BT.

But that's the past which was the original problem with SLI motherboards. Apples current G5 has a single 16X PCI-E slot, and I think it also has an 8X slot so you could already do what it is your suggesting.

To have dual 8x slots is no better than to have one single 16x slot, and I'm not sure that your seeing that.

The future of high-speed, and high-end graphics is to have two Full speed 16X PCI-E slots if you want them. There is no better solution. SLI-2X cards in one single slot are a substitute, but they don't compare to the dual slots because you can use two SLI-2x cards into a true SLI configuration and simulate a Quad SLI configuration if your graphics needs are that demanding.

The single 16X slot is old cow.
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post #479 of 566
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
The future of high-speed, and high-end graphics is to have two Full speed 16X PCI-E slots if you want them. There is no better solution.

I 100% agree. But that's too much to ask of a dual-processor motherboard in a computer line not targeted to gamers. In a gamer targeted line (like an XPS or an Alienware) you can get away with 2 x16 slots and nothing else, but you can't do that in a workstation, because people have need of 2-3 non-graphics slots, and they can't all be 1x.

I suppose a riser is possible, like what Dell and Alienware do for Quad SLI, but only in one x16 slot. That'd provide SLI reasonably, and is an option I somehow forgot.
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Originally posted by ZachPruckowski
I 100% agree. But that's too much to ask of a dual-processor motherboard in a computer line not targeted to gamers. In a gamer targeted line (like an XPS or an Alienware) you can get away with 2 x16 slots and nothing else, but you can't do that in a workstation, because people have need of 2-3 non-graphics slots, and they can't all be 1x.

I suppose a riser is possible, like what Dell and Alienware do for Quad SLI, but only in one x16 slot. That'd provide SLI reasonably, and is an option I somehow forgot.

Interestingly I think they just need to improve the technology so they are all 16X slots. But until then what about setting them manually in system preferences. What if you could jump into SP, and regulate the speed of your PCI-E slots? That could be an immediate solution. You could possibly even reduce your main graphics slot to 8, 4 even 2X if you needed speed elsewhere for some reason or another. Maybe a power hungry PCI-E card running to an Expansion Chassis that was needed for PCI, and PCI-X ports for musicians hardware that was not yet updated to PCI-E. - Bullseye. An often mentioned concern of many friends of mine.
onlooker
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onlooker
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