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Old January 4, 2011, 10:11 AM
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After hitting an IO impasse with my old Maximus Formula, I've decided I need a new mainboard. It's not an issue of my old Q6600 and DDR2 not being fast enough, although an overall system speed increase certainly wouldn't hurt. My problem is IO connectivity.

I had to pull one of my graphics cards to install my Revo2 and with only 1x PCIe slots remaining I can't even install a decent USB3 card that doesn't limit devices to SATA1 speeds. PCIe is really the only IO with sufficient bandwidth in today's world and anything under 4X is not much good for anything but audio.

I shouldn't have to install PCIe cards to get USB3 or SATA3 anyway. With a newer MB they'd be onboard. What I need is a MB with lots of 16x PCIe slots and all the new connectivity.

Unfortunately most MBs I've looked at are limited to only four PCIe 16x slots. This is clearly insufficient considering that new demands on IO bandwidth are developing regularly. OCZ is pushing its PCIe-based HSDL because SATA3 is already obsolete for SSDs. Even if they release PCIe 16x cards capable of multiple HSDL SSDs, I can see a half dozen PCIe 16x slots being filled really fast.

So far the MB that comes closest to what I need seems to be the EVGA SR-2 with seven PCIe 16x slots (quad SLI capable for those who care), eight SATA (two SATA3) and a dozen USB (two USB3) and onboard firewire. It also has other high-end features like dual socket 1366 and support for 48GB of DDR3.

EVGA | Products

Unfortunately it's just crazy expensive and will require something like this to hold it:

MountainMods.com-Computer Cases-Parts-Motherboard Parts-Modular HPTX-SR2 Motherboard tray assembly

There must be a happy medium. Any suggestions?
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Old January 4, 2011, 10:26 AM
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If I recall, MSI has a Sandy Bridge "Big Bang" board coming out that is purely 16x PCIe slots. That could very fit the bill.

I think MSI already has similar boards out too for the older platforms.
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Old January 4, 2011, 10:57 AM
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If I recall, MSI has a Sandy Bridge "Big Bang" board coming out that is purely 16x PCIe slots. That could very fit the bill.

I think MSI already has similar boards out too for the older platforms.
Thanks for the quick response. I'll look into it. How long before they hit the street?
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Old January 4, 2011, 11:10 AM
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evga msi both type of boards have huge pci-e ports available. do some diging you find whay you'll need easy or the asus supercomputer board has like 5 or something
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Old January 4, 2011, 01:05 PM
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Thanks guys.

The two Asus boards are nice but they lack USB3 and SATA3 and I don't really need SAS. What's the point of a half dozen PCIe slots if I have to waste two right from the start on SATA3 and USB3 cards? Too bad. I like Asus MBs and haven't used anything else since Abit went under.

The MSI Big Bang Xpower looks good though, with six 16x PCIe2 slots capable of actually running two at 16x, two at 8x, and two at 4x simultaneously. It also has two onboard SATA3 and 2 onboard USB3 connectors. I certainly don't need dual CPUs or 48GB of RAM and it looks like this should fit in my Coolermaster Cosmos1000. I seem to recall having a problem with an MSI MB once, but that was long ago (first gen Nforce maybe?) but I'm sure this MB would be fine. A single i7 should do me just fine.

This is exactly the sort of happy medium I was talking about. I'll keep looking and taking suggestions for a while though.

Thanks again.
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Old January 4, 2011, 01:13 PM
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well are you going sandy or just an old i7 cause i think you know what i am going to say, considering sandy is right around the corner eh or is it this corner were at right know ha ha you get my point
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Old January 4, 2011, 01:32 PM
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I read over your post a few times but can't seem to find why you need a motherboard w/ more 'IO bandwidth' and why you think your current board isn't supplying enough of it.
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Old January 4, 2011, 01:39 PM
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I read over your post a few times but can't seem to find why you need a motherboard w/ more 'IO bandwidth' and why you think your current board isn't supplying enough of it.
Agree. Unless you're doing massive data xfers to/from almost all these devices at the same time (and what could that possibly be outside server uses?) I fail to see how you could be IO limited.

Even barring that you DO actually 'use' that much IO, getting any board that uses a nf200 chip to give 'virtual' lanes will only pass the bottleneck further down the pipe.

Think DSL vs Cable. Same issues with bandwith as PC's with IO in your (possible) case.
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Old January 4, 2011, 01:44 PM
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he might just need more pci-e lanes..err..slots.. to put his stuff into, but the mobos with that many said lanes are expensive? from what he says :)
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