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Old Mar 3, 2012, 09:09 PM   #1
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All We Know About Maximizing CPU Related Performance

For those individuals who have successfully built or currently successfully build their own system(s) and/or have successfully modified or do successfully modify their prebuilt system(s) for maximum CPU performance, and for those individuals who are earnestly interested in successfully building or modifying their own personal prebuilt system(s) for maximum CPU performance, this thread is dedicated to being a one-stop-shop for locating information helpful for successfully maximizing CPU performance. There are other threads (and forums) for the expression of views by those who advocate (or believe) that doing neither is best and there are other threads (and forums) for software, including OS, installation [such as http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/ind...owtopic=185097 ] and tweaking [such as http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/ind...ic=233891&st=0 or http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/ind...owtopic=196771 ], but this isn't one of those threads. So with that opening in mind, I hope that those of you who are experienced and successful at maximizing CPU performance by system build and/or modification contribute your knowledge so that those who truly desire to learn how to enhance their system's CPU's performance are enlightened. I hope that those of you who truly desire to learn how to enhance system CPU performance by system build and/or modification get your questions answered clearly and satisfactory.

By using the phrase "CPU Related Performance" I intend that this thread also include information regarding other modifications such as, but not limited to, better cooling, faster storage, video card upgrades for OCL/CUDA assist, PCI-e based CPU assist, and memory upgrades.

Please revisit this first post regularly as I will be continually compiling here a resource summary for building and modifying different systems. This summary includes:

I. Modifying an Intel Mac Pro :

1) Mac Pro 1,1 -
(a) CPU swap [For possible Xeon 5100 CPU configurations see http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/T...on%205100.html ; for possible Xeon 5300 CPU configurations see http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/T...on%205300.html and for standard/approved configurations see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_Pro ] and/or BSEL/VID mod [ http://www.o0o.it/pro/ ];
(b) EFI utility for 2006 MP [ http://forum.netkas.org/index.php?ac...4.0;attach=888 ];
(c) ZDNet utility [ http://www.zdnet.de/magazin/39192217...of-mac-pro.htm ] works best with 800 MHz ram;
(d) smcFanControl [ http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/23049/smcfancontrol ];
(e) more powerful fans at front and back of base. Caveat: may -> greater noise;
(f) Combo of preceding will likely work best;
(g) For other very helpful information such as steps to follow, perceived level of difficulty, and time to complete, see the following posts: ... .

2) Mac Pro 2,1 -
(a) same as Mac Pro 1,1, except (depending on your CPU) BSEL/VID mod may not be needed and EFI utility for 2006 MP isn't needed;
(b) For other very helpful information such as steps to follow, perceived level of difficulty, and time to complete, see the following posts: ... .

3) Mac Pro 3,1 -
(a) same as Mac Pro 2,1, except 800 MHz ram comes stock, no BSEL/VID mod needed, and CPU options differ [For possible Xeon 5400 CPU configurations see http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/T...on%205400.html and for standard/approved configurations see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_Pro ];
(b) For other very helpful information such as steps to follow, perceived level of difficulty, and time to complete, see the following posts: ... .

4) Mac Pro 4,1 -
(a) CPU swap - long 3mm allen key needed for the job [For possible Xeon 3500 1-CPU configurations see http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/T...on%203500.html; for possible Xeon 5500 2-CPU configurations see http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/T...on%205500.html and for standard/approved configurations see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_Pro ], but Westmere 6-core options [For possible Xeon 3600 1-CPU configurations see http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/T...on%203600.html; for possible Xeon 5600 2-CPU configurations see http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/T...on%205600.html and for standard/approved configurations see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_Pro ] require EFI utility for 2009 MP [ http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,852.0.html ]. Lidless CPUs were impossible for me to find. The standard covered Xeons will fit under the heat sinks that Apple uses for the dual-processor 4,1s. Swap requires 4 washers (bought mine from The Home Depot) and additional thermal padding. See, e.g., http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...=781908&page=1 .
(b) smcFanControl [ http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/23049/smcfancontrol ]; and/or
(c) more powerful fans. Caveat: may -> greater noise;
(d) Also consider getting DDR3 1333 MHz memory if you use Westmeres via the EFI utility;
(e) Combo of preceding will likely work best;
(f) For other very helpful information such as steps to follow, perceived level of difficulty, and time to complete, see the following posts: #3 -wonderspark (Bonus- PCI card/Storage upgrade info); ... .

5) Mac Pro 5,1 -
(a) same as Mac Pro 4,1, except no EFI utility needed and only Westmere CPUs [For possible Xeon 3600 1-CPU configurations see http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/T...on%203600.html; for possible Xeon 5600 2-CPU configurations see http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/T...on%205600.html and for standard/approved configurations see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_Pro ] should be considered. Mac Pro 5,1 comes with DDR3 1333 MHz memory;
(b) For other very helpful information such as steps to follow, perceived level of difficulty, and time to complete, see the following posts: #7-jasonvp; ... .

6) Mac Pro 6,1
(a) CPU swap;
(b) Memory swap/upgrade;
(c) Storage swap/upgrade;
(d) For other very helpful information such as steps to follow, perceived level of difficulty, and time to complete, see the following posts: ... .

II. Building your own system:

Please keep in mind that you must be willing to continuously learn and eventually do for yourself; than pay it forward to the newcomers.


1) Single CPU system -
(a) Gigabyte motherboards recommended for a good combination of price/performance/flexibility. Consider an X79 Sandy Bridge (socket 2011) motherboard and a Xeon 1650 [3.2 -> 3.8 GHz] - has error correction support - $583 for best price/performance if you can use 6 cores or a Xeon 1620 [3.6 -> 3.9 GHz] - has error correction support - $294 for best price/performance if all that you need are 4 cores http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Bridge. For the best performance if you going to be over- or under- clocking the system, get memory at least one, and preferably two, steps higher than that recommended by the motherboard manufacturer. That means, e.g., if the manufacturer recommends DDR3 1333 MHz memory, get DDR3 1600, or preferably DDR3 1800/1866 memory, because you'll need that headroom whether you overclock or underclock, unless you rely solely on just increasing the CPU multiplier on an unlocked CPU. Tweaked i7 3960X [ http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/562206 ] and 3930K [ http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/590733 ] single processor systems are beginning to displace older 2P+ systems even on pages 3 and 4 of top Geekbench 2 scores, yielding Geekbench 2 scores in the 27,000 - 30,000 range; thus, surpassing the benchmarks of the top of the line 2P 2010/2012 Mac Pros, even those with the 5690X processor swap. Keeping my system's V-core within Spec VID, the best that I could achieve with the 3930k was a Geekbench 2 score of 27605 in Windows 7 [ http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/850697 ]. Moreover, the performance delta between 2 proc self-builds and 1 proc self-builds appears to be narrowing; thus, the glow of 2 proc self-build systems appears to be fading, especially it view of the widening cost delta of 2 proc self-build systems over 1 proc self-build systems.

ASRocks have gotten very good reviews and their literature says (and some of the reviews have mentioned that claim) that it has a feature whereby you can lock down the things that Intel has lately tied to the BCLK so that you can over- and under-clock the Sandy Bridge cpus just like with the Westmere cpus (they call it: " Untied Overclocking Technology"). Here's how one of their manuals describes it:

2.26 Untied Overclocking Technology
This motherboard supports Untied Overclocking Technology, which means during
overclocking, BCLK enjoys better margin due to fixed PCIE buses. Before you
enable Untied Overclocking function, please enter “Overclock Mode” option of UEFI
setup to set the selection from [Auto] to [Manual]. Therefore, BCLK is untied during
overclocking, but PCIE buses are in the fixed mode so that BCLK can operate under
a more stable overclocking environment.

Before buying an ASRock motherboard, I suggest that you confirm whether ASRock's literature is accurate. You should call or email them.
(b) Cases/cooling - I prefer the Antec Twelve Hundred. See 2(b), below.
(c) For other very helpful information such as steps to follow, perceived level of difficulty, and time to complete, see the following posts: ... .

2) Dual CPU system -
(a) EVGA SR-2 motherboards for Nehalem and Westmere CPUs are still the best for dual CPU builds. EVGA SRX was for Sandy Bridge E5s, but its been discontinued. Asus has Sandy Bridge E5 dual CPU challengers, but I do not recommend them - the original and replacements I've had were all poorly manufactured and all were not dependable. Gigabyte has a 2P E5 Board - the Gigabyte GA-7PESH1 Dual Socket LGA2011 Motherboard, briefly reviewed at http://www.ocaholic.ch/xoops/html/mo...mid=714&page=0 , which is now a part of Gigabyte's lineup of single and dual processor Sandy Bridge E5 single and dual processor motherboards: http://b2b.gigabyte.com/products/lis...89&v=16&ck=101 .
Gigabyte also introduced its line of bare bone dual processor rack servers based on the Intel Xeon Sandy Bridge E5 Family: http://www.gigabyte.us/press-center/....aspx?nid=1138. Also see http://download.gigabyte.us/FileList..._catalog_b.pdf for Gigabytes' brochure.

2 proc Sandy Bridge E5 mobo shootout:
Supermicro X9DAi http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/599576
Intel S2600CO http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/658811
HP Z820 Workstation (often it's like the Tyan motherboard) http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/654366
ASUSTeK Z9PE WS-D8 http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/580661

For the best performance if you going to be over- or under- clocking the system (only an option on the EVGA SR-2), get memory at least one, and preferably two, steps higher than that recommended by the motherboard manufacturer. That means, e.g., if the manufacturer recommends DDR3 1333 MHz memory, get at least DDR3 1600, or preferably DDR3 1800/1866 memory, because you'll need that headroom whether you overclock or underclock, unless you rely solely on just increasing the CPU multiplier on an unlocked CPU;
(b) Case/Cooling - There are Mountain Mod cases [ http://www.mountainmods.com/computer-cases-c-21.html ] and Lian Li cases [e.g., http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811112312 ] that are roomy and completely functional. However, since I like sleek styling, a front grill look and I'm more interested in cooling, I now use modified Antec Twelve Hundreds [ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129100 ] because, for cooling - then desired styling, nothing beats these metal cases for the price. They have 3 - 120mm front panel ("FP") fans. I've reversed the flow of the top one to be an exhaust and swapped its positioning with the DVD drives, but a little more on that later. There's a 120mm fan on the side for additional cooling for the GPU. There's a 200mm fan on the top (we all know that heat rises). There's a grill on the rear for the card slots to exhaust PCIe card heat. But most important to me are the 2 120 mm fan accommodations on the rear. I've set them up as 2 air intakes for dual fan radiator cooling, i.e., ->fan->radiator->fan----->reversed FP fan->) for 2 Corsair 80s [ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835181016 ] for cooling two CPUs.
(c) SR-2 recommended bios settings:
i) Under Frequency/Voltage Control for overclocking change the following to:
PCIE Frequency Setting - 102-103;
ii) Under Voltage Configuration for clock tweaking change the following to:
All Bootup and Eventual Vcore to "Auto;"
All Bootup VTT's to 3.50 to 3.75, depending on stability needs;
All Eventual VTT's to 3.75 to 1.4, depending on stability needs;
IOH to 3.75 to 1.4, depending on stability needs. Leave all other parameters at default, except disable VDroop.
iii) Under Signal Tweaks change the following to:
Only PCIE Signals 1 and 2 should be "Auto", all of the rest should be set at their maximum negative value;
iv) Under CPU Configuration change the following to:
Only Max CPUID Value Limit should be disabled; everything else should be enabled, including but not limited to, Intel® SpeedStep(™) tech, TurboMode tech, and C-State tech.
v) Under Memory Configuration change the following to:
Try Auto/Default states for all until system is completely stable.
vi) Advanced Settings:SATA Configuration:Configure SATA#1 as [AHCI]
vii) Power Management Features:ACPI Configuration:General ACPI Configuration: Suspend Mode: [S3(STR)]
viii) Power Management Features:ACPI Configuration:Chipset ACPI Configuration: High Precision Event Timer: [Enabled]


(d) For other very helpful information such as steps to follow, perceived level of difficulty, and time to complete, see the following posts: ... .

3) 4+ CPU system - For Intel And AMD chips - SuperMicro (and now Asus) motherboards. Supermicro has a board with 4 full length PCI-e 2.0 slots and 4 G34 sockets and 16 ram slots that can handle 64 GB of unbuffered memory (and up to 256GB registered ECC) [ http://www.supermicro.com/a_images/p...GL-6F_spec.jpg ]. Asus has also introduced quad processor servers. They are the RS920-E7/RS8 server [ http://www.asus.com/Server_Workstati...rs/RS920E7RS8/ ] and RS926-E7/RS8 server [ http://www.asus.com/Server_Workstati...rs/RS926E7RS8/ ]. Both support the Intel 4600 series 4-way Xeon® Romley-EP 4S and are equipped with 32 DIMM slots, onboard VGA and 6+1 expansion slots. They can contain eight hot-swap hard drives and 1+1 redundant power supplies and retail for between $2,500 to $3,000 w/o HDs, ram and CPUs. Supermicro has two quad processer (Xeon Sandy Bridge 4600s) motherboards: the MBD-X9QRi-F+ -B: http://www.supermicro.com/products/m...0/X9QRi-F_.cfm and the MBD-X9QR7-TF+ -B: http://www.supermicro.com/products/m.../X9QR7-TF_.cfm . Before 3D Fluff ceased updating their cinebench scores site, an Opteron 6174 system with 48 cores and threads, running at 2.2 GHz on Win XP 64 bit, reported the highest reported Cinebench 11.5 score of 27.2 [ http://www.cbscores.com/index.php?sort=rend&order=desc ]. Now the latest G34 processors have 16 cores each and run at 3.1 Ghz each (not 2.2 Ghz); so they would probably have higher Cinebench 11.5 scores than the Opteron 6174 systems. The quad CPU Sandy Bridge 4600 systems are even better performers.
(a) These systems don't support CPU tweaking very much;
(b) For other very helpful information such as steps to follow, perceived level of difficulty, and time to complete, see the following posts: ... .

III. My Fav Resources::

(1) 270-WS-W555 DSDT native power management modifications
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/ind...owtopic=233891

(2) DSDT — What is it and how do I get it?
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/ind...owtopic=278170

(3) DSDT editor and patcher
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/ind...owtopic=223205

(4) DSDT Forum
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/ind...?showforum=228

(5) Decompiled original Apple DSDTs
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/ind...owtopic=152566

(6) nvidia 670 etc
http://www.tonymacx86.com/mountain-l...-th-print.html

(7) Chameleon Wizard - Utility for Chameleon
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/ind...owtopic=257464

(8) The all-in-one guide to Vanilla OS X Mountain Lion + Chameleon + DSDT for beginners
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/ind...owtopic=280756

(9) Latest : Chameleon 2.1svn Official PKG Installer & Binaries
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/ind...owtopic=231075

(10) System Info, an app to get hardware and kexts info
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/ind...owtopic=219584

(11) FakeSMC – absolutely essential – tricks OS X into thinking it’s a real Mac
http://www.projectosx.com/forum/inde...showtopic=1643

(12) NullCPUPowerManagement – generally required initially to prevent kernel panics, may not be needed once AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement is patched after install.
http://www.osx86.net/view/16-nullcpu...2--64-bit.html

(13) Kext Utility v2.5.1
http://cvad-mac.narod2.ru/Kext_Utility/

IV. Cool Performance Innovations:

1) EIC Solutions has an interesting solution. These [ http://www.eicsolutions.com/blog/pre...protector-1043 ] pre-packaged air conditioned enclosures, if priced right, might spell the end to water cooling and case envy, and lead to the occurrence of higher and more frequent turbo boosting, better over clocking performance if you are into that, and prolonged system life.

V. Credits:

This summary is based on information gathered from various sources and resources regarding maximizing CPU performance, including posts in this thread and forum.

VI. Suggestions:

For anyone who has successfully built or currently successfully builds his/her own system(s) and/or has successfully modified or does successfully modify his/her own prebuilt system(s) for maximum CPU performance, please describe (or provide URL references to) what you did in sufficient detail for replication by someone who may be new to this endeavor? It might also be helpful to those new to this endeavor to get answers to questions such as the following: How do you evaluate the level of difficulty involved and why? What are the gotchas and other caveats, and how do you recommend countering or contending with them? What are the costs involved? What's the estimate of time it will take from start to completion? How do you measure the success or maximization of CPU performance achieved? Was the performance gain worth the cost, time, effort and any downsides?

For all who are interested in this thread, what's new in CPU/CPU-GPU assisted performance and what might it mean to maximizing CPU or CPU-like performance?
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Last edited by Tutor; Dec 9, 2013 at 01:23 PM. Reason: Subject to continuing updates
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Old Mar 3, 2012, 10:15 PM   #2
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great thank you for the info!
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 03:04 AM   #3
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I updated my 4,1 Mac Pro to a 5,1 by swapping my quad 3.33 W3580 CPU with a 6-core 3.33 W3680 CPU, as shown in this thread.

Prior to the CPU swap, I updated the firmware from 4,1 to 5,1 with a firmware tool as described in a thread on netkas.org (sorry, link currently not working.)

I also upgraded from four 4GB sticks of 1066 RAM to four 8GB sticks of 1333 RAM. When I applied the firmware tool, the RAM began running at 1333 on the old CPU, since that CPU supported the speed, but the 4,1 firmware did not. When I replaced the W3580 with the W3680, the only difference was the two additional cores, of course. As far as my Mac Pro is concerned, it is a 2010 5,1 Mac Pro.

Before all that, I replaced the stock 4870 GPU with a GTX285 and then a 5870. I also installed an Areca 1880ix-12 RAID card, LG 10x Blu-ray writer, and an eSATA card in the PCI slots. Recently, I changed the Newer Tech eSATA card with a Caldigit card that has two eSATA and two USB 3.0 ports, which is much better. Bootable and hot pluggable.

Time and difficulty:

Time to run 4,1 --> 5,1 utility: I think it took five seconds, maybe less? I forgot.
Difficulty: As easy as double-clicking an app, and saying 'yes'.

Time to replace RAM sticks: 3 minutes
Difficulty to replace RAM: Simple. Shut down, unplug, open side, slide CPU tray out a bit, flip RAM release levers, pull them out, insert new RAM sticks until levers snap, scoot CPU tray back in, replace door, plug everything into rear, reboot.

Time to replace CPU: 20 minutes (I took my time and ate waffles while jamming some tunes as I performed swap.)
Difficulty to replace CPU: Easy. Using right tool on 5 bolts in heat sink is necessary. The pins on the CPU are flat contacts, not delicate prongs like some might think, so it literally 'drops' in. It's not tricky at all. Take the time to clean the old thermal paste nicely, and reapply fresh thermal paste very neat and thin. I used Arctic Silver 5. Temps are same as quad that shipped from Apple.

Time to swap GPU: 3 minutes, most of which is plugging and unplugging everything from rear and removing side panel.
Difficulty to swap GPU: Easy. Don't forget to push the button on the grey fan and slide it to the left, and return it to the right after new GPU is in place.

Time to swap other PCI cards: 25 seconds if you've already got side panel open.
Difficulty to swap PCI cards: Easy. Use bracket on end and groove in slot to guide the connection, and snap into place firmly. Verify alignment by looking at it from the rear to see how it sits in the PCI bay window.

Time to replace optical drive: 5 minutes
Difficulty to replace optical drive: Easy. Remove the extra piece on the disc tray door so it fits in Mac Pro's auto-flip door area. Just the bare disc tray should be in place on the drive itself, no door attached, as the Mac Pro uses its own silver door.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 12:00 PM   #4
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Building your own decked out single CPU 4-core system for under $1500.

The problem with significantly over and under clocking some locked Sandy Bridges is that Intel has tied the base clock (BCLK or BClock, set to 100 MHz) to DMI/PCI-e controller [ http://www.corsair.com/blog/sandy-bridge-e-oc-guide ]. So that if you were to use past methods of under and over clocking you will slow down or speed up some things more than should be the case (particularly in the case of that PCI-e bus), resulting in the system not posting and booting. For example, if you were to raise BCLK to 110, your system will not boot (most unlocked chips won't even tolerate a change of more than 5 or 6 steps on either side of 100). The solution for the first edition of the Sandy Bridges (and for the Sandy Bridge E i7s) was and is to buy a K edition for a higher price because those chips have unlocked multipliers. To counter the DMI problem in the Sandy Bridge E & E5-series, Intel introduced 125, 166 and 250 CPU straps. These straps are supposed to allow you to increase the CPU's frequency and memory speed by using BCLK, without having a disastrous effect on DMI. Think of each of these straps as ratios, i.e., 125 is 1.25 and 166 is 1.66 and 250 is 2.50 and think of the normal BCLK range for most of these chips as 95 to 105. The BCLK is multiplied by the ratio. So applying a 1.25 ratio to the range of 95 to 105 results in a BCLK range for ram speed and CPU frequency of 118.75 to 131.25. Since the factory base is 100, the math is easier now than it was with earlier chips, such as Westmeres and Nehalems, that use a base of 133. In other words, ram speed and CPU frequency can be increased by about 119% to 131% (that's why ram 2 steps higher than that recommended by the motherboard manufacturer may be required). The problem is that most motherboard manufacturers have, to date, had trouble implementing this feature fully. So for now unless you have a Sandy Bridge with an unlocked multiplier so that you can significantly increase performance, you might be SOL when it comes to getting much better performance by changing Bclock significantly until a bios is released to cure this strapping issue.

A recent Intel CPU revelation spotlights the specs for 22nm Ivy Bridges that should be available for retail purchase in late May [ http://news.softpedia.com/news/Intel...s-256061.shtml ]. They are all 4-cores that have Intel HD Graphics 4000, 8MB cache, Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost 2. Three of them will turbo boost to 3.9 GHz and the fourth to 3.7 Ghz. However, what is interesting to me from an underclocker's point of view is that the one that will turbo to 3.7 (the i7-3770T - TDP rated at 45 watts!) has a non-turbo speed of 2.5 GHz (that's twelve bins of turbo). The i7-3770S, with a non-turbo speed of 3.1 GHz, will turbo to 3.9 GHZ (that's eight bins - TDP rated at 60 watts!). These two will generally run cooler and require that the user apply less voltage to the cores (Vcore) than the rest, i.e., the i7-3770 [3.4 -> 3.9 GHz - TDP rated at 77 watts!] and i7-3770K [3.5 -> 3.9 Ghz - TDP rated at 77 watts!]. I suspect that the chip(s) with the greater turbo ranges will [if the strapping issue is resolved and strapping is allowed on these Ivy Bridges] actually yield better performance than will the others, particularly in the case of that low TDP/12 bin stepper - i7-3770T. For those looking to build a 4-core system, good 1155 motherboards are priced from the low $50s to about $340 [ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...GA+1155&Page=1 ] and these new Ivy Bridges should be priced between $294 - $332 [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bri...oarchitecture)) ]. But only more intel from Intel about whether the i7-3770T can be strapped, time and trials will tell whether my suspicion is correct, or whether you to should be looking at only the i7-3370k if tweaking for significantly greater performance is your desire. Don't forget that the "k" means unlocked. Moreover, you should expect to see up to a 20% increase in CPU performance over a comparable Sandy Bridge [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bri...oarchitecture)) ] and keep in mind that Sandy Bridges, at clock to clock, show an 11.3% average performance increase compared to the Nehalem Generation, which includes Bloomfield, Clarkdale and Lynnfield processors [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Bridge ], yielding a lot more bang for your bucks. Thus, these aren't the old 4-cores you may have had or read about. Straight from the factory, they should yield performance close to yesteryears 6-cores and when properly tweaked, excel them. My yesteryear 4-core Intel Core i7-975 when tweaked yields a Geekbench 2 score of 15,101. If Intel is telling the truth about those performance deltas, then 15,101 x 8 (to be on safe side for SB delta) x 15 (again, to be on safe side for IB delta) = 18,755.44 Geekbench 2 score. Isn't that in the territory where the 6-cores of yesteryear reside? Mac Pro (Mid 2010) Intel Xeon W3680 3.33 GHz (6 cores) average 64-bit performance in Geekbench is 15,720 [ http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/...chmarks/#64bit ]. Also, it should be noted that Pookeyhead has shown that Intel may have been giving us the safe side deltas because he has tweaked a single i7 3690X to yield a geekbench 2 score of 29,185, which is higher that any average score shown in the immediately preceding URL [ http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/533324 ]. I wonder what his system would have scored with a comparable 6-core Ivy Bridge. But, he's guilty of overvolting, which I do not recommend doing. I advocate staying within the CPUs spec VID.

If Newegg puts together combos for these new Ivy Bridge 4-core chips, as it has for the i7-2600k - http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboB...t=Combo.828852, you'll probably be able to purchase an entire i7-3370k base system for about $1150 or deck out your own for under $1500.
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Last edited by Tutor; Mar 4, 2012 at 01:52 PM. Reason: updated prices
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 01:17 PM   #5
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Sorry guys. I can't downloads EFI Update utility for 1,1.

Where i can download it.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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Sorry guys. I can't downloads EFI Update utility for 1,1.

Where i can download it.
I hope this [ http://forum.netkas.org/index.php?ac...4.0;attach=888 ] works.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 03:39 PM   #7
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Matching CPU Pairs explained

For those like me who wonder what is actually meant by "matched CPU pair" in upgrading a Mac Pro, here's what I've found from experience. I was confused about whether or not the CPU serial #'s and manufacture dates had to be consecutive. I've found the answer to be "no." All that needs to match is the actual CPU type (model, speed, stepping code, etc.), provided you know which CPU type(s) will actually work in your system. In short, as long as what's engraved on the metal cover of your chips is the same, that's your "matched pair." Don't worry about serial #'s.

Ex.: I'm no wiz, but I just successfully upgraded my Early 2008 MP from single-Quad 2.8 to dual-Quad 3.0. I found a pair of used Intel Xeon Quad-Core 3.0 SLANR E5472's on eBay, and second heatsink for $190 total. (I have already seen them for cheaper!) The chips had been pulled from a Windows server. "SLANR" corresponds to the stepping code - which, in this case, is "C0" - and "E5472" corresponds to the CPU model/speed category. The serial numbers printed on my two CPUs are not even close to matching, yet work flawlessly together.

That being said, I have seen "matching pairs" sold on eBay that do have very closely matching serial numbers. Whether or not that improves performance or compatibility... no idea. I just know mine work fine... so far.

Hoping to get another 3-4 years out this thing for my Pro Tools rig!
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 04:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cramletram View Post
For those like me who wonder what is actually meant by "matched CPU pair" in upgrading a Mac Pro, here's what I've found from experience. I was confused about whether or not the CPU serial #'s and manufacture dates had to be consecutive. I've found the answer to be "no." All that needs to match is the actual CPU type (model, speed, stepping code, etc.), provided you know which CPU type(s) will actually work in your system. In short, as long as what's engraved on the metal cover of your chips is the same, that's your "matched pair." Don't worry about serial #'s.

Ex.: I'm no wiz, but I just successfully upgraded my Early 2008 MP from single-Quad 2.8 to dual-Quad 3.0. I found a pair of used Intel Xeon Quad-Core 3.0 SLANR E5472's on eBay, and second heatsink for $190 total. (I have already seen them for cheaper!) The chips had been pulled from a Windows server. "SLANR" corresponds to the stepping code - which, in this case, is "C0" - and "E5472" corresponds to the CPU model/speed category. The serial numbers printed on my two CPUs are not even close to matching, yet work flawlessly together.

That being said, I have seen "matching pairs" sold on eBay that do have very closely matching serial numbers. Whether or not that improves performance or compatibility... no idea. I just know mine work fine... so far. ...
What you have fits my definition of matching.
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Old Mar 3, 2013, 07:19 PM   #9
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The most powerful portable multi-OS machine just might be a Dell Windows laptop

With a Windows 7 Geekbench 2 score of over 20,000, the Dell Alienware3 M17X R4 [ Intel Core i7-3940XM @ 2.99 GHz (3.9 GHz Turbo) 1 processor, 4 cores, 8 threads ] just might be a great place to start building your next portable multi-OS machine. See USMC's laptop's Geekbench 2 scores here: http://browser.primatelabs.com/user/usmc362/geekbench2.

specifications
display 3D Full HD 17.3" 120Hz WLED LCD
CPU / processor Intel i7-3940QM 3.0 Ghz (x 8 threads) | 3.90 GHz (x 4 Threads) | 6 MB L3 Cache | 55 Watts
graphics / video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M Graphics with 2GB GDDR5
System memory (RAM)
32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3 1600MHz

hard drive 512GB SSD1 + 1TB 5400rpm HDD2
optical drive Blue-Ray ROM SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW Dual Layer
Webcam Integrated HD
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Color Black
microphone / Headphone jacks 1 x Microphone, 1 x Headphone
usb / Thunderbolt Ports

4 x USB 3.0
ethernet ports 1 x RJ45(Lan)
VGA / HDMI / Display Ports 1x VGA, 1 x HDMI, 1 x mini DisplayPort
Bluetooth 4.0
Wireless Intel WiFi 2230 a/g/n
battery

High Capacity 9-cell Lithium Ion (90whr)
dimensions
16.14(w) x 1.75-1.77(h) x 11.96(d)

Weight 9.39 pounds
warranty (Manufacturer) 1-Year Limited Global Warranty & 1-Year Accidental Damage Warranty
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Old Mar 4, 2013, 12:25 AM   #10
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With a Windows 7 Geekbench 2 score of over 20,000, the Dell Alienware3 M17X R4 [ Intel Core i7-3940XM @ 2.99 GHz (3.9 GHz Turbo) 1 processor, 4 cores, 8 threads ] just might be a great place to start building your next portable multi-OS machine. See USMC's laptop's Geekbench 2 scores here: http://browser.primatelabs.com/user/usmc362/geekbench2.

specifications
display 3D Full HD 17.3" 120Hz WLED LCD
CPU / processor Intel i7-3940QM 3.0 Ghz (x 8 threads) | 3.90 GHz (x 4 Threads) | 6 MB L3 Cache | 55 Watts
graphics / video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M Graphics with 2GB GDDR5
System memory (RAM)
32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3 1600MHz

hard drive 512GB SSD1 + 1TB 5400rpm HDD2
optical drive Blue-Ray ROM SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW Dual Layer
Webcam Integrated HD
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Color Black
microphone / Headphone jacks 1 x Microphone, 1 x Headphone
usb / Thunderbolt Ports

4 x USB 3.0
ethernet ports 1 x RJ45(Lan)
VGA / HDMI / Display Ports 1x VGA, 1 x HDMI, 1 x mini DisplayPort
Bluetooth 4.0
Wireless Intel WiFi 2230 a/g/n
battery

High Capacity 9-cell Lithium Ion (90whr)
dimensions
16.14(w) x 1.75-1.77(h) x 11.96(d)

Weight 9.39 pounds
warranty (Manufacturer) 1-Year Limited Global Warranty & 1-Year Accidental Damage Warranty

How does this compare to the 3930K/3970X Sager's?
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Old Mar 4, 2013, 12:34 PM   #11
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How does this compare to the 3930K/3970X Sager's?
Clock Tweaked 3970X Windows Geekbench 2 scores <22,691: http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekb...03;&q=i7-3970X
Clock Tweaked 3930k Windows Geekbench 2 scores >28,000: http://browser.primatelabs.com/processor-benchmarks
Other OSes currently score lower than Windows systems on these CPU's because native power management can't be invoked. Compare, e.g., [ http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/1441824 ] with [ http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/1110813 ].

Intel Core i7-3940XM (4-core) appears to be comparable to Factory i7-3970X (6-core) in Geekbench 2 performance. Chips used in Sager are tweakable if bios allows it and can then easily outperfom i7-3940QM used in Dell laptop when running Windows. However, the Intel i7-3940QM system can be had for about $2K [ http://www.mall-best.com/dell-alienw...-s-p-1433.html ] and since it's a chip made for laptops, unlike the Sager's i7 desktop chips, the i7-3940QM may perform better in a laptop which may not have cooling capacity that desktop i7s require. Overheating causes throttling and prevents/lessens turbo boosting.

Moreover, the Sager, comparably equipped, costs more money:

17.3" Full HD LED-Backlit Display featuring 90% NTSC Color Gamut in Super Glossy Surface (1920 x 1080) - Back Order!
(ETA: March 15, 2013)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M GPU with 4GB GDDR5 Video Memory
2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3930K Processor ( 12MB L3 Cache, 3.20GHz / 3.80GHz in Turbo Mode, 6 Cores )
Genuine MS Windows® 8 64-Bit Edition
32GB Quad Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz - 4 X 8GB ** Select Windows 8, Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate to enable this option.
480GB Intel 520 Series SATA3 Solid State Disk Drive
1TB 5400rpm SATA2 Secondary Hard Disk Drive
8X DVD±R/RW/4X +DL Super-Multi Drive & Software
Internal 802.11 B+G+N Wireless LAN + Bluetooth Combo Module
Smart Li-ION Battery Pack
Fingerprint Reader

Unit Price: $3,514.00

VERSUS

$1,992.00
Dell Alienware M17X R4 3D FullHD i7-3940XM 2GB 680M 32GB 512GB SSD + 1TB Blu-Ray
display 3D Full HD 17.3" 120Hz WLED LCD
CPU / processor Intel i7-3940QM 3.0 Ghz (x 8 threads) | 3.90 GHz (x 4 Threads) | 6 MB L3 Cache | 55 Watts
graphics / video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M Graphics with 2GB GDDR5
System memory (RAM) 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3 1600MHz
hard drives 512GB SSD1 + 1TB 5400rpm HDD2
optical drive Blue-Ray ROM SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW Dual Layer
Webcam Integrated HD
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Color Black
microphone / Headphone jacks 1 x Microphone, 1 x Headphone
usb / Thunderbolt Ports
4 x USB 3.0
ethernet ports 1 x RJ45(Lan)
VGA / HDMI / Display Ports 1x VGA, 1 x HDMI, 1 x mini DisplayPort
Bluetooth 4.0
Wireless Intel WiFi 2230 a/g/n
battery High Capacity 9-cell Lithium Ion (90whr)
dimensions 16.14(w) x 1.75-1.77(h) x 11.96(d)
Weight 9.39 pounds
warranty (Manufacturer) 1-Year Limited Global Warranty & 1-Year Accidental Damage Warranty

[ http://www.mall-best.com/dell-alienw...-s-p-1433.html ]

Finally, what other OS laptops currently use the Intel i7-Ivy Bridge mobility series CPU so that invoking native power management should not be much of an issue?

So that's why I'd recommend the Dell over the Sager for a multi-OS laptop. But if you'll only be running Windows and you can tame those i7 desktop CPU temps, then you might opt for the Sager if money is no object.
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Old Mar 30, 2013, 02:54 AM   #12
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hey guys,

reaching out here since i haven't been able to get an answer in another forum regarding my hackintosh build. not sure if i will get it here, either, but thought i'd try anyway. well, the problem and only problem i have with my hackintosh is that i can never let it sleep or i will have to hard reset the machine. i basically can't wake the computer once it goes to sleep. everything else works. well, my usb3 ports doesn't work but is livable since i don't have any usb3 devices, anyway. what is sort of frustrating, though, is that i can't leave my computer alone since it can't sleep, so, i have to either turn off the computer or go to windows land where i go to 90% of the time anyway to play pc games. os x is relegated for editing videos, photos and illustrations. i am an aspiring editor/filmmaker/artist and built a hackintosh for the extra horsepower that an i7-3770k will give me, compared to my mid-2010 MBP, which is just a dual-core i7 (1st gen) with hyper threading. my mobo is an asus sabertooth z77 and my gpu is a gtx 680, which is recognized. so, the only thing it lacks that i wish it could do is sleep. can anyone point me to the right direction regarding a fix? or is this just something i have to live with? thanks in advance everyone.
did you flash the bios like you were supposed to?
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Old Feb 21, 2014, 06:15 PM   #13
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RampageMan may be the man about speedstep but I'm looking forward to 'the man' comments on the performance of the Titan Black.

Asus boards non recommendation is a surprise to me but if I ever go hack it will be gigabyte/Quo. AS Rock have probably given me more nightmares over the years than any other brand!
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Old Feb 21, 2014, 07:02 PM   #14
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RampageMan may be the man about speedstep but I'm looking forward to 'the man' comments on the performance of the Titan Black.

Asus boards non recommendation is a surprise to me but if I ever go hack it will be gigabyte/Quo. AS Rock have probably given me more nightmares over the years than any other brand!
I've never owned an ASrock and thus have no personal experience with them, but do own two Asus and both are my Nightmares On Motherboard Street.

Eleven of the motherboards in my sig are Gigabyte and they all are troopers. The rest are Supermicro and Tyan, both manufacturers who I also have nothing but enthusiastic praise.

The Titan Black is a pre-overclocked 780 Ti SC ACX, plus 6 gigs of Vram. My 780 Ti SC ACXs can be overclocked in Windows to match the nTitan in performance, but that 6 gigs of Vram and for some specialty tasks other than 3d rendering in Octanerender - that monster double precision (DP) floating point peak, are reasons for some to get a Titan Black. Also running a Titan Black on a MacPro in OS X has its advantages because of the lack of a means to overclock in that environment. However, the real news thief appears to be the GTX 790, which should drop next month, with 4992 CUDA cores. It's mission is to feed copious amounts of dust to the Titan Black and the 780 Ti SC ACX in 3d rendering and I believe that the GTX 790 will carry out that mission with glowing success; but it too will lack the DP advantage and 6 gigs of Vram of the Titan Black.

In terms of CUDA capability, I project that the Titan Black will be about 1.3x-1.4x times faster than a reference design (RD) oTitan - that's the original one. In terms of CUDA capability, I project that the GXT 790 will be 1.6x-1.7x times faster than a RD oTitan. So in terms of CUDA capability, the GTX 790 should be about 1.25x times faster than a Titan Black.
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Last edited by Tutor; Feb 22, 2014 at 11:11 PM. Reason: added GPU related response and Titan equivalency estimates
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Old Feb 22, 2014, 07:36 PM   #15
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I replaced my processors today, upgrading from 2.26Ghz to W5590's @ 3.33Ghz. Now I know these W5590's will run hotter due to the 130W TDP but processor 0 seems to be running 10c higher at idle and will raise up to over 80c when under moderate load (playing GTA IV, no work to test it on cause it's the weekend!) while processor 1 will sit at about 65c, is this normal? I never really monitored my temps before so I'm not really sure what the 2.26's ran at.

I know games don't utilize all the cores however there still seems to be a 10c difference in idle temps.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Feb 22, 2014, 10:49 PM   #16
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I replaced my processors today, upgrading from 2.26Ghz to W5590's @ 3.33Ghz. Now I know these W5590's will run hotter due to the 130W TDP but processor 0 seems to be running 10c higher at idle and will raise up to over 80c when under moderate load (playing GTA IV, no work to test it on cause it's the weekend!) while processor 1 will sit at about 65c, is this normal? I never really monitored my temps before so I'm not really sure what the 2.26's ran at.

I know games don't utilize all the cores however there still seems to be a 10c difference in idle temps.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.
If the 5590s are in a MacPro, CPU0 appears to be running a bit too hot and CPU1 appears to be running a little hotter than I'd expect under moderate load. This could be due to thermal paste or cooler seating problems. What brand of paste did you use and how much of it? I recommend Arctic Silver and remember that a little dab will do you - about a small pea size or just enough to cover micro crevices between all of the two metal contact points. If the amount of Arctic Silver is correct, but the coolers aren't seated properly, temps could still rise a bit too high - try reseating them to see if you can get the temps for both into the 55-60 degree range under moderate load. Of course, both could be the culprit.
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Old Feb 23, 2014, 05:25 AM   #17
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If the 5590s are in a MacPro, CPU0 appears to be running a bit too hot and CPU1 appears to be running a little hotter than I'd expect under moderate load. This could be due to thermal paste or cooler seating problems. What brand of paste did you use and how much of it? I recommend Arctic Silver and remember that a little dab will do you - about a small pea size or just enough to cover micro crevices between all of the two metal contact points. If the amount of Arctic Silver is correct, but the coolers aren't seated properly, temps could still rise a bit too high - try reseating them to see if you can get the temps for both into the 55-60 degree range under moderate load. Of course, both could be the culprit.

Hi,

Thanks for replying, I use Arctic MX-2 thermal paste cause it's non conductive and in past experience it provides decent temps. I pulled the coolers off both CPU's and switched the sockets the CPU's were in to rule out a faulty processor. I think I may have used a little too much thermal paste last time and I don't think I cranked the cooler's down enough as I was scared I'd break the socket and or CPU. When I reassembled it this morning I used less thermal paste and I cranked the cooler down a little more and rebooted, both processors were idling at mid 30's although idle temps didn't return to mid 30's after gaming, CPU 0 sat at about mid 50's and CPU 1 at mid 40's. Under the same load in GTA IV I was getting between 65-72c on CPU 0 with about 50% load on two cores and about 10% on the other two.

There is an improvement but should I attempt to seat the coolers again?
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Old Mar 25, 2014, 05:28 PM   #18
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Late summer, not a bad timeline at all. I'm curious to see how performance scales and whether it's worth the $$$ investment.
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Old Mar 25, 2014, 05:43 PM   #19
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Late summer, not a bad timeline at all. I'm curious to see how performance scales and whether it's worth the $$$ investment.
See my last edit, especially the P.S. That question we can answer as a team.

But joking aside, given the linearity of OctaneRender, the Z be twice as fast as two GTX 780 Ti SC ACXs. One GTX 780 Ti SC ACX renders 1.37 times faster than the (o) original reference design Titan. So the Z will be the render equivalent of 2.74 oTitans. That, along with the space savings and other improvements in design, temps, power consumption, etc., explains most of the price difference. In sum, it a fair price for the performance+.
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Old Mar 27, 2014, 03:01 PM   #20
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Thanks Tutor for the quick reply. My question was rhetorical as I mostly use my MacPro for photo editing and storage, and currently live with a GT120, which is perfectly OK if you don't play, don't do any 3D or any other GPU computation. But being a techy guy at heart, I like researching options and would not mind benefiting from GPU acceleration as it makes it's way in mainstream apps.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 03:57 PM   #21
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If you're into rendering 3d animations, here's something to consider.

Below is a pic of how various video cards have performed on the Lux Mark OpenCL rendering test [ http://www.luxrender.net/luxmark/ ]. The Lux Mark test is OpenCL (OCL) only. OpenCL [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCL ] and CUDA [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CUDA ] are two avenues for harnessing the power of the video card (really the graphics processing unit {GPU} in it) to do things that once only central processing units (CPUs) like the Intel or AMD chips in your computer can do. GPUs are, to date, more powerful than CPUs. CUDA empowers only the GPU. OpenCL empowers GPUs, CPUs, and some digital signal processing units (DSPs). ATI does only OCL. Nvidia's video cards do both OCL and CUDA. There are many more 3d applications that benefit from CUDA's acceleration than from OCL's. Your mileage in CUDA would likely differ, but the relative standing I would expect to stay the same.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 04:10 PM   #22
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What? WTF?

A 580 beats two 590's?
Two 590's beats two 690's?
A 480 beats a Quadro 7000?

That list is mux!
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 04:49 PM   #23
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What? WTF? ... That list is mux!
I included the URL for the curious. I picked the top score for each kind of card. These aren't necessarily running at factory speed(s). Owners can overclock them. Also, at factory speeds some cards, like the 580's, are faster than others with the same category designation (not all GTX 580s are marketed to be equal) and usually sell for a bit more. Moreover, some rendering pipelines do not scale linearly for each GPU when rendering.

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A 580 beats two 590's?
That's one 590 that has 2 GPUs. But the end result doesn't surprise me at all. I believe that the difference is due to overclocking and having a fast 580.

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Two 590's beats two 690's?
That's one 590 that has 2 GPUs and one 690 that has 2 GPUs. But the end result doesn't surprise me at all. I believe that the difference is due to Fermi vs. Kepler, with Fermi being much better at rendering. One 580 cleans a 680's clock when rendering, but for gaming or video display the reverse would be true.

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A 480 beats a Quadro 7000?
Does the Quadro 7000 use Fermi or Kepler cores ( I can't find info on that right now)? If Kepler, then no surprise here either. If Fermi, then I too would be surprised.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 05:12 PM   #24
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Hmmm, Umm-kay.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 06:36 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
Hmmm, Umm-kay.
I haven't been able to find anything that specifically tells me whether the Quadro 7000 is a Fermi card, but given that it's (1-4) GPUs are 512-cores each, that makes me think that it is a Fermi card (the GTX 500 series cards like the 580 have 512 cores); thus, that a GTX 480 (480-cores) could render a scene faster than a Quadro 7000 w/2 or more GPUs would be a big surprise. But if it was a Quadro 7000 with only 1 of it's 4 GPUs, I be just slightly surprised. Maybe that's why it doesn't show as a 2x (or 3x or 4x) card like the other multi GPU video cards show in Lux Mark's database..
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