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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:24 am 
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Hi folks,

If, like me, you've skipped a CPU generation and are now thinking of upgrading then you might be searching for Haswell motherboard reviews. There are already quite a few but the most comprehensive, in terms of numbers at least, seems to be 33 Haswell motherboard group test from Hardware.info. The comparison table is a great tool as well.

So far, trying to avoid such exotica as the Asus Maximus VI Extreme and Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5 which I really don't need, I think my favourite is the Asus Z87-Deluxe in it's Dual configuration (link).

So, have you found any good individual reviews or group tests for motherboards designed for Intel's new Haswell chips? If so please share...

Bob.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:55 am 
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Haven't yet looked at the Haswell mobo situation, but I'm also considering updating my SB system. Not sure Haswell is enough of a difference yet. The only really interesting difference is AVX2 instructions and it'll probably take a while before they're supported in anything I use anyway. Or wait for the generation after this too...

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:39 am 
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Hi popo,

If I were on the last generation from Intel I think there are few enough incentives that I'd be giving Haswell a miss but SATA III and USB 3 were not even part of the conversation when I bought my last motherboard for the workstation.

Update: I've now seen two separate reports that one may have variable success when over-clocking the Haswell CPUs. The first was from PC Pro and the second from HardOCP. That second one, in particular, is interesting because apparently Asus are reporting that 70% of CPUs can clock to 4.5GHz, 30% of CPUs can clock to 4.6GHz, 20% of CPUs can clock to 4.7GHz and just 10% of CPUs can clock to 4.8GHz. There's a suspicion that the CPU samples sent out for early testing may not be representative of the ones available at retail. Personally I'm not too worried by this but for those who expect to wring every last drop of performance out of their systems it might be worth waiting to see if the situation improves.

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:07 pm 
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Goof first point Bob, I was looking more at what the CPU itself brings, and not the platform as a whole. For my needs, I think I'm still mostly CPU limited so the other features were less important to me.

For overclocking, I forget which site I saw it on but it would probably be either anandtech or xbitlabs, they were disappointed in the power consumption thus heating under load conditions which to them would limit the overclock ability. This was believed to be due to the moving of ever more parts onto the CPU module which would previously have resided elsewhere.

I've grown out of overclocking now so it isn't a factor for me.

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3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:29 pm 
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Hmm, maybe there's good reason to both reconsider my dismissal of the Asus Maximus VI Extreme ROG board and delay my motherboard upgrade until later in the year...

The ROG mobo ships with the mPCIe Combo II card which includes an NGFF/M.2 socket. The ROG site mentions an upcoming "NGFF SSD codenamed ‘XNP280′ with unreleased Sandforce ‘Griffin’ chip that gives 1.8GB/s read/write with 200k IOPS". The downside is that release of that device isn't expected for several months but it might just be worth holding off until the reviews of production samples are in as those numbers blow current SSDs out of the water. :shock:

I hadn't really noticed this tech before but Asus helpfully put together the video How To Use The Maximus V GENE mPCIe Combo card for the previous generation hardware. Nothing could be simpler and the thought of having an SSD with 1.8GB/s read capability upon which to host the OS makes me all weak at the knees. :lol:

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:46 am 
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Hi folks,

I came across this article by bit-tech.net yesterday. Some of it is old news to many but it was news to me. So, if you want to overclock then you must buy a 'K' series part. So far so good but if you buy a 'K' series part you lose access to TSX-NI, VT-d and vPro support. Probably not a deal-breaker for most and one does still have virtualisation support via VT-x. It's a close call for me but I'm tending towards foregoing my intended modest overclock (modest because stability and component life are important to me) and opting for the i7-4770 instead. If I don't overclock then I can probably spend less on the motherboard, cooling and memory and use the money saved for faster storage and/or graphics.

Bob.

Definitions from the Intel web-site:

Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d) continues from the existing support for IA-32 (VT-x) and Itanium® processor (VT-i) virtualization adding new support for I/O-device virtualization. Intel VT-d can help end users improve security and reliability of the systems and also improve performance of I/O devices in virtualized environments.

Intel® TSX provides a set of instruction set extensions that allow programmers to specify regions of code for transactional synchronization. Programmers can use these extensions to achieve the performance of fine-grain locking while actually programming using coarse-grain locks.

Intel® vPro™ Technology is a set of security and manageability capabilities built into the processor aimed at addressing four critical areas of IT security: 1) Threat management, including protection from rootkits, viruses, and malware 2) Identity and web site access point protection 3) Confidential personal and business data protection 4) Remote and local monitoring, remediation, and repair of PCs and workstations.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:27 pm 
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Hi folks,

A couple of Asus related pages from the AnandTech site:


Update: This is very Asus specific (I was always going to buy an Asus board) but their video 1-Click Overclock to 4.8Ghz - 4-Way Optimization on ASUS Z87 has been a real eye opener. As a result I'm now definitely going for the i7-4770K. Even if I get a poor example (I'd be happy at anything over 4.2GHz) the speed increase is probably better than any loss incurred by lack of TSX-NI, VT-d and vPro support. Not specific to the i7-4770K but the easy tuning options for RAM and fans are icing on the cake. 8)

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:41 pm 
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Hi folks,

I'm still jumping from one side of the i7 4770 versus 4770K fence to the other. The 4770K at retail seems a lot more unpredictable than the engineering samples that most reviewers have used and it seems that many overclockers are struggling to get more than 4.5GHz and some are even unluckier. When one bears in mind that 4.5GHz is only 15% greater than the rated Max Turbo Frequency of 3.9GHz for both the 4770 and the 4770K then the loss of TSX-NI, VT-d and vPro support of the "K" part becomes part of the conversation again.

SiSoftware has produced this summary of the benefits of TSX for applications which can make use of it. I can find no evidence that Windows 8.1 will support TSX but given that adding TSX support shouldn't be difficult (maybe just throwing a compiler switch) I don't think it will be too long before it becomes commonplace. That still leaves the question of how much of an improvement one will see in real world applications but I'm currently sitting on the non-overclockable 4770 side of the fence again! :lol:

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:48 pm 
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Hi folks,

Technically this is a "chipset" related item (Z87) rather than a Haswell one but as the two are so closely related...

According to this item on Hardware-Mag.de the C2 stepping of the Z87 chipset will be available from Asus early next month. And if Asus have the C2 stepping then so will the others. The minor issue with the original Z87 chipset is well documented (example) and may not affect many users but it's good to see the fix is imminent. I've been waiting for the release of the ROG Maximus VI Formula motherboard delayed (my guess) by this issue. Not long now... :)

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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