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Upgrade dilemma - Go for LGA1155 or wait for Haswell?

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by McSteel, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Thanks for doing that research for me. :toast: I knew with Intel it wouldn't be that simple.

    I don't understand why they play games with this feature though. I suspect it's to protect sales of SB-E which has it, perhaps? All they have to do is price the products accordingly. Set a nice premium on VT-d and be done with it.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
    Naito says thanks.
  2. Naito

    Naito

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    This. I never thought of this, and that it may be the case, even though it's blindingly obvious. Must have skipped my mind.

    It would seem like that, but isn't a IB + Q77 board a cheaper combo than a 2011 setup? I mean, the i7-3770 is the same price as the i7-3820, where I am, and the Q77 seem to be budget priced.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  3. Naito

    Naito

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    Sorry McSteel, for slightly hijacking (unintentionally) your thread. Hopefully it helped provide you with some important info in relation to this build though.
  4. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Yeah, it is. I don't get Intel's logic either. :laugh:
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  5. McSteel

    McSteel

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    Nothing to be sorry about, it's a sub-topic that is indeed relevant to both this build and my interests. Your contributions have helped, thanks for that! :)

    Back to this, as it begs the question: Who would actually want VT-d, and why?
    Namely, VT-d is an addition to already existing VT-x (among other VM-oriented instruction sets), and it's there for four reasons.

    1. I/O dev assignment. Basically this provides the administrator(s) with a hardware-assisted ability to distribute I/O device resources amongst running VMs, as per the control/communication needs. It's basically a way to implement a software-emulated and soft-managed KVM switch which works in much the same way a hardware one would work with actual hardware. Neat, but is it really needed?

    2. DMA remapping. This means that an admin can isolate a DMA address range and assign it exclusively to a VM. It also means that there will be less overhead when accessing a DMA-capable device (an HDD, for example), but only when the device itself hasn't exhausted the number of parallel pipelines it can service. Again, neat, but is it a must-have?

    3. IRQ remapping. This is probably the most useful of the bunch. It isolates everything from everything, interrupt-wise, while also eliminating the need to doubly translate IRQs between host and guest, which again reduces overhead. Would be nice to have, but not essential.

    4. Reliability & Reporting support. Namely, this is a hard-soft interface, similar to Intel Management Engine for motherboards/chipset, it should help with usage tracking and error logging/debugging. Useful when things go wrong or when optimizing, but still not something one can't live without.

    Add to this that none of these features are of any use in a standard Host OS <-> Guest OS VM configuration and it looks like I actually don't need to take virtualization instructions into considerations. It's only really beneficial to VMs that are run in Hybrid or Hypervisor mode. Since I won't be running Hyper-V (no need to) nor will I run a hybrid kernel, Q77/67 would be wasted on me. Besides, the only MoBos available here that carry those chipsets are Gigabyte GA-Q77M-D2H, ASUS P8Q67-M DO/USB3/TPM/SI (long-winded name) and Intel DQ77MK and DQ77CP. None of these look very appealing to me. And I don't mean the aesthetics.

    Perhaps Intel's logic was just that. Only those who intend to run 4-10 VMs with a Hypervisor kernel would fully benefit from VT-d, so Intel simply does away with it where it doesn't really belong - the Gamer, Enthusiast and SOHO environments.

    Thanks for all the help so far, guys! I'm happy that I asked for opinions here, and I hope I can be of at least some use to you in the future.
  6. Naito

    Naito

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    Woah, legendary. Thanks for the information. :toast:

    I use VMs mainly for Uni use; various Linux distros for dev'ing or working with networking (OpenSUSE), etc, so VT-d is probably not must-have feature for this.

    The idea behind VT-d for me, was so I could remap the DMA and I/O of the graphics card through to the VM, so I could install the native drivers, thus hopefully allowing for better performance in games that require a VM to run these days (need Windows XP, etc).

    All Windows 7 and 8 editions (except Home editions) have a Hypervisor that runs within the OS; it may not be as efficient as a hardware Hypervisor, but it's there.

    Yeh, most of them are small micro-ATX boards; not very useful or practical for me either. 'ASUS P8Q67-M DO/USB3/TPM/SI (long-winded name)' :laugh: :toast:

    Perhaps, but those who would be running more than 4 VMs, and would be doing anything remotely serious with them, would probably need server hardware and software; I don't see a Q67/Q77 board in that role.
  7. Naito

    Naito

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    Sorry for bumping an old thread, but I thought I should add that Z77 Chipset boards can have VT-d support, as long as the BIOS enables it.
  8. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Honestly, I would just upgrade now instead of waiting on haswell. From reports of people on the "Inside" its not going to be a HUGE increase but one like the jump between SB/IB so just get a IB setup for now and enjoy :)
    Crunching for Team TPU
  9. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Asrock Z77s have VT-d. At least I am pretty sure they all do. My Z77E-ITX definitely does. Will make a nice little ESXi server host when it's no longer my main rig.
  10. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    For comparison sake, look at the Rig in my specs.

    I now have a 3570k and Z77-UD5H with 16GB DDR3-2133 C9, not completely built yet. Can easliy clock it at 4.6Ghz on air (got a little hot at 4.7Ghz but stable)

    Compared with my Core2 rig, benches indicate speeds an order of magnitude above. Memory bandwidth is something like 10x faster. CPU is near 2x (or more) and I have two more physical cores.

    Will Haswell be like that? Yea it'll be faster, but order of magnitude? Probably not.
  11. McSteel

    McSteel

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    Right. So, this is a looong overdue update on the matters discussed in the thread. There were some severe time shortages and numerous absences on both sides, which lead to my getting the wanted components around 20 days ago. And I just got to assembling them a few hours ago.

    I went with MSI Z77 MPower, i5 3570K + Arctic Cooling Freezer i30, 2x4GB Kingston HyperX Beast 2400 MT/s CL11 and a Samung 840 Pro 256 GB. I got all of it for the low low price of free. I'm keeping the i5 at 4 GHz and 1.0625V; it idles at ~34°C and severe loading gets it to ~52°C. I must say that the new hardware is crazy fast. I'm waiting on a CM Storm Quickfire Pro, which will surely annoy my girlfriend to hell and back, once I start typing college papers/essays... :D

    In the end I abandoned the idea of using a VT-d capable CPU, at least for now. Perhaps I could sell the i5, and get an i7 3770 (non-k) later on, if I feel the need for true hardware VM mapping. But as it stands now, my VMs are running flawlessly, and I do have an extra physical machine to use as a guinea pig, so I think I'll hold on to what I have now.

    Thanks to everyone who helped and contributed. This thread has now reached the end of it's usefulness...

    Spamfest tiem nao? :p
  12. MT Alex

    MT Alex

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    Free? Dang, I want to shop where you do.
  13. cookiemonster

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    Intel Core i5 3570K,1155, Ivy Bridge, Quad Core, 3.4GHz, 4.5Ghz
    Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH Socket 1155 VGA DVI HDMI Dual Thunderbolt
    16GB (2x8GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance
    256GB Crucial RealSSD M4, 2.5" SATA

    no regrets and no problems so far.

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