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tinkererguy

What about building WHS2011 box with Z68 Motherboard (like ASUS P8Z68-V PRO) at $300, with Intel Core i7-2600S (65 watts) $300?

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ImTheTypeOfGuy

If EVGA makes the Z68 you should look at it as well. My EVGA, X58, is by far my favorite. I like it much more that my Asus Sabertooth.

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tinkererguy

If EVGA makes the Z68 you should look at it as well. My EVGA, X58, is by far my favorite. I like it much more that my Asus Sabertooth.

 

Looks like folks are concerned EVGA may be delaying a little in getting a Z68 offering ready:

http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=985010&mpage=1

but it would seem that in a week or so, we'll know more about who is shipping what, and for how much.

Edited by tinkererguy

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tinkererguy

It would appear my pricing estimates were based on far-too-high retail estimates, for example, the ASUS pricing has shown up here (but not in stock yet, so not terribly meaningful):

$219 for Asus MB P8268-V PRO

http://www.fticomputer.com/scripts/product.asp?PRDCODE=1016-P8Z68-V_PRO&REFID=FR

 

$219 for Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD4-B3:

http://www.fticomputer.com/scripts/product.asp?PRDCODE=1046-GA-Z68X-UD4-B3&REFID=FR

http://www.vtechindustries.com.au/gigabyte-ga-z68x-ud4-b3-lga1155-motherboard

 

$? for ASROCK Z68 Pro3:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Pro3

 

? for MSI Z68A-GD80

http://www.techpowerup.com/142647/MSI-Z68A-GD80-(B3)-Motherboard-Pictured.html

 

Description of how GPU not used when not needed(saving watts):

http://giapytech.com/intel-motherboard-z68-review/

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ImTheTypeOfGuy

Just to muddy the water, maybe you should wait for the X79 (link) series. It has me intriqued given they say it is the replacement for X58 which was top of the line for that class.

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tinkererguy

Just to muddy the water, maybe you should wait for the X79 (link) series. It has me intriqued given they say it is the replacement for X58 which was top of the line for that class.

 

Yeah, I like muddy water!

 

I had read about that X79, but I won't have the luxury of waiting until the expected 4Q2011 release:

http://whatswithjeff.com/intel-x79-lga-2011-sandy-bridge-e-for-enthusiast/

 

I have the following factors to consider:

I have filled my 7TB WHS v1 system now (3.8TB of it is PC backups), and have no more room to grow it, and don't want to put more $ into it

Want to have WHS 2011 up by June, to totally replace my WHS v1 box

Need the similar gaming box this June as well

Need the room to backup growing HD video as well

Need to nail down my offsite storage strategy (about a year overdue already)

I need to get backups sped up (10 systems hitting my WHS v1 nightly)

I need to get restores sped up, I do about 3-4 restores per month, and they're getting slower

 

Currently, with WHS v1, it takes me about 4 hours to restore 500MB of data to fast 7200rpm laptop 2.5" drive, whether using gigabit network, or using a USB 3.0 dock directly attached to WHS v1 box with the client restore wizard, with CPUs on my old WHS v1 box pegged at 90% during the whole restore.

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Dave-o

Hey, interesting discussion and good research here. I joined the forum to follow this one.

 

Until recently I was basically happy with my Acer H340, putting up with it's inconsistent I/O performance as a minor nuisance. Then I started trying to stream 1080P and realized the drive extender load balancing brings the box to it's knees. There looks to be little hope of getting good consistent performance out of the combination of WHS v1 & a 1.6 GHz Atom processor.

 

So now I'm in the market for a low idle-power but better headroom setup (potential on-the-fly 1080P transcoding?), probably going with RAID 5 to replace WHS drive extender.

 

I'm not sure if VT-d is a requirement for me, but it sounds like a good option for added future-proofing if the cost isn't too high. But the question is whether Z68 motherboards support VT-d. And VT-d excludes SandyBridge 'K' processors which is a bummer - isn't it kind of crazy that the higher-end Intel processors don't support a high-end feature like VT-d??

 

Currently I'm looking at a low-end i5 and the Foxcon H67S motherboart, which supposedly supports VT-d. (Can anyone confirm this?) It can be found for only $70 and has eSATA and a PCIe slot, so the SATA IO options are covered...

 

Anyway, thanks for starting this thread, should be interesting to see what folks end up with.

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tinkererguy

Great points! Now I need to dive deeper into the importance of VT-d to me.

 

Here's misc VT-d info, but I suspect you've Googled through many of the same hits:

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1036939006

http://software.intel.com/en-us/forums/showthread.php?t=56802

 

Interesting, this thread we're in right here on "HomeServerShow Forums" is the first Google result today, when searching for:

Z68 motherboard "VT-d" support

 

Here's the query in URL form:

http://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ie=UTF-8&ion=1&nord=1#sclient=psy&hl=en&tbo=1&nord=1&tbs=qdr:m&source=hp&q=Z68+motherboard+%22VT-d%22+support&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=bcec1c8e3f1e0e7b&ion=1

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ImTheTypeOfGuy

Interesting, this thread we're in right here on "HomeServerShow Forums" is the first Google result today, when searching for:

Z68 motherboard "VT-d" support

 

Here's the query in URL form:

http://www.google.co...e3f1e0e7b&ion=1

 

 

Awesome!

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tinkererguy

Well, I gotta say, as I think more about this, I really want to be able to have the ability to back up 25 different systems, AND have the fun media sharing and remote access stuff WHS2011 offers.

 

One way to do that: use ESXi 4.1U1 of a USB key, then have both VMs left running side by side 24x7.

Another way to do that: run WHS2011 natively, and have a VMware Player-hosted VM running Essentials, with support for 25 PC backups, if the I/O (network & disk) speed holds up.

 

I realize using ESXi at home is not exactly normal, nor is juggling of VMs, but I'm accustomed to it, and have been doing it for years already. And hopefully this thread still applies to many WHS2011 would be builders, lurking for parts advice as well.

 

I'd say 8GB of RAM would be a minimum, either way I choose to accomplish these goals.

 

So it would seem I'm now seeking the best way to build a decent ESXi 4.1U1 box, which could also run WHS2011, both of which I don't have the gear to do currently, at least not without spending far too much on electricity these next 3-4 years of lifespan for this box.

 

Let me lay it out. My ~5-year-old 90 watt box running WHSv1 now is totally underpowered. While my 400 watt test box would do nicely specs wise, the $600 per year in electricity is crazy (rough calculations), x 4 years, that's $2400. Not to mention the extra cooling to counteract the BTUs it throws out the back. Not good for my budget, not good for the environment.

 

So, now back to where this thread began, figuring out the heart of this imagined system: Which Z68 motherboard with integrated graphics support, paired which Core i7 CPU, gives me decent 4 year ownership cost AND performance?

 

I'm amazed there's so little chatter out there about Z68 motherboards and WHS2011 and/or ESXi 4.1 just yet: that'll likely change a lot these next weeks as Z68 products begin to ship, at least I'm hoping...meanwhile, I'm sure enjoying this thread!

Edited by tinkererguy

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tinkererguy

Core i7 2600 (with VT-d support)

$344.45 (In Stock)

http://www.pcconnectionexpress.com/IPA/Shop/Product/Detail.htm?sku=12406251&cac=Result

 

Core i7 2600S (with VT-d support)

$349.27 (On Order)

http://www.pcconnectionexpress.com/IPA/Shop/Product/Detail.htm?sku=12470122&cac=Result

 

I'm not saying these are likely to be the best prices around, I'm just using these as comparisons, now that the 2600S is starting to show up at more sites.

 

As far as the Core i7 2600K, it has no VT-d support, so perhaps not a good choice for me, a virtualization guy, looking to leverage the heck out of my gear these next 4 years.

 

Here's something I found about VT-d at this site:

http://www.techques.com/question/2-142829/Intel-Xeon-vt-d-query

here's the paragraph I found interesting, by "HTH" on 1/3/2011:

 

VT-d is a feature of the memory controller, which now happens to be in the CPU for Nehalem and later systems. For systems prior to Nehalem, you need support in the chipset. All CPU's require a MB BIOS that supports VT-d.

 

For example, a Q6600 is listed as having no VT-d support, which is correct. The CPU itself does not have any VT-d functions. However, if you put that CPU into a MB with a Q35 or a Q45 chipset, VT-d works perfectly well, as long as you have a BIOS update that turns on VT-d support.

 

The difference is with Nehalem and later CPUs, if support is listed as "no" in ARK, you cannot add VT-d support to the system through the chipset. If "yes" appears in ark, and you put this in a MB that supports VT-d, VT-d will work just fine.

 

HTH

 

More about "VT-d" written up by Intel here:

http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/best-practices-for-paravirtualization-enhancements-from-intel-virtualization-technology-ept-and-vt-d/

http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/intel-virtualization-technology-for-directed-io-vt-d-enhancing-intel-platforms-for-efficient-virtualization-of-io-devices/

 

A lot to slog through. But in my own circumstance (juggling likely no more than 3-5 VMs on any given day, with an overall rather light load compared to any enterprise), making sure my motherboard has full VT-d support probably isn't a big priority for me.

Edited by tinkererguy

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