ASUS Z9 PE-D8 WS Dual Xeon Insanity E5-2660 & E5-2687W

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Dual Xeon Insanity

Introduction

One of the questions we always wonder about here at OC3D is whether a dual-CPU setup will ever become viable for the home user. Of course the main problem is price as even a basic Xeon processor will set you back a pretty penny. The Xeon price equivalent to the 2500K gets you a 1.8GHz quad-core non-threaded, and the ones we have on test today top out at a whopping £1400 each. The other issue is the sheer amount of performance available from the latest desktop processors. Why would you need to go to the trouble and expense of two CPUs if one provides all you'd ever need?

That doesn't mean it's stopped us from finding out what kind of results you could expect to find from the current range of LGA2011 Xeon's when paired up with the excellent ASUS Z9 PE-D8 WS board.

But we wouldn't stop with just showing you the ultimate, which we are doing with a pair of Xeon E5-2687Ws, but we're also seeing if sheer weight of cores is enough to overcome low clockspeed by bringing a couple of Xeon E5-2660s along for the ride.

So is it a sensible option, or is the 'Workstation' designation there as much as a caveat emptor as anything?

Technical Specifications

In the blue corner, the Octo-Core Intel Xeon E5-2687W.

Processor NumberE5-2687W
# of Cores8
# of Threads16
Clock Speed3.1 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency3.8 GHz
Bus/Core Ratio38
Intel® QPI Speed8 GT/s
# of QPI Links2
Instruction Set64-bit
Instruction Set ExtensionsAVX
TDP150W

 

And in the .. erm.. blue corner, the Octo-Core Intel Xeon E5-2660.

Processor NumberE5-2660
# of Cores8
# of Threads16
Clock Speed2.2 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency3 GHz
Bus/Core Ratio30
Intel® QPI Speed8 GT/s
# of QPI Links2
Instruction Set64-bit
Instruction Set ExtensionsAVX
TDP95W

 

Now Xeons differ greatly from the standard desktop versions in that they can't be overclocked, but rather they rely solely upon the turbo function to attain extra clock-speed. On the plus side this is the full-fat 8 core version of the Sandy-Bridge E processors, and because we're running two we'll have a seriously high 32 threads available to us. We know the E5-2687W should break all known benchmark records, but will the rather lethargic E5-2660 manage to take advantage of the extra cores to give the i7-3960X a run for its money?

The trainer at ringside is the ASUS Z9 PE-D8 WS

CPUIntel® Socket 2011 Processors
Dual Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2
* Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list
ChipsetIntel® C602
Memory8 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR3 2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066 MHz ECC, Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Quad Channel Memory Architecture
* For Registered Memory, Max. 256GB DDR3 1600/1333/1066/800 MHz
* Refer to www.asus.com or user manual for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
System Bus8.0/7.2/6.4 GT/s Intel® QuickPath Interconnect
Multi-GPU SupportSupports NVIDIA® 4-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
Expansion Slots4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (dual x16 or quad x8) *1
2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 *1
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x8 mode) *1
StorageIntel® C602 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), blue
8 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), black
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Marvell® PCIe 9230 controller :
4 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
Support Raid 0, 1, 10
LANIntel® 82574L, 2 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
AudioRealtek® ALC898 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- Absolute Pitch 192kHz/ 24-bit True BD Lossless Sound
- DTS Ultra PC II
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
USB PortsASMedia® USB 3.0 controller :
4 x USB port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
Workstation Feature7 x PCIe x 16 slot(s)
Quick Gate: 2 x vertical USB 2.0 on board
ASWM Enterprise
ASMB6-iKVM Remote Management Tool
Special FeaturesASUS Digital Power Design :
- Industry leading Digital 7 +1 Phase Power Design
- Industry leading Digital 2 Phase DRAM Power Design
ASUS Exclusive Features :
- Front Panel USB 3.0 Support
- ASUS SSD Caching
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :
- Stylish Fanless Design Heat-pipe solution
ASUS EZ DIY :
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS MyLogo 2
- Multi-language BIOS
ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-Code
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
- ASUS Q-Connector
Back I/O Ports1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
2 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
2 x USB 3.0
6 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)
Internal I/O1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)
2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
2 x Vertical USB 2.0 port(s)
2 x COM port(s) connector(s)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
8 x SATA 3Gb/s connector(s)
2 x IEEE 1394a connector(s)
2 x CPU Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
6 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
2 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x 4-pin EZ_PLUG Power connector(s)
1 x RAID key header(s)
1 x ASMB6-iKVM connector(s)
1 x VGA connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x AUX panel header(s)
1 x SMBus header(s)
1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector)
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
AccessoriesUser's manual
I/O Shield
2 x COM port cable(s)
8 x SATA 3Gb/s cable(s)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x 3-Way SLI bridge(s)
1 x 4-Way SLI bridge(s)
1 x SLI bridge(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (2 in 1)
1 x 2-port USB2.0 + 1394 bracket(s)
BIOS64 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 2, ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
ManageabilityWfM 2.0, DMI 2.0, WOL by PME, WOR by PME, PXE
Support DiscDrivers
ASUS Utilities
ASUS Update
Form FactorEEB Form Factor
12 inch x 13 inch ( 30.5 cm x 33 cm )
«Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Next»

Most Recent Comments

02-04-2012, 15:53:22

tinytomlogan


What would happen if you combined the power of the ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS and two of the latest Xeon processors? We find out.

Continue Reading

02-04-2012, 15:59:06

Matthias2437
It's a beautiful thing... that amount of processing power should be illegal.

02-04-2012, 15:59:16

PetrolHead247
I seriously want a pair of these for folding. 114k PPD without any bonuses is insane!

(Btw Tom the link is broken mate)

02-04-2012, 16:02:24

Tharionos
O my god ...

that is awesome , nice one TTL cudos

02-04-2012, 16:06:35

SnW
Off topic,

But where can I buy a benchtable like that ?

BTW the link on here goes to a smaller picture !

02-04-2012, 16:09:34

SieB
So much POWA!!!!!

Wasted for anything less than folding or rendering etc though.

@SnW

http://www.ldcooling.com/shop/45-ld-pc-v4

02-04-2012, 16:21:00

Malarky13
Would I be able to play doom on it

02-04-2012, 16:22:14

SieB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malarky13 View Post

Would I be able to play doom on it
Maybe, but I don't think they can run Crysis.

02-04-2012, 16:44:18

Firat
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post

So much POWA!!!!!

Wasted for anything less than folding or rendering etc though.

@SnW

http://www.ldcooling.com/shop/45-ld-pc-v4
114000 PPD I can't wait till I build something like this in the future!

02-04-2012, 17:37:42

YogevSkill
Way too expensive cpu's , for that price ill build two single cpu 2011 rigs , and have change left to pay my debt to sociaty.

good review tom . thx.

02-04-2012, 17:58:04

iancook221188
hey oc3d, vantage is only aware of 16 threads shamino came up with a way to get vantage to see more than 16 thread for his sr2 overclocks, but i dont think it will work for the xeons on the asus borad(unless you can find another way) but could work on a review of the SRX with ELEET i think you could get close to 100k in vantage as it can scale if you make it see all the thread available, hope this helps

shamino

http://www.evga.com/...igh=sr2+vantage

02-04-2012, 18:11:25

FTLN
Great review as always, cheers Tom.....

Also just wondering if there are any boards lined up for the future that can accomodate dual 3960-X ??? Is this even possible ?

02-04-2012, 18:13:00

PetrolHead247
Quote:
Originally Posted by FTLN View Post

Great review as always, cheer Tom.....

Also just wondering if there are any boards lined up for the future that can accomodate dual 3960-X ??? Is this even possible ?
Most likely not because the 2011 chips lack the instruction set to enable 2 chips to work together

02-04-2012, 19:40:49

Mrboxfacetramp
Amazing but still not my preffered gaming machine ;]

02-04-2012, 20:30:40

JedixJarf
Quote:
Originally Posted by FTLN View Post

Great review as always, cheers Tom.....

Also just wondering if there are any boards lined up for the future that can accomodate dual 3960-X ??? Is this even possible ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by PetrolHead247 View Post

Most likely not because the 2011 chips lack the instruction set to enable 2 chips to work together
You can't use two Core-i7's because it lacks the QPI, and it is not a socket 2011 problem. This is just how intel always does there multi proc setups, gotta have a xeon to do it.

03-04-2012, 01:55:52

trazom
My god,I see double. Interesting nice review as usual.

03-04-2012, 05:33:51

Stylazation
OMG this is like end of the world

03-04-2012, 10:12:53

leejc73
I'm trying to get hold of a Dell poweredge (Work thing) running Quad Xeon E7-4870 10 Cores, if I get the opportunity to stick windows 7/cinebench/F@H on it before I get instructed to start ploughing virtual machines on to it i'll try and get some numbers.

03-04-2012, 12:01:33

wotevajjjj
I really din't see the point of this, but the scores are awsome, makes me wonder what 4x E7 can do..

03-04-2012, 15:43:46

yassarikhan786
Great review Tom. Just watched the video review and I love how awesome these CPU's are. Would love to get a hold of a couple for a dedicated F@H rig, but I would have to sell my car + some body parts to make up the cost.

@wotevajjjj - the point is if you're rendering large files or F@h and the program utilizes all of the cores, then you could save heaps of time with rendering and gaining a massive amount of points when folding.

04-04-2012, 00:02:06

jackjack
very pleasing review mate

this beast is superb..... with that price range, it's worthed

04-04-2012, 01:28:21

Vicey
A couple of weeks ago I was going to buy this board and two E5-2620's but then I read a review of the E5 chips inside an Asus Z9 PE-D8 WS and spoke to Jacob from EVGA's Forums. Both of those sources of information indicated the best overclock possible on the new XEON's was a lift in the BCLK from 100MHz to 105MHz maximum (and even that was not a sure thing). This would result in only a 100MHz improvement on the E5 2620's

It is quite disappointing that Intel has completely locked the new XEON processors. Some on the EVGA forums (who are pining over the SR-X) are planning to wait and see if Intel releases an X series XEON at a $1200+ price tag just for the benchmarking crowd but there is no indication Intel is even considering that and I decided not to wait for something I don't think will ever come to fruition.

In the end I picked up an Asus Rampage IV Extreme and 3930K which I've overclocked considerably. I don't regret that purchase one bit especially after hearing your conclusion in your review of the Asus Z9 where you basically say do what I just said if you want to overclock or build a killer gaming rig.

04-04-2012, 04:10:21

Malarky13
If Rodney saw it he'd definately say it was a 100% Kick Ass product. Mind you he says that about everything LOL

Looks amazing by the way your gonna need your own sub station soon

04-04-2012, 06:04:25

Legacy-ZA
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnW View Post

Off topic,

But where can I buy a benchtable like that ?

BTW the link on here goes to a smaller picture !
You may try http://www.mountainmods.com/

They make amazing custom cases, if I ever have enough cash, I will buy a case there.

06-04-2012, 07:25:35

LDcooling
*removed, thats almost spam mate*

11-04-2012, 08:55:30

andy73
imho the Z9PE-D8 WS can run 4 pcie at full 16x speed with a dual cpu setup.

afaik two xeons on this board provide 80 pcie lanes.

cpu 1:

slot 1 and 3 at 16x speed, slot 2 and 4 at 8x speed, slot 3 is downgraded to 8x if slot 2 and 4 are running 8x cards.

cpu 2:

slot 5 and 7 at 16x speed, slot 6 at 8x speed.

asus say on their website 2*16x / 4*8x, imho this is true with a single cpu setup.

with dual cpu this should be 4*16x, sadly i dont remember where i did read that...

it just sounds odd to have only 4*8x with 80 lanes.

19-05-2012, 22:52:42

Dayoldy
This was a lot of fun to digest. Thanks so much!. I know I love seeing the extreme boundaries, even tho they may not be so relevant to my own reality.

I am not a gamer; but an artist/student of motion graphics & visual effects. Guys with the skills I'm learning build the games, the commercials, the movies, the broadcast graphics... Boring workstations heve been my life. My activity on a box mixes high resolution digital video, photos, 3D modeling, 3D animation, 3D motion tracking, and compositing. And my workflow demands hefty snap in real time tool response, previewing, and rendering. The proven gaming strategy of overclocking i7s/RAM, and stacking up multiple cuda GPUs would only get me so far.

A solid WS strategy calls for a beefy balance of lotsa cores, lotsa RAM, SSD caching, RAIDed HDDs, a high-end GPU with "Adobe-blessed NVIDIA sensibility",and effective tweaking of graphics apps for performance.

It's clear to most that a WS improves with the number of cores; but there is an interesting dilemma there. Graphics peeps fortunate enough to have a lot of cores (8+) can't often use them all. Oftentimes they encounter a phenomenon where applying too many cores actually slows their processing down (e,g, Adobe apps like After Effects). This happens when threading spawns many instances of a graphics program and cores begin to step on each other's toes as they compete for inadequate RAM. Installing more (and faster) RAM helps; but the biggest problem is that the multi-threading strategies the apps are coded with are inadequate or nonexistent. Benchmark apps are better in this regard, so they aren't as real world as we'd like. To their credit Adobe and others do enable their code to be assisted to some extent by OpenGL, Open CL, and Cuda processing in GPUs. But rendering is still not what it could be yet. So talk of processing cores and NVIDIA's Maximus schemes are really more tantalizing than satisfying to me. In spite of this, there still are reasons to invest in lotsa cores: 1) a typical graphics workflow requires many hefty apps to be open and processing simultaneously, 2) some rendering apps are threaded decently enough to capably use how ever many cores you enlist, and 3) multi-core machines built today will be able to fight obsolescence admirably as more and more apps jump on the multi-threading bandwagon.

The system in the above test would problee make my life a whole lot easier!! But unfortunately I'm on a lower budget and looking to build a WS. Here's what I'd really love-LOVE to see at Overclock3D (and I'm sure you've thought of it already...) I'd love to see a more practical shootout based on the cost/performance expectation of the more typical graphics grunt. Maybe start with a baseline single CPU config based on the E5-2687w tested here, and then compare it to the same amount of cores achieved by a dual E5 Xeon config that costs roughly the same. And for good measure throw in a config that's cheaper but has even more cores....

Certainly we're still talking more cost here than the high-end gaming MoBo/CPU, but less cooling. And how awesome would it be to experience the effectiveness of Intel QPI, plus chew on the subtle differences in CPU cache and clock-speed! Here would be my contenders:

------------------------------------

1) Single CPU, 8-core (baseline)

Single E5-2687w Xeon CPU (8 core, 3.1 – 3.8 GHz, 150w, 20MB cache)

ASUS P9X79 WS motherboard

Cost: $2280 US

------------------------------------

2) Dual CPU, 8-core

Two E5-2643 Xeon CPUs (4 core, 3.3 – 3.5 GHz, 130w, 2 QPI Links, 8GT/s, 10MB cache)

ASUS Z9PE-D8 motherboard

Cost: $2370 US ($90 more than the baseline strategy)

------------------------------------

3) Dual CPU, 12-core

Two E5-2630 Xeon CPUs (6 core, 2.3 – 2.8 GHz, 95w, 2 QPI Links, 7.2GT/s, 15MB cache)

ASUS Z9PE-D8 motherboard

Cost: $1820 US ($460 less than the baseline strategy)

------------------------------------

AGAIN, Thanks for the very intriguing & enlightening test. Very helpful for us WS peeps!

Dayoldy

01-08-2012, 07:51:56

digijim
I'm about to buil a rig for videoediting in Adobe cs6 so I guess that the cinebench is the benchmark for me? Due to the expensive cpu-cost in a dual E5-2687W setup I have an idea to cut the initial cost by beginning with one cpu and keep the option to upscale to two cpus if needed in the future.

The question is how will on E5-2687W stack up to an i7-3960X setup in Cinebench?

01-08-2012, 09:31:13

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Legacy-ZA View Post
You may try http://www.mountainmods.com/

They make amazing custom cases, if I ever have enough cash, I will buy a case there.

They make TERRIBLE cases.

01-08-2012, 12:02:03

006409
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy73 View Post
imho the Z9PE-D8 WS can run 4 pcie at full 16x speed with a dual cpu setup.

afaik two xeons on this board provide 80 pcie lanes.

cpu 1:

slot 1 and 3 at 16x speed, slot 2 and 4 at 8x speed, slot 3 is downgraded to 8x if slot 2 and 4 are running 8x cards.

cpu 2:

slot 5 and 7 at 16x speed, slot 6 at 8x speed.

asus say on their website 2*16x / 4*8x, imho this is true with a single cpu setup.

with dual cpu this should be 4*16x, sadly i dont remember where i did read that...

it just sounds odd to have only 4*8x with 80 lanes.

You did read it on there website (http://uk.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_2011/Z9PED8_WS/#specifications) under specs. it does say you can run 4 PCI-E lanes at the full 16x.

"4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (dual x16 or quad x8)
2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16"

so according to the first line 2 16x can be run and at the same time 2 more 16x lanes can be run. Its only after that that speed starts to go down.

it will be good to see how the up and coming quadro cards will work with this...

20-12-2012, 10:56:59

Apollo
"14 SATA ports (8 SATA 3Gbp/s and 6 SATA 3Gbp/s)"

Little typo It should be: 14 SATA ports (8 SATA 3Gbp/s and 6 SATA 6Gbp/s)

09-01-2013, 13:37:06

Writer's Block
Hi Tom,

Just read this review. Awesome. Looking at a Xeon system, but seriously, the cost. /cry

You were commenting on getting 3d software to show the difference in performance.

Well, http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender/ is a link for open source 3d software.

The test scene used by the community: dl.dropbox.com/u/1742071/1m/BMW1M-MikePan.blend the scene is ready to render, just hit f12.

Original link on http://blenderartists.org/forum/show...ht=cycles+test

I would expect you doing a mini review showing the differences in the speed of various setups would generate a lot of interest from the blender community.

17-01-2013, 09:07:33

reallover
what is the cost of this system?

26-02-2013, 23:00:51

hemrie
I love the review.

I remember that you did a review of the Xigmatek Elysium.

Would this board fit w/2 corsair h80s at the top?

The board is EEB format. The Elysium holds E-ATX. Both formats are 12" x 13". Are the standoffs in different positions?

Thanks!

28-02-2013, 01:47:59

Goldskis45
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post
They make TERRIBLE cases.
THANK YOU!
Finally someone else agrees '
Reply
x

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.