1366, the 'SIMPLE' performer... does it exist?

undertheradar

[H]ard|Gawd
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Oct 26, 2004
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Okay, this is what I want...

None of the 'FRILLS'... you know... the X-Fi card, the RAID, etc...

How about a x58 board that is 'stripped down', simple, and performs well... maybe better than most because there is less 'crowding' on the board?

This is what it should have:
-6xUSB 2.0, heck, maybe 8.
-1xethernet jack
-x58 chipset (which includes crossfire and SLi support)
-PCI, PCI-E (1 of the shorter x1's, three x16's for GPU's)
- 4 to 6 internal SATA hookups (perpendicular/edge connect sockets)
THATS IT! When I look at the back plate, I will see a couple PS/2 plugs, 6-8 USB ports, a RJ-45 port... and thats it. Maybe an LCD or CMOS reset button... those things can be handy... but not really that important.

Why? Well, if Im making a 'gaming rig', I already have a X-Fi Titanium sound card (and I do), so I don't want to buy some 'add-in' version that comes with a board (which so many seem to be sporting). I have never used 'on board' audio... dont even bother me with it. If I want RAID, Ill use a real hardware card, not some half-baked on-board version with silly drivers that 'may or may not' work... and with the current speeds HDD's and SSD's are hitting, whats RAID for again? Who really uses that?

None of the following:
-Firewire (whats that for?)
-2x ethernet (yeah, cuz you need that)
-floppy disk ATA/ribbon cable port... I havent had a floppy in over 5 years
-P-ATA hookup... there are plenty of SATA drives now, optical and HDD
-optical/digital out (no audio, so none of that)
-WiFi (if you desire PERFORMANCE, you are going to use a cable)
-RAID (I covered this before)
-external SATA plugs (for what exactly?)

Thats it... if you are making a serious rig, chances are you either already have the add-in cards that do things like audio & RAID, and you will just end up turning them off in the BIOS. Heck, chances are that I wont be sporting SLi or Crossfire any time soon (just not worth it IMO, done SLi twice...), but rather opting for just one top-notch card instead, like a 4870x2 or the smaller die GTX280's when they come out. That doesnt mean I want less performance or overclocking potential with what I do have though... I just dont need more than one card. So 50/50... SLi/crossfire may not even be important to me, but for a 'GAMER' board, I suppose it has to be, and considering all it takes is the x58 chipset, software, and a couple cables... its not a huge 'extra' to pay for... not like a X-Fi card that I dont need.

So how about it? Can some maker out there consider this? It should make the board cost less (no liscencing for the RAID controller chip, Firewire, Audio/X-Fi, and all the other smaller chips), and possibly allow for more attention to things that people like me would rather have: maybe a 'dual bios' setup, a LCD screen and other cool power regulation/saving features. But really, leave the X-Fi cards, RAID controllers, integrated Wi-Fi out...
 

DanNeely

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All the earlier adoptor boards are going to be platinum class because they have the highest profit margins. If you don't like that, wait 3-6mo.
 
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Okay, this is what I want...
None of the following:
-Firewire (whats that for?)
-2x ethernet (yeah, cuz you need that)
-floppy disk ATA/ribbon cable port... I havent had a floppy in over 5 years
-P-ATA hookup... there are plenty of SATA drives now, optical and HDD
-optical/digital out (no audio, so none of that)
-WiFi (if you desire PERFORMANCE, you are going to use a cable)
-RAID (I covered this before)
-external SATA plugs (for what exactly?)

Firewire - it's for connecting things like digital audio equipment, video cameras and storage devices. As far as latency is concerned it's far better than USB 2.0, which is important if you're doing any sort of audio or video work. The port probably only costs $1 to implement on the board anyway, so it should stay.
2x Ethernet - enough people use it to make it a mandatory feature.
Floppy disk/PATA - agreed. It's time to get rid of these dinosaurs.
optical/digital out - enough people use this that it's a required feature. Just because you don't use the onboard audio doesn't mean that it goes unused - onboard is fine for 90% of the people out there. I'm currently using the digital out on my soundcard ( while listening to my morning MP3s), when I'm not doing digital out I'm using analog for a set of mediocre Logitech speakers.
WiFi - agreed, if you want that then you can use an add-in card. Not many boards have built-in WiFi anyway, and some people like the convenience of not having to run cables.
RAID - a mandatory feature. I currently have a RAID 0 array for Windows and a RAID 5 array for my storage drive. Software RAID is fine for 99% of users out there, works perfectly well (except for some nVidia configurations) and is so cheap that it's almost free.
eSATA - for storage devices like external disks. It's used commonly.

I would think that anyone looking at the i7/X58 platform right now would fall into the power user category and would want these features. If you want something simpler then wait for the P55 chipset, but don't be surprised if they include all of the above anyway.
 

undertheradar

[H]ard|Gawd
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Oct 26, 2004
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Sharpie, dont take this as an argument, please... I understand where you are coming from and appreciate the input, but I just dont agree about some things. I think an 'enthusiast' board should be a stripped down performer. As it is, many x58's are moving the sound to an 'add-in' card... in which case, cut the price by $50 or more and just let me use my own.

-Firewire... I suppose, its $1, but it still takes up space. Perhaps just the chip, and a mobo header if someone wants to use a 'front panel' connector or a PCI slot add-in card like it used to be done. Most cases have a firewire port on the front. I know what firewire's uses are, but it seems to me its just nowhere near as popular as USB.

-2x ethernet... you think so? What do people use it for?

-optical/digital: Im just saying, moving it to a seperate card would mean these could go adios as well. I use my optical connect all the time... just not the one that came with the mobo.

-RAID: then wouldnt an add-in hardware RAID card be the better way to go? I dont think they are all that important anymore... with velociraptor x-20,000's and SSD's. Drives have also become more reliable, so running them in series... well... I know the argument... you can make things THAT MUCH faster/reliable... but it doesn't seem to me that many use it, not unless you are video-editing, in which case you would like firewire as well. Perhaps an 'add in' card for RAID and firewire would be popular... sort of an 'all in one' video editing card...lol.

-ESATA... dont they all sport USB or firewire anyways? I suppose, its just a matter of the extra plugs like the internal ones... but external... so no biggie. Maybe a 'mobo header' thing again, wouldn't you say? All my external drives are just USB though. I suppose, for the cost, keep your firewire and ESATA.

But for me it still comes down to getting rid of on-board audio, WiFi, floppy/PATA, dual ethernet, and 'integrated' RAID. If someone sees a 1366 board like that, let me know. As these boards get to the point where they are running out of space, they are starting to dump some of these things anyways. Some boards are trying to get it all on there by using only 3 slots for memory rather than 6, or pushing some things to 'add-in' cards anyways. I see x58 boards that have add-in X-Fi cards: it seems to me that they aren't fully featured X-Fi cards though, in which case its much ado about nothing.

From here: http://www.tweaktown.com/news/9979/gigabyte_shows_us_its_x58_extreme_mobo_in_taipeiindex.html

"GIGABYTE’s X58 Extreme lacks some features such as onboard hardware RAID and TPM (which are found on DQ6 and some other models) with the philosophy being that the Extreme range of mobos is designed purely for overclockers and high-end enthusiasts and they don’t need these extra features. They only drive up the price and may influence overclockability – and that makes perfect sense to us really."
 

undertheradar

[H]ard|Gawd
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Looks like the i7's/x58s are having problems with all that stuff they crammed into those boards... maybe they should start from the bottom and work their way up to perfection, rather than start at the top with half-assed boards that have problems...
 

Arcygenical

Fully [H]
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Jun 10, 2005
Messages
25,068
-2x ethernet... you think so? What do people use it for?

Many, MANY people use 2x Ethernet ports now. For connecting 2 computers with ICS, connecting a NAS, etc.
 

jjz-

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 18, 2008
Messages
302
I can agree with everything except removing RAID.

Many people use RAID, and gamers benefit from RAID 0 configurations very much.
RAID 0 nearly doubles your read and write and can allow swaps to go on while you are actively using the disk, that is going to show large improvements for game installations (and other software installations), as well as level load times (and application load times).

Why wouldn't you want this as an option? It's software, anyway. You don't have to use it if you don't want to, it won't take up any cpu time if you don't use it.
 

CpuMan

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May 6, 2005
Messages
608
X58 Intel boards are the Platinum line. Just like the C2D Platinum line is the X48 boards. The whole point of a X58 board is it has everything including the kitchen sink in it.

The stripped down boards for nehalem will be the LGA 1160 socket and will probably be comparable to current P43/P45 Intel chipsets and features. But they will not be available for 6 months or so.

It was already mentioned by DanNeely,
"earlier adopter boards are going to be platinum class because they have the highest profit margins". This is why only LGA1366 is available now.
 

PAo_ReVoLT

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Apr 4, 2008
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- 2 x RJ-45 is must for me i used it
- e-sata is much faster than USB i never used usb for external HDD
- firewire is much less lag it is optimize for camera and videocam
- if you are using raid-0 there is no need to getting hardware raid card the performance will be the same since there is no calculation so why waste money on it

i prefer board has at lease 4 SAS tho
 

schizrade

Supreme [H]ardness
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Feb 15, 2003
Messages
4,885
2x ethenet??? Are you kidding?

Link aggregation is a great one among many other things. I wish this board had 4 like my EP45-DQ6 did.
 

Seggybop

n00b
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
37
OP is not saying that everyone should stop making boards with all these features. He only wishes at least one manufacturer would release one board model that isn't covered in extra features that he'll never be using. Most manufacturers already make boards for different tiers, but the problem is that none of them are really minimalist. A huge array of features are present even on the lower boards, many of which probably don't work properly and would best replaced by an add-in card if they were to be used seriously.

I would definitely prefer one of these more basic boards; if I want an extra feature like RAID or advanced networking I'd rather get a legitimate expansion card that's more likely to be reliable and efficient.
 

undertheradar

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So thats a +1! Lol. Im glad to see someone else here is seeing the sense in what I am saying.

As for RAID, I dont bother. Many mags like MaximumPC (just this month) mention that RAID isnt really worth it... just get a single fast drive if anything. Being that SSD drives are quickly getting faster and lower in price, I would bet that development of any current board with RAID as a feature would be almost useless... if the user REALLY wants speed, they are going to get a SSD in the near future... and I dont know for sure but I would imagine that SSD's in raid have no advantage (the hardware/extra processing might actually mean worse performance).

I have mentioned it before about 'what I see in the future', but here goes again. I was told I was on crack at the time I said it, but I predict that within 10 years, computers may drop RAM/memory as we know it all together. The cache on the proc-dies are increasing, and SSD drives will get almost as fast as the cache... making RAM a pointless extra stage in the process that eats up cycles. How it applies to here? Well... I can see RAID being very pointless in the very near future, if it isnt already.

I wish that 'stripped down' or 'simplistic' didnt mean 'doesnt work well' or 'wont overclock'... I would take a x58 or 790FX w/o the onboard audio (which is the first thing to get replaced and deactivated) and other things that I would never use.
 

bigdogchris

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Feb 19, 2008
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Guys, it is possible for someone to want the cpu power of a core i7 without all the frills. I've never used 2 Nics, 2 Ethernet ports, Firewire, On-board wifi or Raid (though played with it for a month) and I am a hardcore gamer.

Undertheradar - Unfortunately, those features are most likely going to be included on pretty much every x58 board. If you want to avoid 'add-ons', avoid the new EVGA x58 board that has 3x SLI because EVGA added another chip to it to allow that to be possible. If you take a look at the x58 boards at Newegg, you can see basically they all have that stuff, minus maybe on-board wifi. However, the GIGABYTE GA-EX58-DS4 has 1 NIC, no onboard wi-fi, and no e-sata. It has the edge Sata connectors which I think is pretty much a standard now. It also has onboard high-def audio which is something that will probably come on every board now. I use the onboard high def audio and I really like it, but I don't have room in my case for a audio card even if I wanted one :D Plus I heard those x-fi cards don't work well with Vista, which I run.

It seems to be about as basic as your probably going to get. There may be more feature-few boards when Intel does the 1066 pin board next year, but that's going to be budget line.

The gigabyte would be a decent board.
 

undertheradar

[H]ard|Gawd
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I use an X-Fi Titanium with Vista... works fine.

Since most of the 'first round' X58 boards seem rather buggy (except for the Asus, and Ive sworn off Asus after my M2N32SLi and the one before that), and the phenoms might just be catching up a little...
http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1367884

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1033455475&posted=1#post1033455475

So I think I might wait a little longer... look at the AMD's as well since I will still be able to run the new daneb's in a 790fx now and an AM3/DDR3 later if its worth it. Either way I go, it looks like I wont be able to replace my M2N32SLi with anything current that will allow me to keep the 8800 GTS 512's I currently run... unless I just jumped to something 'not so current'... an nVidia 780a/i board or something... but I suppose I really am sick of the bugs with the nVidia chipsets.

Anyone wanna trade two BFG 8800GTS 512's for a GTX 280?
 
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