X99 vs Z107 - 5 year advantage?

Arin

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Dec 10, 2006
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I've done a lot of research and reading after spending years away from all of this. I may be confused and I'm looking for some clarity and advice.

Is this correct:

X99 supports extreme 5th gen processors with more extreme features like higher pcie lanes, ram channels, and so on. The 6th gen doesn't have anything like this yet. Only Z107 exists for use with the "normal" new i7 processors and its benefits don't outweigh what's available on a fully decked out x99 setup.

Correct?

My goal is to build a system now that will afford me with plenty of room to upgrade years down the road. I want to game, overclock, and crunch big files in Adobe creative suite. I may want to add more ram, add more video cards, install an m.2 drive, and upgrade processors when I can find higher extreme or Xeon units on eBay for cheap. I want flexibility to add 1 piece at a time, rather than starting fresh with a new mobo, processor, and the whole kitchen sink.

If I go X99, it seems that's not a problem. If I go Z107, it may be? If I understand correctly, when extreme 6th gen processors eventually come out, some sort of X199 (or whatever / LGA 3647 perhaps) chipset will release, and it will be a clear successor to the x99 platform, negating these questions, right? I assume that's not within the next few months either, correct?

So, assuming I kept the same system for 5 years before adding / upgrading video cards, ram, and processor, while keeping the same motherboard, would going the x99 route, or the z107 route be more advantageous in terms of performance?

Thank you!
 

Mchart

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If your goal is to build a system that lasts 5 years the latest X99 boards being released will indeed last longer. You'll have plenty of PCI-E slots and the lanes to support them, USB 3.1, etc. While feature set wise the Z107 will be similar at least you'll have more cores you can eventually drop in if you need it. I'd suggest getting one of the newer X99 boards coming out now and getting a 5820k if all you do is use the system for gaming. Then maybe a 2-3 years from now if more games come out that can really utilize more cores you can drop in a better 2011v3 CPU.

Of course the reality is that both builds will likely last 5 years just fine, although given how close in price a 5820k build and 6700k build is these days as mentioned before the X99 is at least more upgradeable if need be.
 

flatty

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Ill vote for X99 too. IMHO X99 is a high end platform, in time that Z170 a midend
 

Kaos_Drem

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From a technician standpoint, X99 has more lanes and I think even with basic 5820K CPU. On X99 you can actually run 2 graphic cards with PCIe x16 mode on both where Z170 can only do 2x PCIe x8 mode.

The 5820k only has 28 lanes, so it will run x16x8. But its not really a huge deal either way.
 

thekernel

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My worry with x99 is that it is such a niche platform. I understand the upgrade desire but because the platform will add all sorts of new things that you will probably want beyond the CPU socket (new USB standards, new memory standards, new PCI-E, etc) you can't entirely future-proof it.

Something else to think about is the CPU socket itself: we know that x99 won't be able to upgrade to Skylake-class CPUs in ~1 year when they are available so you'll likely never be able to do a CPU upgrade. Z107 will at least be able to upgrade to Kaby Lake and probably Cannonlake with only the next architecture shift (Icelake) going to be the end of the line.

Really though, I tend to take a different thought towards upgradability of a system: I think that you can't really get around needing a motherboard upgrade anymore during normal upgrade cycles so I tend to get do a more extensive system upgrade cycle where I always replace the motherboard+CPU at the same time and replace graphics whenever it makes sense. I love the idea of a future-proof motherboard but the rate at which system platforms are evolving means that they simply don't have all that much life in them and best case you will be able to do a CPU upgrade of 1 generation (maybe 2 with Intel's new cadence) then that's it.
 

dvsman

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I just made the switch myself. The reason being more and more companies are putting out NVME / PCIE storage - which I am a big fan of. With room for SLI and fast storage, I wanted to make sure I had enough PCIE lanes for both - which my current build does.
 

Mchart

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My worry with x99 is that it is such a niche platform. I understand the upgrade desire but because the platform will add all sorts of new things that you will probably want beyond the CPU socket (new USB standards, new memory standards, new PCI-E, etc) you can't entirely future-proof it.

Something else to think about is the CPU socket itself: we know that x99 won't be able to upgrade to Skylake-class CPUs in ~1 year when they are available so you'll likely never be able to do a CPU upgrade. Z107 will at least be able to upgrade to Kaby Lake and probably Cannonlake with only the next architecture shift (Icelake) going to be the end of the line.

Really though, I tend to take a different thought towards upgradability of a system: I think that you can't really get around needing a motherboard upgrade anymore during normal upgrade cycles so I tend to get do a more extensive system upgrade cycle where I always replace the motherboard+CPU at the same time and replace graphics whenever it makes sense. I love the idea of a future-proof motherboard but the rate at which system platforms are evolving means that they simply don't have all that much life in them and best case you will be able to do a CPU upgrade of 1 generation (maybe 2 with Intel's new cadence) then that's it.

In what way is x99 a niche platform? Most X99 boards support any 2011v3 CPU to include Xeon's. X99 has far broader ranging support then z107 and if you get a CPU with the full 40 lanes you'll have more then enough lanes for not only multi-gpu but RAID NVME cards.
 

Sycraft

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In terms of longevity, well both will be 5 year old tech roughly in 5 years. Don't look at it that way. It is a question of high end vs mainstream. X99 has a fairly sizable price premium on the board and the CPU but in return gets you higher end parts. More cores, more PCIe lanes, more slots, etc, etc. It is basically workstation/server class parts, but using consumer memory and that allow for OCing. The Z series in mainstream and has anything from very economical 2 coreprocessors up to some pretty beefy 4 core processors. It is targeted at the majority of computer users and as such has a wide range of power and price points available.

So decide based on if you want to pay more for a high end product. It's fine if you do, I decided I did, but in general it is not necessary to spend that kind of money. Either way it will "last" about the same. If something new comes out that isn't supported (say a new bus to replace PCIe or something) then neither will support it.
 

Mchart

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I think X99 will have longer life if NVME keeps pushing things. Again, having those 40 lanes may extend the life of the platform if/when for instance PCI-E 16x nvme controllers come out and if a user wants that type of storage speed.

I don't think the OP is referring to lower-end Z107. From the sound of it he is comparing higher-end Z107 boards/CPU's w/ lower/mid-end X99 boards/CPU's in which case the prices are a wash. He also talks about potentially getting cheaper used Xeon's down the road.

I agree though, if you are looking in the low $100 board range and at I3's/I5's in terms of CPU X-99 will be a bit out of the price range.
 

cyclone3d

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X99 is also going to have a massive throughput advantage for the RAM because of the quad vs dual channel of the Z170.
 

Criticalhitkoala

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I'm an x99 person but to be honest in an effort to not sell you a racecar when all you need is a sedan with a little pickup, can you do most of what you do now happily with a I7-2600k? That's basically a 5 year old version of the z107. And to be honest it's fast, it's nice, and as a photographer it still churns the hell out of files now.

The problem with going x99 is you have the upgrades there, depending on how much you want to do, but the cost of play means you are going to have to sacrifice a new lens, or a new flash to start playing once you start adding up some of the prices.

though the 5820k with x99 should go down really nicely in price soon, so I could be wrong.
 

Mchart

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Well, if he's focused on doing crunching for media X-99 will provide a fairly substantial upgrade. You can pickup used Xeon's for cheaper then 5820k's if you are pushing more for actual core/compute rather then just clockspeed. $300 for 14 cores at 3.5ghz turbo and 35MB of cache is pretty good.
 
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Michaelius

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High end storage in 5 years will most likely be 3D Xpoint which will be supported by 200 series chipsets released alongside Kaby Lake.


The real question is do you think you will need more than Z170 can offer?


On CPU

X99 obviously has more cores but Z170 has small IPC and clockspeed advantage

On memory

Z170 has 4 ram slots so thats 4x16 GB total- do you think you will need more ?

On storage

Z170 will run 1x M2 and 6 sata (some mobos have more but i don't know how they manage lanes with 2x m2 used), plus some mobos will have x4 pci-ex from chipset so that's another high-end ssd if you need it

On gpus

Z170 will run 2x8 confuguration, X99 will go to 3x8 if you want triple SLi and cpus that can do 2x16 are 600+ $
 

N4CR

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X99 + 128Gb ram drive = xpoint is irrelevant unless you have huge data sets.

Quads get a bit long in the tooth when you are rendering/encoding...
 
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