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Preparing to Test the Intel Sandy Bridge Platform For S3D Gaming

February 19th, 2011 · 7 Comments · General 3D News

Those of you that follow the blog should remember the 3D Vision stereoscopic 3D test system with water cooling that I’ve built. In the meantime I’ve been upgrading the test PC a bit by bit, but since it is based on a bit older platform already I decided to do some testing with the recently announced Intel Sandy Bridge platform. The 3D test computer currently used an Asus P55 Sabertooth motherboard together with an Intel Core i5 750 processor overclocked to run at 4 GHz 24/7, together with dual GeForce GTX 580 video cards in SLI setup. So I’ve got two more recent high-end motherboards from Asus for testing that are based on the new platform and use the P67 chipset – Asus P67 Sabertooth and the P67 Maximus IV Extreme and an Intel Core i5 2500K processor with unlocked multiplier (for overclocking of course). The goal of this test is to reach five gigahertz by overclocking the processor and measure the performance of the new Intel Sandy Bridge platform versus the older one that I’m currently using. As you can expect the tests would be related to gaming in stereo 3D mode and comparing the framerates with both platforms and the different motherboards to see if the upgrade is worth it or not.

With all of the above said, I should also mention that currently upgrading to a Sandy Bridge platform may not be the best choice, considering that not long ago Intel has officially announced a bug in the chipset that can potentially cause SATA 2 performance degradation over time. As a result of that announcement there was a big recall of potentially affected motherboards, but that is not something that can stop an enthusiast, especially when there is still some time before the motherboards using the revised chipset can be available on the market again. So even if you get an Intel Sandy Bridge motherboard now, you can avoid using the affected SATA 2 ports and get it replaced when the revised versions become available on the market in march/april. But as an enthusiast I’m not willing to wait for a few months for the revised chipsets, so I prefer to get the platform now and test it and if needs replacing the warranty can cover that when the revised models are available later this year. So stay tuned for some results of the tests soon… ;)

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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Helifax // Feb 20, 2011 at 13:45

    Hi Bloody,

    What do you mean by “degradation” of those SATA2 ports? Degradation as in real time or permanent degradation (like the conductors are ageing) :)) If it is real time degradation, meaning:
    Pac you boot PC have X GB bandwidth and after 5hourse I have X/2 bandwith, after a PC reboot I should have X GB bandwidth again…which is acceptable…..or is this degradation permanent?

    I’m asking since I was planing to do some upgrades (my AMD Phenom ii 955 is getting old ) and was looking towards Intel this time… Btw are u selling those 480 cards?:)) J/k As I will need to upgrade my 2xgtx295 too and was thinking if the 500 series is worth the effort compared to 400 series ( all will be water cooled so no noise problems here).

    Best regards

  • 2 Helifax // Feb 20, 2011 at 13:56


    I got alot of questions like : “How in the name of God did you managed to put 2 nVidia cards in SLI on an AMD platform?”

    So, I thought, I will share here this finding and the solution to this problem. All the credit goes to this Russian guy(s) I just happen to stumble across this about 1 year ago.

    The trick is simple, it’s a little hack. All the information can be found here: http://www.xdevs.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.30

    I suggest you first try it, before actually buying the cards. So if anyone is interested, ask your friends nicely to lend you his/hers gpu(s) first and see if it is working;))

    Hope this helps someone.

  • 3 Bloody // Feb 20, 2011 at 14:43

    Performance degradation, meaning that the transfer speed you are getting with the HDDs connected to the SATA 2 ports may get lower and lower over time. It is something that needs a new revision of the chipset to be fixed…

  • 4 Helifax // Feb 20, 2011 at 16:22

    OK..well that translates as : “Permanent Damage” :))

  • 5 kingsmeadow // Feb 20, 2011 at 18:59

    Bloody, I put thisCorsair H50-1 Hydro Series CPU Cooler
    on my Asus Rampage motherboard and I am running at 4.01Ghz 24/7. The cpu temp is 15 degrees C cooler than when at normal speeds. Very impressive.

  • 6 Helifax // Feb 20, 2011 at 23:46

    Yes that is a very good “ready to mount/premade” watercooling solution. I have that one on a system and get around 15-18 degrees lover (+ silence) than the box air cooler. You can over-clock the CPU a little, but nothing to extreme.

  • 7 Bloody // Feb 21, 2011 at 16:08

    The Corsair H50-1 is a nice solution if you only want to water cool the CPU and not go for extreme overclocking, but compared to a custom water cooling solution is it also more affordable.

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