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View Full Version : Motherboard multi socket (AMD/Intel) Without server cpu($)


St-Craft
04-01-2011, 03:40 PM
Hi
I was wondering if there motherboard with multi socket with regular cpu (high end).
Server cpu (opteron/xeon) are... realy realy expansive for what they do compar to regular cpu.

So i would like to combine the 2 advantage, motherboard with multi socket with regular cpu, is that possible ?

What ever if it's amd or intel.

Thank you

olson
04-01-2011, 04:01 PM
Back in the days of Pentium and Athlon processors it was possible to use a single processor for either single socket system or multiple socket system because the system chipset (on the motherboard) handled processor and memory communication.

Modern processors have the memory controller integrated with the processor which reduces latency and improves performance. On multiple socket systems the processors have to be able to communicate with each other to access memory controlled by other processors. AMD implemented this first around 2003 and calls it HyperTransport (others besides AMD use this too since about 2001). Intel followed suit around 2009 and calls it QuickPath Interconnect (Intel's own technology).

Processors targeted at consumers (like the Phenom and Core series processors) don't have the circuitry to talk to other processors in other sockets so they can't be used in systems with multiple sockets. Only Opteron and Xeon processors can be used in systems with multiple sockets since they have the circuitry to talk to other processors. The number of sockets they can support is determined by the design of the circuitry to talk to other processors, the more there are the more complex and expensive they are. Lower end AMD Opteron 4100 series is for up to two sockets, and higher end Opteron 6100 series is for up to four sockets. Lower end Intel Xeon 3000 series is for single socket (like Core series), Xeon 5000 series is for up to two sockets, and Xeon 7000 is for up to four sockets (maybe more, not sure).

qwatkins
04-01-2011, 04:34 PM
...Server cpu (opteron/xeon) are... realy realy expansive for what they do compar to regular cpu.

One thing that makes "multi-socket capable" CPU's more expensive is operative interconnects so that one socket can talk to another socket (as mentioned by Olson). Additionally, designing a chip with interconnects AND one without would likely be more expensive than just having a single design that has interconnects and just disabling them for single socket versions (read: same net result for less money, single and multi socket chips)...follow the money/profit motive.

In the end it doesn't matter because the alternative to paying them an incremental additional cost for their multi-socket capable chips is to go and manufacture you own.

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04-01-2011, 04:34 PM
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