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Thread: Extreme 6 for SLI and M.2?




  1. #1
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    Default Extreme 6 for SLI and M.2?

    Hi there, need some advice for my planned upgrade please.

    Current build:
    EVGA X58 SLI MB (..has served me well!)
    EVGA 780 (hydrocopper)
    i7 965 EE @ 4GHz
    6 Gig RAM @1600
    SSD / BR etc…

    I have been looking at the Z97 Extreme 6 board and think it fits the bill.
    I will be plonking an i5 4690K (as I don’t think I will need an i7).
    I also plan on dropping another 780 in there for SLI, and I would like to use an M.2 drive for my system volume.

    Is the extreme 6 a good choice for this setup?
    Would I be able to use SLI + an M.2 drive at the same time?
    Should I be worried about PCIe lane limitations?
    Would the two 780s be in any way limited PCIe lane wise?
    Should I be looking at something beefier? or is that only really for 3 way SLI and up?

    Many thanks in advance.

    Rob
    Last edited by urk; 03-31-2015 at 10:14 PM.

  2. #2
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Extreme 6 for SLI and M.2?

    All of the so called "Mainstream" Intel Haswell processors (and Ivy and Sandy Bridge) provide only 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes (PCIe 2.0 for Sandy Bridge). That includes an i5-4690K. These board's chipsets have eight PCIe 2.0 lanes, but they are used for other things, and not useable with video cards.

    Your X58 board provides 36 PCIe 1.1 lanes, over twice what a Haswell Z97 system will have. A few more expensive Z97 boards have plex chips to increase the number of PCIe 3.0 lanes, but they are rare. The Z97 Extreme6 is not one of those boards.

    There are two M.2 slots on the Z97 Extreme6 board, the standard and Ultra M.2.

    The Ultra M.2 slot uses up to four PCIe 3.0 lanes, which of course come from the total of 16. The standard M.2 slot uses two PCIe 2.0 lanes from the Z97 chipset, so does not use any of the PCIe 3.0 lanes used for video cards.

    So it depends on the M.2 SSD that you get. Some use two PCIe lanes, and others use four PCIe lanes.

    If you use a four PCIe lane M.2 SSD, that leaves 12 PCIe 3.0 lanes, so a dual card SLI will run at x8 and x4. A two PCIe lane M.2 SSD will allow the standard x8 x8 SLI on these boards.

    I'm not a video card expert, but a 780 at x4 may be limited in performance.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Extreme 6 for SLI and M.2?

    Many thanks for your detailed reply Parsec.

    The situation is about as I thought but it is very nice to have this confirmed.
    I think the extreme 6 willl be more than enough for my needs.

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