A Kick-Ass Dual 3.8GHz NetBurst Xeon Build

I've just purchased eight of these SAMSUNG 2GB Memory Modules from a seller in the UK: (They'll take a while to arrive via the Snail Mail though! :( )


They're on the Tyan compatibility list for this board, so they should be good!


As far as cooling goes, I may have to go with these Noctua Fans: (This is because the InWin fans won't be easy to get my hands on and these also have much better static pressure performance, and they'll also match the case!!!)

Eight of these:



One of these:



I may go for the 2000RPM variant, as they'll be far less noisy, while still providing extremely good performance!

This InWin case was never designed to house a server board such as this one, so it's not designed to have great airflow characteristics, so I'm going to have to employ bruit force from high performance static pressure fans such as these to force adequate amounts of air through the case!
I know that this is pure insanity, but I'm now considering the TITAN XP as the card for this machine: (It will be bottlenecked to death by the NetBurst CPU's, but I'm really trying to bruit force things as much as I possibly can here!!!)

I may be wrong, but as far as I've seen, RTX -Type cards won't work with a NetBurst core and the latest version of Windows that officially runs on a system such as this one is Windows 8.0, as 8.1 gives you the finger when you try to install it! Letting you know exactly how inadequate your CPU is, as it does so! :) )

Therefore RTX cards make absolutely no sense in a machine such as this one, as you're stuck with DirectX 11!

Here are the TITAN XP's specs:


And here are the GTX 690 and GTX TITAN Z's specs again to compare:


The Thing that worries me about the TITAN Z is how many failed units I've seen, as I've been searching for one lately! (It definitely seems to have had a thermal problem! :( )

Any inputs would be much appreciated! :)
I'm in the process of doing something crazy, as I'm wanting to pair a modern GPU with a dual NetBurst Xeon from 2005.

The purpose of this exercise is to achieve the absolute maximum performance that I can from this system.

This is the Motherboard that I'll be using for this exercise: (It's a Tyan Thunder i7525 (S2676) fitted with two 604-pin Xeons @ 3.8GHz)


After discussions with @"The Serpent Rider" on VOGONS, I've reached a point where I'm considering these two GPU's: (Right click and select to open the image in a new tab if you can't see it clearly)


The ZOTAC 1080 Ti clearly has better theoretical performance, but the TITAN XP has significantly better memory throughput and more CUDA Cores.

So my question is the following: In the case where these GPU's are CPU bottlenecked to the extreme, will the difference in memory throughput (as well as the higher CUDA Core count on the TITAN) be an overriding factor when it comes to real world performance?

Remember that the goal here is to get maximum performance out of this dual NetBurst system, so please don't think as to how these cards would compare in the more modern type of system (i7) that was intended to run them.

Seeing that GPU's are SIMD-type systems, I'm personally of the opinion that the higher CUDA Core count would be a factor in this case. (Rather than the speed at which each individual core runs.)

Any inputs would be much appreciated!
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After some thought I've placed an order for eight Thermaltake TOUGHFAN 14 Pro High Static Pressure 140mm Fans and one Thermaltake TOUGHFAN 12 Pro High Static Pressure 120mm Fan, together with a Thermaltake Commander FP 10-Port Hub for PWM Fans: (These ended up being a bit more expensive than the Noctua's but they should run more silently, while still offering good static pressure performance!)


Here are the specs on the TOUGHFAN 14 Pro High Static Pressure 140mm Fans:



Here are the specs on the TOUGHFAN 12 Pro High Static Pressure 120mm Fan:



Here are the specs on the Thermaltake Commander FP 10-Port Hub for PWM Fans:

This is what the system currently looks like , as it awaits its fans and RAM: (It will only start to look like something once the fans are installed!)



As for the wiring, I want to keep things as neat as possible, so the long fan cables will help allot!


I'll only start to experiment with GPU's once the fans and 16GB of RAM are fitted.
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Planning for the fitment of the fans, I'm planning to have the bottom fan blowing outward (into the front cavity) and the top two blowing inward towards the CPU's

This is an attempt to overcome the restricted airflow into the front cavity due to the small air intake at the bottom, and the top two fans are the important ones, as they're the ones blowing directly onto the motherboard and CPU's)


The planned airflow pattern for the case:

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The fans arrived today: (And I'm impressed with their quality!!! They're as premium as fans get!)


And they're fitted: (It took me about an hour to fit them!)



This was the first run-up, just to confirm that all the fans were working: (It was like a hurricane inside the case, so all's good!)



Here it is with the tempered glass panels fitted: (It sounds as loud as an SGI system!)



I'm still waiting on the 16GB of RAM to arrive from the UK!
As a matter of interest, the 8800 GTX (which was intended to be used in a Core 2 system) seems to suffer more from the effects of bottlenecking than the GTX 690 does in this system, when you compare the GTEXELS/S and GPIXELS/S achieved in 3DMark Vantage VS the Theoretical maximum for both cards!


When talking GPIXELS/S the GTX690 gets close to the 8800 GTX's theoretical maximum in this system!

And when talking GTEXELS/S the GTX 690 achieves 2.47 times the 8800 GTX's theoretical maximum in this system!

It will be interesting to see how this scales when a GPU like the TITAN V is placed in the system!!!???


The GTX 690 (SLI Disabled) that I currently have fitted in the system would be performing quite a bit worse than the GTX TITAN here!!!!


In Crysis the TITAN V's 19,19% faster than the XP! (This is reasonably significant!)

I have a Maxwell TITAN X, which I may also slot (just to get a performance data point), but looking at the relative performance of the TITAN XP and TITAN V I find it hard to justify!!!

I'd find it extremely hard to slot a TITAN XP into this system, knowing that the TITAN V exists!!! (The only question that still stands is the TITAN V's compatibility with this system?)
I've just come across this video showing someone running an RTX 3080 in a P4 system: (However it is a Pentium 4 HT 651 running in a premium ASUS MAXIMUS FORMULA socket 775 motherboard!)

From this I can deduce that the CPU's feature set is not a factor that would limit compatibility here, but the BIOS as well as the motherboard chipset might!

So the RTX 3090 ti may be an option here after all!

The Pentium 4 HT 651 is based on the Cedar Mill Core and has the following specs:


The Xeons fitted in this machine are based on the Irwindale Core and have the following features:


Note that they share the same features and technologies! (Therefore a higher level of SSE for example isn't required to get the RTX cards to run.)
I've ordered one of these HP F2B56AA External USB DVD RW drives for the system: (As disk drives always seem to come in handy!)


I'll let it sit on top of the system and should blend in quite nicely!

As far as the plan for the system goes, in the next few weeks, I hope to install my TITAN X (Maxwell) into this machine, in order to see how well it scales compared to the GTX 690!


Early next year (probably February), I'll purchase an RTX 3090 ti and attempt to get it to run in this machine! (The Founders edition, as I really like the look of these cards and think that one would look killer in this system)


If the 3090 doesn't fire up in this system, then I'll have to scale back my expectations by then falling back to the TITAN V and then finally the TITAN XP!
I got F.E.A.R up and running on the system, with the GTX 690 setup in SLI mode, and the system ran pretty well!


F.E.A.R was the first game that I played with the 8800 GTX sitting under the monitor when I purchased it! (Those were really good times!!!)

Seeing that I've been messing around with this machine a bit this weekend, a carried out another 3DMark Vantage test with the GTX 690 fitted and SLI enabled and got the following result:


Notice how well this system's currently doing compared to the theoretical maximum output of the 8800 GTX, which I'll use as the base comparison for all future GPU upgrades as it's just one year more modern than the motherboard and CPU's in this system and it was the fastest GPU around in its time!


The 690's performance vs that of the 8800 has basically doubled with the second GPU enabled! So with the TITAN X, and then maybe the RTX 3090 ti fitted, this machine may actually perform pretty well, all considered!!! As you seem to be getting decent scaling here! :)

I've now also managed to install: Unreal, Soldier of Fortune and Half Life which all obviously run very well. (I haven't been able to get my Orange Box DVD up and running on the system as yet, as it doesn't seem to work with the latest version of Steam!!!)

I also tested out YouTube last night, and it runs perfectly on this system!!! (It's great to have a semi-vintage machine that you can effectively use on the web!)
Here are the current system specs:


I'm still awaiting my 16GB of RAM to arrive from the UK (Which is taking forever!!!) and one of these days the TITAN X (Maxwell) will be fitted!

Interestingly, I've found that this systems performance is significantly reduced when DirectX 11 is installed! (So this is a clean windows 7 Ultimate 64 install with DirectX 10)
I've installed the TITAN X into the system and have recorded the following results so far:


Here's the new windows experience index:


And here's some Alienware branding in F.E.A.R:


Here's the new Vantage score:


Here's the old Vantage score with the GTX 690 fitted for comparative purposes:


Notice that the TITAN X offers superior performance in every parameter tested! (The CPU performance was slightly lower when I tested the TITAN X)

Here's how the TITAN X and the GTX 690 compare specs-wise: (Notice that I've added up the effective SLI performance for the GTX 690 and added the values in red)


This table shows you a direct comparison of the important parameters for the cards:


This shows you that the TITAN X isn't exactly that much better than the GTX 690, except for its much larger frame buffer size, which isn't a factor in a system such as this one, seeing that the games being played here don't push the GTX 690 near its frame buffer limit.

Despite all of this, the TITAN X does offer better performance in this system!

The TITAN X's Pixel Rate is according to 3DMark Vantage it 3.3 times that of the max theoretical output of the 8800 GTX and the TITAN X's Texture Rate is 5 times that of the max theoretical output of the 8800 GTX in this system!

So regardless of the hardware being used to achieve this performance, this is pretty impressive! (Added to this, the system's performance during gaming is buttery smooth!!!)

The RTX 3090 is the last "most modern" GPU that will run under Windows 7 64, supported by the Nvidia 473.30 WHQL driver, so the 3090 ti will be the next card that I attempt to install into this system in February next year! I have to budget for the card a bit, as they're still pretty expensive! (The founders edition anyway!)


I've also downloaded this driver: (Just in case!)

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I've just run the Heaven Benchmark in Direct X 11 in ultra quality and normal tessellation with 4 X Anti-Aliasing and here are some screenshots: (I'm seriously impressed with this performance, this is a fricking Pentium 4!!!)







Here's this system's score:


It's really surprising how much better this score is than the score that the guy in this video got: (He was running it with high settings without tessellation or anti-aliasing, and he had a GTX 1080 slotted!!!)


This is pretty much the limit as to how far you can push a dual Pentium 4 Xeon fitted with a GTX TITAN X! (A Direct X 11 title released 2014 running on a base system which was released in 2005!)


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