Asus Debuts P6T7 WS SuperComputer Motherboard

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News Posted: Wed, May 13 2009 12:33 PM
Calling this motherboard one fit for a "supercomputer" is probably stretching things, but we've no doubt that Asus' latest mainboard is built for serious abuse. The P6T7 WS SuperComputer Workstation Motherboard (catch all that?) is billed as the "most revolutionary and powerful Parallel Computing solution available to date." The board is equipped with seven (yes, seven!) PCI-Express Gen2 x16 slots and is certified for NVIDIA Tesla GPU computing. Specifically, it'll handle up to three Tesla cards and one NVIDIA Quadro card, which amounts to a grand total of 960 parallel processing cores that provide 4 teraflops of processing power.

Asus claims that this board is the perfect foundation for creating your own "personal supercomputer," and judging by the specifications, we can understand that sentiment. Four of those PCI-E slots can even be set to run in x16 link mode simultaneously, and it also natively supports both 3-way/2-way SLI and CrossFireX-on-Demand on the same motherboard. In other words, owners of this device can install up to three 3-way SLI-capable GeForce graphics card alongside a CrossFireX setup -- which is wild, any way you slice it. Additionally, the P6T7 WS SuperComputer sports onboard SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) ports, and the included Express Gate module gives desktop users access to an Instant-On operating system. Asus has yet to reveal a price, but we'll go ahead and tell you it won't be cheap.


 
Specifications

CPU
LGA1366 socket for Intel® Core™ i7 Processor Extreme Edition / Core™ i7 Processor
LGA1366 socket for Intel® Xeon® processor 3500 Series
LGA1366 socket for Intel® Xeon® processor E5502/E5504/E5506
Chipset Intel® X58 / ICH10R
NVIDIA® nForce200 x2
QPI Speeds Up to 6.4GT/s; Intel® QuickPath Interconnect
Memory 6 x DIMM, max. 24GB, DDR3 2000 (O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1600(O.C.)/1333/1066 MHz, ECC/non-ECC un-buffered memory, triple channel architecture
Expansion Slots 3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (@ x16 or x8)
3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (@ x8)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
CUDA support Supports 3 NVIDIA Tesla cards + 1 NVIDIA Quadro card up to 960 cores, each delivering 1 teraflop of processing power
Multi-GPU support Supports NVIDIA GeForce® 2-Way and 3-Way SLI; ATI CrossFireX™ technology, up to Quad CrossFireX™ (Supports up to 4 dual-GPU graphics cards)
Storage - Intel ICH10R controller: 6 x SATA 3Gb/s RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 and JBOD
- Marvell 88SE6320 Ext SAS controller: 2 x SAS ports supporting RAID 0, 1
- Marvell 88SE6121 Ext SATA controller: 2 x eSATA 3Gb/s RAID 0, 1
Audio ADI 2000B, 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
LAN Realtek 8111C Dual Gb LAN (Teaming)
USB 2.0 12 x USB 2.0 / 1.1 ports
 
 
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acarzt replied on Wed, May 13 2009 1:07 PM

"Up to Quad CrossFireX(Supports up to 4 dual-GPU graphics cards) Hmmm... this implies you could run 4x HD4870x2's in a Crossfire setup... Essentially using 8 GPUs to display a single image... Uhhh... correct me if i'm wrong, but that's not possible currently. I think they should reword that.

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Marco C replied on Wed, May 13 2009 4:01 PM

Yeah, that wording isn't corrrect. Think they meant to say 4 dual-slot graphics cards...

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Marco C:

Yeah, that wording isn't corrrect. Think they meant to say 4 dual-slot graphics cards...

 

This is from Asus 

No matter what your preference is, seven PCI-E Gen2 x16 Slots gives you the sufficient I/O interfaces to fulfill your demand for graphic or computing solution. You’ll be able to run both multi-GPU setups. The board features SLI/CrossFire on Demand technology, not only supporting up to three graphics cards in a 3-Way Geforce SLI or CrossFireX configuration but also supporting up to four dual-GPU graphics cards. Whichever path you take, you can be assured of jaw-dropping graphics at a level previously unseen.

http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=9ca8hJfGz483noLk

 

 

 

 

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Hrm, looks like it would be a waste of money.  It would appear that there are no add on slots...pci-e and pci.  I also don't see why someone would need both crossfire and sli.  You either like one or the other.  However, the board looks like heatsink heaven.

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rapid1 replied on Sat, May 16 2009 1:06 PM

Rofl, what would be the point in running ATI, and Nvidia card in SLI and Crossfire on one motherboard? I mean yes they may be able to run on 2 monitor's but most graphics cards come with more than one interconnect anyway. So what I could use 4 ATI cards on 2 monitors, and then 3 Nvidias on 2 monitors at the same time. What would be the reason for this kind of setup the only thing I can think of is benchmarking. I tell you another thing with that many cards in any computer you better be running either water or LN. That would be a hot setup but the cooling on this board is very very nice, I just don't get the point of a product like this. Maybe if you were running scientific on professional GPU's or something, but as a gamer this is so past what any monitor could display it is pointless.

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Dactron replied on Wed, Aug 26 2009 4:46 PM

I think what they are saying when it comes down to the SLI/Crossfire is that they are allowing you to have the choice of which you want to use.  I guess if you want to use both in the same case you could but, that would be a little weird IMO.  But, with a board with this many PCIe 2.0 slots I personally think that now that so many expansion cards today do use the PCIe slots that the use of the old PCI slot are null and void if using new equipment.  I've done some looking around and most all cards now are starting to switch over to PCIe slots.  Raid controllers, sound cards, NIC cards have all started to go that way so, why not make all expansion slots PCIe 2.0 for the high bandwidth?  That way we don't have to worry about anything being a bottleneck.

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