Haswell build - H87 vs Z87

Discussion in 'PC Purchasing Help' started by smw, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. smw

    smw
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    Hello everybody! I am doing a new build and I am going Haswell. I don't plan to do any overclocking (never bothered with it), so I was thinking of getting a H87 board. Do you know if there is any difference performance-wise between Z87 and H87? I've tried to find any testing done, but apparently this is not a very interesting topic for reviewers. Feature-wise they seem pretty even, but I seem to recall some motherboard reviews of IB boards where some high-end (IIRC very high-end) boards actually gave you some performance improvement, so I was wondering if there is something similar with H87 vs Z87. I plan on getting an ASRock Fatal1ty H87 Performance first, because it is cheap and I don't care about OC options or CF/SLI capability, but also it supposedly has a pretty good on-board audio and also more USB slots than Z87 boards with similar price. I already ordered most of the components and would have ordered the Fatal1ty as well, but it was out of stock, so having to wait anyway I decided to ask here first :) The rest of the components are
    i7 4770
    His 7970 IceQ X^2
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB
    Corsair AX760
    G.Skill RipjawsX 16GB 1600C9
    Cooler Master 690 II Advanced Midi-Tower
     
  2. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    Haswell doesn't seem to be very influenced by the motherboards. It's more a case of whether you get a good chip or a poor one, but as you're not overclocking, it shouldn't make any difference. Just go for the one with the features you want.
     
  3. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Samsung 840 is a great drive, especially as far as power consumption is concerned, but that's mainly a laptop thing. Since you're building a desktop, maybe look at the Corsair Neutron series...? It has great I/O consistency metrics according to Anandtech, which means it won't get stuttery and unpredictable in performance as you keep using and writing to it.
     
  4. Npl

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    to me theres little added value with the Z87 chipset itself, unless you run SLI/Crossfire or overclock.
    However the Motherboard makers seem to cut down their H87 boards in more ways than the differing chipset.

    Going the 4770 route myself later this month... still unsure about the GPU I will put in.. gonna spend some more money on a quiet and cool system (Antec SoloII + Sea Sonic Platinum Series Fanless 460W) and I feel I should get a shitty but quiet GPU, even though Id like a 760 aswell.
    Why cant Nvidias Optimus work on Desktops :mad:
     
  5. smw

    smw
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    Thanks guys for the replies :) I already bought the mobo (it even arrived first) so now I am waiting for the other components to arrive. As for the Samsung - I've already ordered everything so I can't really change it now. Actually the only thing I realized, but unfortunately too late, is that the graphics card wouldn't fit in this "small" case so fuck! It is 311mm long ffs, whereas other 7970s are 275mm or something. I will have to return it and wait for the whole process and.. Argh! Anybody know how this thing actually works in Germany? I mean do I send it back and they will give me the money and I buy something else or do I have to call the store and exchange it for something else?
    By the way just a side question - do you guys use anti-static bracelets when assembling? Whenever I previously used to tinker inside the case I just touched the case itself to discharge the static but nowadays I see some people suggesting them so I was just wondering if what I do is enough?
     
  6. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    The Samsung 840 Pro has significantly faster write speeds than the Basic, so make sure you get the one you want. Most people say they can't tell the difference in practice, so it's up to you if you think the extra money is worth the difference.

    Call or email the retailer. You normally need some kind of RMA before they will accept goods back, and they may charge you a restocking fee as it was your mistake. In the UK you can return stuff for whatever reason as there is an automatic seven day cooling off period from delivery of an internet sale, but I don't know what the laws are in Germany.

    I feel for you though, I've spent plenty of time looking at diagrams and measurements to make sure that graphics cards and coolers will fit into cases. There are several midi cases which are just slightly larger where it counts, such as the Corsair R200 and Antec 302.

    Yes, you should use anti-static bracelets or mats. Make sure they are connected to an earth - there's no point "touching the case" if the case is just sitting on a desk or the floor and is not itself earthed.

    It doesn't happen very often, but I have seen delicate electronics such as RAM get trashed by static discharge. If you have cheap carpets and like to assemble PCs in your socks, you're asking for trouble! :wink:
     
  7. smw

    smw
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    Well, beside gaming, I will also use the PC for running simulations, which need to export files, which can be several hundred MB on each time step, so minimizing the writing to disk step can actually be beneficial to me.

    I admit that this was incredibly stupid on my part, but in all fairness pretty much all the other nonexotic 7970s would fit, and also my first case of choice (Antec 1100) which would have housed the card without problems wasn't available :) Not to mention that clearance space wasn't even mentioned on the sites I was looking on, so I assumed that it should be somewhat standardized by this point.

    Well if the case itself is not grounded then I don't know where I will attach the bracelets anyway since I usually do these things on the floor :) (also no carpets thankfully - cleaning is much easier that way)

    So anyway, I will call the different e-tailers tomorrow to ask them about their return policies, but given the choice (if they have similar penalties) I wonder which would be better to return - the 7970 or the case?
     
  8. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    You know what they say about assumptions. The hardest part about building your own PC nowadays is checking for compatibility, both physical sizing, and electronic. You have to check the Qualified Vendor Lists, and still you can have trouble with measurements.

    For instance, my case should have 65mm clearance for the heatsink I put in, but by the time you take into account the gap between the back of the backplate and the side of the case, motherboard standoffs, motherboard and CPU thickness, I was left with nearer 15mm space. This info is nowhere to be found and isn't shown on the technical diagrams of the case. You can find the width of the case and the height of the heatsink, but nothing about the actual clearance available when everything is in place.

    It's a bitch to find this stuff out, and it's easy to get caught out if you sail close to the wind or forget to check everything carefully. You even have to check the height of RAM heatsinks and how far out your CPU heatsink goes over the RAM slots.

    This is why I now only build PCs for myself, and tell everyone else who is a casual user to buy something that's on sale from Dell.

    What I would do here is put the PSU in, then plug it into the mains, but turned off at the socket. This makes the case/PSU earthed but with no power, so you can attach an anti-static wristband there. I don't know if Germany has three pin plugs with an earth like we do in the UK, so you might need a water pipe or something like that.

    The case may seem cheaper if they charge you a percentage as a stocking fee, but bear in mind that the case is larger and heavier, and may cost more to send back via a courier. You might be lucky and they might simply allow you to swap cards, especially if you've not opened it.
     
  9. smw

    smw
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    Well the Video card is on its merry way back to the shop. Turns out that in Germany you have 14 days, mandated by law, in which you can return the goods (I think that in the case of computer components the boxes shouldn't be opened) and even the transport is covered by them. So hopefully it will return safely and I will be able to order something else. Just in case, I am waiting for them to at least receive it first (I have a tracking number) before ordering another one, so that I don't end up with two cards, one of which I cannot even use :) I think I will be assembling on the weekend and will order the new card next week if everything is well. As for the antistatic - I think I will just touch the radiator (we have central heating which goes into the basement so it should be grounded), while also touching the case and then walk barefoot during the procedure :) Also, at least in our place, the sockets are with two holes only.
     
  10. smw

    smw
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    A little update (sorry for the double post). I've assembled everything and it seems to be working but I am a little disappointed by the CPU. Not performance-wise mind you, but when I stress-tested it with Prime95 it reached 100C on all four physical cores. I've googled and sure enough other people also report the same. I mean sure - I use the stock cooler but since I don't overclock I thought it should be ok. So now in addition to the GPU I am also contemplating about ordering an after-market cooler. The strange thing is that I think the fan doesn't accelerate (I mean it reaches around 1100rpm and now when it is idling it is about 1000rpm) even when the cores reach 100C, but rather the processor starts to throttle. I think I might need to adjust something in the bios. Right now the fan profile says "Standard" whatever that means.
     
  11. homerdog

    homerdog donator of the year
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    Yeah, sounds like the fan isn't spinning up like it should. Definitely make sure there's no funny business going on in the bios (or is uefi the proper term now?).
     
  12. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    Prime95 torture test is a very non-typical workload. It even gets to pull more volts because it's using AVX. With an aftermarket cooler, you will still see Prime95 hitting the thermal limit, especially if you overclock at all. It really doesn't reflect real-world usage, so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    I even tried running MP4 encoding with AVX, and it doesn't generate anywhere near the same kind of heat as Prime trying to ramp up every part of your CPU at once.

    There's some interesting discussions going on regarding heat and overclocking being quite different for Haswell. You can be stable with Prime95 because your motherboard is supplying extra volts, but unstable in normal usage, because if you're not in the overclock+extra voltage zone, you don't have enough voltage for stability. Everyone is trying to knock the volts down to improve the heat issue under heavy load.
     
  13. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Tell me about it. :razz:

    With my rig, the CPU cooler was too wide as I mentioned in another post (physical compatibility), the other unit I used instead is slightly too thick, so it snags slightly on a case fan, and the clearance between the cooler and GPU back-plate is like 5mm or so...

    I was lucky that the coolers on my video cards are shorter than the actual PCB itself, or I wouldn't have been able to use the bottom intake fan. It's somewhat of a puzzle, fitting everything into the case, and of course, I can't get the lid on anyway because the PSU is too damn long. I'm considering looking up a metal cutting firm to cut holes in the side panels for the power supply and exhaust fan over the graphics cards, but I'm not sure how much I would have to pay for something like that, even if I had all the measurements nailed down for them...

    ...Then I've had some issues with the RAM as well (electronic compatibility); if I run them faster than 2133 I get crashes and bluescreens. Strangely not in any RAM testing software or anything that really seems to push the system; Prime95 can run indefinitely from what I can tell at 2400, as can Memtest86and Crysis 2, but if I play world of warcraft (which barely hits this CPU at all) I can bomb out to desktop or bluescreen at any time. Same if I open internet explorer and show a web page with a bunch of flash adbanners on it.

    ...FRIGGIN FLASH. It's a sad sad world when it can be used as a PC stability diagnostics tool! :lol:
     
  14. Silent_Buddha

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    Technically UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) as it is significantly different/improved from BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). But I know a lot of people that still refer to it as the BIOS. Or even more strangely UEFI BIOS. :p I myself still catch myself referring to it as BIOS as UEFI just feels weird to say after 3+ decades of having just BIOS on most system boards.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  15. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    According to an exchange I had with Asus, you can't really load test with these apps and with the default adaptive oveclock voltage enabled. The power ramp for "heavy apps" is governed by Intel, and you will always get huge temps with additional voltage for AVX stress tests like Prime95, and get no benefit because you will be on the thermal limiter. They recommend setting the voltage manually to stop it jumping up whilst doing this kind of test.

    They also told me that AVX software (as opposed to stress testing) doesn't show this kind of loading, so you don't get a big adaptive voltage jump and it's associated heat.

    In short, Prime95 is a bit useless on Haswells as it generates very atypical voltage and heat, so doesn't reflect real world performance or the kind of voltages your CPU will really be using. The only way to use Prime95 torture test is to artificially restrain the CPU voltage, which again is not a very good test.
     
  16. smw

    smw
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    Yeaaaah... well that's just a lie :) I ran Intel's own linpack benchmark and still managed to hit 100C on two of the cores. At least the fan spins up to 2000+ RPM now and it is still very silent (at least to my ears). What worries me is if every well-optimized CPU intensive workload will show such temps. Not that this would be a problem for my own codes any time soon. I haven't even done any parallelization yet, let alone optimizations for AVX(2) and stuff :D (and at this point it is dubious if I ever will :))
     
  17. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    That's what the thermal limiter is for!

    Were you using the new linpack with the AVX stuff built into it though?

    I found the latest Asus UEFI for my motherboard actually drops the CPU overclock and raised the adaptive voltage when you self-tune, supposedly for stability. What I did was bump the speed back up to where it was before, and then lower the adaptive voltage, and it's made the chip much, much cooler even under heavy load.

    It's quite possible to fiddle a lot with these new UEFI BIOSes not just to raise power and thermal limits, but also to knock them down for a cooler, quieter chip if you don't want to be on the bleeding edge.
     
  18. smw

    smw
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    I meant that they lied to you that no other application show such kind of behavior, unless ASUS claims that no one uses LINPACK :p And yes - it was the latest available version from Intel's website which should use AVX2 (http://software.intel.com/en-us/intel-mkl -> Go to Details -> What's new). The maximum voltage hwmonitor shows that my CPU reaches is 1.12V VID in the processor tab and 0.904V CPU Vcore in the MB tab.
     
  19. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    Linpack is a testing-to-destruction stress test though. It's not really a proper application. Even Intel engineers cringe at how people use it (like running it for hours on end). They say it's like putting your car on a rolling road and then pegging the engine into the redline for hours on end - don't be surprised when something breaks.

    It's one thing to be using it as a maths library, another to be using it to see if it breaks the CPU.

    What about the OC adaptive voltage? VID is just standard voltage, if you're running adaptive voltage (the default) you have to take into account the extra draw the CPU will make for what Intel calls "heavy apps". On my motherboard, Asus defaults upto 1.275v extra when the CPU calls for heavy load voltage. I've seen it report 180watts for the CPU under Intelburntest/linpack load, and that's with thermal limiters in place, and it will hit 100 degrees on all cores within seconds (I am overclocked to 4.7 though). I've seen it go to 1.396v under Prime95 at default voltages with the limiters in place. Hyperthreading and AVX on the 4770 at overclocked speeds especially will pull volts like crazy.

    Remove some of those limiters and have the adaptive voltage high enough, and you will break your CPU with linpack, either quickly with the volts, or less quickly with the heat.

    This is why people are seeing systems that are stable under heavy stress test loading, but flaky at normal apps. They've dropped VID too low to be stable for normal loads, but when they stress test, adaptive voltage cuts in and gives them stability. People use Prime95 to check their overclock/undervolts are stable, and then their system crashes when they are not running with the adaptive voltage being called on during normal usage.

    Stress testing under load to get stability under normal usage doesn't work the same way for Haswell.
     
  20. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    BZB,
    Do you know a way to cap adaptive volts on ASUS boards to something manageable when running AVX (IE, 1.2000V at most), as I feel my board's UEFI volts too high when it's not even OCd to 4GHz with 4-core multiplier. I get like 1.275 or maybe more with prime95 stresstest (which is far higher than any other app admittedly; I still don't like it going so high.)

    I tried setting manual volts in UEFI, but ended up pegging the CPU at that voltage at all times even when not loaded at all, drawing power and belching extra heat needlessly.
     
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