Intel "Wellsburg" Leaks: Haswell-E's X99 Chipset

Subject: General Tech, Processors, Chipsets | March 13, 2014 - 12:35 AM |
Tagged: Intel, Haswell-E, X99

Though Ivy Bridge-E is not too distant of a memory, Haswell-E is on the horizon. The enthusiast version of Intel's architecture will come with a new motherboard chipset, the X99. (As an aside: what do you think its eventual successor will be called?) WCCFTech got their hands on details, albeit some of which have been kicking around for a few months, outlining the platform.

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Image Credit: WCCFTech

First and foremost, Haswell-E (and X99) will support DDR4 memory. Its main benefit is increased bandwidth and decreased voltage at the same current, thus lower wattage. The chipset will support four memory channels.

Haswell-E will continue to have 40 PCIe lanes (the user's choice between five x8 slots or two x16 slots plus a x8 slot). This is the same number of total lanes as seen on Sandy Bridge-E and Ivy Bridge-E. While LGA 2011-3 is not compatible with LGA 2011, it does share that aspect.

X99 does significantly increase the number of SATA ports, to ten SATA 6Gbps (up from two SATA 6Gbps and four SATA 3Gbps). Intel RST, RST Smart Response Technology, and Rapid Recover Technology are also present and accounted for. The chipset also supports six native USB 3.0 ports and an additional eight USB 2.0 ones.

Intel Haswell-E and X99 is expected to launch sometime in Q3 2014.

Source: WCCFTech
March 13, 2014 | 02:54 AM - Posted by eddie (not verified)

Its about time. That 10 sata 3 port will make storage nerds cream their pants and i hope when it is releases DDR4 does not cost an arm and a leg.

March 13, 2014 | 04:39 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not if the bandwidth is limited as it is on the x79 due to the lack of available pci-e lanes it won't.
For an enthusiasts platform surely 40 lanes is not enough, considering many enthusiasts have multiple discreet graphics cards; 64 lanes would be much better.

March 13, 2014 | 06:54 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Certain manufacturers may choose to alleviate this PCIe lane issue by including a PCIe bridge chip onboard, providing additional PCIe lanes for SATA port use...

March 13, 2014 | 08:13 AM - Posted by tabuburn (not verified)

Well, considering the most number of graphics cards you can SLI or CrossFire in a single system is 4, there really is no benefit of having more lanes at the moment, seeing as there's still 5 x8 PCI-E 3.0 lanes and that we aren't at the point that there's a major difference between x16 and x8 PCI-E 3.0

Here are some articles that shows we aren't even using x16 PCI-E 3.0 to its fullest yet:
http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Impact-of-PCI-E-Speed-on-Gamin...
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/07/18/pci_express_20_vs_30_gpu_gamin...
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Intel/Ivy_Bridge_PCI-Express_Scaling/

Unless, of course, you want to add more PCI-E cards along with the 4 graphics cards but that would entail either: we shrink graphics cards to 1 slot or make the motherboards longer to accommodate more room. Neither of which looks like a good idea for now.

March 13, 2014 | 08:34 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Exactly. And you do not need more than PCIe 3.0 x8, heck, even x4 for some GPUs is plenty.

March 13, 2014 | 01:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Are you joking? This is the extreme edition, overclocked server super-stuff epeen platform. If you're a miser with your hardware, whether because your income is pauper-level or because you have other priorities in life, that's ok. This is not for everyone in the same way a Ford GT or a Tesla car isn't for everyone. Seriously, no insult intended. If you can get a chrome book and live with that, good for you.

But what we are talking about here is the very bleeding edge of a platform with little purpose other than being a halo product and introducing new technologies.

Should the maximum capabilities of an extreme edition platform that might be released by late 2014 if not early 2015 be limited to the minimum of "x4" because apparently that's "plenty" for "some GPUs"?

Let me give an analogy of what your argument sounds like, because maybe in the context of computers the point goes whoosh over your head. Let's use cars instead.
---
"You don't need more than 4 cylinders and drum brakes on the back wheels. 1 liter engine displacement is plenty for some people. I don't understand why the supercars competing in LeMans have such big engines, complicated transmissions, or so many cylinders." <-- does not get the point of LeMans

March 14, 2014 | 08:21 AM - Posted by Havor (not verified)

Let me give an analogy of what your argument sounds like, because maybe in the context of computers the point goes whoosh over your head. Let's use cars instead.
---
"You need at least more than 12 cylinders and 20" brake-disks on the back wheels. and 25 liter engine displacement is still not enough for some people. I don't understand why the supercars competing in LeMans have such small engines, simplistic transmissions, or so little cylinders." <-- does not get the point of LeMans.

Everything on a race car has purpose, over designing has no purpose, so why do it.

I actually own a super-car like PC.

Mobo + cpu ---- ASUS Rampage IV Extreme/BF3 + Intel Core i7 3930K @ 5.1GHz (Water cooled)
Memory -------- 64GB 2x Corsair Dominator GT 32GB (Water cooled for show)
Videocard ----- 3x ASUS Titan (Water cooled)
SSD ----------- 1x 750GB Samsung EVO + 2x 128GB Samsung 830
Soundcard ----- ASUS Xonar DX + HTP-SL100 surround set
Case ---------- SilverStone TemJin TJ11
PSU ----------- Seasonic X-1250 1250W
Monitor ------- 3x YAMAKASI 301 SPARTA 30" S-IPS 2560x1600
Coolers ------- VGA 3x EK Block, CPU EK-Supreme HF, 2x 180x180 rad, 1x 560x140 rad, 1x 280x140 rad.

And even do i have about the best money can by, that dosse not mean i want Intel wasting money on things that dose not benefit me at all.

As the test shows (if you read them), even PCIe 2.0 8x is sometimes faster then PCIe 3.0 16x.

And for servers that need more then 40 lanes, there is always the option to go dual CPU for 80 lanes, or even quad for 160 lanes.

I am all up for faster if possible, but not for something that dose just the same with more, and cost more, just because it looks cool on paper.

That's how the designed the F35 fighter plane, and in the end it just cost more to make, and ads to the compexity.

Ware the the golden rule of engineering is, "Just keep it simple!", as simple is most of the times better.

March 14, 2014 | 08:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

> And even do i have about the best money can by, that dosse not mean i want Intel wasting money on things that dose not benefit me at all.

Intel isn't wasting money on anything. At a $600 and $1000 price point for the two 6 core chips that extreme platforms are designed for, intel isn't hurting for profit margin. This is not losing them money.

> PCIe 2.0 8x is sometimes faster then PCIe 3.0 16x.

I don't believe this has been proven, while I have seen compelling evidence of the opposite, including personal experience.

> And for servers that need more then 40 lanes, there is always the option to go dual CPU for 80 lanes, or even quad for 160 lanes.

Why not push the envelope? Multi-cpu systems are poorly suitable for gaming. Some, myself included, would like to be able to do 4-way SLI at full x16 bandwidth on all cards, and still have let's say 2 more lanes at x8 or why not even x16 for let's say a fancy sound card and a raid card. We are aware this isn't needed. It might not even yield any results. But the truth is that going past 2-way SLI often produces no results. This is enthusiast stuff, if you don't understand it, don't worry about it.

> I am all up for faster if possible, but not for something that dose just the same with more, and cost more, just because it looks cool on paper.

Well then extreme platforms like X99 are not for you. Why does it bother you then that such platforms exist? Get a nice Z-based platform instead of the X-based ones and be happy. Those are designed to be as practical as possible.

March 15, 2014 | 01:34 AM - Posted by Havor (not verified)

Intel isn't wasting money on anything. At a $600 and $1000 price point for the two 6 core chips that extreme platforms are designed for, Intel isn't hurting for profit margin. This is not losing them money.

If you wane make PCIe 3.0 16/16/16/16/8 = 72 lane CPU instead of a 40 lane, you dont think its gone cost extra money.

Just for the extra 32 lanes you have to make a socket 2411, as you need about that many extra pins in the socket for the extra PCIe lanes, next to that mobos get more complicated and will cost more.

I don't believe this has been proven, while I have seen compelling evidence of the opposite, including personal experience.

If you dont even bother to read the links, someone provides, why bother to reply then??

To quote tabuburn:

Here are some articles that shows we aren't even using x16 PCI-E 3.0 to its fullest yet:
http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Impact-of-PCI-E-Speed-on-Gamin...
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/07/18/pci_express_20_vs_30_gpu_gamin...
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Intel/Ivy_Bridge_PCI-Express_Scaling/

I do believe they prove that PCIe 3.0 16x is at best marginal faster then PCIe 2.0 8x at high pixel count setups

But the truth is that going past 2-way SLI often produces no results. This is enthusiast stuff, if you don't understand it, don't worry about it.

Actually do understand it very well, as i game @7680x1600 = 12MP on three reasonably cheap Korean 30" monitors, and 2x Titans ware not enough to play on a 12mp screen, and needed a third card to have enough fps to be playable, and it dose give me on average about 250% efficiently from the theoretical 300% with 3 cards.

Well then extreme platforms like X99 are not for you. Why does it bother you then that such platforms exist? Get a nice Z-based platform instead of the X-based ones and be happy. Those are designed to be as practical as possible.

Actually i own and really need a X79 system, as my Tri-SLI system will for sure be upgraded to a Quad-SLI system, if i can get a 4th Titan (non-black) on the cheap secondhand. (anyone selling one for less then $500?)

Even do the x79 and upcoming X99 is not something most buyers of those systems need, i do see a need for it if you wane make a real nice extreme system.

Wat i dont see, is a need for is the 32 extra PCIe, ware the second poster was talking about, as if the 40 lanes that X79 and X99 are not enough, as they provide totally irrelevant extra performance.

March 14, 2014 | 09:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'll take your word that you have a 3930k at 5.1 Ghz, and assume you're not lying, because it's hard to believe someone would do that on the internet.

On water cooling you are not stable at 5.1, regardless of voltage. I speak from experience. If you are relying on that computer for anything but fun stuff, get another PC for reliability. Don't keep any important data on that thing and don't count on uptime for that system if it really is overclocked that high.

That overclock might be stable enough that you're cool with it, but it's not actually stable.

Run prime95 on "blend" and leave it overnight.
http://makeameme.org/meme/youll-wake-up-yeu5m1

March 15, 2014 | 12:39 AM - Posted by Havor (not verified)

No my system is not Prime95 or OCCT 24/7 stable, it is on the other hand completely stable to run any game at that speed, and even in the middle of summer i have no problems.

But yeah normally i run 4.5GHz as it fast enough, but with a phew clicks, i can change the OC profile for gaming.
(even do @4.9GHz he is OCCT stable or 5 days encoding with Handbrake, doing the whole Bond collection)

Just like a race car, he dose not have to be a 110% stable, as long as he dose not crash with games with the game OC profile i am happy.

March 13, 2014 | 07:25 AM - Posted by Penterax (not verified)

No increase in PCIe lanes on the enthusiast-level platform is disappointing. Hopefully Morry is right and we'll see bridge chips on some mainboards that allow us to add PCIe SSDs to a build using 3 discreet graphics cards (for example) without bottlenecking something. (And hopefully those boards will be south of $500, heh.)

It's good to see them upgrade the chipset, but I wish they had done more.

March 13, 2014 | 02:05 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It looks like the X99 platform controller hub has 8 lanes of pcie 2.0 just like X79. That means motherboard manufacturers have the freedom to put those 8 lanes of pci-e 2.0 onto an additional slot, allowing you to put a sound card, raid controller, or whatever else in there without detracting from the high speed pcie 3.0 lanes, of which there are 40.

The problem is motherboard manufacturers don't want to make the boards too big, so often that special slot isn't an option. Those lanes are also commonly used to wire the onboard sound or onboard NIC (internally to the board). Which shouldn't be necessary anymore because from the slide it looks like X99 has its own ethernet controller, in contrast to X79.

What is disappointing to me about this reveal is that the much anticipated DDR4 will max out at 2133Mhz before overclock, which is no faster than what many are running now on X79. And it seems that DDR4 has certain limitations with regard to multiple memory sticks on the same channel, which will force DDR4 to be higher density to keep up with DDR3. If I remember correctly, DDR4 has to have all the slots linked to each other in a special way, so if they put a slot in there then the customer has to fill it up. It's really restrictive, a bit like the Rambus memory of old.

All in all, the only thing that matters is how well the 8-core part overclocks. If it's a dog, what you gain in cores you lose in instructions-per-second-per-core and that won't do you any good for gaming. We shall wait and see.

The 10 SATA 6Gb native to the controller look GREAT! On the other hand, why the hell are there any USB 2.0 ports at all, especially the majority of them? Come on intel, don't freaking shortchange us, give us 10 modern usb ports you grinches, noone likes those dogshit usb 3.0 third party controllers that require bullshit drivers, don't work properly half the time, and only drive up the cost of motherboards for no good reason.

March 15, 2014 | 01:48 AM - Posted by baker269

>The 10 SATA 6Gb native to the controller look GREAT! On the other hand, why the hell are there any USB 2.0 ports at all, especially the majority of them? Come on intel, don't freaking shortchange us, give us 10 modern usb ports you grinches, noone likes those dogshit usb 3.0 third party controllers that require bullshit drivers, don't work properly half the time, and only drive up the cost of motherboards for no good reason.

This is the first thing that caught my eye. I can understand a couple USB 2 ports (maybe for compatibility reasons?) but most of them being USB 2?!? Then the same number of pci-e lanes? Seems like the same weak upgrade from X58 to X79. To bad AMD can no longer put any pressure on Intel's high end.

I guess I will not feel any pressure to upgrade my X79 system anytime soon.

March 13, 2014 | 08:01 AM - Posted by BBMan (not verified)

IIRC this wasn't going to be released until the end of the year or next year. Does this mean that they may be releasing an enterprise DDR variant that much sooner too?

March 13, 2014 | 08:51 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

USB 3.1?

March 13, 2014 | 02:03 PM - Posted by Daniel Masterson (not verified)

This is cool, I am most interested in the DDR4 but I most likely wont upgrade until 10nm skymont comes out and by then DDR4 should be much cheaper.

May 12, 2014 | 11:07 AM - Posted by brimstone (not verified)

Well, it will take me till 2015 to save up the 4-5g to build a x99 enthusiast 3w/SLI water cooled etc.. system anyway. Just sold my current Z87 for 2500 while the prices were good. Will wait greedily for the x99/m.2/DDR4. Its enough for me to upgrade just because I want to stay sharp with my build skilZ.

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