[kwlug-disc] [TLUG]: VT-d or IOMMU -- any motherboard?

William Park opengeometry at yahoo.ca
Thu Apr 7 20:31:13 EDT 2011

On Wed, Apr 06, 2011 at 04:02:42PM -0400, Lennart Sorensen wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 06, 2011 at 11:59:07AM -0700, William Park wrote:
> > I'm interested in trying out VT-d (in Intel) or IOMMU (in AMD).
> > From reading, AMD 890FX chipset has support for IOMMU.  But, most
> > 890FX motherboards are "consumer" grade, and they have tendency to
> > lie or are flaky.  And, there is no "consumer" chipset (ie. P55,
> > P67, X58, etc) from Intel that supports VT-d.  X58 was to support
> > it, but Intel said that was misprint.  This means going with Intel
> > "server" chipset.
> > 
> > Has anyone used VT-d on Intel platform?  If so, which brand/model?
> It seems anything that is vPro certified should have vt-d.  Some
> others do as well.
> This lists some known to work:
> http://wiki.xensource.com/xenwiki/VTdHowTo

Yes, that site is probably the most informative and practical of entire
Google universe.

> Some X58 boards do in fact work with vt-d.  The main problem has been
> broken BIOSs.  That link above shows a couple of X58 asus boards that
> now work using BETA BIOS releases.
> The Qx5 chipsets seem to be the most common to work, since those are
> usually the ones used in vPro machines.

What irritates me is that it's so much dependent on BIOS, and you won't
know that until you buy the board and go into BIOS.  Eg. Asus has Q67
and C206 motherboards (Sandy Bridge family) which supposed to have VT-d.
Well, downloaded manuals say nothing about VT-d.

Intel recently came out with C202/C204/C206 chipset, Xeon E3-12xx cpu,
and S1200BT motherboard.  They are Sandy Bridge family, which is
cheaper.  But, they are available only in US, ie.  <newegg.com> has them
but not <newegg.ca>.  Of course, 8GB ECC is not cheap.

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