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SLI (Somewhat Furture Proof) Build - Questions and Opinions

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Anonymous
June 4, 2008 4:34:24 PM

Case - $129.99
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

PSU - $149.99
PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

MB - $299.99
ASUS Striker II Formula LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

CPU - 194.99
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

RAM - $129.99
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...

GPU - $244.99
EVGA 512-P3-N841-AR GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

HDD - $129.99
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD - $26.99
SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S203B
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...

CPU Cooler $25.99
COOLER MASTER RR-CCH-L9U1-GP 92mm Hyper TX2 CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Misc -
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM - $5.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total = $1,338.90


Questions:
Any other MB recommendations for 780i?
If I decided to forgo an SLI capable MB, any recommendations?
For easy OCing, I am guessing Intel chipset?

Memory
I saw in reviews that the G.Skill has been tested to work with the Striker II, any input on OCZ or others (2X@GB) that have been verified to work?
June 4, 2008 4:55:25 PM

Good choices thus far... however:

1. GPU. If you want to save a few bucks go with these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... You cant beat the price. It's factory overclocked and silent. Read this article: http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&ta... you'll see it hangs with the GTX's and it can overclock stably to 760mhz.

2. I have the EVGA 780i board and have overclocked it to the moon. EAsily overclockable to 500 or 2000mhz. Plus you could save a few bucks.

3. For memory you should really get some EPP ready memory if you are running SLI. Read up on EPP here is a sight http://www.bigbruin.com/2007/ocztitanium_1 but read other places too. I like my OCZ reaper I can run 1T CR with super tight timings. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and once again they are cheaper.

4. With all the money you save you should invest in the best HSF http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... This is available other places like: http://www.directron.com/u120e.html and is by far the best HSF for the $$$ http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling/showdoc.aspx?i=298...

Lot's of info there. The rest is up to you. I did a lot of research on my rig... see my sig. I love the performance in Crysis and the way it looks in the case:


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June 4, 2008 5:35:17 PM

If your not going to run SLI right from the get go, do pay for it. the old thought of, I'll just get a second GPU later when it goes out of date doesn't fly. by then there will be a single card that beats your SLIed GTSs for the same price as a second GTS.

you are paying about $100 for that unused graphics slot.

If you want furutre proof, get a board that will suport 1600fsb.
or get a quad core.
Related resources
Anonymous
June 4, 2008 6:01:04 PM

hughyhunter -

Thanks for the feedback. I was looking at the EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 as well.

groo -

I intend to run SLI at a later date (once the new boards come out).

I would run just one 8800 for now and then consider running 2 of the new cards. Which brings up a question I intended to research. Would current 780i boards support the new cards (from nVidia, not ATI) with bios updates, or would I be looking at a new MB at that time?

This is why I was also looking for recommendations on a non-SLI MB. If I am more than likely going to end up purchasing a new MB in order to do so, I will simply get a P35 MB (or something comparable) for now.
Anonymous
June 4, 2008 6:05:11 PM

For background.

I have built several systems in the past but have been "out of the know" for a year or so now. I am fairly comfortable OC'ing CPU's but have never OC'd a GPU and have much less comfort level with planning to do so (unless it is fairly painless and straight forward now).
June 4, 2008 6:18:16 PM

Its increadibly painless to mildly OC a GPU.

I forget whit one it was, but I just clicked the button, determin optimal OC, and it did (GPU and memory). when I manualy set it any higher, I got artifacts or worse.
my 7900gs has a factory OC to 525, the magic button upped it to 575.

June 4, 2008 7:25:47 PM

groo said:
If you want furutre proof, get a board that will suport 1600fsb.
or get a quad core.

I agree with your statement about SLI. If the OP was to not get SLI from the get-go than it would not be worth "planning" to get another card later. SLI's intent is to have a system that can run faster than the single fastest card on the market right now. Only exception is the GX2. I would rather have two GT's or GTS in SLI than a GX2 due to the price difference.

The 780i boards dont advertise a 1600fsb support like the 790i board but they are comparably the same and the 780i boards (Asus, EVGA, and XFX) will have no problem doing up to 2000mhz fsb.
Quote:
hughyhunter -

Thanks for the feedback. I was looking at the EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 as well.

groo -

I intend to run SLI at a later date (once the new boards come out).

I would run just one 8800 for now and then consider running 2 of the new cards. Which brings up a question I intended to research. Would current 780i boards support the new cards (from nVidia, not ATI) with bios updates, or would I be looking at a new MB at that time?

This is why I was also looking for recommendations on a non-SLI MB. If I am more than likely going to end up purchasing a new MB in order to do so, I will simply get a P35 MB (or something comparable) for now.

If this is the plan than you might want to get the 8800GT now. However it sounds to me that money will be burnt in the process. Why not build a machine now that will give you two or maybe three decent years instead of buying budget like now and upgrading sooner than later? If I were you I would just wait until GTX 280 comes out in a few weeks and get one of those along with a P45 also when it comes out. The thing about P35 is it's a bit old and the big brother P45 is on the horizon.

However a 780i board is an exceptional board even if you decided to just run one card and not use the SLI features that it has. I on the other hand would probably get a P45 if I had no aspirations of SLI.
groo said:
Its increadibly painless to mildly OC a GPU.

I forget whit one it was, but I just clicked the button, determin optimal OC, and it did (GPU and memory). when I manualy set it any higher, I got artifacts or worse.
my 7900gs has a factory OC to 525, the magic button upped it to 575.

I remember this program from Ntune. It intelligently overclocked my 6600GT a few mhz. However now there are very simple guides written here on THG that explain simply how to overclock a GPU to get the max stable overclock. This is especially imperative.... I think that if you spend a few hundred bucks on GPU/CPU than you should get what you pay for and overclock that thing to the max it will allow you to without future damage.
Anonymous
June 4, 2008 8:02:50 PM

I looked at the BFGE88512GTOCXFE and it does not have the G92 chipset. From what I have read (so far) the GeForce 8800GTS (G92) has a slight advantage over the GeForce 8800GT. After rebates... it's only about $20 more.
June 4, 2008 8:28:07 PM

Hold on there buddy!!!

All and I mean "ALL" Geforce 8800GT are G92 chipsets.

If you would have read the article that I attached from Fudzilla you would clearly see that the card mentioned (BFG) will be faster than the 8800GTS at stock speeds, and much quieter at that. But in the end it's up to you. If you decide to really overclock the crap out of the cards you'll probably yield the same results. So I would save the few dollars and get the card that I recommended (BFG).

Or noT!!!
June 4, 2008 8:46:19 PM

Motherboard is good but I hate Asus with a passion. I would rather go with an Ab it who I strongly believe to be the best out there.

I'd go for a quad core CPU as opposed to a dual core.

I don't like WD for hard drives. The raptor is a no brainer for cheap performance, but for capacity I'd go Seagate Barracuda.

I like the Pioneer burners for cheap. Expensive and you gotta get Plexus if it's even worth it.

I think you can do better on the cooler. Check Frosty Tech for reviews and choose wisely.

Also your GPU can be a better value. Check the Toms Hardware video card guide and use it when choosing.

You have no mention of keyboard or mouse. Those are an important aspect and you want something you'll enjoy using. I prefer the microsoft products over logitech.

All the brands I mentioned are preferences based on experience, warranty, performance, value, etc...
Anonymous
June 4, 2008 8:53:46 PM

Hmm, I had read in another thread that the G92 is a newer chipset for the 8800... or somehow I seriously misinterpreted the entire thread...

I haven't had a chance to read through the links, I will do that at home this evening.

Thanks again for all the help and links.
Anonymous
June 5, 2008 2:10:49 AM

gondo -

I am looking into a better value for the GPU. Still doing some research. Thanks for the guide.

I already have a 21" Monitor and logitech G15/laser keyboard/mouse.

I have 3 other PC's that that will cover storage, htpc/media, etc... This is strictly gaming.
Anonymous
June 5, 2008 2:12:31 AM

The E8400 seems to be the sweet spot for OC gaming at the moment?

I wont mind upgrading to the best value OC'ing quad in 8-12 months.
June 5, 2008 6:33:48 AM

A quad right now will hand with a dual and sometimes outperform the dual in most games. However once you overclock that E8400 it's hard to keep up with. And for the price it's really hard to justify not getting the dual. I strongly believe that a E8400 overclocked to 4.0ghz will outperform the Q6600 at 3.6ghz in almost every game.... with the exception of Crysis. Crysis might benefit from the Quad a few FPS over the dual.
June 5, 2008 8:54:24 AM

I hear Supreme Comander and Age of Conan are both Quad optimised in addition to Crysis. more and more games are going to be quad optimised. if you want somewhat futureproof, I cant see getting anything but a quad. I cant see gaming with a dual a year from now when the Octos will be hitting the market. multi threading is comming in a big way.
Anonymous
June 5, 2008 2:43:27 PM

Current Configuration

Case - $129.99
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

PSU - $149.99
PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

MB - $299.99
ASUS Striker II Formula LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

CPU - $213.99
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - $129.99
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...

GPU (2) - $189.99 ($379.98)
BFG Tech BFGE88512GTOCXFE GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD - $129.99
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD - $26.99
SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S203B
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...

CPU Cooler - $44.99
Scythe SCNJ-1100P 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Misc -
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM - $5.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total = $1,531.89
June 5, 2008 5:56:08 PM

Remember what I previously posted about the memory. I strongly suggest that you do your reading up on EPP or SLI ready memory and consider purchasing it. I provided a link in the post that I made initially about EPP and a good product from OCZ.

YOu are wise in getting the BFG card. The reduced shaders compared to the GTS will be hardly noticeable in any game with same clock speeds. This card is supposed to be a very good overclocker... so it would possibly outperform most GTS that cost much more.

If you are going to spend the money and not get the Thermalright Ultra 120 extreme that I recommended previously and provided a link to purchase than I would at least go for this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... considering it has metal mounting clips and has been deemed very competitive to the TRUE.

Everything else looks very good and solid. Like I said before you can go with the EVGA 780i and save a few bucks. The real only diff in the two boards IMO is the sound card that Asus board comes with. I've heard of better luck with the EVGA with overclocking though.

Also... Have you considered the Q9300??? The Q6600 is very old tech, larger die size, and lower FSB (but higher multi to make up for it). If I were you I would go with the newer 45nm. You can easily get the Q9300 up to 3.6ghz and it will outperform by a long shot the Q6600. I'm even thinking that 3.75ghz will be easily attained with some tweaking on the 780i board with the Q9300.
Anonymous
June 5, 2008 9:33:15 PM

I was looking at the Q9300 earlier today. There is alot more info on OC'ing the Q6600 and I havent been able to find much data so far with regards to OCing the Q9300 (specfically with the 780i). Basically I haven't find anything substantial, yet, to justify the $100.

I'm still looking at the CPU Cooler and debating between the Scythe, Tuniq Tower and the XIGMATEK HDT-S1283.

I have been toying with the EVGA 780i since I am reading mixed reviews on the sound card included with the Striker.
Anonymous
June 5, 2008 9:48:37 PM

On the RAM... I have been looking at OCZ as well. The Gskill has been verified by both G.Skill and Asus to work with the Striker (780i). I have been reading a few threads on the OCZ forums and it seems to be a mixed bag. This seems to be more of an issue with the 780i chipset, though.
Anonymous
June 6, 2008 3:19:34 AM

Well it seems the EVGA board is does NOT support running 4 DIMMS w/ SLI....

Looking at thier supported memory list for the 780i is making me even more reluctant....
Anonymous
June 6, 2008 4:09:35 AM

After reading even more, why not go with a 750i?

I don't see ever going tri-sli...
June 6, 2008 5:57:24 AM

Quote:
I was looking at the Q9300 earlier today. There is alot more info on OC'ing the Q6600 and I havent been able to find much data so far with regards to OCing the Q9300 (specfically with the 780i). Basically I haven't find anything substantial, yet, to justify the $100.

I'm still looking at the CPU Cooler and debating between the Scythe, Tuniq Tower and the XIGMATEK HDT-S1283.

I have been toying with the EVGA 780i since I am reading mixed reviews on the sound card included with the Striker.

The Tuniq is the only one of those three that have metal mounting clips. If you want to sleep well knowing that your CPU cooler is securely mounted to your motherboard I suggest you get one that has metal mounting clips. As for the Q6600/Q9300... if you know how to overclock one than you know how to overclock the other. The Q6600 has a default FSB of 266 whilst the Q9300 is at 333mhz.

Quote:
On the RAM... I have been looking at OCZ as well. The Gskill has been verified by both G.Skill and Asus to work with the Striker (780i). I have been reading a few threads on the OCZ forums and it seems to be a mixed bag. This seems to be more of an issue with the 780i chipset, though.

I understand that the G.Skill will work on just about any motherboard. In fact you really wont run into many problems with good memory. What I'm saying is the EPP or SLI enabled memory. G.Skill is not SLI enabled memory. If you want to get the G.Skill than fine and dandy... it will probably work great on your board, but in the end you wont be taking advantage of EPP.
Quote:
Well it seems the EVGA board is does NOT support running 4 DIMMS w/ SLI....

Looking at thier supported memory list for the 780i is making me even more reluctant....

This data or info is not accurate. I've been around for awhile and have seen plenty a mobo from the 780i chipset running 4 sticks of memory.... with or without SLI!
Quote:
After reading even more, why not go with a 750i?

I don't see ever going tri-sli...

Why not the 750i??? Well if you dont plan to overclock, dont plan on SLI period (Running SLI on this board will limit your bandwidth to 8x versus the 16x on the 780i) than you are good to go.

Overclocking the FSB is near impossible on the 650i/750i. The most I've seen with a Q6600 is around 2.8ghz. That might not be all cases but most.
Anonymous
June 6, 2008 12:01:21 PM

hughyhunter - Thank you for all your help so far.

CPU Cooler
For the Cooler, XIGMATEK has a retention bracket I planned on purchasing with the cooler. This should make me sleep easy?

XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


RAM EPP/SLI Ready
From what I have read, EPP simply allows the BIOS to OC memory more easily due to the profiles. If I already know what timings to use (based on other people postings and tech support), is this really needed?
Also, it has been reported (on forums) that EPP works with the G.Skill, it's just not advertised? Or maybe the BIOS just correctly "optimized" it and people are mistaking this for EPP?

With regards to SLI ready memory, all I have read on it so far indicates it is more of a marketing label rather then any type of innovation / certification.

EVGA 4 DIMM SLI
I should have clarified that. Reading directly on the EVGA support forums, you can run 4 DIMMS in SLI... but it is at a reduced FSB...

From what I have gathered so far this is more a 780i issue rather than a direct EVGA issue. I plan on only doing 2X2GB initially and then upgrading to 4X2GB later. There have only been one or two people that seem to have gotten this working and it almost seems more luck than anything else.


750i
From what I briefly read last night on EVGA forums, the 750i FTW OC's just as well (if not better) the 780i. I looked at both spec sheets on EVGA's site and saw very little difference. Seems that no current card reaches 8x fully? Information that stated current cards only reach mid 6's was a bit dated (I beleive Feb '08).

I am reading 3 articles on 750i vs 780i now.

Thanks again for all the help and talking it out with me.
Anonymous
June 6, 2008 1:30:03 PM

750i

The 2X8 SLI configuration on the 750i is reference specs.

The EVGA 750i FTW has 2X16 SLI (it's not a reference board).
EVGA Tech Support has stated this on thier forums.
Anonymous
June 6, 2008 4:53:14 PM

Current Configuration

Case - $129.99
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

PSU - $149.99
PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

MB - $189.99
EVGA 123-YW-E175-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i FTW SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - $274.99
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 Yorkfield 2.5GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80580Q9300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - $129.99
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...

GPU (2) - $189.99 ($379.98)
BFG Tech BFGE88512GTOCXFE GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD - $129.99
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD - $26.99
SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S203B
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...

CPU Cooler - $36.99 + $6.99
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Misc - $6.99
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total = $1,462.88

Changed MB to 750i from 780i - EVGA Support confirmed 2X16 SLI, will never go tri-sli.
Changed Q6600 to Q9300 - Still looking into other Q9XXX with higher mulitplier.
Changed CPU Cooler to XIG - Higher rated cooling, quieter (slightly) and cheaper than a Tuniq.
Changed Thermal Compound - Lower temps, no/short cure time.
June 6, 2008 6:35:02 PM

Your absolutely right about the cards not fully utilizing the full 16x lanes a PCIe will allow for. I am pretty sure though that this is an exception with the 9800GX2 cards and the new GTX 280 that is on the horizon. For you with the 8800GT you will not notice a difference. I remember THG did an article of this recently... let me try to find it for you.

I have also heard that EPP or SLI ready memory is primarily a marketing tool. Here is my outlook or opinion on the matter. If it does make a difference and the price for EPP memory isnt any more than non EPP memory than why not? OCZ reaper memory is EPP and is a very top performer when it comes to overclocking. This may just be a bias to me since I own the reaper and have had good luck... but in the end it's you that have to live and work with this machine and if you feel that G.Skill will deliver the performance that you are wanting than by all means go for it.

4 DIMMS on any motherboard will require less FSB than two DIMMS will... the reason: Takes more power to run 4 than 2. It would be helpful to hear other's opinions on this matter than just mine. But I'm pretty sure I remember an X38/P35 board having this limitation also.

You may be right about the 750i being a good overclocker. It may just be a conflicting debate. I have a friend that got the 650i that is virtually the same board (just a little newer) and likes it fine. However he does not overclock it any.

Good find on the mounting clip for the cooler. Sleep happy!!!!

Like the new build much better. Some very good choices. You could look into the PCPC 610 watt PSU even if you want SLI. 610 watt would drive your system nicely.

Anonymous
June 7, 2008 2:40:08 AM

I was contemplating downsizing the PSU but when I used the PSU calc it came out to just over 700 when compensating for cap loss, adding a couple USB devices, OCing, possible 2nd SATA drive, Blue-Ray, etc...

Like I said, I overcompensated for a few things on the calc but I always like to have room for upgrades and future technology. Even if I went with what I have here and OCing, I think it came out to roughly 655. The new cards are supposed to be power hogs. Even if it is just enough for a small upgrade (CPU/GPU/MB) next year. If I am lucky, the PSU will last me 2-3 years. It will probably be closer to 2 at the rate things are going.

Thanks again for all the help.
Anonymous
June 7, 2008 3:09:34 AM

I read an article today that compared the 750i to the 780i both running SLI 9800GX2's. The results were nearly identical and the 750i never seemed to hit any type of bottle neck. This was the EVGA 750i FTW to the EVGA 780i.

I believe I saved it but it's at work.

I'll try to track it down and link it.
Anonymous
June 7, 2008 3:25:41 AM

Here is the link to the review which uses two 8800GTS 512's.

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/evga_nforce_750i_sl...

"In terms of performance, the board performs just as well as nForce 780i SLI. Even in our SLI testing with a pair of GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB cards, the dual x8 lane nForce 750i SLI FTW board performed on par with EVGA’s dual x16 lane nForce 780i motherboard. In single-card tests the board also performed on par with nForce 780i SLI. From a pure performance perspective, this board is just as good as nForce 780i SLI, only it has the added advantage of being priced $50 cheaper."

I believe it was on one of the boards where a system builder tested two 9800GX2's and saw no clear indicator of a bottle neck.

I will see if I can track that down also, but that might be difficult as I probably read a 150 threads in the last 24 hours.
June 7, 2008 3:58:55 AM

Good research. Like I said in the end it's up to you... here is another article to add to your research about GPU bandwidth (16x vs 8x vs pcie 1.1 vs pci 2.0) http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-2-0,191...

Your savin bunches of money it sounds like.

What about the E8400 that turns you off??? Just consider that you may upgrade in the next few years... It just sounds to me that spending an extra $70-$80 for quad core when you will really only gain 2-5 FPS on most games.
June 7, 2008 4:01:48 AM

Evga's 750i SLI was re-engineered to support dual x16 lanes, you can check their forums for information on this.

But yea, even if it was dual x8 lanes, it wouldn't make any really noticeable difference.

I use a 750i SLI FTW evga myself.
June 7, 2008 2:19:52 PM

hughyhunter said:

What about the E8400 that turns you off??? Just consider that you may upgrade in the next few years... It just sounds to me that spending an extra $70-$80 for quad core when you will really only gain 2-5 FPS on most games.


I was obsessed with this same question all day yesterday.

I really prefered to get a quad... but... if I went with a 45nm I wanted to get a Q9450, due to the lower multipliers. This just kept bringing me back to the Q6600...

I just couldn't justify or reason out spending $140 more for the Q9450 over the Q6600. I was really concerned with the low (7.5) mulitplier on the Q9300.

I know I can run the Q6600 at 3.6 (400FSB) without even blinking an eye and you just cant beat the price/perf at $199.

The only thing that concerns me is the newer Q6600 don't seem to be quite up to the same standards of the early ones. Having said that, it still looks like these will have no issue going to 3.6.

This brought me to the idea of getting a Q6700. I would be essentially paying $50 to ensure I get a "good" Q6600. Again, I thought I can get even an "OK" Q6600 to OC to 3.6 without much issue.

I just kept coming back to the Q6600.
June 7, 2008 6:49:12 PM

I would probably do the same. The only diff in my opinion between the Q6600 and Q9300 is the added cache and smaller manufacturing tech.

If you do decide to get the Q6600 try for the OEM version since you'll save a few dollars by not getting the box. Shouldn't be a concern about getting G0 stepping from this sight:

http://www.clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=CA19384...

However you might find it cheaper:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

June 8, 2008 8:51:29 PM

Decided on Q6600 (OEM).

Ordered everything yesterday.

Thanks again for all the help.
!