The time has come for an increase in power for my mates rig he built a couple of years ago.
Parts that will remain:
Core2 Extreme X9650 @3ghz (w/ pretty standard cooling)
ASUS Striker II Formula M/B
2x Seagate 750gb HDD in Mirror Raid
3x 19" Widscreen LCD's
Full tower case w/ 750watt PSU (I think it might be higher, almost certainly not lower)
The rest of the usual parts ... running XP Pro (intending to dual-boot Windows 7 asap)
Parts to be changed:
2x2gb (Unsure of type - irrelevant want to change to 8gbs)
2x ATI FireGL v5600 512mb cards in Crossfire (showing graphical artifacts when being pushed in-game or during large file manipulation in Revit, online research suggests memory issues as driver changes seem to make no difference)
okay ... so I'm thinking of doing the following, in the mindset of the biggest bang for smallest dollar, and Revit, Adobe Creative Suite and 3dS being the majority of (but not all) pro software being used:
1) Upgrade to 2 x 4gb DDR2 1066 sticks
2) Crossfired ATI Radeon HD3870-4770-4850-4870-4890 (must be 1gb boards with fast RAM- leaning towards 4870's)
*Must be crossfire and dual-DVI ready to make use of the extended desktop of 3 monitors (possible future upgrade to a 24" center monitor from the current 19", so extra resolution will be necessary there)
3) CPU Water cooling kit to overclock (aiming to get the CPU clocks to somewhere around 3.85-4Ghz)
4) Increase internal cooling within the case, and especially on the motherboard heatpipe and sinks.
Now, what are people's thoughts and opinions of this? Any overkill or the reverse? Any suggestions for O/Cing ie: memory timings/voltage/multiplier etc? Any experience with similar components etc with Revit?
What about the whole soft-modding a Radeon to the FireGL equivalent thing? Should I even bother given the programs being used?
If you want the best performance for the dollar don't waste your money on water cooling. Buy a xigmatel hdt-s1283 or a sunbeam core contact freezer or some other big air cooler.
Before thinking about xfireing make sure you know more about your psu (wats brand...). Just open the case and have a look at it, everything you need to know is written on it.
For gaming another 4 gigs of ram do not increase the performance since 4gigs is more than any game needs. If you need the pc for other things aditional ram can help. It's not to expensive at the moment.
I'm not sure about the multi display issues you could encounter. If you have found out more about it please share with us. I at least am very intrested in multi monitor setups and Xfire but never came to do research.
You may also want to wait until dx11 cards come out and buy 1 card only.