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Best X58 Motherboard to Handle SLI GTX285s and Sound Card

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March 26, 2009 4:50:48 AM

Hi everyone. I am planning to build an i7 920 gaming PC in the next 3 to 6 months. I know that is a long time in the ever-changing PC landscape, but I want to know which current UNDER $300 Gigabyte, ASUS or EVGA X58 motherboard's layout would be best suited to initially handle one EVGA GTX285 and sound card, eventually going to SLI GTX285s ? I want to use a sound card because I want to play my MP3 collection on my home stereo system and want very good sound output. I was thinking about using a Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer or X-F XtremeAudio cards for size reference. Also, I am not an audiophile with an uber-expensive DAC, amplifier, speakers, etc., if that helps any.

What I am most concerned about is the spacing of the 3 cards when I go SLI, so as not to obstruct any airflow to the GTX285s. If anyone has already gone through a similar setup, please provide your experience and input.

The motherboard I was going to use was the Gigabyte EX58-UD4P, but I am open to other Gigabyte, ASUS and EVGA X58 boards as well. I would prefer the mid-to-upper range motherboards, which I think is a must as it seems the more expensive boards have the best PCI slot spacing. My case will most likely be a CoolerMaster HAF-932.

Thanks in advance for the help!

-Misfit14

March 26, 2009 5:53:31 PM

Currently using the -UD4P model with SLI'ed 260 core 216s. Have not had a problem. I would not recommend SLI'ed 285s unless you have a 30" monitor. I am running 1920x1200 and it has been overkill for any game I play. If I had to do it again I would of just bought a single 285. I also was using an SB Xi-Fi titanium sound card, but uninstalled because the onboard sound seemed just as good and I was getting some reverb, stuttering artifacts with the card.

I have also really enjoyed Gigabyte's EasyTune GUI-based overclocking utility. I used that for starters, then used Gigabyte's i7 920 overclocking tutorial to bring it up to 4.0GHz when I need it. I used Asus AMD board prior, but have been just as satified with the GA product.

I do not see interference a problem with the -UD4P; however, with any SLI configuration that also uses other PCI-interface products - space for airflow will be reduced significantly. Make sure your cooling solutions are adequate!

Cheers
March 26, 2009 6:14:04 PM

sheppyb said:
Currently using the -UD4P model with SLI'ed 260 core 216s. Have not had a problem. I would not recommend SLI'ed 285s unless you have a 30" monitor. I am running 1920x1200 and it has been overkill for any game I play. If I had to do it again I would of just bought a single 285. I also was using an SB Xi-Fi titanium sound card, but uninstalled because the onboard sound seemed just as good and I was getting some reverb, stuttering artifacts with the card.

I have also really enjoyed Gigabyte's EasyTune GUI-based overclocking utility. I used that for starters, then used Gigabyte's i7 920 overclocking tutorial to bring it up to 4.0GHz when I need it. I used Asus AMD board prior, but have been just as satified with the GA product.

I do not see interference a problem with the -UD4P; however, with any SLI configuration that also uses other PCI-interface products - space for airflow will be reduced significantly. Make sure your cooling solutions are adequate!

Cheers


Thanks Shepppyb.

Currently, I game on a 22" 1680x1050 monitor, so for now I was thinking a single GTX285 would suffice. However, my thinking was that in say 2 years time, I want to go to a 24" 1920x1200 monitor that I could pick up a second 285 for cheap. I don't think I will ever have a 30" monitor. But, I guess by then DX11 will be prevalent by then, making these DX10 cards obsolete. So, it seems I am now talking myself out of SLI'd GTX285s. Within 2 years I will most likely just wind up getting a very good single DX11 card and shelve the 285.

As far as airflow, I am looking at the CM HAF-932 case for it's great air-cooling capabilities and will add as many fans as possible to improve airflow. So, I should be covered on that front. So, in theory, I can fit 2 x 285s and a sound card on a UD4P as long as airflow is good, correct?

Thanks again.
-Misfit14
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