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My gtx 285 tri sli setup,any final suggestions before I buy it ?

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June 4, 2009 10:49:47 PM

I am gonna start ordering the parts by Monday. Till now I have the following config in mind.

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Motherboard: EVGA E758-TR 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU : intel core i7 920

memory : CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C7 G

GPU : 3 X EVGA 01G-P3-1180-AR GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Card

hard drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives

dvd burner: Sony Optiarc DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model

Computer case: Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

PSU : CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC

Monitor: SAMSUNG SyncMaster 305T Black 30" 6ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor (resolution : 2560 X1600)

keyboard: logitech g15 keyboard

speakers: ALTEC LANSING VS2421 28 Watts 2.1 Gaming Speaker System

mouse: i have one already.
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Now, I respect all your opinions and suggestions and some people may think that this setup might be overkill or too much spending, but in this thread I only want to know if I can build this PC or no, with the parts specified. for eg. whether there will be enough room for managing the cables, enough cooling for the tri sli setup to work or should I change some parts for better ? enough pins to power the fans of the case ?

Actually I am spending this much money cos I just got my first bonus and I thought better to spend on my passion instead of wasting it on a vegas trip. So please help me build this thing even though you might think it may be an overkill or absolute waste of money.

Thanks in advance.

June 4, 2009 11:15:06 PM

yeah maybe you want to wait till the next gen dx11 cards come out? shouldnt be too long away

and my pref's are Gigabyte and ASUS for motherboards
June 4, 2009 11:17:30 PM

oh not to say EVGA is bad or anything but ASUS and Gigabyte have been around alot longer etc, and tri sli doesnt scale so well etc thats why i say.

Other then that your answer is yes if your skilled at building it (cable management etc) you can pull it off :) 
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June 4, 2009 11:18:59 PM

It'll all work just fine.
DX11 is coming out soon, but you know how it goes. If you wait on something better, you will be waiting until the day you die and never get it built.
June 4, 2009 11:24:31 PM

Yes I was thinking of waiting till the directx 11 cards come out. but windows 7 comes out in october, then around the same time ATI directx 11 cards come out, then after that, nvidia's gt 300 comes out. by the time the drivers mature and everything settles down, it will be feb next year. perfect time for me to donate my gtx 285 cards to my brother and get the new directx 11 cards for myself. so yeah, i may just go ahead with this purchase. anything you suggest about the RAM, is it ok ?? other than this, how far can i overclock my core i7 920 with the stock CPU heatsink ? should I buy new heatsink for the CPU ?? i am choosing the evga mobo cos my friend told me that it has enough space between the cards to get all 3 cards fixed properly, I was gonna choose ASUS first , which mobo of ASUS or Gigabyte do you suggest which will go with this setup ??
June 4, 2009 11:29:55 PM

You cant overclock the i7 with the stock heatsink if you are going to have 3 GTX 285's in the same case with it, you will putting off some serious heat. I guess the upside is that next winter you will have a low heating bill.

If you want to Overclock your i7, I suggest getting water cooling with an external radiator. I don't know why you would spend a thousand dollars on a monitor and another thousand on GPU's and then use a stock intel heatsink.
June 4, 2009 11:32:10 PM

It will work fine.

I would also get an oem cpu cooler up front. Many will do much better than stock.

Consider getting just two GTX285 cards. If you felt them lacking, you could always add a third later.

The cash saved could buy a couple of X25-M ssd's to raid for a nice OS drive.
June 4, 2009 11:35:14 PM

Or three 4890's in crossfire. 4890's are $100 cheaper a piece and scale better than the GTX 285.
June 5, 2009 8:16:27 AM

I am a bit new to overclocking. which CPU heatsink do you guys suggest?? and well, my plan is to get 2 gtx 285 cards first, but i just want to make sure the setup should be complete to accept the third card if i decide to put it later.
June 5, 2009 9:11:38 AM

+1 to the 4890 ,a single gtx 285 would beat a single 4890 but when it comes to 3 cards the tri-CF 4890 beats the tri-sli gtx 285 as the gtx 285 benefits a little from the third card and for the cooler the best 2 coolers for an i7 are

Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - Retail

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

Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme 1366 RT CPU Cooler

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8444/cpu-tri-57/Therm...

Another thing the samsung monitor 30" won't be the best for gaming the best would be the DELL ULTRASHARP 3008WFP

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Monitors/pr...



June 5, 2009 2:27:13 PM

Since you're spending this much money on a PC, may I respectfully suggest the following:

1) CASE : I take it that you're a working professional nad have good taste, so as far as your case goes, try the Silverstone TJ 09. Its the biggest, most spacious case you can get for a tri SLI set up.The Antec 1200 is good but looks too funky in a home office or den area.The TJ 09 have that upscale, streamlined and elegant look and feel to it. (Same price as the Antec 1200). Plus if you decide to watercool both GPU and CPUs someday, the TJ 09 can accomodate.

2) HDD : No need for SSD now if you're into gaming coz you'll only improve LOADING times by a few seconds..NOT WORTH the price premium as of today. JUST MAKE SURE you RAID ZERO ur OS drive.

3) RAM : If you're new to high end PC gaming, let me suggest you try MUSHKIN brand. Your current choice of RAM may not be your best bet. Corsairs are fast but prone to blue screens if you go above 1333mhz.Next to your GPUs, RAM should get the next priority so SPEND on this part. May I suggest this: Mushkin 998691 (Check it out at New Egg). If you can afford more expensive models, go ahead..If you're really hell bent on getting Corsair brands, then go for the GT line. BTW, Mushkins are made in the USA.

4) LCD : I have the same exact monitor as you do: Samsung 305t, 2560 x 1600.. The colors are TOO dull..And you only have the choice of adjusting brightness..that's it. The Gateway XHD 2560 x1600 is a better choice, colors are very deep with excellent black levels. (price went down recently). But if budget doesn't permit, the 305t will do.

5) CPU : For its price, the Core i7 920 is perfect for now..Just watercool it with either a Coolit ALC ($80) or the Asetek LCLC ($70)..No need for more expensive H2O set ups

6) GPUs : Your choice of three GTX 285s is the BEST decision you made out of your "bonus"..hehe. I commend you for this..Now, if you're willing to add another $150 for these 3 beauties, may I recommend you get the 2gb version- EVGA 02G-P3-1185-AR (New Egg). Since you intend to game at 2560 x 1600, you'll appreciate the biggest VRAM you can have..especially for games like GTA IV...Rest assured though that the 1gb ( times 3 for SLI) version will already enable you to play Crysis/ Warhead at the ENTHUSIAST or VERY HIGH settings with an average FPS of >45 ( no AA). Believe me, playing this game maxed out at 2560 x 1600 is simply orgasmic.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Its true that newer components such as the NVIDIA GT300 (40nm) are coming late this year or next year.But such is the nature of PC industry as a whole.The moment you buy today, tomorrow yields yet another bigger, better, and faster(?) component..But if we don't buy now, when else will we enjoy killing Koreans with a souped up Gauss rifle while wearing boxers and munching Doritos on the side?
June 5, 2009 2:34:26 PM

Read up on microstuttering before you buy that bad boy.
June 5, 2009 2:55:09 PM

Microstuttering often occurs with QUAD SLI/ Crossfire set ups..Not with TRI or DUAL SLI systems.
June 5, 2009 3:11:32 PM

@voltes75:
re:
2) Raid-0 improves data transfer times. Why bother with raid-0 if speeding up application loading is not very worth while?
If application loading IS important, then a good SSD would be even better.
My take on SSD for now is that one should wait if you can because there are some much better offerings in the pipeline.
For a high end rig, I think I would splurge on a 300gb velociraptor for now. Use the 1tb drive for storage, and non-current games.
Look for that recommendation to change in the fall to a SSD.

4) I used the 305T for a while, and I found NO problem with color intensity. If I recall correctly, the color adjustments can be changed via software. It was a great monitor. I changed it out only because the default text size was too small for me. I think Samsung makes the panels for most 30" monitors, and I think they would keep the best samples for themselves.

5) Water cooling is not necessary with a decent oem cooler, and a non-maxium overclock.
The thermalright, noctua, Xigmatek coolers will all work well.
June 5, 2009 4:11:15 PM

I'm sure all gamers would appreciate any bump in component speed no matter how small. I didn't mean to disregard SSDs completely. Its their current prices that's putting me off for now. As you said, Velociraptor is another choice..you're right..Sooner or later I myself am upgrading to SSDs..Re the monitors, I currently own both the GATEWAY and SAMSUNG 30 inch panels..Its true, Samsung makes good monitors. But firsthand experience tells me, that given a choice between these two specific models (Samsung 305t and Gateway XHD 3000), Gateway is the better choice for that size at that pricepoint. Lastly, if you're intending to use your "build" primarily for gaming, you'd want to OC your CPU as much as it can with stability..Its very necessary to have MAXIMUM OC to give your GPUs enough headroom and avoid bottlenecks. Besides, none other than SCIENCE (specifically physics) will tell you that WATER is far BETTER in heat dissipation than AIR...You do remember your high school lab experiments with water and fire, right? Or did you skip class to watch Dawson's Creek?So geofelt my friend, lets go Maximum strength, speed and armor, ok? Oh and MAXIMUM Overclock! So as I suggested earlier, go with water cooling, PERIOD.
June 5, 2009 5:34:57 PM

@voltes75, I will defer to your opinion on the monitors since you own both, and can compare them side by side.

As to any bump in component speed, no matter how small: There must be some value considerations here. Otherwise, the OP would be looking at a i7-965 instead of a 920. How much do you need for good gaming?

Last I heard, water and electircity don't mix well.

I was interested, though, and tried to find benchmarks comparing top air coolers with liquid cooling solutions, but did not find anything recent. I would like some links.
I did find this interesting set comparing the current top coolers:
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
There was one liquid cooling kit included, put it's performance was not remarkable.
All of the top 10 units reviewed were significantly better than the stock cooler.


Still, I would like a link to your favored water cooling solution, along with some comparative benchmark data.
If the results are so impressive, perhaps I could be converted.
June 5, 2009 5:56:54 PM

Cheap water does not compete with a decent air cooler. You will need to spend $200+ on a WC system for it to be significantly better than the TRUE or NH-U12P, cheap water cooling is IMO mostly a marketing ploy, or for people working in the confined space of mATX cases. If you have a full tower, you should get a good air cooler, or go big on a WC setup.

If you want to see a comparison of cheap LC to a decent air cooler, you can look here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/coolit-domino-cogag...
June 5, 2009 6:05:41 PM

xthekidx said:
Cheap water does not compete with a decent air cooler. You will need to spend $200+ on a WC system for it to be significantly better than the TRUE or NH-U12P, cheap water cooling is IMO mostly a marketing ploy, or for people working in the confined space of mATX cases. If you have a full tower, you should get a good air cooler, or go big on a WC setup.

If you want to see a comparison of cheap LC to a decent air cooler, you can look here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/coolit-domino-cogag...


Actually, that was the cooler included in the benchmark reviews link above. No need to get that one.

Is there a link to a comparison of a $200+ water cooling system with a top air system?
June 5, 2009 6:11:53 PM

Hahaha..Like what my 2 yr old daughter always say, "That's funny!" Water and electricity don't mix well..I definitely agree. In fact I have 2 scars from 30 years ago to prove that. Anyway, on the topic of using water to cool CPUs, don't worry..almost all liquids used for CPU cooling these days are NON CONDUCTIVE liquids.You can douse your running mobo and voila, no short circuits! I have come accross several websites comparing water and air..I'll post them under your thread when I get the chance to. For the mean time, if you're into gaming hardware, check out my Youtube videos, search for Voltes75. Peace, hehe.
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