Overclocking and upgrade path for workstation/gaming rig.

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)

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applica [...] CatId=3669

*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)

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applica [...] &CatId=499

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?

Cheers all :D
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  1. He already has a nice system with very good specs. He could go with the 4890 if money is no object @ around 350 each x2. The 4870 is roughly about 10% slower but is around 200.00 cheaper per card. For about 50.00 or so more for 2x 4870 and will out perform the 4890 in most cases he could go that route if he wants to be cost effective.

    If money is no object then he could do 2x 4870x2's and upgrade his power supply. This would be about a 1300.00 upgrade and he could get a very nice air cooled heatsink and still get a nice OC. All for less than 1500.00. Any card you pick will need a lot of ram in which you obviously already know.

    Your watercooled link is broken.

    You never gave a budget so I'm shooting bullets with no tracers.

    Give a dollar figure and we can go from there.

    If it was me, I would go the 4870's and do the fire-GL soft mod. I wouldn't be too willing to do that to the 500.00 cards...
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