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Thinking about building a SLI setup. Which mobo would you recommend?

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September 12, 2010 8:23:23 PM

I am still at the begining stages of building a new computer. I think I am leaning towards an Intel setup again. I have an E6600 non sli setup now that I am still happy with. I want an sli setup this time and it appears Intel has the best chips at the moment. I know AMD is releasing new chips soon so maybe I should wait to see how they do but in the mean time I figured I would start doing some research.

Basically what I would like to know is what is the best mobo chipset to go with right now? I want a dual video card SLI setup. I have no intentions of adding a third video card. What would you recommend for and Intel setup and AMD?

The reason I am leaning towards intel is the results from the $2000 build this month. The prior months intel build performed much better than the current months AMD build.
a c 716 V Motherboard
a b å Intel
September 12, 2010 8:40:24 PM

Go the X58 route, and most the good MOBOs will be 3-WAY in a $2K build.

I would highly recommend the 2/3-WAY $199 EVGA 131-GT-E767-TR LGA - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Just in case 2/3-WAY the $199 EVGA X58 FTW3 | 132-GT-E768-KR - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, a 128 GB SSD or HHD drive. Also, if you ever decide 3-WAY you're buying a new MOBO if you don't do it ahead of time.
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a c 295 V Motherboard
September 12, 2010 10:27:47 PM

Hi.

Fot Intel u can go with one of this mobos: ASUS P6X58D-E or Gigabyte X58A-UD3R

For AMD the nVidia chipset that makes possible the SLI setup is a crap and a little old so I' recommend if u want the AMD rig use Crossfire.

For AMD u can go with one of this mobos: Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 orASUS Crosshair IV

If u still want the SLI with the AMD rig u can go with one of the above mobos, hack it and install the SLI without problems.

For SLI GPU u can go with 2xGTX460, 2xGTX470 or 2xGTX480 the 1st one performs much better that a single GTX480 for the same price but with less power use and heat.

For the Crossfire 2x5850 is a very solid option.
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September 13, 2010 1:28:17 AM

I just bought a MSI Cyclone 460 1gb that I am using now. My plan is to buy a second for the SLI setup. I will probably buy a cheap video card for my existing computer and sell it.

Since you say AMD and SLI don't work well together it sounds like an Intel build is in my future. I assumed AMD would work best with ATi/AMD video cards for obvious reasons.

I have a Gigabyte P35 board now that has worked well. I will look into the UD3R you mentioned above. I used Asus boards in the past and had good luck with them as well. One did fry but Asus replaced it for me quickly and easily.
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a c 295 V Motherboard
September 13, 2010 1:16:39 PM

Goo choice with the GPU. ;) 
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a c 716 V Motherboard
a b å Intel
September 13, 2010 6:02:57 PM

^ {AMD and SLI don't work well together} hence my recommendation of the X58; also the P55's have a PCIe limit on the second PCIe of 8X - no most cases no big deal but worth noting.

I HUGELY disagree with the {Gigabyte X58A-UD3R (rev 2)} :non:  BAD BOARD I personally had to RMA/return {return 10 MOBOs with SSD + RAID 1 BSOD (multiple HDD) + Sudden Shutdowns} Tom's review is bad/wrong for that MOBO, and they were all replaced with the ASUS P6X58D-E which indeed corrected the problem. The UD3R is great on paper only.

Review - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/x58-usb-3.0-sata-6-...

EVGA X58 period are the best MOBO if you want to OC + SLI, and anyone saying differently needs to post comparing Futuremark scores.

EVGA X58 ~ Ferrari | ASUS or GA ~ Corvette.

Good Luck!
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a c 295 V Motherboard
September 13, 2010 9:17:26 PM

Th 1st one only support 2-Way SLI or Crossfire while the last one support 3-Way SLI or Crossfire.
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September 13, 2010 9:44:07 PM

Are you sure saint19? The box for the top one shows X58 SLI 3.

I have no intentions of adding a third video card. Of course I had no intentions of adding a second back when I built my existing computer and now I wish I would have bought a SLI board back then.
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Best solution

a c 716 V Motherboard
a b å Intel
September 13, 2010 9:48:00 PM

THEY ARE 3-WAY!!!

All of these MOBO's are going to really push your budget, and yeah of course they're nice. However, if the GTX 460 is not part of the $2,000 budget then - EVGA X58 SLI Classified.

The FTW3 series is more than 3-WAY SLI, it also has a lot more available power and is designed in addition to 3-WAY extreme OC. Most MOBOs run fine under low OC but once 3.8 - 4.x GHz there's a lot of power consumption and Stability or similar odd behavior starts plaguing many MOBOs. EVGA is an enthusiast brand and often lacks "gizmo's/swiss army" add-ons to keep bandwidth in tack and stable and adequate power the CPU, Controllers, N/S Bridge, etc.

However, if you're even considering the FTW3 series series don't, instead use the EVGA X58 SLI Classified. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 295 V Motherboard
September 13, 2010 9:51:28 PM

:lol:  ny bad I confused it with another mobo.

The last one has better feature like 8 phase power (power management) and OC features from the mobo.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
a b å Intel
September 13, 2010 9:55:20 PM

^ I use these MOBOs - Newegg is wrong as it often is...

The only non "3-WAY" X58/EVGA but obviously it can easily do 3-WAY is the EVGA X58 Classified 4-Way SLI.

Except the EVGA X58 SLI Micro 2-WAY.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
a b å Intel
September 13, 2010 10:08:48 PM

@saint19 - I've asked before (unanswered) - Why not add EVGA to the Forum list. Yeah, I'm a member at EVGA but why not at tomshardware??!!
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September 13, 2010 10:17:30 PM

I really need to rethink my budget. I was hoping to stay under a $1000 for everything. The $2000.00 I mentioned above was in reference to the $2000 build from this months system builder comparison. I already have one 460. I was hoping to spend @1000 including a second 460 and everything else. I now realize that isn't possible with the current price of an I7 930 and compatiable SLI mobo. Maybe I should look into I5 build instead or wait a little while for prices to drop. As of right now I am looking at @1400 for everything including a cheap case, bluray drive and Windows 7. I might just keep an eye out for some good combo deals and piece it together that way. I should be able to save a few hundred that way.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
a b å Intel
September 13, 2010 10:47:26 PM

^ As a good suggestion - goto http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/ {under maintenance now} or http://www.ibuypower.com/ and try their configuration. I often use their site to get a quick idea of pricing, adding and subtracting parts. Oddly their pricing is almost the exact same as "Part Cost."

In your case you can use a single GTX 460 price and back it out of the Total Cost.

Suggestion - CASE & PSU; if you purcahse a nice case and good PSU ~ Corsair 750/850 you can reuse them later {new MOBO + CPU}.

Video GTX460 OC vs GTX 480 - http://www.youtube.com/user/LinusTechTips#p/u/8/6ipoEjI...
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September 18, 2010 6:55:31 PM

Opps. That link doesn't show the price. EVGA has B stock ones on sale for $89.99 shipped. I imagine they are refurbished but that is fine with me. They probably don't come with all the accessories either but I have extra sata cables already. Plus the mobo itself has 8 usb connections and the case will have a couple as well. That should be plenty. It doesn' have the newest 3.0 usb or 6.0 sata but I don't feel that is important right now since few products support it and the performance gains aren't that much.
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September 18, 2010 11:34:33 PM

I ordered one. I figured it was worth a shot for only $89.99. Now I need to keep an eye out for a good deal on a 930/950.
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September 26, 2010 12:05:20 AM

I've ordered just about everything. I should come in close to $1000.00 for everything. Of course I already had one gtx460 so it is really closer to $1200. Still that isn't bad for an I7 950 GTX460 SLI setup. It should be plenty fast for everything I need. I will add a 128gb SSD drive once they drop to about $1 per gb.

Thanks everyone for the posts.
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September 26, 2010 12:06:56 AM

Best answer selected by beekermartin.
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