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Which parts for $2000++ build for eyefinity

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March 11, 2010 3:56:23 PM

I've wanted peripheral vision in gaming since forever. Now there's eyefinity and now I've got some money, and I'm planning on spending as much as I can so that this build will last as long as possible. I'm not much up to date on hardware knowledge, so I need some help figuring out what are some good reliable parts that will fit together here. I unfortunately don't have much time to spend on research these days, and I have a lot of considerations, so I hope you experts will help me out.

I have built a computer from scratch 1 time before, so I know the basics.

BUDGET: A little over $2000 excluding case, OS (Win 7 prof.) and 2 new monitors. absolute max everything included $3100, that must include room for potential fan upgrades and whatnot.
I live in Denmark and am converting from DKK (Max 17000 dkk).

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: March 17 if possible, there's a discount at an online store until then (pixmania). If not that, I'm patient.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (all kinds), surfing the internet.

OVERCLOCKING: No

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: mouse, keyboard, headphones, dvd-drive, storage hdd, (1 monitor).

Plus points: Hot gaming rig, max longevity, minimum fuss, components reliable for a long lifespan.

Parts detail:

GPU and Case: I was first leaning towards 1x 5970. I like having it on one graphics card instead of two, and it's a bit cheaper too, but found out it wouldn't fit in the case I've fallen for - The Lancool PC-K62 for it's optimal toolless design, dustfilters and anti-vibration for the hdds. Thought of finding a case that fit, then found out 5970 has fan and even heat issues(very bad, I do not want to have to return products), so it's 2x5870. What's the opinion on which 5870 cards are best?
Is this case cool enough for my GPUs? Do I need to switch the case stock fans out for some better ones?

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050. Because I have one in that res already, 22", fine for me. Counting in better performance with 1680x than 1980x in eyefinity. Am not looking for advice on which monitors to buy.

CPU + MOBO: I read that anything less than an i7 "9" or "8" would bottleneck something like a 5970. Is this also true when running eyefinity 3 screens? What cpu would compliment my two 5870s?
And which motherboard for that?


RAM: I'm planning to spend less of the money here, 4gb now with possibility for future upgrades. I see G.SKILL recommended a lot, is that the thing to get?

HDD: SSD seems too expensive, I don't really mind boot speed and I'd keep this one of the cheaper parts too. Thinking Samsung Spinpoint F3 (500gb). Already got a 1.5 TB WD Green drive for storage unit.


PSU: So how much juice is this gonna need? eXtreme psu calc says 500w (choosing i7, high-end mobo, crossfire), but that can't be right, I've seen recs of 7-1.000w for something like this. I do have a Corsair HX520 - but it doesn't have enough plugs for the crossfire setup, and I'm pretty sure of the 2x5870s by now.



P.S. sorry for the long post - I really want to get this right.
March 11, 2010 4:30:01 PM

you know Eyefinity isn't available for crossfire, ATI is working hard to address this, but we don't know when will ATI have a solution. Therefor I recommend going with one 5970 for that matter.

for the motherboard I think you are going to go with x58 because 1156 socket limit crossfires setups by only giving you x8 x8 lines.

so you will need 6gb of ram, because x58 is triple channel, you want anything between cas 7 and 8 rated at 1600mhz, but make sure that is rated at 1.65v, the lower the better, check mushkin red line, one the best high end memory IMO.

since going with x58, you will also need an i7 930, the i7 950 isn't worth looking at since it cost $500.

I would go with an SSD if i was you, but thats me, if not a samsung f3 is fine.

a 1000 watt power suply isnt needed, a 750 will take care of everything, but make sure is high efficiency like SeaSonic Gold series, yes they are a tab expensive but you get what you pay for, the 750 watt retails for $170 at Newegg, don't know where are you going to purchase from which is why i haven't posted any links. if not go for the corsair 850 modular.

if you need to make fan upgrades to your case, I would consider just buying something with enough fanage, for this kind of setups, specially if you decide to crossfire 2 x5870 you will need a fulltower, so the Cooler Master haff 932 is what i recomend.

if you already got a 22" monitors, just buy 2 of the same, to minimize the gap between monitors, this is still the best way to do Eyefinity.
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March 11, 2010 4:39:51 PM

Price this build out over there. And the CPU will never bottleneck the GPU in a gaming build. It just doesn't happen.

I haven't heard anything about the 5970 performing poorly, so I still recommend trying to get a single 5970 UNLESS buying two 5870s is cheaper. It's the same thing after all...

Prices and links are from Newegg, so you can't actually use them. Just look up the parts over there and let me know if it's too expensive.

CPU: i7-930 $295
Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium $310
RAM: Mushkin Enahnced Redline 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 6 $240. You need triple channel sticks (3x2 GB), so 6 GB is as low as you should go. These are the fastest sticks out there, but might not be avialable. If they aren't, grab the cheapest set of 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 sticks you can find.
HDD: 2x Seagate 7200.12 1 TB $180. Having a smaller boot drive isn't going to do much for you. Buying two 1 TB drives would be cheaper.
GPU: HD 5970 $700
PSU: OCZ Z Series 850W 80+ Gold $200. That is right. The new cards are super efficient. I wouldn't want to get a 500W PSU for this though, but you certainly don't need more than an 850W.

Total: $1,925.
March 11, 2010 8:17:58 PM

Thanks a bunch for the fast replies guys!

Batuchka, I did doubt the CPU-GPU bottleneck comments, but even the tom's hardware review mentioned it: ""Instead, let’s talk about who can actually put this beast to use. How about the enthusiast with a roomy chassis, an overclocked Core i7 processor able to let it breathe, and a triple-monitor configuration?"" So I thought it meant something. But I believe what you say, and MadAdmiral. Now, the reason for an i7 seems to be "because I can" if it falls within my budget, and futureproofness on that part. Maybe I should go for something lower to save here? Is a top CPU not a good choice for a gaming rig? Though I do like the thought of not having to change CPU-Mobo for a long while, it's easier to switch out a GPU After all.

Snakej, I've heard that eyefinity-crossfire is just working with the latest drivers. Also, I am willing to wait a bit for new drivers, if I am able to play with a single 5870 until then. I just want to get the hardware in place.

Thanks a lot for the tell about mobos - so only x58 if crossfire, check.

I have looked at cases quite a bit, and K62 has beat out CM HAF (and antec 920) for me - if it's another case I choose, it has to be confirmed able to handle the length of the Radeon 5970. So far I know only of CM Storm Sniper for that (anyone want to just tell me about the others big enough?), would have to research and compare those sized cases. I could go that, but I so like the K62. Does anyone know if Lancool K62 doesn't have good enough cooling for 2x5870? I read in reviews it has very good cooling, but not super cooling.


MadAdmiral said:
I haven't heard anything about the 5970 performing poorly, so I still recommend trying to get a single 5970 UNLESS buying two 5870s is cheaper. It's the same thing after all...

MadAdmiral
Here's one place I heard about 5970 issues: http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1471104
(I've seen others, but haven't saved the urls)

I think the price would be roughly the same 1 or 2 graphics cards, 5970 cheaper but I would be buying a more expensive case.

MadAdmiral said:
Prices and links are from Newegg,...


That list of parts is great, thank you :)  , that's just the kind of thing I need. I've checked all the prices from DK sellers, and when added up it falls right on the upper edge of the budget(good), only the RAM does becomes too expensive, yes. As I wrote I think I will have to save on that. I can't even find those ram in DK (I don't mind buying overseas, but these seem too expensive to be worth it). A quick search found some OCZ Platinum for a good price.


MadAdmiral said:
HDD: 2x Seagate 7200.12 1 TB $180. Having a smaller boot drive isn't going to do much for you. Buying two 1 TB drives would be cheaper.

When I said I already had a storage drive, I meant I have it physically - I bought it a few months ago, not for build. I'll just take a decent boot drive, I don't need more space at all, the boot drive just needs to be big enough for several games.


so it seems it'll be an i7-930, pushing the upper edge of my budget with that and related mobo and ram. Other recommendations, other contesters for the Mobo spot?
Unsure about GPU and Case.
Also, GPU - Sapphire, XFX, Asus, HIS, Gigabyte, what? Just take the cheapest?
March 11, 2010 8:29:03 PM

damn, I can't edit my post. Ok, so the HAF 932 can house the 5970. Must've been thinking of another haf. Will look more at these size cases, but I still like the K62. Just have to know about the cooling.
March 11, 2010 9:07:32 PM

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

thats the case i was referring to, excellent case for the price, also the k62 its a awesome case, it is a mid-tower but its big enough, but i still think that the HAF size would serve you more, i don't think you can go wrong with either.

as for the card, the issue you read about with 5970 were due to early catalyst drivers, those were fix already. whats still isnt fix is crossfire support and eyefinity
http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=662
pardon my words, I shouldn't say it doesn't work, it malfunctions, as I said ATI is on it, and with the release of the 9.21 hot-fix we almost there, However the list of support games isn't that great, keep that in mind, other than that, 5970 or crossfire 5870 isn't that much of a different, just the 5870 crossfire doubles the chances of thing that can go wrong.
March 12, 2010 2:55:33 PM

Cause the Spinpoints weren't in stock. The Seagate is also slightly better in gaming. I still recommend them now because they're cheaper once you count shipping.
March 12, 2010 2:57:32 PM

ahh, ok thanks :p  i was just curious.
March 12, 2010 4:54:13 PM


Demandred: second opinion much appreciated. The prices of the i7-920 and 930 are so close that I think I'd go for the better of those if it's not an idea to go weaker than 920. Ehm, what is the difference between those two motherboards? The specs and description look the same.

Snakej: the drivers are version 10.2/10.3 pre now. http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/283207-15-eyefinity...
about the issues with 5970s, I read people had gotten cards with rattling fans, from all different manufacturers. I don't trust a rattling fan. With the catalyst drivers, i suppose you mean the heat issue?

Righ now I'm leaning towards 1x5970 (if the fan problem isn't too common, but I'm worried about that) + a roomy case like the HAF 932 - the lack of dustfilters was a serious concern for me with than one, but then I remembered - how could I ever have forgotten - the pantyhose mod... does go against my minimum fuss plan, but a big case solution is a bit cheaper in the end. I dunno about the plastic clips for card installation. I need to look at more big cases, haven't had any time today.


if I use 1x5970 and i7 930, can I run this with the PSU Corsair HX 520W I already have? Would be nice to save there, but I don't want to go with a too low PSU solution that isn't safe. And I can always use the 520 in a backup rig so it won't go to waste..

March 12, 2010 5:01:02 PM

You will not be able to power the 5970 with that PSU.

You could easily save $70 by getting the HAF 922. It's just about as large as the 932, and has better cable management, dust filters, and the ability to turn off the LCDs. That $70 could be applied towards a Corsair 750W 80+.
March 13, 2010 9:48:48 PM

MadAdmiral said:
You will not be able to power the 5970 with that PSU.

Thank you for clearing that up. I didn't have high hopes for it, but wanted to check bc. of the psu calculator's estimate.
I'm going to prioritize the PSU - I want it to be future proof so I don't have to buy a new PSU again next time. Think 850W will be enough for the next generation(s), or should I go for a 1000w? I want to choose a high quality one, and am willing to put some extra money here.

MadAdmiral said:
You could easily save $70 by getting the HAF 922. It's just about as large as the 932, and has better cable management, dust filters,
Oh, that is much better. Though the dust filter is minimal, at least it has one, it looks better, and has thumbscrews for expansion cards, nice if I go with the heavy big 59'er. Just need to put a side panel fan on it.


About the 5970... I've read that there are, or will be very soon, some aftermarket air coolers for those, and such coolers don't seem expensive at all from what I can tell. Are these difficult to install, possibly unreliable, and-you've-broken-the-warranty fixtures, or is it "read this one thermal paste guide, plop it on, and get into overclocking already!" ? It would make the 59 a much easier choice, if such a cooler means peace of mind...
March 13, 2010 10:18:28 PM

unless you are going to tri-fire ever 850 should be plenty, if you plan to trifire you should get a 950 or 1000.
March 13, 2010 11:43:48 PM

I haven't dealt with aftermarket coolers for GPUs. You can do a good amount of overclocking on the stock coolers, so I don't really see the value of buying something extra.

The 850W would be enough for Crossfiring 5970s, but I doubt you will ever need to.
March 15, 2010 4:02:06 PM

MadAdmiral said:
I haven't dealt with aftermarket coolers for GPUs. You can do a good amount of overclocking on the stock coolers, so I don't really see the value of buying something extra.

I was talking about if I get a 5970 with a bad fan, my worry about this card as I mentioned, I could replace it (the fan/cooler). People say it sounds like an old HDD. While I don't mind my computer making noise if it's a proper kind of noise, that reads to me like something that's going to fail?
The potential OC advantage would just be a perk.
I will have to find out about that aftermarket fan.


Thanks for the answers on the powersupply, am certain not going to trifire, so I'll be looking for a great 850W :) 
March 16, 2010 10:44:53 PM

This is the list as it stands now, and I still have some money to spare:

GPU: I'm going to take my chance with the 5970. The severity of the fan noise differs on the cards people get, and I've now read that some can be fixed by running them at full speed and high load for a few hours.
XFX Black Edition because of availability and looks. Seem to be no other deciding factors.
Case: I found this list of cases fitting 5970 and am going through it: http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=109078
so far it's a showdown between HAF 922 and Antec 1200.
CPU: i7 930 boxed
RAM: OCZ Platinum 3x2gb 1600MHz CL7.

Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium
Just wish it wasn't blue :p  . Are there any other motherboards to consider? Maybe with more RAM compatibility? I want to stay with crossfire x16 compatibility as I might want to use that in the future.

PSU: Is there something even better than the Corsair HX 850 that isn't way more expensive? After reading a few threads on different forums, I've so far seen two rated in a higher category than corsair, that I could buy: XFX's Black Edition psu and Antec Signature (though the latter is more expensive, it doesn't completely break the budget). Any thoughts? Others I should consider?


I just need a final polish on these parts, if anyone is willing to give some more input.
March 16, 2010 11:28:39 PM

as far as cases go if it is between a midtower and a full tower, esspecially two as good as the ones mentioned get the midtower (less space to cool off) unless of course you just like full towers. plus the 922 is cheaper.

as far as the motherboard goes, i think that is the best x58 motherboard out there IMO.

as far as whats good/better/best and so on for PSU's you should always look for the 80 plus certification. your psu only gets better with the 80 plus bronze/silver/gold respectively... but do you need it? thats up to you but i wouldnt get anything that is under 80 plus.

also i may have left out a few but, Corsair, Seasonic, and Antec are probably the best PSU manufacturers in the business.
March 17, 2010 12:26:06 AM

sherka said:
This is the list as it stands now, and I still have some money to spare:

GPU: I'm going to take my chance with the 5970. The severity of the fan noise differs on the cards people get, and I've now read that some can be fixed by running them at full speed and high load for a few hours.
XFX Black Edition because of availability and looks. Seem to be no other deciding factors.
Case: I found this list of cases fitting 5970 and am going through it: http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=109078
so far it's a showdown between HAF 922 and Antec 1200.
CPU: i7 930 boxed
RAM: OCZ Platinum 3x2gb 1600MHz CL7.

Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium
Just wish it wasn't blue :p  . Are there any other motherboards to consider? Maybe with more RAM compatibility? I want to stay with crossfire x16 compatibility as I might want to use that in the future.

PSU: Is there something even better than the Corsair HX 850 that isn't way more expensive? After reading a few threads on different forums, I've so far seen two rated in a higher category than corsair, that I could buy: XFX's Black Edition psu and Antec Signature (though the latter is more expensive, it doesn't completely break the budget). Any thoughts? Others I should consider?


I just need a final polish on these parts, if anyone is willing to give some more input.


On the PSU, why not give the Seasonic line a look? Might stretch your budget a bit, but they do build some of the best PSU's out there...
March 18, 2010 5:03:07 PM

requiemsallure said:
as far as cases go if it is between a midtower and a full tower, esspecially two as good as the ones mentioned get the midtower (less space to cool off)
Great, a deciding factor :)  I couldn't make up my mind. 922 it is.

requiemsallure said:
as far as the motherboard goes, i think that is the best x58 motherboard out there IMO.
"the best" - that's a reassuring recommendation :)  (and I do have a thing for ASUS. Was my first build and seems to have held their high Mobo reputation for years and years.)


croc said:
On the PSU, why not give the Seasonic line a look? Might stretch your budget a bit, but they do build some of the best PSU's out there...

I couldn't find any but their cheapest, not even 80+silver, on the pricefinder sites for my country. Before looking further, I checked their website, and was not very impressed by the fact that they have only 5 years warranty, where Corsair has 7. Thought of trying to research if they were longer-lasting than the corsairs anyway, but then thought, no matter what, corsair is sure to be there for 7 years. (plus, I've finally gotten a bit spooked by the fact that I'm spending twice what I usually spend on a new comp on this rig.) Corsair wins with 7y 80+almost gold(rated silver, but said to be really gold) and being "guaranteed to not dramatically explode" :D  (XFX fails Over Current Protection with a bang, Antec only has bronze. And no 7y warranty.)

Order placed :)  if someone wants to tell me that I should really get X specific Seasonic or other instead because it'll make my other components last longer (for when I want to play "those old win7 games" in the far future) and has no chance of faliure, or something, there's still time to change it as it takes some days before the 5970's there and it'll all be shipped. Otherwise, I'll just be reading monitor reviews until I get my parts.
So looking forward to building this :D 
!