I'm putting a new computer together and is trying to decide what would go well with my Intel Core i7-930 CPU.
I've already got a previous graphics card (Nvidia 8800GT) that I am going to use for a while, but after that I am planning to upgrade and run SLI.
I thought the following two motherboards looked interesting:
I'm unsure about the following block of text (under PCI Express 2.0 x16):
2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1/PCIEX16_2) (Note 1)
2 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1/PCIEX8_2) (Note 2)
(Note 1) For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16_1 slot; if you are installing two PCI Express graphics cards, it is recommended that you install them in the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots.
(Note 2) The PCIEX8_1 and PCIEX8_2 slots share bandwidth with the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots espectively. When PCIEX8_1 is populated with an expansion card, the PCIEX16_1 slot will operate at up to x8 mode; when PCIEX8_2 is populated with an expansion card, the PC IEX16_2 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.
I suppose that will only affect me if I try to stick 3 graphics cards in there?
Are there any other components that use PCIe x8/x16?
I'll also need a PSU, some memory and a case for it all. Haven't really looked into those, so go crazy!
I'm planning to overclock the CPU somewhat, and I'd rather pay a little more for components that is future proof and can handle some upgrades.
That's right, it'll only affect you if you try and add in other components in those expansion slots, but a current video card will keep you going fine for now and adding another one in for SLI later will keep you going.
Is 750W enough to last me a while?
As I mentioned, I want to upgrade to SLI, overclock the CPU and might have quite a few hard drives in the PC. And if I can use the PSU well into the future, I'd be happy!
I have no clue about the power requirements of PC's these days which is why I am asking.
The two motherboards I mentioned seem almost identical. What (if anything) warrants the $70 higher price?
Also, are there any components, other than graphics cards, that use PCIe x8/x16?
The UD5 apparently has extra power phases, extra Ethernet port, buttons, a readout, extra pipe line for the heatsinks, and better heatsinks. (Source) Considering the price difference, the UD3R would be your best bet.
Just to clarify, when you say you're planning on running with the 8800GT for now then upgrading and running SLI, do you mean you'll just buy another 8800GT? Or do you want to get a newer video card and then eventually run that SLI?
How many hard drives do you consider to be quite a few? 3? 4?
From my understanding, there isn't much else that use those PCIe slots effectively as the video card requires the most bandwidth. You'd use firewire cards and network cards, etc for the 1x slots though, but not the x8/x16.
SLI: The plan is to buy two new graphics cards and use those for SLI. I have thought about another 8800GT, but I don't know how big of an improvement it would give, so I figured it would be a longer lasting solution to buy two video cards the next time I upgrade and run those in SLI.
My eventual plan for hard drives are to run 2 disks (SSD) for the OS and games in Raid 0 and then 1 or 2 big storage disks.
I am also planning to do a dual-monitor setup eventually, but that should only influence my eventual choice of graphics card.
For the video card you shouldn't go into it planning on going SLI right off the bat (unless you have a money tree out back, in which case by all means, go ahead). If you want to get a new video card, go all out on the first one and get a Radeon HD 5870 or a Geforce GTX 470 or 480. Any of those cards will hold you over quite well for now and then you can grab another one at a lower price further down the road when more newer cards come out.
To be safe you can up the PSU to a 950 which should be able to handle everything just fine, even the new geforce cards that are power hogs.
My plan was to use the current graphics card till I can't stand the graphics anymore and then upgrade to two reasonably priced cards. So not get two top-end cards when I upgrade. But I suppose getting a top-of-the-line card and then getting a second when it is cheaper will give me even more bang for the buck?
You got it. Right now the HD 5870 will be able to handle anything you throw at it and the price SHOULD drop because of the new nvidia cards. Buying one high end card will last you for quite a while and then you can eventually buy another video card for lot less further down the road to get you some performance gains without having to go out and spend $500 on a new video card.