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New monster gaming build

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July 19, 2010 6:26:45 PM

Ok here are my new build options, updated to account for some good avice from you guys :p 

No longer a gaming and graphics workstation, unless you guys know of good ATI graphics cards that I could put in this beast simultaneously with my ASUS ROG Matrix to run programs like Maya, Cinema 4D, After Effects and Illustrator. Is it even possible to allocate one card on a 16x slot for gaming and have another in a second 16x slot for working, even if they are both ATI? How would the computer know which to use for which?



APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP.

BUDGET RANGE: Enough to get what I want

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: #1 Gaming, #2 High End Visual Effects, Motion graphics, rendering, animation.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA.

PARTS PREFERENCES: See list below.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, but need to learn how. If there is no sufficiently explained guide, I will not attempt it, but the threads here on Tom’s look like a promising place to start learning.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Crossfire and later Eyefinity.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: As high as possible, but need fast refresh rate for games.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Need gaming rig to handle ANY game at top settings with no hiccups, including CRYSIS, Metro 2033, Bioshock 1 & 2, Singularity, Fallout 3, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, Halflife 3 (or whatever they will call it, Episode 3?)—and any future games. Need it to handle Illustrator, Photoshop, Maya, Cinema 4D, Combustion, After Effects, and Final Cut Pro seamlessly. Need high level of upgradeability. Need low noise and lower temperatures.

Note: If ordered from Newegg, the motherboard and processor are a package deal and I save a hundred bucks. Please suggest better parts if you know of any.

PART LIST:
• [Chassis] -- LIAN LI PC-P80 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

• [Motherboard] -- ASUS Rampage III Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

• [Processor] -- Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown 3.33GHz LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

• [Graphics Card] -- ASUS ROG MATRIX 5870 P/2DIS/2GD5 Radeon HD 5870 Platinum 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

• [Power Supply] -- CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

• [Memory] -- G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-12GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

• [Internal Hard Drive] -- Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

• [CD/DVD Burner] -- LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Writer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

• [Display] -- Hanns-G HZ281HPB 27.5'' 3ms Full HD 1080P HDMI WideScreen LCD Monitor 400cd/m2 X-Contrast 15,000:1(800:1)Built-in Speakers
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

• [Processor Cooler] -- CORSAIR Cooling Hydro Series CWCH50-1 120mm High Performance CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

• [Speakers] -- Creative Labs Inspire T5400 5.1 Surround Sound speakers (Do not need to purchase this item)
http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Inspire-T5400-5-1SPEAKER...

• [OS] -- Windows XP for now, as soon as I get the other two monitors for Eyefinity, I will have to upgrade to Windows 7.

More about : monster gaming build

a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2010 6:34:46 PM

Waste of money. Period. No one really needs the 980X, but assuming you really want to shell that much out for a $1,000 CPU on a dead socket...

CPU/HSF: i7-980X and Noctua NH-D14 $1,060. A better cooler. Either do water cooling right (add about $500 on to the build's cost) or don't do it.
Mobo/PSU: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R and PC Power and Cooling 950W $390. A better, cheaper board. 1000W is complete overkill. 850W will be enough to overclock and Crossfire the 5970, but to be safe, here's one of the the highest quailty 950W.
RAM: 2x G.Skill Trident 3x2 GB 2000 mhz CAS Latency 9 $370. Faster RAM.
GPU: HD 5970 $680. A much better GPU.
SSD: 2x Intel X25-M 80 GB $430. Can't leave this out of a super high end build.
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $75. Drives that are just as fast, yet cheaper.
Case: HAF 922 $90. A much better, cheaper case.
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $20

Total: $3,115. The sound card is unnecessary.
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July 19, 2010 6:50:47 PM

Awesome I really appreciate the help--just some questions to clarify if you dont mind--forgive my ignorance.

Why is that a dead socket? I thought that was the next-gen socket that processors were going to be taking advantage of, moving from quad-core to six-core. Am I missing something?

How does going from 12GB to 6GB make the RAM faster? is it because the 1600 vs 2000? Should I then get 2 packs of this so total 6 x 2 GB @ 2000? Or is 12 GB overkill?

Why is an SSD drive necessary? Is a Hard drive not enough?

How is a 3GBPS drive better than my 6 GBPS one? WIll that be as fast?

Is the 5970 that much better than the ASUS ROG Matrix?
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Related resources
July 19, 2010 6:51:51 PM

OH duh, you said 2x the memory--I just didnt see it. Well that eliminates that question.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2010 7:04:43 PM

A dead socket is one that won't have any more CPU released for it. The i7-980X is relatively new, but Intel's new sockets are coming out at the end of the year. This means that anything built with Intel will be obsolete by next year.

It's faster because the Tridents are 2000 mhz CAS Latency 9. When adjusted for the diffferent speeds, the Tridents run at 1600 mhz CAS Latency 6, which is better than 1600 mhz CL 9.

SSDs are an order of magnitude faster. They're generally not considered worthwhile until you reach the point where you don't have anything else to spend your money on. You would use the SSDs for the OS and programs. The standard drives would hold all your data.

SATA III doesn't make a difference right now, and will never matter for standard drives. The F3 is just as fast as the WD drive, just cheaper. The reason they're the same speed is because both use 500 GB platters (the amount of data stored on a single mechancial disk). The larger the platters, the faster the drive. There is a slight difference in favor of the WD, but it's not even close to being worth the $20 price difference.

Yes. The 5970 is essentially two 5870 (1 GB) GPUs on a single card. The cores have been slightly downclocked, which can be reveresed. To put it this way, a 5870 2 GB can play Crysis with max details at 1920x1080 (one monitor). A single 5970 can play Crysis with max details at 5760x1080 (three monitors or Eyefinity). A gaming build that's got a budget of mroe than $1,300 isn't living up to it's potential if it doesn't have 5970 in it.

The only things that are faster than a single 5970 are Crossfired 5870s ($800 for 1 GB or $1,000 for 2 GB) and the upcoming Asus 5870x2 ($1,200 MSRP). Even then, they're barely faster.
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July 19, 2010 7:19:36 PM

Everything has bassically been mentioned by Madmiral

But why all going ati? For your uses CUDA could prove to be a good upgrade. Not to mention 480s have a greater upgrade path than any curent ATI gpu solution.

Also I wouldn't get a haf 922 for a build like this. It's good bang for buck but when going this high end get I'd get something like this.http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 19, 2010 7:25:44 PM

OK, here is my new build based on your advice--much cheaper. Please let me know what you think.

PART LIST:
[Chassis] -- COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

[Motherboard] -- GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

[Processor] -- Intel Core i7-960 Bloomfield 3.2GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

**Would you suggest AMD processor since you said that this Intel socket is dead? How upgradeable would an AMD mobo be, and how useful for my gaming? Not familiar with AMD at all.**

[Graphics Card] -- SAPPHIRE 100280SR Radeon HD 5970 (Hemlock) 2GB 512 (256 x 2)-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

[Power Supply] -- PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II PPCMK2S950 950W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

[Memory] -- [[2x]] G.SKILL Trident 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-16000CL9T-6GBTD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

[Internal Hard Drive] -- SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

**Your suggestion, but I left out the SSD since it seems odd to have both--no need for it really unless it adds some specific boost to gaming that is worth several hundred dollars.**

[CD/DVD Burner] -- LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Writer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

**Buddy recommends this one, and it's only 9.99 more than yours.**

[Display] -- Hanns-G HZ281HPB 27.5'' 3ms Full HD 1080P HDMI WideScreen LCD Monitor 400cd/m2 X-Contrast 15,000:1(800:1)Built-in Speakers
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

[Processor Cooler] -- Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

[OS] -- Windows XP for now, as soon as I get the other two monitors for Eyefinity, I will have to upgrade to Windows 7.



***As far as why I am going ATI--I want to use Eyefinity :) . nVidia cards dont support it.***
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July 19, 2010 7:27:19 PM

total here is about 2600 btw
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a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2010 7:29:49 PM

The thing about AMD is that they're not as powerful. They are a lot cheaper. The AM3 socket woudl be much more upgradable, as AMD's going to use it for the next couple of years.

I'm not saying the 980X isn't a good CPU, it's just that I wouldn't want to pay $1,000 for a CPU that's obsolete next year. I'd highly consider getting the 930 instead and picking up a 980 later on when the price plumments.

A SSD doesn't add much to gaming, but it makes the computer see a lot faster. I don't tend to recommend them because they are really, really expensive.
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July 19, 2010 7:34:38 PM

Why would you want eyefinity? I really really don't see the point of 6 screens.

I mean why would you want more than 3? On this build nvidia seems to be a no-brainer. 2 480s or 470s, 3 screens for surround gaming and CUDA support.
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July 19, 2010 7:37:02 PM

nVidia supports multi screen gaming? i could use 3 screens? The only question then is will dual 470s or 480s be less expensive than a single 5970?
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a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2010 7:40:23 PM

Technically, Eyefinity also refers to three screens. That's why all of the 5xxx GPUs support Eyefinity, but only a few (HD 5850 Eyefinity 6, some of the 5870s and the 5970) support six screens.

If I'm not mistaken, I believe the 4xx cards support multiple monitors as well. I'm still hesitant to recommend them unless the OP is sure the programs used benefit from CUDA and such as the prices for the 480 is very high, the cards don't perform all that great, they require massive amounts of power and they produce a lot of heat.

Dual 470s will cost a little less ($40-80) than the 5970, but not perform as well. Dual 480s will cost more ($220-$320), and perform about the same.
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July 19, 2010 7:43:10 PM

MadAdmiral--which would you choose for yourself? Single 5970 or dual 480/470's? I am obviously a n00b when it comes to building, so I am perfectly willing to take advice.
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July 19, 2010 7:43:45 PM

I want 3 screens for games on maximum settings for the cheapest price on the most reliable card(s). --Initially I will have only one monitor, but soon i can add 2 more.
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July 19, 2010 7:45:04 PM

Yeah nvidia supports 3 screen gaming of an sli setup whereas ati supports 6-screen gaming of a single card. But I frankly never saw the point of 6 screen gaming nor gaming on multiple screens of a single card(with the exeption of a 5970). So IMO ati doesn't really have an advantage there.

Dual 470s will cost the pretty much the same as a 5970, be quite a bit faster, support CUDA(significant for you) and be less effiecient(this also translates to more heat but fermi can withstand insane temps so that isn't a real issue). And depending on the mobo 470s will have a better upgrade path than a 5970 or worse without the approriate mobo.

480s will cost you more and will be even faster and even less efficient. They're far from the bang for buck the 470s are but if you want the best this is it. This will have a slightly better upgrade path than 5970s with any mobo and with an appropraite one a far far better upgrade path.

As I've mentioned Nvidia is the way to go IMO. the amazing sli scaling and CUDA support gives them the edge over ati.
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July 19, 2010 7:46:59 PM

Somebody_007--What is Cuda? I dont really get what that means. How does it specifically help gaming?

And if the cards are so muuch less efficient and heat producing, will I need a larger power supply and more fans/cooling?
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July 19, 2010 7:49:59 PM

also--with a single ATI card i could use 3 monitors, but can I with nVIDIA? You mention that it supports 3 monitors in SLI, but that means dual cards, right?

The 5970 can do 3 monitors on its own, right?
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July 19, 2010 8:07:07 PM

I'm not exactly sure how CUDA works but I think it's simply an architaecture nvidia uses which boosts the GPU/CPU communication which improves performance in some proffesional apps. Including CS5 and maya maybe the other you mentioned aswell I'm not sure. It doesn't improve gaming but if your into high end visuals It's a nice touch to an already good GPU solution.

As for the heat, if you aren't planning on OCing the stock cooler will do more than fine. Even if you want to OC a little the stock cooler will handle it but beware of the noise that will be accompanied with it(at stock the 480 is quieter than a 5970 though although only marginallly).

Get a custom cooled solution however and all your troubles will go away. But what I've just mentioned applies for both ATI and Nvidia. Fermi may be hotter but as I said it can handle heat better than ati so it's kind of neglectable. So no between a 5970 and 480 there shouldn't really be a difference in your cooling solution. Although a 480 setup may heat a up the entire case by a few degrees more than the 5970.

Yes you will need a large psu however. I reccomend 850w for 470sli, 950 for 480 sli. And 1250w for 480 4-way

Yes you cannot run 3 screens of a single nvidia card. But you can run 3 screens of a 5970. But I wouldn't go 3 screen of a single gpu either way so I don't really see that as a concern.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2010 8:17:47 PM

All of nVidia's special features do absolutely nothing for gaming. They do wonders for other applications though.

The problem with asking me what I would build is that my uses are different from yours. I don't do any rendering, etc. I just play games. If my goal was to get great three monitor gaming at as cheap as possible, I'd go with the 5970.
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July 19, 2010 8:30:03 PM

They got 3D which is bad bad bad xD Ati should have 3D too :p 
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July 19, 2010 8:47:13 PM

MadAdmiral said:
All of nVidia's special features do absolutely nothing for gaming. They do wonders for other applications though.

The problem with asking me what I would build is that my uses are different from yours. I don't do any rendering, etc. I just play games. If my goal was to get great three monitor gaming at as cheap as possible, I'd go with the 5970.


Couldn't agree more.

i5 750 + 5970 is the most viable solution there is for a 3 screen gaming setup. Although I find 5970s a little to expensive for what you get in the USA they are cheaper here in Belgium.

But considering you've got x58 and you'll be making use of CUDA I think nvidia wins here.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2010 9:04:49 PM

The price on them fell today. All of $20...

I personally always theought they were decently priced at $700. I mean, you're essentially getting $800 worth of GPUs (two 5870s on a single card after all) for $700..
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July 19, 2010 9:23:09 PM

true but realistically your only getting 550-600dollars worth of performance. Granted a 5970 will OC like a charm and yeah it's got a better upgrade path if you haven't got x58 but I you plan on building a system and leaving it the way you built it for the rest of it's life then I don't see the point of a 5970. It all just depends on what you will do with your system.
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July 20, 2010 1:41:16 AM

This might help you understand what CUDA is, and how it will benefit your needs, and more specifically with the software you'll be working with.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_whats_new.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CUDA

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-cuda-gpgpu,2...

Considering you are going to be gaming AND using software like Maya, Cinema 4D, After Effects and Illustrator, NVIDIA's benefits are something you have to research further, before deciding, since this isn't strictly a gaming machine.

I will share some articles and benchmarks, but go out and find other forums, other articles, and other benchmarks yourself, and make your own conclusions.

2 GTX 470's in SLI - I'm not sure where the idea comes from that the 5970 crushes 2 470's, which is simply not true, in some games, yes, all across the board? not likely - there are many games that 2 470's are far superior.

Don't take my word for it, check out these benchmarks:
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-470-2-3-way-s...

Take into consideration which specific games you are going to play, and look at those benchmarks closely and see if they favor NVIDIA or if they favor ATI.

NVIDIA also has PHYSX technology for gaming:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/physx_new.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PhysX

GeForce GPUs are designed to boost performance of Adobe Creative Suite 5, and are even certified by Adobe to give you an idea...

When it comes to CS5 for example, this heavily favors NVIDIA's CUDA support by design, since NVIDIA works closely with some software developers to optimize that software environment. Even Nero added CUDA support for their rendering engine.

You should read all these articles and do more research on CUDA & PHYSX and how it will benefit your specific needs before you choose a 5970 for your build, if after doing all that research, getting a better understanding of the benefits of CUDA & PHYSX, and how it will benefit you in your software enviroment, if you still choose a 5970 then at least you've done your research, and know you've made the right decision.

Also, you may want to look for some new benchmarks that have NVIDIA's latest drivers installed, as you will see a noticeable improved difference.

Last but not least - Madadmiral gave you some good advice on getting the i7-930, which you can easily overclock to 4.0 GHZ, I've seen it overclocked as high as 4.5 with water cooling, and will of course exceed the performance of the i7 960 at stock, and save you over $250, possibly $350 if you live near a microcenter and can pick one up for $199.

I agree with pretty much everything else that was recommended, especially the NH-D14, that's one monster cooler, that runs VERY quiet.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 20, 2010 3:36:20 AM

I agree that nVidia would be beneficial for uses other than gaming, but it's not a good choice for gaming. While the special features of nVidia cards (CUDA, PhysX, etc.) are great for non-gaming applications, none of them are relevant to gaming, and really never have been. Few games use PhysX and even fewer will in the future.

While it's true that you can't say that the 5970 wins across the board, it certainly wins the majority of times. I'll point out that the majority of games used for benchmarking are programed to favor nVidia cards. That doesn't mean nVidia is better, it just means the standard games used for benchmarking favor their cards. Also, don't forget that anything over 60 FPS is irrelevant as you can't see that on standard monitors.

I highly recommend researching the specific programs you use to make sure they make good use of CUDA. If they don't, there is no point in buying the nVidia cards. No one can really tell you exactly what you need to buy. We can give you ideas and what to look for in general. However, it's your money, so you need to do your own research to make sure it fits your needs perfectly.
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July 20, 2010 3:47:18 AM

MadAdmiral said:
While the special features of nVidia cards (CUDA, PhysX, etc.) are great for non-gaming applications, none of them are relevant to gaming, and really never have been. Few games use PhysX and even fewer will in the future.


Honestly - I don't think you fully understand what PHYSX is, or what CUDA is for that matter - PHYSX is for gaming - not applications. By your own admission, you don't really know the benefits that NVIDIA has to offer, and your builds are focused on gaming only.

MadAdmiral said:
All of nVidia's special features do absolutely nothing for gaming. They do wonders for other applications though.

The problem with asking me what I would build is that my uses are different from yours. I don't do any rendering, etc. I just play games. If my goal was to get great three monitor gaming at as cheap as possible, I'd go with the 5970.


you shouldn't recommend to people YOUR uses and YOUR preferences, when they are not relevant to the OP's OVERALL needs.

He is going to be working with graphics applications, remember? He is not just gaming.

Perhaps you should read the articles that I linked to, before you say that NVIDIA wouldn't suit his needs, where in fact, they will benefit HIS needs greatly.

I am merely pointing out to him that he NEEDS to research HIS options, before taking other people's word for it and going with a 5970 blindly, without knowing the full story.

Not a lot of games support PHYSX?

http://www.nzone.com/object/nzone_physxgames_all.html

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1141844

Plus, have you mentioned the fact that NVIDIA has 3 Monitor 3D Surround for gaming? Something ATI doesn't.

All I'm saying is - let HIM do HIS research before taking advice from someone who doesn't really understand the whole story, or see the bigger picture.

No, I'm not interested in a flame war with you again, just trying to help the OP.

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July 20, 2010 7:35:10 AM

MadAdmiral said:


While it's true that you can't say that the 5970 wins across the board, it certainly wins the majority of times. I'll point out that the majority of games used for benchmarking are programed to favor nVidia cards. That doesn't mean nVidia is better, it just means the standard games used for benchmarking favor their cards. Also, don't forget that anything over 60 FPS is irrelevant as you can't see that on standard monitors.



Wowww. Let's get somethiung straight here 470 sli destroys a 5970.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-470-2-3-way-s...

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

As you said depending on which brand the game favors nvidia or ati will win. But lets just face the fact that more games favor nvidia. And that 470 sli is downright faster than a 5970 even without the new drivers which improve performance significantly. It's cheaper and has the nvidia feature set. It is however less efficientbut it does provide a better upgrade path with the approriate mobo. This is unbiased and correct info as you can see from the benchmarks I posted. I can grasp why people reccomend a 5970 for an i5 750 due to the upgrade path and OC capability. But in x58 I don't see why ati should even be considered.

Let's just face the fact that ati was mopping the floor with nvidia for a while. And now nvidia made a comeback with it's "thermi" which was amazing. And as I predicted they are now refining thermi and ati will kicked out of the game. The 460 is only the beginning. If they can bring that efficiency to a 480, you've got a MUCH faster, cooler and less power hungry 480. Or in other words they can pack a better card in less space. Which means they can pack a much much better card in the same space.

Nvidia strikes back and they strike back hard
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a b 4 Gaming
July 20, 2010 12:29:12 PM

@kg: Did you happen to not read anything of what I said? I said that all the special features of nVidia cards, such as CUDA and PhysX, aren't that useful for games. The listing was just a lead in to explain what the special features are, not to specifically say CUDA is for gaming. CUDA has absolutely no impact on gaming. PhysX is largely irrelevant. There may be games out there that use it, but none of them absolutely require it.

I didn't recommend that the OP get the 5970. I specifically said that my uses would be different from theirs, which is exactly what you're complaining that I didn't say.

I didn't need to point out that nVidia does three screens too. Someone else did. As for 3D gaming, it's not relevant and won't be for several years. The technology is too new and isn't used to make the games, so the games that you force into 3D don't look right.

I also said that the OP needs to do their own research.

Do you read ANYTHING that someone else posts?

@somebody: The problem with 470 SLI is the amount of heat and power it puts out. You simply can't do much to tweak it. The 5970 will beat it once you start overclocking. Also, you lost the upgrade path by starting with dual 470s.

The reason people still recommend the 5970 for the X58 is because it's still the best card out there. The exact same reasons why it's good for the i5-750 is why it's good for the i7. It's upgrade potential (even better with true 16x/16x lanes) and power give it's recommendation.

I don't consider the 470 or 480 true options outside of multi-purpose builds (which I why I've told the OP to do their research...), as the high cost, low performance, high power usage and massive heat output simply doesn't make them attractive. Obviously, if these factors change, then the recommendation could change. Right now, that's not the case and I'm just not holding my breath.

The 460 is the only nVidia card I could recommend, and it's placed in a very poor position (any budget that could afford it, you could afford a better card). It has the same problem as the 5830 had.
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July 20, 2010 12:45:17 PM

True the fermi's OC capability is limited at best and if OCing is on your mind a 5970 might be a better option but very few people including me don't OC their GPU. And if they do most don't do it drastically enough to notice the limitations of the 470 or the strengths if the 5970.

Yeah the 5970 does have a better upgrade path with the ud3r but if you go with the RIIIE which is a pretty good idea you can go quad sli and then you have a better upgrade path. True you need an addon but considering the high cost of 5970s It's worth buying. And yes the cards are power hungry but the amount that will cost you in the long run isn't enough to close the price gap between 470 sli and a 5970. Thus 470 sli is hotter, cheaper, more upgradeable, more feauture rich and faster than a 5970. In conslucion unless you plan on heavy OCs I think 470 sli is a no-brainer.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 20, 2010 1:16:37 PM

Dual 470s are more upgradeable? Are you serious? Adding the third and fourth GPU aren't cost effective. You gain very little performance for a high price. Don't forget that even on X58 boards, the third and fourth slots (if the board has them) usually only run at 8x, possibly lower. That means it cuts into the performance already. Don't forget that for three 470s, you'd need a 1100W PSU, and for four you'd need 1300-1400W. That's an insane price to pay for a PSU to gain almost no performance. Frankly, I don't consider anything over two cards an option, no matter what cards they might be.

The price gap between two 470s and a 5970 is at most $60. The power usage is going to be around 200W (estimating, based on the guideline that you add 200W per card, and they both need an 850W PSU for dual cards). We're not talking about the 1-4W that you get from low wattage RAM. That's a pretty large power difference. The life of the cards are hopefully long enough that that would matter.

It still remains that the dual 470s isn't that cost effective. You save a little up front, but shell out a lot in terms of power and wear based on the heat. They're less upgradeable, and (excluding CUDA) the features do nothing for you.
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July 20, 2010 1:27:30 PM

Lol I meant CUDA exluding it is kind of lame.

And yes adding 470s isn't cost effective but neither is adding a 5970.

Considering you pay 100percent more for a 65percent performance increase. I haven't seen any benchmarks for nvidia 3-way or 4-way but considering their high percentage scaling reputation I'm pretty sure it's more than 65percent. So that is in no way an argument to back up a 5970. Although you may find 3 or 4 cards a taboe it is a possibility and definately one that should considered. So yes if the OP doesn't have a weird hate of 3-4 cards than 470s are more upgradeable.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 20, 2010 1:35:16 PM

That 65% is only for the second card. It goes down dramatically after that. Tom's regularly does a review of 3-way CF and SLI. It's pretty damning for three cards. If I recall correctly, 3 480s actually didn't do anything noticeable over two.

Here's the article: GTX 480 3-way SLI. I'm not confident in those numbers. There's some fishy things going on in some of the benchmarks.
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July 20, 2010 1:46:34 PM

Yeah there are multiple reviews like that but they are done with the initial drivers which were obviously not focused on 3-way sli that's why the increase is relatively bad. So you can't really tell how 3-way or 4-way sli performs but sli has always scaled better crossfire so I can only guess that 470 3-way 4-way scales better than quadfire(dual 5970).
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a b 4 Gaming
July 20, 2010 1:50:42 PM

That may be true, but I don't think the overall power would be more. You could add a third GTX card and it would get a higher percentage gain in performance than the second 5970, but I'd be willing to bet that the dual 5970s would have more FPS in total. I have yet to find a review with dual 5970s though, so I can't say for sure.

The driver point is valid, but I'll point out that ATI has the head start on the drivers. They had a good 4-6 months head start on getting data from real users that nVidia did not.

EDIT: Tom's also included 480 SLI in the Asus Ares review. No 3-way, but that offers a good update for both 480 SLI and CF 5870 (2 GB).
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a b 4 Gaming
July 20, 2010 3:28:28 PM

I find it interesting that the 480 scales better for the second card (78.7% vs. 70.9%, if I'm reading it right), but the 5870 scales better for the third card (46.9% vs. 27.2%). I also think that the 65.5% for dual 5970s is really good.
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July 20, 2010 3:31:21 PM

thats due to the drivers I think. I presume the new drivers make 3-way scale far better than tri-fire
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a b 4 Gaming
July 20, 2010 3:40:52 PM

Maybe, but ATI's released new drivers recently as well. I can't say for sure that was in the update, but it's possible.

I largely don't consider drivers much of a game changer, assuming they don't break things (see nVidia's driver update that burned out their cards right before Fermi came out). Both companies are improving their drivers and making the cards perform better. There may be differences at specific points in time, but int he long run the differences disappear, making the drivers about equal.
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July 20, 2010 6:23:22 PM

This is a nice gaming debate and all - without taking into consideration his other software uses - keep in mind the software he is going to use as WELL, which seem to be very graphics oriented where CUDA will be beneficial.

Also, dual 5970's is a $1400 price to pay - where as dual 470's is $700, maybe less, depending on which brand he goes with.

Stay focused on the OVERALL needs of the build, instead of being focused just on GAMING.

The OP updated his comments

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Need gaming rig to handle ANY game at top settings with no hiccups, including CRYSIS, Metro 2033, Bioshock 1 & 2, Singularity, Fallout 3, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, Halflife 3 (or whatever they will call it, Episode 3?)—and any future games. Need it to handle Illustrator, Photoshop, Maya, Cinema 4D, Combustion, After Effects, and Final Cut Pro seamlessly. Need high level of upgradeability. Need low noise and lower temperatures.

Final Cut Pro will not run on windows, since it's exclusive to the MAC - the windows alternative is Adobe Premiere Pro, which is EXCELLENT and is built on the same engine as Final Cut Pro. They are nearly identical.

I do all my editing on Adobe Premiere, and if you've never used it before, I would suggest that you buy some tutorials from Lynda.com or something, and work on the projects they guide you through, this is how I learned, and it really cuts down the learning curve BIG TIME. I normally play around with software and figure it out, when it comes to Premiere getting tutorials is a definite must.

So it looks like he'll be working with CS5 ( Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere Pro ), where which card will make better use of it? let's see if you've been paying attention... It goes beyond CUDA as OpenGL 3.2 support is also NECESSARY with After Effects.

http://forums.adobe.com/message/2790577

PAY ATTENTION TO THIS ARTICLE
http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2009/12/14/adobes-...!.aspx

Quote:

In order to harness the power of GPU, Adobe took one step back, though. Unlike the OpenGL effects Adobe was using in Creative Suite 4, resulting in sub-optimal acceleration for some GPUs, Premiere Pro CS5 is being built using nVidia CUDA software architecture. Yes, this singlehandedly gives the Adobe CS5 market to nVidia but given the share of nVidia Quadro boards versus ATI FirePro - we can't say we're surprised.

The reason for this decision wasn't a move akin to "The Way It's Meant To Be Played" affairs such as Batmangate or Assassin's Creed, but something more simpler: Adobe needed a stable software toolkit to work on it and according to Dennis: "The 64-bit native code has been announced and now we bring in NVIDIA CUDA technology to be the icing on the cake and a powerful new engine to squeeze out performance in Premiere Pro. Before I wax philosophic on GPU, let me officially tip my hat to the incredible engineers at Adobe and their work here for the Mercury Playback Engine."

If you are wondering what is the real deal with GPGPU API's, there is a telling tale of why Adobe opted to base its Mercury Engine on nVidia's CUDA language. While AMD will tell you that they're all for open standards and push OpenCL, the sad truth is that the company representatives will remain shut when you ask them about the real status of their OpenCL API - especially if you quote them a lead developer from a AAA software company with 10x more employees than AMD themselves that goes something like this: "I struggled to even get ATI's beta drivers installed and working, it was just problem after problem. Maybe once ATI gets their drivers out of beta and actually allow you to install them then I will have some performance numbers. I mean at this point AMD is so far behind in development tools they are not even worth pursuing right now."


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July 20, 2010 6:41:43 PM

You don't have to convince me lol. In my eyes ati died on the 12th of July.
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July 20, 2010 6:45:58 PM

he he - it's not you I am speaking to ;)  - we're on the same page - that GTX 460 really stirred things up, I can't wait to get mine!

The OP needs a balanced system for HIS needs - and ATI is not going to give him that balance, ESPECIALLY if he's going to be working with Adobe Premiere.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 20, 2010 6:46:50 PM

The comparision isn't dual 5970s to dual 470s. It'd dual 5970s to 3-way 480s ($1,500 at least).

And we've already said that the nVidia cards would be better for gaming. We've just been out on a tangent. Look 20(ish) posts above this, and I state explicitly that dual 470s/480s would be a better use for this build. You'd know that if you actually read other people's posts instead of trying to start a flame war...
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July 20, 2010 6:49:11 PM

MadAdmiral said:
The comparision isn't dual 5970s to dual 470s. It'd dual 5970s to 3-way 480s ($1,500 at least).

And we've already said that the nVidia cards would be better for gaming. We've just been out on a tangent. Look 20(ish) posts above this, and I state explicitly that dual 470s/480s would be a better use for this build. You'd know that if you actually read other people's posts instead of trying to start a flame war...


Flame war? - most of your posts talk about the 5970 5970 5970 and the 5970 - and you also talk about how the 470 SLI is inferior to the 5970, which is simply not the case. I must've missed the odd post where you pointed that out, it's hard to follow when you write contradictory stuff like this.

MadAdmiral said:
I agree that nVidia would be beneficial for uses other than gaming, but it's not a good choice for gaming.


My apologies to you that I missed that post - my only goal here was to point out that NVIDIA's features wiill greatly benefit the OP for his other software environments, especially with Premiere Pro. @OP - Final Cut Pro does not work on Windows, and Premiere Pro is really the Final Cut pro solution for Windows, built upon the Final Cut Pro engine.

Premiere 5 is optimized to work with CUDA, and Adobe left ATI out of the equation, not to mention OpenGL support for other apps such as After Effects
http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2009/12/14/adobes-...!.aspx

Plus, there's some interesting info here:
http://forums.adobe.com/message/2790577

--------------

Now - back to your original discussion I guess - what about 3-way 470's vs Dual 5970's?

That would be around $1,050 for 3-way 470's, and not as power hungry as 3-way 480's.

Plus, since we all agree NVIDIA is the way to go now - does he really need 3 way 470's or 480's?

IMO Dual 470's is likely the best way to go @ $700 roughly.

This ASUS card is $315 right now x2 = $630
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Does he even need the added 3-way horse power, EXTRA HEAT, plus the added costs, since Liquid Cooling would have to be in place? Along with a very large PSU.
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July 20, 2010 7:43:19 PM

let's just end this discussion we're all more than familiar with the facts. Why just look at them in a different why. Fermi has lots of pros and lots of cons. For almost every use the pros outweigh the cons, the same for kg2010 and madadmiral thinks differently. And that's fine what would the world be if everyone agreed? But we all agree nvidia is the way to go here so let's go from there.

So let's begin:

GPU: I like to start with a single card as it leaves an upgrade path. So if you want an upgrade path then I'd get a 470(probably underkill: lags with me on metro and gta), 480 or MARS II(I can't express the coolness of this card in words, but it's comparable to a murcielago in a world of fiats. this will come out soon don't know the exact date)

as for the mobo: are you ever planning on ever going 4-way 470 or 4-way 480?

if so you can choose between a RIIIE with an addon, the older evga 4-way(I don't reccomend it as you'll need sataIII in the future and usb3 aswell, and unneccesarily populating pci slots is plain stupid), and the insanely expensive and effiecient ud9.

if not you can choose between all the rest: I reccomend the RIIIE or the ga x58a ud7
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July 20, 2010 7:46:46 PM

Hey somebody,

For the mobo, what about the MSI Big Bang? $300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Plus, this ASUS card is $315 right now x2 = $630
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This board will definitely support 3 Dual Slot cards, plus it has 6 PCI-E slots for almost any type of configuration.

This is the board I wanted originally - but for my needs, it was overkill.

UPDATE: This board comes with some interesting combos

MSI Big Bang + i7 930 + Metro 2033 free = $564.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Another combo

MSI Big Bang + MSI 470 + Metro 2033 free = $559.98 + $40 rebates.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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July 20, 2010 7:52:45 PM

I'm a pretty narrow minded guy and tend to stick with the big names.

I hate the looks of that board looks very very cheap. I don't like the pci locks either. They look so flimsy. I also would have liked to have seen a third heatpipe. But other than those prejudiced comments it seems to be agreat board ;) 

if you like it go for it
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July 20, 2010 8:01:20 PM

Somebody_007 said:
I'm a pretty narrow minded guy and tend to stick with the big names.

I hate the looks of that board looks very very cheap. I don't like the pci locks either. They look so flimsy. I also would have liked to have seen a third heatpipe. But other than those prejudiced comments it seems to be agreat board ;) 

if you like it go for it


he he - check out the reviews for this board - it's getting some rave reviews
http://www.guru3d.com/article/msi-big-bang-x58-xpower-r...

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/msi_bigbbang_xp...
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July 20, 2010 8:18:39 PM

Yeah I know it's a good board I read most reviews when it came out, but I'm stubborn and I doubt you'll be able change that.

So if you're not biased like me then take it into consideration.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 20, 2010 8:21:37 PM

I'd balk at paying $300 bucks for a non-Asus/Gigabyte board. Frankly, I'd balk at paying $300 for a board.

I really don't see the point of going to three video cards, much less four. I still think the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R ($200, or in some great combos like the one I posted really early on with the PC Power & Cooling PSU) would still be excellent.
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July 20, 2010 8:39:02 PM

I agree with both of you in that regard, the Big Bang was simply an option.

Besides dual 470's should suit him nicely - and the ud3r is a great mobo, with the right PSU to go with it. Just make sure to get one of the PSU's from this list to avoid dealing with that reported hissing sound that some boards report.
http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1035302454&postcoun...
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