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[New Build] Help needed. $900 - $1K AMD Nvidia GTX 460 Dual SLI Build

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July 31, 2010 4:03:27 AM

Hello all,
I'm new here but have been an avid fan and have been reading this forum now for a couple weeks.

I'm going to challenge you guys here on this one, I'm sure. Especially with my budget but I think this can be done. The long and short of it is I am looking to build an AMD Phenom II 955/965 system with dual (2) SLI Nvidia GTX 460s (1gb version only please) to support a 5760X1200 3 monitor NV Surround setup. Don't worry about the monitors, I'm going to deal with that separately.

Oh my budget is $1000, and honestly I would prefer to spend less, like around $900 if possible.

Here is what I am thinking so far:


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:
Soon

BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: 600-800)
Max $1000, prefer $900

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
One purpose, 5760 X 1200 Nvidia NV Surround gaming on 3 monitors

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
I need nothing but the actual computer, no accessories, no keyboard, etc

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
Cheapest

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
USA

PARTS PREFERENCES:
- AMD Phenom 2 955 or 965 (why do people here almost always chose the 955 over the 965?)
- Dual (2) Nvidia GTX 460 in SLI (Must be 1GB versions)

OVERCLOCKING:
Not sure I will need to with the graphical horsepower I'd be getting from the SLI setup but it would be great if it's tweakable in the future to OC both the CPU and the 2 GPUs with quick software OCing, no hardware required

SLI OR CROSSFIRE:
Yes, SLI

MONITOR RESOLUTION:
5760X1200 (NV Surround)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (e.g.: Need to have a window and lots of bling, I would like a quiet PC)
I really don't care about how anything looks including the case. I only care about performance, performance, performance. I want high quality parts for all internals that are values as far as price. :-)
July 31, 2010 4:22:02 AM

The only thing I am not sure about is the PSU. Someone else would know better if a 650w psu can do 460 sli and OC.

ASUS 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X 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 LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2x
Palit NE5X460SF1102 GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Sonic 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
10% off w/ promo code EMCYVNV39
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 996782
$20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Combos:

ASUS M4N98TD EVO AM3 NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI ATX AMD Motherboard
and
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
and
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ...
15$ MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Total: $993.83 without MIRs, 978.83 with MIRs.
July 31, 2010 4:28:35 AM

One more thing I'd like to add. I'm a little embarrassed of this, but I've never put together a computer. So could you please make sure to include all parts I will need. And I mean all of the internals. Such as power supply, or anything else I might need. I'm still a little nervous, but I figure if I run into problems hooking all of this up, I can get help here.
Related resources
July 31, 2010 4:38:39 AM

Duk3:
Couple things on your recommendation. I would prefer any brand other than Palit. For some reason, the Newegg reviews on that particular GTX 460 card are worse than all the others. Issues with heat, and loudness it sounds like. Is that true? Also is the Barracuda as good as a Spinpoint I've heard so much about?

UPDATE: I've done some more research on the Palit GTX 460. It sounds like Palit acknowledged that they did a bait and switch with the samples they sent for early reviews which had a heatsink the final product doesn't have. I definitely want to stay away from Palit :-)
July 31, 2010 4:48:50 AM

The Barracuda 7200.12 is essentially the same as the Spinpoint F3, I believe that the Barracuda is better for games, so I recommend it for gaming builds.

I also saw those reviews, however I partially disregarded them as newegg reviewers will complain no matter what and are often incorrect and also there is a 10% discount on those particular cards, pushing the price down ~$40.
I would either switch to this gigabyte card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or this evga card when it comes back in stock: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... .

However these will push your total to 1,004.83 with rebates, so I disregarded them.
In my opinion, you should spend the extra $5 over your budget :p 
a c 80 Î Nvidia
July 31, 2010 4:58:23 AM

I also would not buy Palit. EVGA or Gigabyte are much better choices. Palit sent different cards to retailers than to review sites then made up excuses on their newegg responses.
The Spinpoint F3 is about the same as the Seagate and the new WD Black series. All have 500GB platters.
That Antec PSU is even more than is needed for 2 x GTX460s. However it will not hurt to have it and with the 300 Illusion ( my favorite case under $100 ) is a great combo deal.
If you plan on overclocking you would need a cooler and some thermal compound as well. The Hyper 212 is a great cooler for the price. You may actually find this cheaper elsewhere if you look around some.

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

And for a TIM I like IC Diamond 7.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7038/thr-41/Innovatio...
July 31, 2010 5:06:02 AM

Most people pick the 955 over the 965 because the 965 is basically a factory overclocked 955. Since both are BE and have unlocked multipliers, you should save the money and buy the 955 and just up the multiplier.
a c 80 Î Nvidia
July 31, 2010 5:08:20 AM

^ +1

It will overclock that far even with the stock heatsink/thermal compound.
July 31, 2010 5:11:53 AM

Memoscorp said:
Most people pick the 955 over the 965 because the 965 is basically a factory overclocked 955. Since both are BE and have unlocked multipliers, you should save the money and buy the 955 and just up the multiplier.


That's the reason why! I was wondering. Thank you! Ok question on the overclocking of the 955. You have to understand that I have never assembled a computer before, so that part is challenging enough for me :na:  Can you tell me how difficult it is to change the multipliers on a 955? What is involved with that? Is it software?

Also any other system build recommendations, looking to reduce the cost a bit more! :D 
a c 80 Î Nvidia
July 31, 2010 5:28:56 AM

Hate to add this if you are trying to reduce costs but I have not seen Windows listed in any of the builds.....have to add $100 if you do not have a copy. Windows 7 x64 Home Premium would be best.
July 31, 2010 5:36:09 AM

Seattleguy2000 said:
PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
I need nothing but the actual computer, no accessories, no keyboard, etc


I read that as he needs no OS. I might be wrong though.
July 31, 2010 5:43:54 AM

So sorry, yes I do indeed need W7HP. I will pick up the OEM version, which from reading this forum is preferable. That makes it a bit higher, which is why I'm still open to other build suggestions that might be cheaper. But thank you Duke, your ideas are great!
a c 80 Î Nvidia
July 31, 2010 6:22:37 AM

Ok really glad I looked at that build again........that motherboard does not support SLI only Crossfire. Let me see what we can do.
July 31, 2010 6:24:55 AM

With a bit of changing of parts around, I was able to get the cost to about $1,117.15 (Including the $30 Hyper 212+) with OS. The only loss is the x16/x16 SLI and x8/x8 shouldn't make very much difference with the 460gtx.

Get rid of the motherboard/CPU combo and instead get this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

And then you can add the processor, an x4 955:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Of course, with the CPU without a combo, you could change it to something cheaper like an x4 940 BE OEM (since you are getting a CPU cooler anyways).
This CPU however can't be overclocked as well as the x4 955.
The total with that CPU is 1,075 (Including the $30 Hyper 212+)

If this is too far over budget, I think that maybe looking at a build with a 5870 or dual 5830s is probably the next step.

EDIT:
anort3 said:
Ok really glad I looked at that build again........that motherboard does not support SLI only Crossfire. Let me see what we can do.
Uh... What build are you looking at?
The motherboards I have linked (ASUS M4N98TD EVO AM3 NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI and the ASUS M4N75TD AM3 NVIDIA nForce 750a SLI ) both definitely support SLI...
a c 80 Î Nvidia
July 31, 2010 6:36:26 AM

duk3 said:
With a bit of changing of parts around, I was able to get the cost to about $1,117.15 (Including the $30 Hyper 212+) with OS. The only loss is the x16/x16 SLI and x8/x8 shouldn't make very much difference with the 460gtx.

Get rid of the motherboard/CPU combo and instead get this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

And then you can add the processor, an x4 955:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Of course, with the CPU without a combo, you could change it to something cheaper like an x4 940 BE OEM (since you are getting a CPU cooler anyways).
This CPU however can't be overclocked as well as the x4 955.
The total with that CPU is 1,075 (Including the $30 Hyper 212+)

If this is too far over budget, I think that maybe looking at a build with a 5870 or dual 5830s is probably the next step.

EDIT:Uh... What build are you looking at?
The motherboards I have linked (ASUS M4N98TD EVO AM3 NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI and the ASUS M4N75TD AM3 NVIDIA nForce 750a SLI ) both definitely support SLI...



Sorry man you are right. I had another tab open.
July 31, 2010 5:39:00 PM

No problem.
How much are you spending on the monitors?
July 31, 2010 7:32:40 PM

He needs windows 7 OEM in the price.
July 31, 2010 8:07:12 PM

anort3 said:
Looking at your monitor resolution again I have to say I am not sure anything will run at 5760x1200 with 2 x GTX460s. That kind of resolution is going to take a much more expensive setup. As you can see here at 2560x1600 some games are only getting 65 fps even with 2 x GTX 480s.


Hello I'm back on for today. Something you said above is troubling me. Now you know of all of those many, many, many Youtube videos out there showing Eyefinity running on people's 3-monitor computers quite well at 5760X1200 using an ATI 5850 or 5870 single card? I know you've probably seen them. Now this GTX 460 SLI has literally 50% more FPS in most games than even the ATI 5870. So how can you tell me that games won't be playable at the same resolution? You're either telling me that you think Nvidia NV Surround is inferior to Eyefinity. Is it? Opinions please. If it is, I need to know. Or you're relying on those bench marks which all run on super high settings where the Eyefinity Youtube videos probably have their settings on Good and not Super High. What are everybody's thoughts on this? I mean they are saying that a 460 SLI has as much or power horsepower than a GTX 480 or HD 5970.
July 31, 2010 9:03:00 PM

What games are you going to play?
July 31, 2010 9:45:37 PM

duk3 said:
What games are you going to play?


I was thinking all of the standard Eyefinity games you see being demonstrated that I know support 5760X1200. I love Hawx (looking forward to Hawx 2), Dirt II, Modern Warfare, Battlefield. You know, all the standard Eyefinity games. The only reason I am considering this 460 SLI versus an AMD 58XX is because the 460 SLI is such a value for 2 cards, and it's performance puts it at 5970 levels!! And it scales so much better than ATI cards. But the one thing I need to be sure about is that the experience of NV surround is the same as Eyefinity.
July 31, 2010 10:01:00 PM

k here is a build for $1,086.90 before $35 rebates

psu+odd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

case+hdd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

cpu+mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

gpu+win7: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

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

ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
you will use the 2 molex to 6pin adapters to connect the 2nd card but that's no big deal good luck.

if u don't like the case change the combo to this http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


edit: added the gigabyte gpu
July 31, 2010 10:17:57 PM

Aww man MrHosHos I was so ready to give you my preferred build status, but I realized that your build has the Palit GTX 460 cards. As I stated above, that is the one brand of 460 I don't think I can go with because of the heatsink/ noise/ temperature issues.
July 31, 2010 10:47:43 PM

That build looks good to me. I might switch to a 750a motherboard, but $7 for about 3% additional performance sounds like a good deal to me.

Also, if you are overclocking, a $30 hyper 212+ from amazon is a good choice:
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RR-B10-212P-G1-Univ...
August 1, 2010 4:18:14 AM

mrhoshos96 said:
k here is a build for $1,086.90 before $35 rebates

psu+odd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

case+hdd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

cpu+mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

gpu+win7: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

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

ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
you will use the 2 molex to 6pin adapters to connect the 2nd card but that's no big deal good luck.

if u don't like the case change the combo to this http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


edit: added the gigabyte gpu


Hello, thank you so much for all of the assistance that you've graciously provided thus far, but I do believe that I'm about to complicate my life a bit more :D 

The first change is a bit simple. I've done a bit more research and I do want to pay the extra $20 for the AMD 965 versus the 955. My reasons for this are as follows: $20 is negligible for me; I don't plan to overclock right away; and I've read that with the latest steppings, the 965 can be overclocked about to the same extent as the 955.

The second change being that I would prefer G-Skill Eco Ram.

The third change is that I would like to change the hard drive to a 1TB Spinpoint F3 as it's only $74 and it's worth it to me for what I feel is a substantially better hard drive.

The fourth change is that I would like to change the dual Gigabyte GTX 460s for MSI Cyclone GTX 460s as the design is more condusive for SLI and it is quieter. They are also $5 more expensive a piece, which is a total of $10. Quite a fair addition in cost.

And my fifth and final change, which I've saved for last as I'm actually quite shocked at myself. Yes, looks have indeed gotten the better of me, and I would very much care for an NZXT TEMPEST EVO case instead of the one chosen because they are really quite stunning :-)

So putting all of the above into Newegg, with my limited combo skills, gets me to a sum total of $1228.00 before a $25 rebate. Could you find any way to reduce this any more?

I do sincerely appreciate all of your efforts in this build!
August 1, 2010 7:31:27 AM

can someone please update this build? all the combos are now unavailable..

however im looking for just one gtx 460 SLI ready for now..

around 850-900$ before MIR

Thank you so much and would really appreciate it!
August 1, 2010 10:33:11 AM

first the seagate 7200.12 is just as fast as the f3 and it runs cooler.

second actually the 965 has a bigger chance of getting to 4ghz than the 955.

the sticks i mentioned are great amd platforms will not gain performance if u lower the voltage.

i don't like nzxt cases they are a bit lower quality but who cares it does look sweet :-) and it's definatly higher quality than the rosewill.

i will post an updated build soon.
go for the msi (it actually has a better cooler)


August 1, 2010 10:48:51 AM
August 1, 2010 12:10:09 PM

thanks mrhoshos, looks good.. will this build be ready to go if i decide to buy another gpu in the future to SLI?

won't need an OS.. but maybe could use a better mobo?
!