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High Budget Gaming Rig (help with Water Cooling)

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August 11, 2010 3:21:18 AM

Please comment/let me know if you think I should swap any components. I've got a good amount of budget, but if it is possible, I would like to save where I can. Here is what I got so far:

EVGA 170-BL-E762-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 4-WAY SLI Classified XL ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$299.99 (with $100 rebate)

2X EVGA 015-P3-1489-AR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$1299.98 (2X 649.99)

Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown 3.33GHz LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80613I7980X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$999.9

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$199.99 (after $20 rebate)

LIAN LI PC-P80 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$299.99

Acer GD235HZbid Black/orange 23.6" 2ms Widescreen 1080p 120Hz NVIDIA 3D LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$369.99

Total: $3469.93

I have all other components (mouse, keyboard, SSD, 2TB HD, DVD Burner, etc...)
Also, I have this old PS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Let me know if it is good enough for this system overclocked to a safe limit.
I plan on eventually upgrading to 4 way SLI in the future, so I want to make sure the MOBO can support it, and the water cooling system should be easily upgradeable. What would be a good power supply capable of a OCed system with 4way SLI?

Now I need to add the water cooling system. I have never used or built a water cooled system before... I would appreciate it if you guys could point me to all the components needed for for water cooling this computer. I went with the EVGA GTX480 so I wouldn't have to void my warranty adding water blocks manually (let me know if I'm wrong on this).

Any input will be greatly appreciated.

edit: any thoughts on saving money and getting a i7-930 instead of the 980x? How far apart are these processors OCed when gaming?
August 11, 2010 5:37:53 AM

Dual 480s on a single monitor is complete overkill. X58 i7980x is complete overkill.

So you wanna save money? SLI 460s on a P55 with an i5-750. Tada just saved you 1200.
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Best solution

August 11, 2010 5:48:38 AM

There's no accurate way to comparing overclocked settings, as it can vary from chip to chip and by individual setup.

Here's a head-to-head comparison of an i7-920 and an i7-980X. The 980X is better, but not $700 better.

I'll agree that 2 480s for a single monitor is overkill, though I guess if you're doing 3D Vision it might not be.

You could get faster RAM than the Dominators you picked out for less. G.Skill PI Series 1600 MHz CL7 - $160 (also available in CAS 6 for $200) or Mushkin Redline 1600 MHz CL6 for $190.

Unfortunately there isn't a lot of discussion about watercooling in this forum, you might find more info in a watercooling-specific forum.

The PSU should be ok for 2x 480s, but it won't be for 4. I would check SLI Zone for recommended PSUs.
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August 11, 2010 6:35:44 AM

thx for replies.

120hz monitors/tvs are awesome!! But yes, I will be using dual monitors.

If I decide to go with the i7-930 (920 isn't on newegg) and OC it to its capacity, what ram should I go with? Should I go with faster ram rated to 2000 mhz? I'm asking this because ill have to up the fsb since i wont be able to change the modifier.

btw, I really don't think 2 GTX 480 is overkill. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf2RcTr44BI
You can see the FPS scaling of 1,2, and 3 gtx 480 SLIed. It takes 3gtx 480 to maintain 50+ fps. Although I agree that the 980x might be overkill... since gaming is way more GPU intensive, especially when graphics settings are turned up all the way.

Right now i'm using:

-Desktop-
CPU: E8400 @ 4.0ghz
GPU: 8800 GTX (OCed)
Ram: 8GB
MB: IP35 Pro

So I think I will buy 1 gtx 480 (watercooled) and put it in my current comp, and upgrade if I feel I need more powa!! The only thing is the MOBO only supports PCIE 16X 1.0, so from what I read it will decrease performance if I put in a PCIE 2.0 card in it. Thoughts?!?
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August 11, 2010 7:30:21 AM

2x gtx 480 probably is overkill for YOUR monitor.. that bench was taken on a 2560x1600 monitor, not ur 1920x1080.. there's a BIG difference..
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August 11, 2010 7:50:04 AM

There is indeed a big difference but nonetheless my 470 struggles from time to time. A 480 wouldn't do much better. And 3dvision is far more intensive. And that's talking about now. In the future those 480s will have a hard time.

BTW if you want a very good 3d monitor alienware is selling some too. It looks amazing and is pretty cheap now

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/pr...

I would get an h30 waterblock and dominators for the coolness factor. It's not terribly usefull but seriously how cool is watercooled ram(double meaning there ;) )?

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August 11, 2010 7:51:58 AM

btw just a question: an alienware tactx headset is just a rebranded steelseries right? Then why on earth is it cheaper?
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August 11, 2010 8:42:17 AM

Somebody_007 said:
btw just a question: an alienware tactx headset is just a rebranded steelseries right? Then why on earth is it cheaper?


No idea if it is a rebrand or not, but perhaps Alienware orders in bulk, or Dell gets deeper discounts from the actual manufacturer.
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August 11, 2010 1:12:47 PM

Best answer selected by madreag.
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August 11, 2010 3:26:57 PM

coldsleep said:
No idea if it is a rebrand or not, but perhaps Alienware orders in bulk, or Dell gets deeper discounts from the actual manufacturer.


good point
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