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New motherboard/cpu for dual 480's

Last response: in Systems
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October 7, 2010 9:47:07 PM

Hi folks - Great forum you have here!

I need some help upgrading my system to support a pair of GTX 480's. I got a windfall and went for broke on getting a 2nd 480 to aid 3D Vision and general FPS.

Current setup is:

E8400 @4ghz
Asus P5Q WS
Samsung F1 Spinpoint
4Gb OCZ Reaper (pc8000)
2x GTX 480(one currently in use) :-(
CoolIT Domino ALC CPU cooler
Azuntech Forte 7.1

I embarrassingly discovered that my mobo can't run SLI without a hack - which I tried, but it kills 3d vision and is still a little buggy. My ancient but now damaged P35 board (GA P35-DQ6) ran SLI in 8x speed but it worked, and I thought we'd moved on, nvidia, silly me. Not keeping up to date with current cpu's/chipsets didn't bother me, as for gaming, the E8400 was up there @4+ghz.
Problem is nowadays I can only find one motherboard for sale here in the UK that I can still use in SLI, the Asus P5N72-T Premium. I'm worried that this would be going down the buggy rebranded Striker 2 route so I thought about upgrading to one of the new chipsets. This is where I need some help, I have had a look at the x8/x16 benchies and the best gaming cpu articles (very useful info - fantastic effort!) and am now trying to decide on either an i3 530 that can hit 4.4+ghz but with less gpu bandwidth or an expensive i7 930 x58 setup.
Am I correct in thinking the high clock speed of the i3 530 will boost the SLI scaling more than the dual x16 lanes of a lower clocked i7/x58 combo?
One other slightly seperate question - Does SLI boost 3d vision fps and would a game that doesn't scale very well in SLI scale better with 3D vision on , any experience? Can't seem to find any benchies on SLI vs single card with 3d vision enabled. Spose I'll know better when I get it up and running!
Thanks in advance for any info you can give
October 8, 2010 12:00:04 AM

You have spent tons of money on pair of 480s, why are you even thinking going cheap on the CPU and motherboard?

Either go i5 760/P55 motherboard or i7 930/950 and an x58 motherboard. Get a good aircooler and overclock to 3.6-4. The latest article indicates you will probably be CPU bound no matter what you do so even a p55 at x8/x8 should be fine.
October 8, 2010 2:52:05 PM

dndhatcher said:
You have spent tons of money on pair of 480s, why are you even thinking going cheap on the CPU and motherboard?

Either go i5 760/P55 motherboard or i7 930/950 and an x58 motherboard. Get a good aircooler and overclock to 3.6-4. The latest article indicates you will probably be CPU bound no matter what you do so even a p55 at x8/x8 should be fine.


Heh, I know it looks like I'm skimping but I wasn't - honest! :)  From what I saw it was the 4.4ghz+ clock speed of the i3 that had me intrigued not the price. But your right, I'll be bound whatever I do I'm sure, probably should go quad core as well, now that I'm upgrading. I'm sure more games will start to optimize for this.
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October 8, 2010 3:01:06 PM

Get a couple SSDs while you're at too.
X58 is what I would recommend. It's better for multi GPU setup.
October 8, 2010 6:59:30 PM

masterasia said:
Get a couple SSDs while you're at too.
X58 is what I would recommend. It's better for multi GPU setup.

I agree. For a pair of 480s, there is no reason not to go i7 950 and an x58 motherboard like the ASUS Sabertooth.

Get at 120GB OCZ Vertex 2, Corsair Force, Gskill Pheonix or Patriot Inferno SSD for a boot drive. Large, fast and the price has plummeted in the past few months.
!