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What mobo & cpu should i get?

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October 15, 2011 4:31:22 PM

I just purchased 2 classified GTX 590s and was wondering what would be the best board and cpu to buy atm for what i need.
Im currently running 2 SSD drives in a raid and am thinking about buying a 3rd to make some extra space.
I have 6 sticks of DDR 3 ram making a total of 12 gigs.
I want a space between my two GTX cards so they can cool efficiently.
I remember reading about how i should get a specific motherboard that has 2 individual PCIe X16 slots so my SLI setup will be running to its fullest potential. Becuase for some reason my current x58 sabertooth board is running one X16 PCIe as a primary and the other as a secondary. Can someone please explain this to me and keep this in mind for any suggestions.
Im hoping for sata 6 gig plugs, and i will need at least 8-10 sata plugs in total whether they are 6 gig or not.
I also need it to use the LGA 1155 socket so i can purchase a sandy bridge cpu or what ever cpu and upgrade to an ivy bridge when they come out.

I need this motherboard to be able to last me a while with any possible upgrades i may want. I also want it to be running efficiently so im not bottle necking any performance. Im using this as a gaming computer so i can hopefully run games on one monitor in 3d with no problems on max settings for a while from now while multitasking a lot of stuff like listening to music and browsing tons of tabs on the internet. I am going to be using this board for a full nvidia 3d surround setup.

Im still not 100% settled so feel free to suggest anything i just figure that since i have 800 saved up and can get another 200-400 i should go ahead and buy a new motherboard so im not hampering any of my performance. Then i can buy an ivy bridge cpu when they come out.

Otherwise if i dont need anything and my current setup works fine ill budget the money towards getting my other 2 3d monitors.

Heres my current setup:
Case: Haf 912 mid tower ATX case, with a billion different fans installed :p 
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ZM7YTA

Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth X58
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00407ZUUY

CPU: Intel Core I7 950 i believe its called
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002A6G3V2
Im using a corsair H60 cooling system for my cpu, was hoping i would learn how to overclock after everything is working properly
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004MYFOE2

Ram: 12 gigs of DDR3
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002LZ1FPG

Graphics: 2 Nvidia 590 GTX classified video cards in SLI mode.

Soundcard: Creative XiFi fatality championship edition
http://www.amazon.com/Express-Blaster-Titanium-Fatal1ty...

Hard Drives: A mix of 5600 RPM hard drives using sata, and 2 raided Crucial Technology 128 GB Crucial RealSSD C300 SSD drives.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0039SM0AS

OS: Win7 64 bit

PSU: Corsair AX 1200

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October 15, 2011 4:59:59 PM

Other than maybe a a new X58 MOBO, one that supports Marvell 918X (9182 for RAID 0/1) and more PCIe slots, I see no good reason to 'upgrade' anything. If you need more SATA Ports then get an LSI RAID Card.

IMO - eBay the XiFi fatality on any of the Gigabytes listed. It's crazy for an x1 sound card to cause x16/x8.

Gigabyte GA-X58A-OC or any G1 Series - http://www.gigabyte.us/products/list.aspx?s=42&jid=0&p=...

Gigabyte GA-X58A-OC - http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3...
6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2_0~SATA2_5) supporting up to 6 SATA 3Gb/s devices
Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
1 x Marvell 88SE9182 chip:
2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3_6, GSATA3_7) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
Support for SATA RAID 0 and RAID 1

Most other 'good' X58's lack Marvell 9182's, this is important IF your SSD is faster than 380MB/s. Marvell 912X is x1 shared lane, whereas the Marvell 918X is x2 lanes.

A good X58 is the EVGA 141-GT-E770-A1 but is Marvell 912X - EVGA 141-GT-E770-A1 aka EVGA X58 Classified3.

The C300 I know is fine on the Marvell 912X 355MB/sec and 140MB/sec.

Before spending a lot of money see this article -> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p67-gaming-3-way-sl...

I was thinking about replacing my 980X with the new SB-E/LGA 2011 but there's no way I'm replacing my MOBO/CPU/RAM/Blocks for a 0~3FPS gain.
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October 15, 2011 5:12:41 PM

Here's a BASIC cooling loop parts list, you can substitute the 'all-in-one' Reservoir and Pump RP-980BK for a Controller/Pump/Reservoir .

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October 15, 2011 5:30:45 PM

The reason im asking is because i wanna be able to upgrade to an ivy bridge cpu when it comes out. Maybe i should just spend the money on the monitors first.

Im not looking for any info on cooling systems, i just wanna know what a good motherboard to switch to would be. I mentioned im only looking for mobos with the LGA 1155 socket so i can use a sandy bridge or ivy bridge when it comes out.

I can run a 3rd SSD in raid on my current mobo but i have to use the intel module, and the intel module doesnt use the 6 gig sata plugs, the 6 gig sata plugs are for the marvel module/controller and ive been told a couple times now that the marvel raid module is worse than the intel one on the x58.

I was thinking the mobo should be my next upgrade because multiple people told me i will get better performance out of my video cards if i get a better motherboard and that the x58 will basically be obsolete soon.
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October 15, 2011 5:49:04 PM

I put the 'water stuff' there because you were concerned about heat (NOISE) and seemed hell bent on blowing money -- it might as well have a benefit.

If you want an Ivy Bridge then wait for the Ivy Bridge to come out in Q1/Q2 2012 (March 2012).

You're going to run into the same (2) SATA3 issues with LGA 1155 P67/Z68 so you'll need a Dedicated RAID Card no matter what for SATA3 RAID. Most folks never set their RAID's up properly 1/2 the time. I've run Intel and Marvell RAID perfectly fine -- when the MOBO allows bootable Marvell.

IF you want built-in SATA3 with >2 Ports then you're looking at the LGA 2011 and SB-E CPU with it's 6xSATA3 ports (X79). Even the next Panther Point chipsets are 2xSATA3 ports.
ref - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_chipsets#5.2...

Performance, did you see the links? Also, IF running multiple monitors e.g. 5760x1080 +adj for bezel you ONLY want the 3GB GTX 590's otherwise for many games you'll run into vRAM bottleneck. The 1.5GB are a problem ;) 

vRAM Bottlenecking - http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/06/28/msi_n580gtx_l...
Note the GTX 580 SLI configuration has 1.5GB of RAM on the bottom:
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October 15, 2011 8:45:53 PM

Sorry a lot of that info is going right through me, im not very tech savy when it comes to the more technical terms and specs.

Stupid raid, i cant believe i blew 60% of my budget when i first built this computer on SSDs i didnt care about thanks to some idiot computer guy.
So i should get a dedicated raid card for my current setup then? I just want some nice speed so i was hoping i could get a motherboard that would support 3 6 gig sata plugs in a raid config.


What is sata3? The 6 gig sata?

Im also confused by the intel wiki link u posted, i didnt know cpus had anything to do with my raid configurations. I dont really understand much of whats in that chart on the wiki link.

I was considering getting a larger/single SSD which i think is not worth it, i dont really care about the load times, its a nice bonus but i dont wanna spend a large chunk of money just so load times are faster. Im mainly looking for performance.

I mentioned that the intel controller works better than the marvel controller because performance wise i saw tests proving the intel controller was performing better even though the marvel controller uses 2 6 gig sata plugs, for my motherboard. What do you recommend i do? Im using the intel controller atm and have my 2 SSDs in one raid thats my C drive. I dont know of any tweaking or setting up i can do other than using the marvel controller instead of the intel one.

And by multiple monitors i meant 1 monitor running a game in 3d at 120fps 120hz in 1080p and then 2 other monitors with web browsers and media players running. I do eventually wanna run a surround setup and then a 3d surround setup when i get 2 more 3d monitors.

Im trying to save money by not going with water cooling, because from what ive seen water cooling systems will cost just as much or more than the computer its built for. I dont have that kinda money to throw away, and ive already seen a computer turn into a paper weight thanks to a leak in a water cooling system, so ill never use one unless its something like the H60 i have on my cpu atm.

Mainly i just want a new motherboard so i feel safe knowing i wont need to buy one for a while, was hoping it would solve my raid problem, as well as increase the performance of my 2 GTX 590s. But also so that my 590s have a small gap between them i dont like them being sammiched together :p 

Sorry if im repeating myself or if i sound rude, im exhausted
And thanks again for your time :D 
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October 15, 2011 10:04:10 PM

The water cooling I posted was ~$750 for CPU and both GTX 590's. Water is great for (2) things: 1. Cooling / OC'ing, and 2. Noise / very quite.

You could replace your MOBO, CPU and rebuild everything -- the end result you'd NEVER NOTICE except by benching and then: 1. small increase in RAID 0 speed, and maybe 0~8FPS depending on ANY OC'ing (CPU/GPUs). You cannot see/perceive 85FPS vs 90FPS - period; it's an expensive ego trip.

On X58:
SATA2 Intel ICH10R - 6 Ports - limits 285MB/s~295MB/s
SATA3 Marvell 912X - 2 Ports - limits 370MB/s~380MB/s
SATA3 Marvell 918X - 2 Ports - limits 550MB/s+

The Marvell 91X2 are RAID 0/1; Marvell 91X0 are non-RAID.

Crucial CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1 C300 355MB/sec ; on Intel SATA2 you're losing 60MB/s per SSD or ~180MB/s in a RAID 0 with 3 drives. IMO use the SATA2 Intel ICH10R and use the first 3 of 4 Ports e.g. SATA2_1~SATA2_3 and don't use SATA2_4 for a 'DVD'.

Leave the RAID 0 w/2 drives on the Intel, otherwise you'll need to start from scratch on the Marvell.

IF you have the 3GB GTX 590's then an 3D Vision on (3) monitors will work fine, but you can see the review I posted above regarding vRAM.

2-WAY GTX 590 is a huge overkill on a single HD monitor, and as you've seen there's no 30" high resolution (2560 x 1600) 120Hz monitor - yet.
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October 15, 2011 10:22:37 PM

I just will never buy water cooling for the simple fact that i will be terrified of my computer breaking because of it. Ive done research, ive read about it, ive seen it and heard it but i dont like the risks and i dont even have the space for it i have my computer on a shelf on the wall theres no where else i can put it.

I dont necessarily want the new setup so i cant have the perfect everything, i just wanna have it so i wont need to upgrade anything for the next few years if not longer if at all possible.

Idk what raid 0/1 raid 0 or raid 1 means. I do know that i have my raid on intel sata 2 n 3. I have my blu ray on one of the 6 gigs and i believe im using all the sata plugs for my hard drives and what not. I can move stuff around but i dont think i can leave any sata plugs not in use. I also donno what marvell 91X2 or 91X0 means either.

Since im not using the marvell idk why i would worry about starting from scratch since theres nothing setup in a raid with that controller/module.

I dont wanna have to start from scratch with my current raid tho, i dont know how i would back it up and restore it to its new location. I can move the plugs to the intel sata 1 n 2 plugs after ive made an image back up, but if i restore it once ive moved the sata plugs around will it still restore to the proper raid or what have u?

Yeah i wouldnt want a 30 incher even if they had one at 2560X1600 i just didnt wanna have to buy a new video card for a while.

Sounds like i might just wanna move the raid like ur saying, and then just spend the money on the 2 3D monitors.

Sorry id do a bit of research but my brain is too tired lol. Whats vram video ram? Thats on the video card right? Id check out the review but i dont feel like i need to considering i know im set video card wise. Unless there was another reason u wanted me to read up on that.

Sry again if im sounding rude :p 
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October 15, 2011 10:51:07 PM

I'm confused, I assumed you setup the RAID 0 on your C300's??!!

Clearer - "The Marvell 9182/9128 are RAID 0/1; Marvell 9120 are non-RAID". You have the Marvell 9128 (PCIe x1 with RAID 0 and RAID 1 support). RAID 0 is splitting the data across 2 or more drives striping the data to each drives increase Read or Write, RAID 1 is cloning the drives aka mirroring.

WIKI RAID - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID#Standard_levels

I'm more confused, is this Built Yet??

Yes, vRAM = Video RAM, the RAM/memory on your GTX 590's.
Example of Megapixels:
1920x1080 = 2,073,600 pixels ~ 2.1MP
2560x1600 = 4,096,000 pixels ~ 4.1MP
5760x1080 = 6,220,800 pixels ~ 6.2MP

The 1.5GB is good for 4MP+ but 6MP is 'chokes/bottlenecks' where there's not enough vRAM to render the 'Frame' so the rendering gets bogged down kinda like 'Virtual Memory' when you run out of real memory.
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October 15, 2011 11:38:37 PM

Ok yeah, see i didnt know what raid 0 or raid 1 meant :p . Yeah i have the c300s setup in a raid 0 with the intel controller. I believe they are plugged into sata 3 n 4. Im only assuming that because in my bios under the list of the sata plugs i have 2 regular drives and then the 3rd and 4th satas listed are the raided c300s.

My friend suggested i try running a raid 1 for some reason incase one drive fails on me, but i dont really see a mirror raid being worth the money/resources.

I havent touched the marvell controller once.

Yeah the computer is built im currently using two 460s and another PSU but im havent set everything up yet im waiting till ive slept :p  im just lazy so im "pretending" like i already have the 590s and the new PSU installed.
Im also gonna be using a slightly bigger HAF case that i have which is one step up from my current one, so i dont have my 590s jam packed in the case i currently am using.

Thanks again :D 
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October 16, 2011 1:05:27 AM

On all my rigs, Single SSD or RAID 0 SSD (OS + Apps) and RAID 1 HDD (Data i.e. important stuff). In that case I couldn't care less, other than aggravation and/or if out of warranty $, if the SSD(s) fail.

Good Luck! :) 
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October 16, 2011 9:24:04 AM

Buy the Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z motherboard and Intel Core I7 2700K (coming soon).
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October 18, 2011 7:45:18 AM

I like the asus maximus IV Extreme-Z but im looking for something that will run my two cards at x16 n x16 instead of x8 n x8, i like that theres room for a 3rd car which is what i want, and the first two pcie slots have a gap which is exactly what im looking for... if only this card would run at x16 n x16 with two cards in sli instead of x8 n x8

Any other suggestions for a mobo that will let me run x16 and x16 and has 6 gig satas with raid 0 capabilities?
-Thanks
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October 18, 2011 12:50:47 PM

As I linked from the beginning; see this -> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p67-gaming-3-way-sl...

Otherwise, SB-E / LGA 2011; SB-E (6-core Sandy Bridge Extreme) 32-lanes native or x16/x16, X79 Intel 6 Ports x 6 Gbit/s (SATA3) & 4 Ports x 3 Gbit/s (SATA2).

The net gain for a complete rebuild will be 0FPS~8FPS; the 8FPS will most likey come from games that already have high (excessive) Frame Rates. Meaning 130FPS vs 138FPS - so what. Further, unless you have a 120Hz (120FPS) Monitor then 60Hz (60FPS) more than half the frames are lost to monitor bottleneck.

Bottom-Line, I 'get' ego - so for EGO get the LGA 2011 and a $1000 i7-3960X. Then spend another $1000+ putting it on water and then OC the crap out of it. Or save the $2000+ and simply put on water the Sabertooth X58/GTX 590's.

...It's your money. My gaming system once I add x3 GTX 600's will be over $6000, and I cannot rationalize the minor improvements of my 980X vs i7-3960X, so I'm simply selling my 3 GTX 470's + water blocks and sucking it up; the GPU's are where the performance is, and neither the GTX 590 or forthcoming GTX 600's will saturate the PCIe 2.0 x8 and laughable PCIe x16 lanes even in my 5760+x1080 120Hz 3D Vision.
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October 19, 2011 2:57:51 AM

All these terms are so confusing and i dont even know what cpu is what cpu, all i know is that i have an i7 950 using a 1366 socket. Idk how to figure out any other info about the cpu.
It sounds from what uve linked/said jaquith, is that the cpu limits whether i get to run 2 lanes of x16 or not. I wanna be able to run 2 and then hopefully 3 later down the road when my computer starts getting out of date.

I also want to have space between my two cards, since they are just sandwiched together right now causing lots of heat.

Thats the main reason for opting for this upgrade and i wanna stick with it. So can you guys please give me suggestions for boards with an LGA 1155 socket and that will allow me to run 3 cards X16 and has a gap between the 1st and 2nd pcie x16 slots.

Im gonna be using an internal sound card, a pci usb card that i need, my 2 video cards and eventually 3 if i get one.

Then i just need a cpu that will allow me to run both my cards at x16 each. I can upgrade the cpu later down the road.

Once i figured out what i want i can see the total price and opt out if i wanna get the other monitors or spend the money on heaphones and a new sound card or two.

Please correct any odd terms i may be using out of context im still very new to all of this.


Extra Details for Jaquith
Im not looking for a performance gain, im looking for a platform that will allow me to have as many upgrade options as possible, and will keep my parts living longer. I dont want any risks like with water cooling, and of course a boots of performance however small does put a smile on my face. Right now i have a lot of cash flow, very soon it will dry up, and its not physically possible to save it for long due to my money conditions.
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October 19, 2011 2:14:11 PM

Personally I think you're tossing money out the window getting LGA 1155.

IF you want (2) 550MB/s SSD's then the X58 Gigabyte MOBO's I linked above. However, if you want (3) or more 550MB/s SSD's and to work together i.e. RAID then you have ONLY (2) choices: 1. LSI RAID Card x4/x8 (500MB/s per lane max / 80% real), 2. LGA 2011 & SB-E - 6 Ports x 6 Gbit/s (SATA3).

I think 'now' getting an LGA 1155 is a foolish choice, and a side step. There are a few LGA 1155 with: 2 x 6 Gbit/s (SATA3) and Marvell 9182 2 x 6 Gbit/s (SATA3) like ASUS Maximus IV Extreme and Maximus IV Extreme-Z e.g. see -> http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/Maxi... and the 2-WAY is x8/x8 native, but Intel + Marvell cannot RAID together so for (3 or more) SSD LSI RAID Card would still be needed. Spacing is (3) PCIe slots; see pages 2-14 & 2-15.

SMART:
1. LGA 1366 / X58 Gigabyte MOBOs with Marvell 9182 ; new MOBO
2. LGA 2011 / X79 ; new CPU and new MOBO

If the GTX 590's are reference cards like EVGA's then they'll operate fine side-to-side if your case provides good Front -> Rear unobstructed airflow. The problems happen with non-reference cards like those with 2 side fans - they slightly cool the GPU better for the first few minutes, but they throw so much hot air circulating in the case it defeats its purpose and EVERYTHING runs hotter.
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October 20, 2011 3:21:32 AM

Alright ur making a very convincing argument jaquith. Sorry if ive come off as rude, i just find that the best way to get an answer pinned down is to argue myself into or out of a corner.

Now that i no longer have an idea of what my best route is i want to ask this...

What would you personally do if you had my goal in mind: running any game coming out in the next 2-3+ years with full graphics in 3D on one monitor or 3 if the game allows?

You have 1000-1400 USD to spend. 1400.00 is the pushing it limit but theres always room for another 60 dollars or so :p 

I dont mind buying a gimped setup now and then spending money on future upgrades to bring it past par, but i dont wanna be gimped, upgrade, and still be limited.

I guess the whole ivy bridge thing was all the hype i was reading. I just really dont wanna make this mistake. I always seem to get whats recommended to me, and am told it will do lets say 2 things, but instead i wind up with something that can barely do 1 thing and isnt worth upgrading.

I now have the video cards down, my PSU supplies more than i need, and i have plenty of ram if i have 6 slots for my ram. So the only things i think i need to focus on are a mother board and or a cpu.

The problem is, i have the money to spend, and i dont know how long i can hold on to it.

Considering i dont have my other 2 3D monitors thats one other route i can take, but considering that i still cant tell if passive or active 3d will win im not sure what to do.
Im already in the active market with my 3d vision and 1 monitor, but i was told passive has ghosting, and active doesnt, and ive found that active has a lot of ghosting, whereas passive 3d in theaters has no ghosting.

Sry for rambling started a drinking game right after i started typing this post lol.

Oh and keep in mind im terrified on water cooling and maintenance. My opinion on water cooling can change, the maintenance wont since i have ADHD and its hard enough as is maintaining my air cooled computers.

Thanks again for all your help :D 
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October 20, 2011 4:47:57 PM

This seems in circles...

As I mentioned get one of the Gigabyte X58 MOBO's with Marvell 9182 ports (2), RAID 0 the C300's, get your 3D (120hz) monitors -- 3 monitors not 2. If you have (2) monitors you have the two bezels in the CENTER of view; look in the center - examples and x is the center of vision:
2 monitors = [___]x[___]

3 monitors = [___][_x_][___]

Excess Money = SAVINGS ie BANK!

OC your i7 950 and either get a Good HSF e.g. Thermaltake Frio or Corsair H100.

Enjoy! :) 
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October 21, 2011 1:32:56 AM

Sorry im just like quadruple checking and trying to figure out whats best since i dont wanna regret any decisions. I got extra money so i think im a be good no matter what i decide on, i just cant have "savings" so the way im looking at it right now is any money i dont spend is money thrown out the window. My cash flow comes in bursts so i dont always have money to spend, so when i do i like to spend it all lol

donno if that makes much sense.
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October 31, 2011 8:54:41 AM

Damn i feel like everyone i talk to says i should do something completely different.

Anyways i havent done anything yet, but ive read up on some stuff. Not as much as id like since im so damn busy :( 

Anyways heres where im at right now...

I have 2 grand to spend on either a cpu and or a motherboard. Im thinking my best bet would be a new motherboard.

Im starting to think maybe i should do the water cooling idea. The problem is i put my computer up on a shelf on the wall because my room has such little space. I dont want to move the computer and the shelf has a 75 lb weight limit.

Heres the case im gonna be using since my PSU does not fit in my current HAF mid tower case.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0026FCI2U/ref=wms_ohs...

If i have enough room in that case for a motherboard that has 3 video card slots that will allow me to fit 3 nvidia 590s thats what i want to get.

Since i cant return the 2 video cards, im thinking i might just waste the money on another one so i dont have to upgrade my video cards for a while. So ill need space for those 3 video cards on my board and case.

I then need room for a high end sound card as well as a pci express usb card which i have to have for my racing sim setup.

The whole SSD thing isnt really my style, i dont care about load times so much especially when those drives cost so much, its just not worth it. So im hoping to keep the current 2 raided SSD cards i have or just opt for a high rpm regular drive.

Im thinking what i should do is get a really really nice motherboard and possibly another 590 gtx with the money i have. Im thinking ill just use my current i7 950 3.07 ghz processor so my setup is gonna be gimped until i can buy a new cpu which shouldnt take me long.

I dont need to run all 3 of my 3d monitors in an nvidia 3d surround setup right away, i can work towards it.

Do you think there are any motherboards out there that will do what i need, and allow me to do what i want to do once i buy a new cpu and have/buy the 3rd video card?

Im thinking of making a new thread but idk if i should right now, so thats why im posting here. Sorry for all the back and forth grief and nonsense jaquith, im extremely grateful for all the info youve already given me.

If you think i should try selling my 2 cards and opting for 3 580s lemme know, i can try selling the unopened gtx 590 i have, and then selling the other one i have which is literally brand new in box, but i opened the box and pulled the video card to take a look at it, and thats literally it.

Anyways ive got 2 grand in my savings right now waiting to be spent on my computer.
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October 31, 2011 1:34:32 PM

If crazy is your thing and If you're revved-up to piss money away then get an LGA 2011 rig. Throw in the garbage your i7-950, 12GB RAM, Sabertooth X58 and replace it all...

What do you want to HEAR the truth or BS?

Otherwise, look at the links I provided and note the differences, and most important note as you increase from 0xAA->4xAA->8xAA and with higher resolutions the gap is negligible - Sandy Bridge vs i7-950.

Keeping in mind 0xAA or 4xAA is more about CPU whereas 8xAA and high details is all about GPU(s) and resolutions. Further, that an SSD in RAID or a single SSD or even a HDD for gaming is all about Load times than FPS.
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October 31, 2011 6:19:52 PM

themadhatta said:
I like the asus maximus IV Extreme-Z but im looking for something that will run my two cards at x16 n x16 instead of x8 n x8, i like that theres room for a 3rd car which is what i want, and the first two pcie slots have a gap which is exactly what im looking for... if only this card would run at x16 n x16 with two cards in sli instead of x8 n x8

Any other suggestions for a mobo that will let me run x16 and x16 and has 6 gig satas with raid 0 capabilities?
-Thanks



I believe you're wrong about the Extreme-Z not running both cards in x16 speed. I have that mobo and the manual tells you how to install twin x16 graphics cards and nowhere mentions dumbing them down to x8.
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