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980x GTX 580 sli watercooled build

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January 5, 2011 1:47:12 AM

Its almost been a year saving and researching... about to finalize build now that sandy bridge and new graphics boards are out.

This is a PC for running GAMES at 2560 x 1440 (I own a Dell U2711 :o  )

Intel Core i7-980X $999.99
ASUS Rampage III Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 $379.99
Corsair Obsidian Series 800D $279.99
EVGA SuperClocked 015-P3-1582-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB (two) $1,059.98
OCZ RevoDrive X2 PCI-E 100GB PCI-Express x4 SSD $429.99
CORSAIR Professional Series AX1200 1200W $279.99
G.SKILL Trident+ Turbulence II Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Model F3-16000CL9T-6GBTDD $169.99
LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner $99.99
Radiator: Koolance Radiator, 3x120mm 30-FPI Copper $59.99
Internal system: Koolance RP-1000BK Reservoir and Pump $207
CPU Block: Koolance CPU-360 $84.99
CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD 1500 VA 900 w UPS $229.99
Scythe Kaze Master Pro 5.25 Fan Controller $49.99
Plus radiator fans, tubing, nozzles, coolant etc..


Why not sandy bridge? (please flame if these not reasonable, I only skimmed the sandy bridge reviews)
980x has 6 cores, easy to overclock, overclock is constantly on/active (im in control), no worries of intel nerfing overclock abilities, abilities known (will sandy bridge bottleneck three 580s? four 580s?)

Why not 5970, 6970, or 6950?
Im gaming at 2560 x 1440 resolutions

My concerns with this build
1) I dont know much about the G.SKILL Trident listed. Seems most people go for Dominator or Ripjaws.. but I've read performance differences from memory is minimal? and these appear to be new dimms from G.SKILL?

2) will I do better with a Gigabyte or EVGA classified Mobo? Im expecting to add at least one more graphics card down the line.. and two may be nice (tho I suppose I could upgrade mobo at that point). Hrm.. might just do a cheap card for physix in near future

3) The Revodrive may block me from using my PCI-E x16 slot #2, so i'll have to place my cards in slot #1 and slot #3... and that will block me from using a PCI-E sound card. Can someone confirm that slot #3 in this case will still run at PCI express 16x? or does slot #3 only run at 8x max? what about slot #4?

4) If I eventually add Koolance waterblocks to the graphics cards (when they are available)...
A) should I be buying reference graphics cards? or will the overclocked cards be ok?
B) will the pump included in the system be sufficient to cool two or three gpus and the 980x?

Specs on pump:
* Maximum Flow Rate: 8.7 L/min (2.3 gal/min)
* Maximum Head Pressure: 7m (23ft)
* Motor: Brushless DC, electronically commutated, spherical motor
* Expected Lifetime: 50,000 hrs. MTBF (5.7 years)
* Power Consumption (at max): 20W
* Voltage Range: 8 to 13.2 VDC
* Startup Voltage: 9 to 13.2 VDC
* Maximum System Pressure: 1.5 kgf/cm2 (22 PSI)
* Maximum Temperature: 60°C (140°F)
* Electrical Connector: 3-pin fan header with tachometer speed signal
* Tachometer: Open collector, max 20mA/24V, 2 pulses per revolution
* Hose Connections: 10mm (3/8") ID hose barbs
* Wetted Materials: PPO, Carbon/Allumina Ceramic, EPDM or Viton, 316 SS or Plastic.
* Noise: Less than 40dBA
* Weight: 198g (7oz)


I'm trying to stay under $4500, which im currently meeting with this build.

More about : 980x gtx 580 sli watercooled build

January 5, 2011 3:02:15 AM

:o  That'll be a beast.
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January 11, 2011 1:27:53 AM

I'd be inclined to go for the overclocked water cooled GPU's & address extensive overclocking of the 980X later. The logic behind this being that you are working on a budget, albeit an extensive one, & EVGA now has the GTX580 Hydro Copper 2's. Fairly consistently in the benchmarks you rarely, if ever, hear any mention on the '980 being a major limiting factor in terms of performance. N-way SLI with the stock '980 is butter smooth even at high resolution.

Unless you have a stockpile of existing GTX 580's I don't see a compelling reason not to go for the EVGA water cooled GPU solution. Sure you could add a 3rd party cooling block but IMHO if a vendor is insane enough to actually warranty such a beast why even bother.

Personally if you have the physical space I'd suggest setting up a dual loop for your water cooling depending on how high you're expecting to overclock things.

You should be pretty good to go with the Corsair PS. Sure they make bigger but unless you're having a new AC line installed with the custom plug you're not going to pull much more from the outlet :) 

As for the motherboard at this point it's hard to quibble about money. I'd get a SR-2 & die happy. Plenty of slots & room for the second CPU. It's a classified the way that things were meant to be.

- erz
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January 11, 2011 2:53:58 AM

Well I ordered the evga black ops and koolance 580 waterblocks before I saw the hydrocoppers.. but i think all is well.

Decided to suck up my wimpyness and have faith in modding my case. I will set up a dual loop. I got a XSPC RX 480 Quad rad and the koolance 280 for where the HDD bay is. Pumps are two Swiftech MCP355 Laing DDC.

The next couple weeks are going to be fun modding and installing ;p

Motherboard I stuck with the R3E cuz i need a pci-e x4 for the SSD.



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January 11, 2011 10:25:07 AM

water cooling to decrease temps by a few degrees to allow 3% more overclocking for a few more FPS when framerates already above 100 fps in most games at 1080P....

Waste of $450, normally.....
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January 11, 2011 10:26:51 AM

FYI, an i7/950 would get 97% of the same framerate, but at $700 less.....

18 months down the road, you could replace both gpus and still be ahead financially.....
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January 11, 2011 12:13:23 PM

Gf will prolly be using the computer for rendering.. so six cores will be utilized.

..and the complete water cooling is running around 1300 with the premium parts


Its not cost efficent at all.. but it'll be a experience to build and appreciate when done.
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January 11, 2011 12:35:31 PM

I thought/estimated it was merely $1100 'spent relatively unnecessarily'...

I stand corrected....make that $2000. :) 

Good luck with it...

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January 11, 2011 1:28:00 PM

If you're not doing renders or encoding, 6 cores vs. 4 cores would be negligible. I think you'd be better off doing extreme oc's on the 2600K than going with the 980x. That being said, if you have the budget, go for it.
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January 12, 2011 12:42:38 AM

@NeoElemental did you read the thread? obviously not because he specifically says he is doing rendering
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