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.
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.
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.
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.