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Hybrid Work/Play Build Advice w/some Crossfire Questions

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April 25, 2011 7:45:00 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: as soon as i figure this out

Budget Range: $1000-1200
System Usage from Most to Least Important: surfing, gaming, work (financial charting with multiple monitor display)
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: currently newegg.com but open to suggestions
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, AMD GPU
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution: Quad Display => 1920x1080

So I'm looking for a system that I can use to play the occasional latest MMPORPG, but also run my financial charting software across multiple monitors .

First..here's the current gameplan based on what I've read on this forum, balancing performance and value:

Intel Core i7-2600k, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P8P67 DELUXE , http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER HAF 912, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... OR CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 15000) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9B, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V v2.2 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100314SR Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And here's the questions I have for anyone who can help....

- Are there any glaring inconsistencies or incompatibilities with this base (I will add drives later)?
- Do I need a separate CPU cooler if I am not manually overclocking the CPU, esp given the case fans?
- Will the CPU be able to utilize the faster memory option or is it wasted $ for the 1866 vs 1600 corsair DDR3s?

And the biggie...

- I don't really understand how crossfire works other than spreading the GPU load to increase the performance of linked lower end cards, and I have to run two video cards to support 4 monitors that I use for work. So I am assuming that I will NOT be utilizing crossfire at all? I.e., I assume there is no way to have all 4 monitors hooked up, but then via keyboard commands switch to a Crossfire 'mode' when I want to boost the graphics performance of my main monitor??

- Along those lines, since I do not require heavy GPU support for my secondary monitors, is it safe to buy any lower end AMD card to run those vs another 6870?

For example, the scenarios I am considering with a very poor understanding of how Crossfire is implemented are 1) two of the above-referenced video cards powering 4 monitors, but occasionally 'enabled' via crossfire to support simply the main monitor (again..I have no idea if this is possible), 2) a single 6870 card as above, then some cheaper 38- 58 series card to run the secondary monitors.

Also, if the answers to some of the above lead to the fact that I just won't be using Crossfire, then is my original hardware list off base?

Thanks a bunch for any and all input. It's been a LONG time since I've build my own machine (anyone remember when a 10MB hard drive was $10k and for corporate use only??)
April 25, 2011 8:34:24 PM

Save the $$ on that RAM...you won't notice a difference, and put it towards the vid card like this one down below. As for the dual monitors...I only run one so I can't honestly answer that, but hopefully someone who has experience with that will see this thread shortly.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $234.98 FREE SHIPPING
ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $174.98 - $10.00 Mail In Rebates
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.amazon.com/MSI-DisplayPort-R6950-TWIN-FROZR/... $289.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
MSI ATI Radeon HD6950 2 GB DDR5 2DVI/HDMI/2x Mini DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card R6950 TWIN FROZR II/OC
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April 26, 2011 11:45:50 AM

Thx Why_Me. I was hoping to get more responses but your links helped so I appreciate it. I'll have to look into the differences between the Pro and Deluxe cards. As an aside, do you have an opinion on Gigabyte's mobos? They seem to be priced enough lower to be worth looking at but I don't see them referenced as much here as the ASUS? Good point on the GPU.

I did find an answer here on the multiple monitor question, http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/737-GPU-7-Ho.... It looks like you can easily switch back and forth between running a quad-display via two cards, or enabling Crossfire to juice just the primary monitor, as long as the Crossifre part is compatible which is easy to check. I was hoping to hear from someone who made it work just to verify the manufacturer claims but alas...

Anyway, thanks again for the input!
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