First time builder here. Aside from the overpowering worry that I am going to botch this whole thing up, could use some final expert advice on the build. I've already posted and received some great feedback that I have incorporated. The main questions I feel are remaining are:
1) Should I go with a 120GB SSD and have a boot drive? or a smaller (40GB) SSD and use it for caching. If boot drive is the option, should I only install my OS on it?
2) Any good guides on how to actually put this mess of expensive equipment together without frying every last piece of it?
Approximate Purchase Date: June 2011
Budget Range: $1,600-$1,800 (would always prefer the lesser)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, iTunes, General Use
Parts Not Required: OS (Windows 7), speakers (Klipsch Promedia 2.1)
My rationale for the single card option was more for longevity. I figure that while two 6950s will outperform single 6970, they will become obsolete more quickly. with the single 6970, I can always add another down the road (when the price will be down) and get a cheaper boost then the performance boost now (where both the Crossfire and the single card option will meet my gaming needs) and have to replace both cards down the road.
Now if my 650W PS won't take a crossfire down the road, that is something to consider now.
MoBo - I wouldn't touch a MoBo with a 1 year warranty .... tells me manufacturer has no confidence in his product if won't offer industry standard 3 year warranty
GFX - At 1920 x 1080, I wouldn't get the 6950 or 6970.. Save $150 and get a 560 Ti (900 Mhz).
Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) are lised below:
6950 gets 479 fps as a single card and 751 in CF
560 Ti - 900 Mhz gets 495 fps as a single card and 862 in SLI
Case / PSU - I'd get the HAF-X over the 932 and the DF-85 over the HAF-X. But the TX650 is not certified for twin 6950's or 560's as t doesn't have enough PCI-E cables. The TX650 V2 is for the 6950 but not the 560 Ti. I'd get a XFX Core Edition 750 watter http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - Vertex 2 is 285 MBps....Vertex 3 is 550 MBps .... use the $150 ya saved on the GFX to upgrade....though as soon as Corsair Force 3's hit the shelves, both will be about $220. And no, smaller isn't a way I'd go. Don't expect miracles though....For example, tested my last build and boot times on the Vertex 3 are 15.6 seconds as opposed to 21.2 from the HD.
Card Reader - Had issues with that one....I use these now:
Thanks JackNaylorPE, great advice...from everyone, really!
Admittedly, I am bit naive when it comes to GPUs (part of the reason I've probably never tried to put a rig together myself until now). I initially had a 560Ti in the build until I got feedback that the 2GB mem of the 6950/6970 would be important for longevity vs. the 1MB 560Ti (a believe the poster used Total War Shogun as the example that eats up almost 1.9Mem already).
Can you give me your thoughts as to why you like that case? I had been looking at that one earlier, actually, but it looked to have fewer front ports and the coolermaster had more 220mm cooling fans (which I assume would be better than 140mm, but I admittedly am not sure).