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New Gaming Rig Build, Advice Needed

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June 3, 2011 5:02:07 PM

So I have recently come across a large amount of money.
I want to make me a super beastly PC that will I will never have to "Guess" if it is capable of running a video game of mine at the highest settings.
So this is what I have come up with so far, I am not trying to spend BOAT loads of money, but a decent amount will probably be spent in the end so go ahead and throw stuff out and ill give a thumbs up or down if it is within my budget

So far I have:
Intel i7 2600k 3.40 Quad Core 8MB L3 Cache
Asus P6T6 Revolution With True 3 way x16 Crossfire/SLI (I plan on using the SLI part, always been a Nivida kinda person)
and http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Mind you I have not bought any of this yet and I have built my rig I am using now but I am still pretty noob when it comes to hardware and what not (more of a software kinda person)
SOOO What I need help with is a good graphics card (nvidia) to SLI 3 way, a new power source capable of powering this beastlyness (I have been told corsair is a good brand for energy saving without sacrificing performance) and a good watercooling (never done that before super noob to that) and that is about it I think, I am sure I can handle the hard drives and the CD/DVD Drives cause why get a Blu ray when my PS3 is blu ray plus my actually Blu ray player so why buy another drive in my opinion anything else I should know about the setup ect ect thank you much in advance
June 3, 2011 5:38:09 PM

Let’s start for with the other things listed before we get to the processor. The processor you have selected is a 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processor which uses socket 1155, the motherboard you have selected is for our 1st generation Intel Core processors and would use the Intel Core i7-9XX processors. To take advantage of the performance increase of the 2nd generation Intel Core processor you are going to want to move to a P67 or Z68 series board.

Memory, the memory that you have selected is very good for a 1st generation Intel Core i7-9XX processor in that it is triple-channel. The 2nd generation Intel Core processor use memory in a dual channel mode. So you are going to want to pick out your memory as DDR 3 1333 or 1600 and make sure you are running at 1.5v or lower.

Now for the processor right now very few games will take advantage of more than 3 threads, and because the biggest value of the Intel Core i7-2600K is hyper-threading giving you support for 4 additional threads for a total of 8 threads. So for gaming you are going to want to go with the Intel Core i5-2500K. With good cooling you can overclock the Intel Core i5-2500K to 4.5GHz or more. So you want to make sure that you get a good HSF (heatsink/fan) for the “K” processors because overclocking on them is so easy.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
(edited to make it easier to read)
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June 3, 2011 5:43:11 PM

if you want the BEST system available then this would be the best:

2x gtx 590 in SLI: (its quad SLI since the 590 is 2 580s)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

z68 quad SLI board:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i7-2600K:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

corsair 1200W 80+ gold PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Lian-Li P80 case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

best Bluray burner:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ vertex 480GB SSD drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G-skill ripjaw 16GB ram:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

corsair H70 CPU heatsink:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and there is one of the best desktop PC in the world. This is considering you have no budget.
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June 3, 2011 6:34:21 PM

Oh my I am scared, Since I am noob, I am going to just ask a simple question. Assuming I have no budget but do not want to go overboard, What would be a good motherboard to start with. I still kinda wanna build it myself just because it is fun and all. I want this desktop to be able to play the current games on the market and more games to come on the HIGHEST settings possible.
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June 3, 2011 6:36:00 PM

what resolution is your monitor? and whats to be scared of? :p 
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June 3, 2011 6:52:31 PM

This is a complete 100% new build the one I have now is 16:9 at 1366x768 but I want a bit bigger and at 1080P

this mean that the graphics card(s) have to have some kind of HDMI output, right?
Plus, whats to say that games in the future will not take advantage of 4 threads, if not all 8? will it cause a problem with gaming if it cannot access all the threads? I can understand not getting an i7 purely for gaming because you are not going to be using all of its power, but will an i5 become quickly outdated? and what if something comes out that can harness the power of a 2600k? would it be worth buying in the long run? or getting an i5 at a lesser price, then upgrading when the time is called for?
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June 3, 2011 7:50:41 PM

moboroshi said:
This is a complete 100% new build the one I have now is 16:9 at 1366x768 but I want a bit bigger and at 1080P

this mean that the graphics card(s) have to have some kind of HDMI output, right?
Plus, whats to say that games in the future will not take advantage of 4 threads, if not all 8? will it cause a problem with gaming if it cannot access all the threads? I can understand not getting an i7 purely for gaming because you are not going to be using all of its power, but will an i5 become quickly outdated? and what if something comes out that can harness the power of a 2600k? would it be worth buying in the long run? or getting an i5 at a lesser price, then upgrading when the time is called for?


it doesnt mean that if you have a 1080P monitor it will have a HDMI port, such as this great 1080P 21.5" monitor, connects via DVI just like most monitors:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 3, 2011 7:51:42 PM

Which one is better for visual quality? Does DVI compare to an HDMI or are they both about the same?
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June 3, 2011 7:59:38 PM

they are the same, there is no real world difference beetween them.
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June 3, 2011 8:02:55 PM

Digital signal so its the same, HDMI can carry audio with it. Move some of your budget to a nice big monitor, approx. 250-400 dollars will buy you a excellent 23-24" IPS screen at 1920x1080 depending on sales. Next forget about Tri-SLI as you won't see much gain after dual SLI of any top spec card. Also skip the dual GPU boards like the 590 and 6990, they aren't worth the cost.

If you want absolutely top spec without breaking the bank you want 2x 6970s in CF approx. 650-700 dollars for both cards. Even higher spec, but much more expensive will be 2x GTX 580s which will come out to around $900-$1000 depending on which model. MOBO should be a Z68 so around 225 or so would get you a great board. Go with any 80+ Gold certified PSU above 850W from the reputable manufacturers, Corsair, Antec, Silverstone etc. 2x4GB 1600Mhz RAM should run you around $90, and a 120GB Sandforce2 based SSD will be around $260-300 depending if you go for a Crucial or OCZ. Round it out with a case for around 200 like a HAF X, and a Noctua D-14 and you will have one of the fastest rigs around without going nuts and buying 4 GFX cards or a $1000 990X processor.
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June 3, 2011 8:20:11 PM

I think I am going to just have it built for me xD I can't keep with all of this info, it would be simpler if you were to HELP me build a rig instead of building it for me xD
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June 3, 2011 8:22:09 PM

moboroshi said:
I think I am going to just have it built for me xD I can't keep with all of this info, it would be simpler if you were to HELP me build a rig instead of building it for me xD

What exactly are you looking for advice wise?
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June 3, 2011 9:09:10 PM

I am not looking for an entire parade of technical jargon I just want some advice as to what a good processor and motherboard would be for gaming now and in the future, I dont want to have to upgrade lets say, 3 years down the road. a good example is my comp now, it was "decent" back in the day (3-4 years ago) but now, its not real up to par for the now a day's gaming. I would really love to have me the i7 2600k but as stated before it really isnt that awesome for gaming because it has 8 threads(?) and most games only care for 3 threads (?) but what if, in later years, games are capable of using 8 threads, that would mean an upgrade, right? As far as I can tell the nvidia 580 is the way to go or a 590 because it is basically two 580's put together, if I were to get two of those, it would be a quad SLI setup instead of a 3x right? are there any x58(?) mobos that support quad SLI? if so, is it worth it in the end? I figure if i spend the money now, ten years later I still stomp all over gaming graphics and performance because I still have 3 or 4 graphics cards, they may not be "up to date" but since I have four, that is better than the "newest most powerful GFX of the time" If a i7 really is not worth the money and the i5 is then I will decide on an i5 but if, in the long run an i7 is worth the money, then i would get an i7. I am super noob so throwing out massive amounts of info with all kinds of acranims throws me off a bit. I would prefer some advice, do some research then post my build. after that, the experts (you) can tell me if something is compatible or not. kinda like the first answer stating that the mobo was for first gen i7's and not second gen. I didn't even know there was two generations xD all part of the learning processes
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June 3, 2011 9:31:46 PM

heres a short breakdown:

CPU: cpu's can vary much and depend a lot on the microarchitechture, which greatly explains why some newer processors with lower clock speeds can beat older processors with higher clock speeds (and maybe even more cores), heres an example:
the 2500K (quad core, 3.3ghz) vs phenom 980 (quad core 3.7ghz):
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=362
the 2500K due to a more efficient microarchitechture.

the best CPU for gaming/price is the 2500K currently. (the 2600K would only really benefit you if you are doing stuff like encoding, heavily threaded applications etc.)

motherboard: when choosing a motherboard the first thing to see is, will my chosen CPU fit in it? so when looking for a motherboard for a 2500K for example, you would look for a LGA1155 socket. Another thing to look for is SataIII and USB3 (latest technology which will benefit you in the future and now).

if your looking to add a second graphics card in the future (SLI/Crossfire) then look for 2 PCI-E x16 slots. but be careful many motherboards such as this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
show '2xpci-e x16' slots but if you look in the brackets it says 'x16, x4' this is the number of pins that will actually be used (you should look for atleast x16 and x8).

when looking for a motherboard also look at the form factor, which is mostly ATX or M-ATX (sometimes called uATX) a case that says it supports 'ATX' will also support anything smaller eg M-ATX.

case:
when looking for a case, look for good reviews, good airflow etc.

ram:
anything ddr3-1333 or 1666 is fine, if you get a speed higher than your motherboard supports eg 2100 then thats fine too, it will underclock to a speed that your motherboard does support. for gaming you dont really need anything more than 4Gb.

HDD:
when looking for a HDD look for high RPMs, eg 7200RPM is good a large cache eg 32mb or 64mb is good.

SSDs:
ssds are much more expensive than hdds but they are much much faster, most here would reccommend buying a ssd as only your boot drive, (eg a 32gb ssd for your windows 7 installation).

PSU:
this is a very important part of your PC, go for something branded, such as seasonic, corsair, antec etc. because they are known for their reliablilty, going for a low-cost PSU could result in it blowing out in your case damaging other components or failing to provide enough power. try not to go for ridiculously high Watt PSUs, as they will have lower efficiency. a good thing to look out for in PSUs is an 80+ rating.

GPU:
any GPU should work in any of todays systems, providing your PSU is powerful enough to power it. the GPU is what will give you the power for gaming mostly. good things to look out for is good reviews, competitive pricing and good performance.

aftermarket coolers:
or heatsink fans, these are a good way of cooling down your CPU especially if you are going for a high end gaming system and plan on overclocking in the future, good things to look out for is if it will fit in your case, good reviews, and often water-cooled heatsinks are better.

i think thats all (my hands are cramping now :p ) hope i helped.

[EDIT]: missed out cd/dvd burner so,

cd/dvd burner:
anything will do really, unless you plan on using bluray discs, heres a nice one for only $20:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

[EDIT2]: please tell me if i missed something im a bit tired :p 

[EDIT3]: forgot to mention if your buying lga 1155 (which you probably are) make sure you got for a P67 or Z68 mobo for the ability to overclock in the future.

[EDIT4]: use this PSU calculator to find the wattage needed for your system:

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

and give yourself some overhead, about 50-150W, going higher wouldnt be an issue just going lower. another thing that i forgot to mention in that thing is amps, look for good ampage on the +12V rails, (if there are more than one rails eg +12V1, +12V2 then add them together to get a rough estimate. for a high-end system you should go for 80A+ depending on your components.

[EDIT5]: forgot to mention (although its really quite unneccesary), if you have a high budget a sound card could be useful in giving you good audio performance, but the onboard sound is more than good enough tbh.
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June 3, 2011 9:35:13 PM

i am sorry? I didnt mean to off as rude or ignorant? i have money because I worked for it? I am actually quite intelligent and am going to job corps for cisco networking, once out of that I am attending college for ITT. I am not a "stupid" computer user. I just dont know hardware very well, if it runs, I can make it run even more so through the interface of the computer itself. I guess you could say i dont really care how it works, but just that it does. after that, your in my league and I have ALWAYS been able to fix any type of error I have ever had, I rarely get viruses, and I know how to fix them if I do get em, without any virus software. Since you think I am being rude, I will be. I could DANCE around you software wise on a comp. I see that you are also a "newcomer" on this site, so please tell me what you plan on doing with your life and why you are on this site? I was asking for help not your rude post. Thanks to those who have given it, I have learned alot and have gotten a great amount of insight to actually building a computer. (I built mine)
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June 3, 2011 9:36:50 PM

moboroshi said:
i am sorry? I didnt mean to off as rude or ignorant? i have money because I worked for it? I am actually quite intelligent and am going to job corps for cisco networking, once out of that I am attending college for ITT. I am not a "stupid" computer user. I just dont know hardware very well, if it runs, I can make it run even more so through the interface of the computer itself. I guess you could say i dont really care how it works, but just that it does. after that, your in my league and I have ALWAYS been able to fix any type of error I have ever had, I rarely get viruses, and I know how to fix them if I do get em, without any virus software. Since you think I am being rude, I will be. I could DANCE around you software wise on a comp. I see that you are also a "newcomer" on this site, so please tell me what you plan on doing with your life and why you are on this site? I was asking for help not your rude post. Thanks to those who have given it, I have learned alot and have gotten a great amount of insight to actually building a computer. (I built mine)


sorry man, was just trying to help :( 
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June 3, 2011 9:43:00 PM

Thank you very much hacker for your help, you indeed did help me quite a bit. I will be using your post as a reference for building a hypothetical rig right now. The only other questions I would want to ask are these:

1.) What wattage of PSU should I expect to get? I dont want to undercut it buy "100 watts" and be left to replace with a higher wattage PSU

2.) I was told the SSD were the way to go when installing an OS. The only thing is, I was told you have to follow certain step to get the BEST out of the SSD because they do not harness the same technology the a HDD does. I.E Windows 7 was built around installation on a HDD and not a SDD. Is this true, and without causing you to much trouble, where would I find these "steps?"
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June 3, 2011 9:44:38 PM

I'm sorry hacker, in no way was I speaking to you. You are quite helpful and are probably older and obviously know more than I do. I am merely twenty and just starting school and I would never expect someone to know everything about the world at my age. I was speaking to RCjet for trolling my thread.

-Thank you Hacker for your help in everyway
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June 3, 2011 9:48:00 PM

I have dabbled a bit in the beginnings of HTML, XHTML, Java, and a small amount of C++. I have only truly started to learn it all and am still new. I basically make tiny programs just for the fun of it (like popping a mass amount of smiley's onto my desktop after double clicking an icon in order to deter a younger sibling xD) I am going to start school soon and will hopefully be able to be on your level when I get out lol
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June 3, 2011 9:53:04 PM

moboroshi said:
I'm sorry hacker, in no way was I speaking to you. You are quite helpful and are probably older and obviously know more than I do. I am merely twenty and just starting school and I would never expect someone to know everything about the world at my age. I was speaking to RCjet for trolling my thread.

-Thank you Hacker for your help in everyway


the thing about the ssd, no there is no such problem with programmes being designed for HDDs, they are just memory storage devices and your PC will not facce any compatibility issues, as for the PSU question use this PSU calculator to find the wattage needed for your system:

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

and give yourself some overhead, about 50-150W, going higher wouldnt be an issue just going lower. another thing that i forgot to mention in that thing is amps, look for good ampage on the +12V rails, (if there are more than one rails eg +12V1, +12V2 then add them together to get a rough estimate. for a high-end system you should go for 80A+ depending on your components.
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June 3, 2011 10:02:39 PM

forgot to mention (although its really quite unneccesary), if you have a high budget a sound card could be useful in giving you good audio performance, but the onboard sound is more than good enough tbh.
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June 3, 2011 10:07:21 PM

Hmm alrighty then, I am going to hit a few sites and read up on hardware and then build my hypothetical build and I will get back to you. thanks for your help.

btw, you will go places in this world if you keep at it. but dont let computers consume your life. take up some other hobbies to keep your life fresh. I know how to fly a chopper and a Plane and have taken martial arts. probably why I dont know much about computers compared to you xD
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June 3, 2011 10:10:09 PM

Mind if I ask why so close minded twards AMD cards? If your going with 3 cards or 2 for that matter recent tests here at toms have shown that AMD cards in crossfire can give more bang for the buck. So you get better performance with less money. I would suggest not sticking to one or the other I have a amd now if the next gen of cards shows Nvidia kicking butt I would buy one of there cards. But 3 6970's would be very very good and would allow you to run anything you want at any settings you want wile not going over some crazy amount spent. The Core i7 2600k is the the best right now so I would go that rout. Just something to think about.
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June 3, 2011 10:13:00 PM

I would have to say ignorance towards the amd cards is the real reason. I know MUCH more about nvidia than I do the AMD cards. I couldn't tell you a comparison of cards because I just dont know anything about them, thus that is why I usually stick towards the nvidia cards because I have always used them and have never really had any problems with them. I can see your point but I am kinda locked into the nvid world and it will probably stay that way lol
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June 3, 2011 10:14:00 PM

cburke82 said:
Mind if I ask why so close minded twards AMD cards? If your going with 3 cards or 2 for that matter recent tests here at toms have shown that AMD cards in crossfire can give more bang for the buck. So you get better performance with less money. I would suggest not sticking to one or the other I have a amd now if the next gen of cards shows Nvidia kicking butt I would buy one of there cards. But 3 6970's would be very very good and would allow you to run anything you want at any settings you want wile not going over some crazy amount spent. The Core i7 2600k is the the best right now so I would go that rout. Just something to think about.


yup, i would go 6970 or 6950 and unlock/flash it to a 6970, you get more for your money with ATI cards, heres some info for the OP on flashing your a 6950 into a 6970:

http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar...

although the gtx 580 is a much more powerful card, it is also much more expensive.
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June 3, 2011 10:14:48 PM

In the world of computer hardware, it is more cost-effective and wise to buy something more mainstream and upgrade it frequently, than it makes sense to buying something total overkill and expect it to make you futureproof. No matter what you buy today, it will be low end in 3 years and obsolete in 5. You get very poor value when you buy things at the bleeding edge, and it ends up being outdated very soon anyway. If you had gotten 2 gtx 295`s two years ago for $1000+ they would already be outdated for example becuase they have no dx11 support. Anyhow most games today are console ports that you can max out with 3 year old hardware lol. any how regarding i7-2600k it is reasonably priced so go for it, otherise get i5-2500k and upgrade to ivy bridge later if you need more performance/cores (same socket i think) games will be heavy on graphics card so get something like 6950/6970 and if not happy with performance get another one in crossfire. dont bother with more than 8 gb of ram, games wont use that much for years to come.
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June 3, 2011 10:18:01 PM



wow, your are beastly, no homo I am like in love with you right now xD. no offence to you but I kinda hate the medical field in America because of their pure ignorance towards people feelings and actual medication. You wouldn't believe how many lives I have lost because of stupid doctors who only care about their pay check. Try to stay open minded when diagnosing someone, not everything is as clear cut in the medical world as it is the computer world.

As for me, I love to train me in some Southern and Northern style Praying Mantis, Some regular brazillian jiu jitzu, and military combat training. (just because they dont really punch anyone in the face, it is usually life or death for them so most of their combat move are either deadly or bone breaking) As for weapons training, I dont really know much about it but I really want my concealed weapons permit and should probably read up on the logistics of firearms before applying, even though I would have to go through NRA training to get it.
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June 3, 2011 10:21:23 PM

ps3hacker12 said:
yup, i would go 6970 or 6950 and unlock/flash it to a 6970, you get more for your money with ATI cards, heres some info for the OP on flashing your a 6950 into a 6970:

http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar...

although the gtx 580 is a much more powerful card, it is also much more expensive.

I had a XFX 6950 unlocked to 6970 specs and now have a standard MSI Twin Frozer 6950 here is what I have found. The unlocked card worked fine at stock 6970 speeds any OC would result in artifacts. This Twin Frozer on the other hand is OC way past those speeds ( OC setting are in my sig) And in benchmarks I get better results with the OC than the unlocked shaders :) 
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June 3, 2011 10:23:10 PM

Even though all that sounds just really awesome I think I will just spend the money on 1-2 580's or a 590 xD just me being stubborn, dont mind me at all
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June 3, 2011 10:25:00 PM

moboroshi said:
Even though all that sounds just really awesome I think I will just spend the money on 1-2 580's or a 590 xD just me being stubborn, dont mind me at all

Well then at least dont get the 2 580's you will only see a minimal performance increase over the 590 but spend about $300 more :( 
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June 3, 2011 10:26:44 PM

lol okay then I will do that. I was told the 590 was just two 580's put together basically so wouldn't it be about the same either way?
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June 3, 2011 11:43:27 PM

moboroshi said:
lol okay then I will do that. I was told the 590 was just two 580's put together basically so wouldn't it be about the same either way?

To keep heat and power down theu under clocked the GPU's and mem. So you will see a few less FPS with the 590 but not worth $300 more for the 2 580's and 2 580's might require a more expensive PSU adding to the cost as well.
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June 3, 2011 11:58:51 PM

yep, if your going for the nvida high-end build, id agree in saying to go with the single gtx590 not the 2xgtx580s.
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June 4, 2011 12:22:41 AM

ps3hacker12 said:
yep, if your going for the nvida high-end build, id agree in saying to go with the single gtx590 not the 2xgtx580s.

Its crazy to me that 2 6950's are in most cases the better option than one 6990 but one 590 is better than 2 580's lol
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June 4, 2011 1:19:05 AM

cburke82 said:
Its crazy to me that 2 6950's are in most cases the better option than one 6990 but one 590 is better than 2 580's lol


Not better than performance wise (the 590 would be slightly behind two 580s) but having one card would make it easier for future upgrades, less heat etc.
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