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Best Rig - 6 Monior Array

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June 8, 2011 5:06:15 AM

Hello Guys,

I'm in need of some solid advice. I plan on building a modding a custom case something similar to the pryamid I'm sure most of you have seen.

I'm at a bridge...

Do I go for the i7 950 processor 16GB ram Radeon 6850 1GB dedicated

CoolMaster - Liquid cooling Gigabyte board x58 8 free slots of RAM 2 PCI slots.

I plan on playing AION, The game is quite full on with the latest graphics and patches my quad core 3.5GB ram has had it's day.


Basically I want to spend max 1.5K on all the hardware - excluding case.

I also wanted to have a 6 monitor array 23" would this put alot of stress on the system?

Thanks for any input!

More about : rig monior array

June 8, 2011 11:49:46 AM

Don't go with the older i7; get an i5-2500K and a P67 motherboard. An OCed Sandy Bridge CPU can outpace the i7-900 Extreme 6-core CPUs in games.

I'm assuming you have experience with liquid cooling?

I'd recommend dual 6950s/6970s for a 6 monitor setup. A 6850 won't give you playable framerates, since it's on par with the GTX 460-ish.

You only need 8GB of RAM. Haven't found/heard of a game that benefits from more than 6GB (Metro 2033).
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June 9, 2011 2:24:54 AM

Hello thanks so much for your post it's greatly appreciated.

Ok so you would suggest spend the extra and get something decent which makes perfect sense.

i7 2500k - asus p8z - dulux board thoughts?

I will be liquid cooling yes.

The board I just mentioned has 3 PCI slots which is plenty my concern was the RAM with the 6 monitors running do you think I would not benifit from 16GB?

The dual 6950's is what I'll be purchasing do you believe would hold a steady 50 FPS?

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June 9, 2011 2:42:38 AM

The i7 doesn't add a significant performance increase in games. The only advantage it has is hyperthreading, which only helps in heavily threaded applications like photo/video editing, etc. It's not worth the money if you're just gaming.

The RAM on the graphics card is what will affect the framerates of the games, not the desktop RAM. That's why the 2GB models are important. I'm not entirely sure they will hold a steady 50fps, since I've personally never done it. I would look into that.

If you can afford the price increase, I'd recommend the 6970 over the 6950, obviously for its better processing power.
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June 9, 2011 5:03:59 AM

If i7 will not effect over all (Gaming) performance is there a need to buy an i7 honestly?

Should I just get a i5 and over clock that? The money gap between makes and models are huge.

I'll be honest I'm running a quad core system 3.5GB ram with a radeon 6850 to be honest runs everything on high settings no issues what so ever.

Unfortunetly it is time to move on but I'm just trying to get my head around what I should be doing.

I'm playing 1 game on this new machine which is AION full settings on high proberly the most realistic MMO so far by far graphic wise.

Would 2 Graphic cards radeon 6950 benifit me in anyway or is this over kill with 4GB dedicated memory on the cards.
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June 9, 2011 11:19:05 AM

That's what I'm saying; it's not worth the money unless you're doing video/photo stuff *professionally*

With the 6 monitors, you NEED the 2GB models. The 1GB has very little headroom on 1 monitor, and needless to say 3 would start to choke it up.
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June 10, 2011 1:26:44 AM

Right making perfect sense there.

Now let me ask another thing,

Going Intel is there any benifit going AMD? Personally I've never attempted to try AMD products but after doing some research the difference isn't a whole lot greater.

Should I go AMD ?

If I'm looking to spend let's say $1000 would this benifit what I'm after?

Can you throw some AMD specs and costs at me if you know ofc.
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June 10, 2011 1:43:50 AM

Lukums. why would you build a 6 monitor array? 3 monitors gives you surround and you would have to have monitors behind you for a 6 monitor array. For your budget it cannot be done reasonably. I might be able to slap together a POS at your budget, but never could I say that it is a quality build.
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June 10, 2011 1:55:10 AM

I have wall mounted the monitors I already have them. 3 above 3 below.
I have a 6970 and a 6950 just wondering about boards and processors because honestly I'm quite clueless.

The budget is only this because I'm yet to be paid I can buy half this month another half next month.

Really just trying to get the board and CPU down pat.

What do you think Intel ( paying high cost ) or AMD?
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June 10, 2011 2:35:44 AM

At 1920*1080*6, GPU will be way more important than CPU. 1366/AM3 might actually be a better bet for the extra PCI lanes, although in each case you'll be buying into a dead-end socket a month or two before new stuff gets released.

The budget constraint makes it harder. If you don't have the cash to build it now, just save it and wait. That way we will see SB-ES Prices and BD Benchmarks. Those are really the platforms you should be targeting (AM3+/LGA2011).

If you have to buy now, I would prob go AM3 over 1366 just on price and expect a single card powering three HD monitors to be your weak point anyway. 1366 would be faster and give you a path to a 990X, but at those prices it'd prob just be cheaper to replace the CPU/board when the time comes.

So since the original post on the 8th you wanted a six monitor array and were thinking of a 6850, but now you have an array and a 6950 and a 6970...?



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June 10, 2011 2:44:24 AM

OK, there is going to be a bandwidth problem for 6 monitors and 2 GPUs. One of the problems is that there is no array for 3 up and 3 down, at least as in my experience. But it may be possible. I'd want at least 3 GPUs to power a 6 monitor display. Probably three 6950s (your budget probably limits it to the 6950s).

Board & CPU that is best is probably Intel Sandybridge. That is the best option at the present. But the AMD Bulldozer is supposed to come out later this year and may (I have no idea) be a better choice. I'd go with a i7 2600K on an ASUS revolution or higher mobo.
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June 10, 2011 2:52:09 AM

The only real benefit from the extra PCI-E lanes would be a board that runs at x16/x16 instead of x16/x8.

I wouldn't suggest the AMD side, because their CPUs are WAY behind Intel's. There is a very significant difference between the two.

IMO you'd be fine with the 6950s/6970s and the i5-2500K. You may not be able to play at the highest settings and/or highest AA settings, but you should easily be able to play it at a good level of detail.
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June 10, 2011 3:29:39 AM

boiler1990 said:
The only real benefit from the extra PCI-E lanes would be a board that runs at x16/x16 instead of x16/x8.


X16/X16 instead of X8X8...with two cards, yea, but with three one would run at X4 vs X8min on a 1366/am3 board. Something super CPU intensive like FSX might choke on CPU power, but would it matter for AION? The extra lanes might add 5-7 fps, but if the CPU isn't a bottleneck it would only give 1 or 2 FPS. Unless AION is incredibly CPU intensive, in which case I'm wrong on this point...but I think I am still right about waiting till the OP can buy everything at once.
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June 14, 2011 4:24:58 AM

Thanks for the massive amount of input!

Getting these idea's are a big help.

Ok so more research done, the asus 6970 will support 4 monitors but the new ATI 6990 will support 6!

Yes the ATI 6990 is 700 dollars but would this be a better option then running 2 cards of the PCI slots?
I believe 6 monitors will NOT run Aion to the highest detail I think I'd be asking too much even now with my 52" TV 60 FPS steady was lucky to get with 1 6950 1GB.

I don't think I'll require anymore input as I have a much better idea going into this now.

To wait for a bit more spending money may be a better option so close to end of financial I'm sure new hardware is around the corner.

My last and final question is there anywhere US/Australia were I can order the parts at a nice price?
I've searched on EBAY and you can get things directly from the shops over seas for a nice price would this be recommended?

Thanks again guys I really appreciate it.
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June 14, 2011 2:57:23 PM

Each 6970 should be able to support 4 monitors; my 6950 2GB will support 4 as well, according to MSI's page. You'll just need 2 cards to support all 6, which is essentially what the 6990 is.

The benchmarks really favor 2x6970s over a single 6990, due to heat constraints thanks to dual GPUs and VRAM, which get really hot. Unless you plan on getting a second 6990 in the future, I don't really see a point to picking it over the 6970s.

I'd be surprised if your 6950 1GB wouldn't run at 60fps on your TV; HDTVs run at 1920x1080, which is one of the 6950s best resolutions ;) 

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June 14, 2011 5:38:55 PM

I used to have a pair of 2gb 5870 eyefinity edition cards (6 outputs per card), and played around with mega monitor displays before.

Here's my actual advice:

First of all, six monitor arrays have a ton of bezel in the middle of your screen. They are fun to try at a store, or at a friend's house, but crappy to use for long gaming sessions. I find the same goes with 3D vision, etc.

Three screens isn't too bad, but still I prefer one nicer one (and having another one or two for movies...other stuff etc.)

Secondly, if you're buying six monitors (with decent bezels) and mounts to make them look nice in an array, you should also be willing to have a wicked system to back it (if you're gaming). You'll need at LEAST Crossfire 6970s, if not Quadfire with 6990s. Otherwise, what is the point? You'll be playing at a huge resolution with dips to 15-20 fps...
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June 15, 2011 12:55:51 AM

My main rig is in the lounge connect to my TV directly to my network.

The TV at 52" is fantastic for gaming really is this 6 monitor array was more so for a fun project to have in a spare room in my house.

The 6990 would be a waste yes I see it to at 700 dollars per card is quite dear and it wouldn't do the job compared to the 6970's.

If it is not! possible to play at 60FPS on 6 monitors then to be honest I'm not interested,
This project was to see if 6 monitors would hold up a 60FPS gaming session.

I believe I will go for the i52500k / x58 GA -BA 3 PCI slots overclockin board. Corsair ram 16GB with the 2 6970's I'll post pics of the end result and the FPS is anyone is interested.

Thanks again for all the input you guys have been a massive help.!


Luke
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June 15, 2011 2:19:07 AM

You can't put a 2500k on an x58 board! Don't buy it haha! You'll want a P67 chipset motherboard. I'm a fan of the Gigabyte P67-UD4 (or 5, 7), or you could grab a nice Asus board. The WS Revolution gives you even more options for video cards as well.
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June 15, 2011 7:40:18 AM

I MEANT Z68 UD7 B3 OMG SORRY! lol Gigabyte !

lol epic fail on my part
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June 15, 2011 10:14:22 AM

Gigabyte is making solid boards. I love my UD4 :) 

Good luck with the build!
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June 22, 2011 2:34:30 AM

If anyone was interested what I decided.

Z68-A-OC ( Overclock button to 4Ghz looked too good ) Gigabtye
16GB Corsiar Vengence Black
i5 2500k
6990 4Gb dedicated + a 6970 2GB
Corsair Silver heatsink forgive me forgot the name looks like a massive tower.

:) )
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June 22, 2011 6:41:11 PM

Wish I could afford a 6990...
Should work well though. I'd be interested to hear how it performs, because we get requests for multimonitor builds on occasion.
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June 23, 2011 12:23:17 AM

No worries as soon as it's built I'll get my wife to take a pic of me and my 6 monitors with a nice moving screen saver or something lol.

To be honest I'm more concerned about the board and the graphics cards the 6990 is quite thick. lol
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June 23, 2011 12:25:52 AM

It's just a standard dual slot card; it'll be fine with that 6970 on your board.
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June 23, 2011 12:27:16 AM

Yes I believe so,

See how we go on the 14th :) 
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June 23, 2011 11:11:00 PM

Lukums said:
Hello Guys,'


REOPEND!!! BIG PROBLEM

I'm in need of some solid advice. I plan on building a modding a custom case something similar to the pryamid I'm sure most of you have seen.

I'm at a bridge...

Do I go for the i7 950 processor 16GB ram Radeon 6850 1GB dedicated

CoolMaster - Liquid cooling Gigabyte board x58 8 free slots of RAM 2 PCI slots.

I plan on playing AION, The game is quite full on with the latest graphics and patches my quad core 3.5GB ram has had it's day.


Basically I want to spend max 1.5K on all the hardware - excluding case.

I also wanted to have a 6 monitor array 23" would this put alot of stress on the system?

Thanks for any input!

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June 23, 2011 11:14:23 PM

6 Monitors at 100hz

i52500k
fatality 67 red board
8GB Corsair Dominator red 1600hz


Graphics cards are the most important thing here.

Options -

6990 + 6970

GTX 580 x2

----------------------------

Would I get better performace with a AMD system for graphics?

I don't mind getting it wrong, no one is able to say if the 6 monitor array with eyefinity will work 100% at 50 FPS because simply no one knows.
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June 23, 2011 11:57:57 PM

You'll need 3 NVidia cards to run 6 monitors; NVidia cards will only support 2 monitors max, so you'd need the Asus WS Revolution + 3 GTX 500s in order to run 6 monitors.
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June 24, 2011 12:10:20 AM

You can run 6 off 5850 or the 6970 Asus but I don't know how the performance will be.
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June 24, 2011 12:11:35 AM

It would be pretty poor off of one card, given the number and resolution of the monitors. I'd definitely go with 2 cards.
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June 24, 2011 12:28:32 AM

For sure I will not be running it off 1 but the issue is can I half the work between 2 cards with eyefinity I don't see why not.
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