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Air Cooler for HD 6950's in crossfire config

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April 15, 2011 3:23:32 PM

Quick question:
On my new build, I'm planning dual HD6950's in crossfire config. (plan on light OC'ing)
1. Do you think the factory cooling config is enough?
2. If not factory installed as delivered, what brand/type would work as both the best and still fit in a crossfire config

Thanks guys/girls!!
a c 147 U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 4:22:12 PM

The factory cooler should be good for stock or a slight OC. A bigger concern with multi-card setups is case airflow. You need to make sure you have enough air moving between and around your cards so that you don't build up a pocket of hot air, especially between the cards. Cases with side intake fans are usually nice for this as it blows air right between the two cards. You can always be creative with a 120MM fan and some zip ties.

Aftermarket coolers are usually used for heavy overclocks. The factory coolers have gotten much better since a few years ago. The last cooler I upgraded was on a x1900xtx the rest were stock coolers or whatever was installed at factory.
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April 15, 2011 4:49:25 PM

Dear jay2tall:
Thanks for the input buddy! I had previously posted by "first" build earlier and some great guys helped me on updating my parts and finally ended up with what you see below.
You are MORE THAN WELCOMED to check it out and comment if you see anything out of kilter. I will ordering parts this weekend..Yep, first build! Can I do it??? - "I did stay at a Holiday Express last night!"
thanks - Tom

Case $189.99 Cooler Master HAF- X 942 KKN1
Power Supply $206.00 SILVERSTONE Strider Gold ST1000-G 1000W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS GOLD (saved about $45 with Amazon)
CPU $314.99 Core i7 2600K Sandy Bridge processor
Motherboard $239.99 ASUS P8P67 DELUXE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
SSD 1 $229.99 G.SKILL Sniper Gaming Series FM-25S2S-120GBSR 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
HDD 1 $169.99 Western Digital 2 TB Caviar Black SATA 6GB/s 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache WD2002FAEX
HDD 1 $87.99 Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
Optical Drive #1 $179.99 Pioneer Black 6X BD-R 2X BD-RE 8X DVD+R 6X BD-ROM 4MB Cache BDR-206MBK
Optical Drive #2 $0.00 NONE
Graphics Card $539.00 DUAL - MSI R6950-2PM2D2GD5 Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP
Sound Card $172.99 Creative PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series Sound Card
Network card $69.99 VisionTek Killer 2100 128 MB DDR2 PCI Express Gaming Network Card 900317
Ram Memory $199.99 G.SKILL Ripjaws X + Turbulence II Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000)
O/S Software $99.99 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Edition OEM !!
Keyboard 1 $169.99 Logitech G19
Mouse 1 $73.68 Logitech Wireless Performance MX mouse
MS Office ` $214.00 MS Office Home and Business OEM!!
Fan Control Unit $70.00 Lamptron "Touch" fan control unit
CPU Air Cooler $89.99 Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
VGA Air Cooler $79.95 Thermalright Shaman
RAM Air Cooler $10.00 Thermalright HR-07 (seems like this item is hard to find)

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April 15, 2011 4:50:50 PM

OH FORGOT! Yes, I'm sticking with you and running the factory setup coolers
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a c 147 U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 5:38:33 PM

1) Nice BIG case w/ side fan = GOOD for dual cards! I like it.

2) WOW 1000W for (2) 6950's? That is a bit much. I think in a fully populated system running Furmark you would chew up low 500W's so an 800-900W would be plenty. I can't say anything + or - about Silverstone, but they have never really come across my conversations as choice PSU. I don't know how I feel about ONE big 12V rail. Usually multiple rails are preferred for better power protection. Below is a list I made up for another thread. I like these 3 and they were picked for a dual GTX570s system.

Antec High Current Gamer Series 900W (70A on 12V rails)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cougar SX850 (69A across 12V rails)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Enermax Revolution85+ 920W (76A across 12V rails)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3) Do you REALLY need RAM coolers? Those already come with a cooler and mounted fan.

4) You can probably trim ALOT of fat off this build. Why the Network card? Why the 3 hard drives? 2TB and 1TB plus a 120GB SSD? Mega expensive sound card? Fan control unit? Blu-Ray burner? Seems like alot of extra stuff. Unless you know you are going to use it to it's potential you could cut it out or cut it down.
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April 15, 2011 8:08:52 PM

Dear jay2tall:
First of all, remember that idiot from "Tool Time"......MORE POWER!! Well I somewhat the other idiot .....
Thanks for your quick feedback!
- I figuered I was going to chew up 600-700 watts so I just went ahead with th 1000W... It will only burn what it needs anyway but thought I might add something in the future and just wanted the extra power available if I needed it..But yes, over kill.

- Misspoke on the ram cooler Thermalright HR-07 cause - you are right- the G.Skill Ripjaws comes with ram coolers called the Turbulence ll........Good eye there!

- Hard Drives: Well, I wanted the SSD because ALL YOU GUYS use them! It looks like the SSD does add performance and speed....I will only run the OS and a couple of games on the SSD anyway..... I also wanted a 2T HDD to keep all my other stuff on. I have three HDD's now but they are old.....My wife owns a travel agency so I keep all her pics on one and my backup on the other. I saw that I could get a new 7200RPM 1T for $89 and said.....what the heck...

- I talked to a few folks and saw that the Killer NIC would "improve" performance a little. I needed one anway so again....what the heck..it was only a few dollars.
- OK you got me on the Fan Control unit........just neat......I'm busted!! No need for it at all!

-As I said, my wife owns a travel agency so we travel......I'm getting ready to dump our old (6 yr old) hand held camcord (looking at the Canon Vixia HF M300 ). Now I'd be able to move video from the HD camcord right to blu-ray.........Plus I needed a blu-ray player anyway.....so....you guess it! - what the heck..

This is my first build and yes, and you are absolutely right and I know I went a little overboard on some things but at my age 62 - what the heck!!

I'll keep you cut in on the build if you'd like...
Thanks bud
Tom
PS: I even bought the toolkit, anti-static devices etc.........Oh man!- I'm ready!!!
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a c 147 U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 8:29:34 PM

Haha, ok what the heck. If it's your first build I have one piece of advice KISS! (Keep It Simple Stupid). I had a professor that always told us to remember that. Dump stuff that will just add to much complexity. Ram cooler, extra io cards, crazy nic card. Why do you need a killer NIC? It may give some cool apps or something,but every modern motherboard comes with at least 1 Gigabit ethernet port. Go with that at first. You can always add stuff later if you want.

I haven't bought into the whole SSD thing yet. I have (2) 250GB drives in a RAID 0 which works pretty well. NOT lightening fast but enough. RAID 0 is stripped drives meaning data is written across all drives with no redundancy. If I was going SSD I would go intel. Last time I checked they had the lowest failure rate by a good chunk. That could be different now. It is all up to debate, just read reviews on the ones your choose. If you are going to get a 1TB and 2TB, why not just 2 2TBs? If you are saving HD video you might need it eventually. REALLY large external hard drive may not be a bad idea to back your stuff up to. I'm all about backups. A USB 3 or ESATA would be the faster choice.

You are probably right, you are closer to 600W with the drives and suck. If you fiddle with overclocking you would get close to that as well. 1000W is still alot. I will stick by my PSU picks.

Anti-static devices? Just discharge yourself on the metal case or touch the wall plate or something grounded. You don't need to wire yourself in man.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 8:33:55 PM

My English teacher always said that to me although she said it was keep it simple sunshine.

Thats all I have to add to this thread
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April 16, 2011 6:20:47 PM

To jay2tall and omgitzfatal:
No jay2tall is right, omgitzfata - it's stupid not sunshine. (your english teacher was just pc)
jay2tall: yea, like I said, I'm somewhat of a "more power" idiot. But I am going to take your advice on the killer NIC and stick with the mb instead...What was I thinking!
Best piece of advice I got was - KISS.......
As far as buying to much etc.......just don't want to look back and say, "woulda, coulda, shoulda".....
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a c 147 U Graphics card
April 17, 2011 2:13:55 PM

Here is another question.... What are you going to be doing with dual 6950's anyway? Are you a gamer? Just curious because that is the rig you are building. Just wanted to check.

Also, I understand the woulda, coulda, shoulda thing. The best thing you can do it get the case, power supply, motherboard, and cpu right. Those are the things that are the most pain to replace. Ram is easy to add and replace. Expansion cards are to. Power supplies can be but wiring is a pain. I usually build out my motherboard, cpu, and memory to last at least 3 years for my gaming rig. I replaced my power supply a few years back because I needed to for a more powerful video card and the PSU I got has a great rebate. If you have the money too throw at it just get what you want. That always makes it fun. I'd just make sure you don't give yourself any headaches on your first build. What will you be doing with this finely tuned machine?
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April 17, 2011 3:24:59 PM

Dear jay2tall:
Ok, you busted me! I'm 62yr old, 30yr active dury retired naval officer, responsible citizen and ..........well..........a GAMER!!
I don't play much "online" gaming because those kids out there the world over spend hours a day playing their favorite games with each other and then I log into a game and then spend the next 30 getting killed then rejuvenate - get killed the rejuvenate..But I do play several games and I'm waiting for Crysis 2 . I like Half Life, Fallout3, Fallout New Vegas (although we got cheated and should have sold this one as an expansion pack for Fallout3!), Call of Duty, Company of Hero's etc...
The computer I'm using now I bought from Dell around 5 to 6 years ago. I upgraded the video card once to a GTX 6800 and up'd the ram but alas, she is old and tired (NOT LIKE ME)..
Yea, headaches on my first build - I don't need!. It's like anything I've done for the first time - read up on it, do your research, get the help of others (like you and all the great guys at Tom's Hardware like Eloric), try to get the latest and greatest parts you can without being stupid in costs and then plan the mission, and execute the mission (build the darned thing)..If you study the parts of the puzzle and then have a good plan, things "should" and I say "should" fall in line. Yea, I'm a little worried about the moment I'm sitting there and getting ready to POWER UP for the first time and then start loading software.....I'm really not a guru by any means, so if I have a BIOS issue or some other internal issue...well....I'm screwed. Then it will be back to the forums and find some more of you brainey guys to pull my ass out of the fire...And from what I've seen - there are a lot of great, intelligent guys out there willing to help.......I really like that part - "willing to help"....

So yes, I over bought a little (excitement of my first build) but I think I can pull this off........
Please stay tuned as I starting putting the build together.

STAY IN TOUCH!!
Tom
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a c 147 U Graphics card
April 17, 2011 3:56:58 PM

A 62 year old gamer. That is awesome. 30yrs active. I would also like to thank you for your service to our country. I always have the up most respect for you guys. My father is retired USAF and National Guard. He is always sporting his Vietnam Vet hat and it always blows me away when he runs into other retired servicemen. Always shaking hands and greeting each other. Kids could learn a thing or two from that level or respect.

We have a group of gamers at work, and I am the ONLY PC gamer. The rest are mostly Xbox 360 and a couple PS3. I do have a PS3, but mainly use that for a Blu-Ray player and Netflix. I have Gran Turismo 5 and the uncharted games. First Person Shooters are a must have on PC for me. I can't use the controller because I get frustrated that it's to slow. Point and click is for me. I hear you on the youngsters that whoop your butt online. There are also a plethora of aimbot and hack programs out there that give them advantages and you never know who is using them. Punkbuster does a decent job of kicking out most of them, but they are always redesigning them to get around that. I never understood why anyone would want to cheat on an online game. I guess kids these days don't know how to just have fun even if you lose. At least you don't have a tainted victory. I am actually 31 as of yesterday and find myself having it handed to me many times. Although I've been playing games since I can ever remember on PC. I build my first when I was about 14 or 15. It was an AMD 486 100Mhz that I bought parts from at a computer show. The days of setting dozens of jumper on a motherboard are long gone though. It's so much easier today to just drop in a CPU and change everything in the BIOS. Feel free to PM me on here if you this thread gets lost in the grand pool of Tom's.

You'd be fine with your build. I usually keep everything stock for a week or two just to make sure everything is working perfectly. One of the tools I use is OCCT. It is a stress test app that you can use to stress your machine. I usually run it for an hour at stock speeds. There is a CPU and GPU test along with some others. It's a good way to make sure everything is running well. The GPU test will make sure you are not getting artifacts. There is also a GPU test called Furmark that will test it well. Once you start overclocking you will want to make sure you can pass these test as well. You will never see higher temps than you do with OCCT. I think my CPu gets up to 90C and GPU tops out pretty well to. Just food for thought. I had terrible issues with my current system when I built it. I thought it was the motherboard and sent that back to newegg. Got a replacement and still same issues. My buddy has RAM and tested that, still same issue. We ended up underclocking the RAM and everything was fine. Basically the memory controller on the CPU was faulty. Sent the CPU back and have not had an issue since. The key thing is to test the crap out of it as soon as you built it and get the OS on. Install the OS, install all patches and then start testing. the sooner you identify issues the better. Newegg gives you 30 days I think and even less for certain parts. After than you have to send parts back to the manufacture.

http://www.ocbase.com/perestroika_en/
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April 18, 2011 1:55:23 PM

Most EXCELLENT info on the testing tools! I have a word doc that I'm writting stuff to in order to provide a basic plan and I had NO TESTING on that plan. Thank you!
Yep, us old vets always stop and speak to each other (even if they're Army-just kidding)....Love all that served and NOW SERVE. These men and women of today just blow me away with their professionalisn. Us old Viet Nam vets used to think we were the toughest...not so sure anymore. We have a great bunch of men and women in uniform today. God Bless Them All..

Yes on the PC. I have friends who swear by the Apple Mac but to me is such a "sissy" machine. They always get pissed when I refer to it as a "woman's" computer...
Wow, you have a pretty long history with computers!

I will keep you cut in on the build. Already getting "part shipped" notices so things should come along a some reasonable pace.

Tell your father I said hello and that the USAF is the "second best" outfit in uniform...???....well Navy of course! Ha Ha

Nowadays, service branch no longer matters.. Cut and paste the link below (I don't know how to make it an HTML)-It's USAF heavy so your dad will like it!

Turn up your speakers and click here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbV3lf1HzQI

Take care my friend and ttys.
Tom


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a c 147 U Graphics card
April 18, 2011 2:49:51 PM

I'll PM you. No need to fill up a thread with our BS. :-P
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April 28, 2011 3:20:06 PM

Best answer selected by pantbuild.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
April 28, 2011 3:55:25 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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