as far as I can tell browsing the MSI website, I think the only differences between the GD55 and GD65 is an extra sata 6G controller, a voltage check point, and a VRM heat pipe. But for only $10 more, why not
According to this article the 560TI hawk often out preforms the 6950 while being pretty good on power and noise. It would be nice having 2 GB or vRAM, but I think I'll be upgrading the graphics on this rig soon enough that that won't be an issue.
Also, does anyone know anything about the Patriot RAM I've chosen, I have no experience with patriot and it's so cheap that I'm worried.
with $1200, you should be able to come away with 2x gtx 560 ti or a single gtx 580. if gaming is your goal, youre selling yourself short with anything less. the SLI setup will be more powerful when it is supported (it usually is, especially in newer games where the extra performance is needed)
i dont know much about patriot ram. gskill ram is also cheap and a favorite of custom builders.
id be happy to provide a sample build if you so desire.
first of all I should note that $1100 is far preferable to $1200, I really should have made that my budget to start with. I know that I could get better performance; however, my goal with this build is to get a bunch of other things: relative quietness, a nice case w/side window, blu-ray support, an efficient, modular PSU. I know these are expensive and don't really matter for performance, but I would rather have them.
What do you think of an HD 6850 crossfire I know it's no GTX 560 ti SLI, but I think it might be enough.
I still undecided on graphics, I think I want a bit more power than a single GTX 560ti/HD 6950 I'm just a little unsure of the coolers on HD 6850s/70s, and I would like to keep the price under 325 BR/ 300 AR if possible. I don't need to run everything on max settings, so maybe the GTX 570 would be enough for me.
With your case (RV03) and the 90* rotation on the motherboard, you want cards that exhaust all the heat out of the back (top when installed) of the card. Cards that exhaust half the heat out of the front (bottom) can cause turbulance and higher temps inside the case.
That's what I thought too, then I read that the RV02 was certified for GTX 590 SLI. My other thought was: with a cooler like the gigabyte windforce 3x the hot air is mostly pushed up (tradition layout) or right (RV03) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V6BLcVWvYw the hot air would end up forced upwards then removed by the 120mm CPU exhaust fan, weather this would work well is pure speculation. I'm going to look around a bit more, then decide between a reference 570 , the Palit, or a crossfire, depending on what that airflow is like.