It's been ages since i've built a new PC, so I apologize in advanced if anything is terribly out of place. I am mainly looking for some feedback on a machine that i'm hoping will have high bang for buck and last for some time. I read some articles, but wow there is a lot to know.
So please, if you see any bottlenecks, overkills, shortcomings, or whatnot, please let me know.
Case: Antec Nine Hundred v3
CPU: Intel core i5 2500 quad core, 3.3 gig (2nd gen)
DVD: OEM rewriter
Cooling: Artic-cooling freezer Xtreme
Hard Drive: Corsair force series 3, 60 gig (Can i slave my old 250g Serial ATA drive just to hold downloads and whatnot?)
Memory: Kingston 6g (KVR1333D3N9K3) X2
Motherboard: Asus P8H67-M PRO/CMS (Rev 3)
Power: Antec high current gamer series (HCG-620) 620W
Graphic: Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 6970 2GB GDDR5
RAM - Make sure your looking at 1.5v RAM or less, dual channel DDR3. G.Skill and Corsair are popular choices - 1600MHz 1.5v CL9.
Your getting a really high end GPU which is nice, but your not getting an unlocked processor or motherboard capable of over-clocking? Any particular reason? i5-2500k is like $10/£5 more expensive than i5-2500 and z68/p67 motherboards fall into similar price brackets as H67. Seems a shame to limit your build potential by eliminating over-clocking all together.
I'll also definetly consider the better processor/mb. Years ago I overclocked and saw little difference in performance (this was a 486SX mind you, so probably wasn't much performace to be gained anyways). Is overclocking worthwile on newer machines? I won't burn anything out by pushing it? Is extra power/cooling required?
I apologize for not using the template, this is kind of a huge forum and I just plain missed it.
The reason multi-monitor works better with multiple cards is that there's an obvious performance increase when using the power of 2 cards rather than one. More RAM is available, 2GB is recommended for multi-monitor - also the main reason ATI cards are so popular with people looking for multi-monitor support, the 2GB RAM on a single card works really well compared to the majority of Nvidia cards being 1GB.
And yes, 600-650w PSU recommended for 6970 build.
i5-2500k + overclocking...
This CPU is an absolute beast to be honest. It comes stock at 3.3GHz and almost any p67/z68 motherboard will push 4.5GHz out of an "auto-overclock" with an average CPU cooler. (Hyper 212+ is strongly recommended due to cheap price, and very good cooling performance). Overclocking at this kind of level with give around 30% performance increase. Watercooling will get you even higher (around 5GHz mark). Extra power wont be required, 600/650w PSU will handle it no problem. As for cooling, check out the 212+ I mentioned earlier.
Neither RAM choice is right for your build. You need Dual Channel RAM, not Tripple Channel.
"Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz 1.5v CL9" is what your looking for
Yes two 6870's will outperform a single 6970, however buying two 6870's straight away doesn't allow room for future expansion. If you buy one 6970 now, you can add another in a year-2's time or whenever your ready.