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Please critique this selection of part for a gaming rig

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November 3, 2011 2:10:08 PM

I put this list together based on some advice on HardOCP, user and professional reviews, and the advice of a friend. Goal is to game at 7560x1440 at about 30+ frames per second on games like BF3 and Skyrim.

Wanted to get folks' advice before I buy (I plan to buy in the next few days).

A few questions: Is 1200W going to be enough for Trifire, and will heat and noise be within acceptable limits?

Also, might I need a longer crossfire cable in order to connect the 6970 and 6990 together? (PS- I went w/ two cards of the same brand, Sapphire, because a friend suggested that its a good idea to get the same brand to avoid any problems due to different BIOS from cards of different brands)

Trend Micro comes free with Win 7, btw. I have plenty of HDD drives at home, so I am only ordering 2 SSD drives for a RAID config. Will only have OS install and games on the SSDs.

The Plextor SSD drives are on sale at Newegg, hence my choosing them.

Many thanks for feedback.



CART


Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Full

TREND MICRO Titanium Internet Security 2012 - 1 User for System Builder


2 x Plextor PX-M2 Series PX-256M2S 2.5" 256GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)


COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RSC00-80GAD3-US 1200W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.92 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model F3-17000CL9D-8GBXM

ASUS MAXIMUS IV EXTREME (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i7-2700K Sandy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623i72700K

2 x COOLER MASTER SickleFlow 120 R4-L2R-20AR-R1 120mm Silent operation Red LED case fan

COOLER MASTER CM Storm Series Trooper (SGC-5000-KKN1) Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case


SAPPHIRE 100311-2SR Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

"Sapphire Radeon HD 6990 4GB DDR5 DVI-I/QUAD MINI DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 100310SR"

LITE-ON Black 12X Blu-ray Burner with Blu-ray 3D feature SATA IHBS112-29 (Including CyberLink BD Solution)

"Noctua 6 Dual Heatpipe with 140mm/120mm Dual SSO Bearing Fans CPU Cooler NH-D14 - Retail"
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November 3, 2011 2:31:24 PM

Stock clocks at load the 6990 sucks 470W and the 6970 takes 375 then add in cpu and gpu overclocking, I think 1200 is just about right, giving you enough overhead to be safe.

You are getting two SSDs, why not buy a Z68 mobo and take advantage of the SSD cacheing? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 3, 2011 2:33:34 PM

UBER BUILD.
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November 3, 2011 2:35:05 PM

gmcizzle said:
Wrong RAM, that one is 1.65v you need 1.5v. Also, RAM with fins on it often have a tight squeeze under the NH-D14

Something like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is what you want.



I don't think you are correct. Asus provides a list of supported RAM for the Maximus IV Extreme. Here is the G.SKILL entry for DDR3 2133:

G.SKILL
F3-17066CL9D-4GBTDS(XMP)
4GB ( 2x2GB )
DS
1.65

G.SKILL
F3-17066CL8D-4GBPS(XMP)
4GB(2 x2GB)
DS
-8-8-8-24
1.65

G.SKILL
F3-17066CL9D-4GBTD(XMP)
4GB(2 x2GB)
DS
9-9-9-24
1.65

G.SKILL
F3-17066CL9T-6GB-T
6GB(3 x2GB)
DS
-9-9-9-24
1.65



Link here if you are curious:

http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/Maxi...
(Maximus IV Extreme QVL list ZIP)
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November 3, 2011 2:39:08 PM

1.5V is preferred for Sandy Bridge CPUs, but 1.65V is perfectly safe.

My only comment, is why waste $90 on the ultimate version of Windows (unless there are features you'll actually use). The only feature I've ever wished Home Premium had was Remote Desktop (host) so I could connect to my HTPC from my desktop. I ended up installing VNC, so no big loss.
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November 3, 2011 2:42:11 PM

Oh ok my mistake, I thought your listed RAM was 1600mhz. I didn't realize you were going for uber memory speeds. That will be a ridiculous setup indeed.
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November 3, 2011 2:47:30 PM

what's your budget???5k i guess.
BTW i would suggest the following changes-
SSDs are already superfast so you don't need to setup any RAID thing.
good PSU selection.i don't know why nowdays people are regretting coolermaster PSUs.they are good enough.i am using silent pro 1Kw 80+GOLD PSU and it's working really good.
i am using a maximus iv xtreme z68 mobo.it is good and works fine for me.go with the z68 version instead of P67.i am not swapping out this mobo cause you are going to game at crazy resolutions so you might need 3-way SLI.
HOT case.
a single 6990 lags on your resolution(game- crysis warhead,a really graphic intensive game requires high end GFX.brings almost every card to it's knees on some situations)
http://www.techspot.com/review/390-triple-monitor-gamin...

i would suggest 3-way 6970s OR 3-way SLI GTX 580 3 gb versions.(depends upon budget).
other things look good.
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November 3, 2011 2:48:01 PM

There is so much over the top that I'm assuming its pointless to mention how you can save some $$$ and not sacrifice to much. I'll just let you brag seeing as I'm sure that's all you want to do.

Quote:
Stock clocks at load the 6990 sucks 470W and the 6970 takes 375 then add in cpu and gpu overclocking


You are very, VERY off in your math. A stock 6990 is just over 300W. A 6970 is around 250W going from memory. Double check your figures.

Edit: Hellfire, he is going to CF the 6990 with a 6970, basically giving him tri fire 6970. This is the way I would go for the res he is looking for. I wouldn't do the screen size he wants, I'd go 5x1 1080 or 1200 in portrait mode.
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November 3, 2011 2:50:40 PM

4745454b said:
There is so much over the top that I'm assuming its pointless to mention how you can save some $$$ and not sacrifice to much. I'll just let you brag seeing as I'm sure that's all you want to do.

Quote:
Stock clocks at load the 6990 sucks 470W and the 6970 takes 375 then add in cpu and gpu overclocking


You are very, VERY off in your math. A stock 6990 is just over 300W. A 6970 is around 250W going from memory. Double check your figures.



I'd like to save money, so bring on the suggestions. Thanks. (I didn't post here just to brag).

Re: it being over the top. I am aiming for smooth gaming at 7560x1440. That's a crapton of pixels, so these specs seem necessary.

I am going to likely go with Win 7 Home Premium instead of UItimate. $100 right there.

Thinking of switching out this Cooler MAster PSU with a Corsair 1200W PSU because Newegg is having a special on them:


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139014
CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX1200 (CMPSU-1200AX) 1200W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 SLI Certified 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

I notice that it has the following:
PCI-Express Connector
6 x 6+2-Pin

The Cooler MAster has
PCI-Express Connector
4 x 6-Pin, 4 x 6+2-Pin

So, more connectors, but fewer 6+2 pin. I want to make sure I have enough pins for the mobo, and the 3 GPUs (each of which takes a 6+2 pin I think). Pretty sure either PSU will work, but curious to hear folks' thoughts.




Re: GPU power, I am thinking that 3 6970s in trifire (1 6970 and 1 6990) is going to be enough for what I'm aiming for. That's 6GB of GPU RAM!
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November 3, 2011 2:54:49 PM

"Nobody" is getting the 2700K because it's not really any faster then the 2600K. I personally for a gaming rig wouldn't get anything higher then the 2500K. You also don't need 500GBs of AID0 SSDs. Get a single SSD for your OS, and another for whatever games you want fast load times on. A 128GB is more then enough for your OS drive. DDR3 1600MHz is fine. I haven't seen a review that shows anything slower or faster will change anything.

The Corsair PSU has the exact number of plugs you'd need. The mobo 8 pin isn't included in that count.
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November 3, 2011 2:59:21 PM

You need 3 8 pin and a 6 pin for the GPUs, so either would work fine. Go for the corsair PSU IMO.
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November 3, 2011 3:01:43 PM

hellfire24 said:
what's your budget???5k i guess.

SSDs are already superfast so you don't need to setup any RAID thing.

HOT case.

a single 6990 lags on your resolution(game- crysis warhead,a really graphic intensive game requires high end GFX.brings almost every card to it's knees on some situations)
http://www.techspot.com/review/390-triple-monitor-gamin...

i would suggest 3-way 6970s OR 3-way SLI GTX 580 3 gb versions.(depends upon budget).
other things look good.



RAID is only so one drive is redundant in case the other fails. I've had an SSD die on me right out of the blue, so want a backup.


HOT as in awesome, or as in poor airflow? ;-)


I am going 3-way SLI. Pretty sure I posted both cards- 1 Sapphire 6990 4GB and 1 Sapphire 6970 2GB
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November 3, 2011 3:08:51 PM

2 6990's
Noctua NH-C14 140mm x 2 SSO CPU Cooler, It cools better
If you are only air cooling Silverstone is the way to go.
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November 3, 2011 3:19:45 PM

liquidchild said:
2 6990's

If you are only air cooling Silverstone is the way to go.



My decision to go Trifire instead of Quadfire is based on reading several articles and reviews, including one at HardOCP, that extol the value/performance ratio of trifire. Quadfire would add an additional $400...would the benefits be worth it? I am not needing more than 30-35 frames per second in games. (I really don't understand this fixation on 50, 60, 80, etc. frames per second because 30-40 is PLENTY fast for me, even in fast-paced online games like the BF series).

I imagine that, by the time I want/need to upgrade GPUs some 2-3+ years from now, there will be an absolutely sick single or dual GPU solution out from both AMD and Intel.



I will google Silverstone....in the meantime, is that a fan solution or thermal paste?
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November 3, 2011 3:22:58 PM

One question I didn't ask: better to use 3 6970s in trifire, or 1 6970 and 1 6990 (which is 2 6970s)?

For spacing considerations, I am going the 1 6970 and 1 6990 route...less heat (hopefully) and space used in my mobo, with comparable performance.

Someone at another forum posted this in reply:

"SAPPHIRE 100311-2SR Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

I’d Get Three of these and Put them in 3 Way X-Fire, And Drop the 6990
A. The mainboard is only 8x Cross fire in 2-way, 3-way and 4-way.
B. Running the 6990, the 2 6970 GPUs are downclocked, so it would downclock you 6970 to match.
C. Not sure how much the 6990 is as the egg has it as de-activated, but im sure 2 6970s might be cheaper by $10-30, (last time I checked the 6990s were $720, 6970s were $350)

So 3 6970s will give you 3 GPUs Running in XFire at 880Mhz instead of being limited to 830Mhz of the 6990. All 3 GPUs will have their own Bank of 2GB GDDR5 Ram, and their own cooling, the 6990 shares a heatsink for 2 GPUs and 1 of 2 banks is not in a good cooling location, plus with another 6970 right next to it, might be a heat issue."

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November 3, 2011 3:22:59 PM

4745454b said:


You are very, VERY off in your math. A stock 6990 is just over 300W. A 6970 is around 250W going from memory. Double check your figures.


I am just relating information I read about the card...that thing is way out of my price range.

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November 3, 2011 3:29:44 PM

dudley99 said:

Re: GPU power, I am thinking that 3 6970s in trifire (1 6970 and 1 6990) is going to be enough for what I'm aiming for. That's 6GB of GPU RAM!


I'm Not sure that is acurate, I thought that in a Xfire setup only the main card is the one that has the Ram used. In this case you would Phisically have 6 GB of ram but only the primary cards 4GB would be used for the Xfire use. That may have changed but thats how Xfire used to work.
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November 3, 2011 3:36:11 PM

Hmm, that would be worth knowing. I will research this.
So, the question remains- better to go 3 x 6970 cards than 1 x 6970 and 1 x 6990?

If I go the 3 x 6970 route, I am thinking about the MSI R6970 Lightning. Anyone know if 3 will fit in a case?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ghtning%206970

Thanks in advance for the input.
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November 3, 2011 3:44:19 PM

Even though I was told I was wrong on my power consumption numbers before, for efficiency's sake it is better to go with the 1 x 6970 and 1 x 6990 as the 6990 uses less power than two 6970s.
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November 3, 2011 4:37:52 PM

dudley99 said:
My decision to go Trifire instead of Quadfire is based on reading several articles and reviews, including one at HardOCP, that extol the value/performance ratio of trifire. Quadfire would add an additional $400...would the benefits be worth it? I am not needing more than 30-35 frames per second in games. (I really don't understand this fixation on 50, 60, 80, etc. frames per second because 30-40 is PLENTY fast for me, even in fast-paced online games like the BF series).

I imagine that, by the time I want/need to upgrade GPUs some 2-3+ years from now, there will be an absolutely sick single or dual GPU solution out from both AMD and Intel.



I will google Silverstone....in the meantime, is that a fan solution or thermal paste?
Silverstone is the best(imho) air cooling case maker there is. Look into the raven series or the Fortress FT02. And yes the 400 price hike is not worth it to me but your rig is so beast I just thought money was no object lol. If you want 30 to 35 fps 2 6970's or 2 580's will do just fine.To be honest, any of the mixes you are suggesting will easily get 30 to 40 fps
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November 3, 2011 4:46:00 PM

OK, thanks re: Fortress info. I'll look into that.

Yep, going trifire...only question is whether via 3 x 6970 or 1 x 6970 and 1 x 6990
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November 3, 2011 8:59:05 PM

After looking around I would go with the 3 6970's. They seam to have more power then 6990+6970 in trifire. That is a lot of power though lol. Maybe get a 1350 from enermax...I like to have lots of headroom for stuff later down the road.
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November 3, 2011 11:59:41 PM

Dal, those power figures include the system, not just the card. Meaning the board and CPU are already included.

As for which form of tri fire, you already said you don't want/need uber frame rates. Three 6970s might be (a bit?) faster, but much easier to do 6990 and a 6970. Power draw should be higher with the 3 cards, but either way is fine.
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