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Compatibility Check and Video card confusion

Last response: in Systems
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November 20, 2011 7:16:36 AM

Hi, this is going to be my first build, and just need a little advice. I want to make sure that all of my parts will work together before I drop the fortune they will cost lol. Also if there is anything I have missed or need to change. Money is not that much of a consideration as I will be getting a chunk in the next few months, but I want to make sure I am spending wisely, that I don't get this stuff and get it put together to find out that something's not compatible. I am tired of my current off the shelf system from 6 years ago, I got skyrim and it is unplayable. I want a gaming computer that can easily handle it and any newer high graphics games that are going to be coming out in the next few years.

Mobo - ASUS Rampage IV Extreme LGA 2011 Intel X79 Extended ATX

Memory - G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133

CPU - Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition Sandy Bridge-E

CPU Cooler - Thermaltake CLW0211 Bigwater 760 Plus Dual Bay Drives Water Cooling Core i7 Compliant

Case - Thermaltake NVIDIA Edition Black and Green Lining ATX Full Tower

Soundcard - ASUS Xonar Essence STX Virtual 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1

Optical - PLEXTOR Black 12X Blu-ray Writer LightScribe Support BD-ROM

Hard Drive - Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200 RPM

Monitor - SAMSUNG 27" Full HD 3D LED BackLight LCD



As far as the video card goes, I am really confused on this point. What is the difference between sli and crossfire? One source I saw said that bridging two vid cards eliminates the possibility of a two monitor system, is this true? Don't know if I'm going to go that route, but don't want to limit myself. Should i get one big card or two smaller and bridge them? I was looking at the EVGA GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) Classified Hydro Copper, getting two for a bridge, but is the liquid cooling system on these completely contained or will i need to purchase a set of vga coolers? I was also looking at the HIS IceQ Radeon HD 6970, and it said something about mixed GPU – Allowing running both an AMD and NVIDIA GPU in the same system, what other cards would be optimal for that? What is the card or cards (preferably liquid cooled) that will work best with these components? These video cards are making my head hurt...please just lay it out in the simplest terms you can what all these options mean. I'm new at this, so please play nice!
November 20, 2011 7:21:02 AM

Whats your budget, where are you from and what websites do you want us to use?
November 20, 2011 7:25:42 AM

SLI and CrossFire are the same things (using to GPUs at once), SLI is for NVidia GPUs and CrossFire is for AMD GPUs.

Using more monitors is not gonna affect the GPU unless it is a weak one that can not support it but most cards can now of days. So no its not true to a point. I would personnally go with one big card (GTX 580) and then add another down the line when I need the performance boost.

Dont really know about using an AMD and NVidia card together but I would personally stay away from it
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November 20, 2011 4:33:30 PM

Ok, thanks so much! That seems like a good start, I will go with just one big card for now. I am using Newegg to shop simply because of the android app it has where I can easily access my wishlist from my phone, when I get ready to buy I will look around for prices. Now, what about that liquid cooled VC I mentioned? It's an EVGA GTX 580 Classified Hydro Copper, and it's the one I'm leaning towards at this point. It looks like there are ports on top to attach a liquid cooling system, and there are no tubes or pumps or anything that come with it. I can't find a definitive answer in researching as to whether or not this one comes with a completely contained system or whether I need to add to it. Anyone used this specific card and knows the details of it?
November 20, 2011 4:39:31 PM

Oh, nevermind, I found what I was looking for, and it does need external parts to complete the watercooling system, in case anyone else was wondering....
November 20, 2011 4:40:37 PM

verilin said:
Ok, thanks so much! That seems like a good start, I will go with just one big card for now. I am using Newegg to shop simply because of the android app it has where I can easily access my wishlist from my phone, when I get ready to buy I will look around for prices. Now, what about that liquid cooled VC I mentioned? It's an EVGA GTX 580 Classified Hydro Copper, and it's the one I'm leaning towards at this point. It looks like there are ports on top to attach a liquid cooling system, and there are no tubes or pumps or anything that come with it. I can't find a definitive answer in researching as to whether or not this one comes with a completely contained system or whether I need to add to it. Anyone used this specific card and knows the details of it?


A 1500 $ build is more than enough to run every single game in today's (and tommorow's) market. Spend your $$ wisely....
!