If anyone could answer some of my questions, it would be much appreciated:
1. I've heard a lot of talk about AMD 7000 series coming out early January. Will this cause the 6950/6970 prices to drop by a significant amount (~$50)?
I am currently not planning on overclocking. However, I would like the option to overclock AND add a second graphics card in the future. This means that I will have to buy some type of cooler later on. 2. So, lets say I overclock my CPU, have two 6970s in CF, and add a water cooler... Will 760W be enough? Some PSU calculators show 700W, others show 850+W. I've also seen some threads where people have asked the same question about i5 2500k overclocked and 6970s in CF... some say that 650W will be able to handle it while others say to get 1000W to be safe..
1. Usually the top cards come out first, and they kind of hit the top tiers. In this case they would go above 6970, so the effect is probably not as much as $50.
But that's just a guess, seemed to be like that previously. Once Nvidia's cards hit as well then there might be accross the board adjustments. Most likely though the old cards just get phased out and their prices never come to a very low level.
2. The general rule of thumb has been that 750W for SLI / Crossfire and OC CPU up to 560TI/6950, 850W for GTX570/6970 and then 950-1000W for GTX580SLI.
So it all comes down to how much juice does the watercooling setup take. The above estimates have roughly 100W of spare so that the PSU is not running at full steam yet but comfortably runs things.
Personally I'm bias to going with a slight overkill when it comes to the PSU, since spending the extra $50-60 now will save any headache of needing to upgrade the PSU later on. And since the high quality units come with 7 year warranties the PSU's should be good to go on a build or two down the road as well.
I was really hoping I'd be able to handle CF 6970s with this PSU. I picked it up for only $110 so I'd rather not return it and pay an extra $100-$150 for another one. I'm assuming that a single 6970 will last me at least a year (maybe two max) playing modern games at fairly high settings (not ultra) and 1080p, am I correct? If that is the case then I would be more than happy with this build.
One more question:
The -V Pro GEN3 board is only $20 more than the -V Pro board. However, the -V Pro can often be found in bundles with the i5 2500k. I've seen a lot of people buying GEN3 boards, and I wanted to make my build slightly more "future-proof" by buying it. BUT, it doesn't seem like we'll be using the PCIe 3.0 for a while so should I just downgrade to the -V Pro?
Again, thanks for the help. I've learned a crazy amount about computers over the past couple of weeks doing research for this. It's actually pretty addicting!
Well the PSU you have is about the highest quality 760W PSU there are on the market now, so it can most likely handle the 6970 CF as well.
And it's quite efficient so it should be able to run at full speed, anandtech articles show system power usage at 600:ish Watts with CF 6970's
So as long as you don't OC the 6970's it should work ok, can still OC the CPU though.
Also the maximum power draw is generally under furmark that get 100% from the GPU, where as games rarely go all out.
So I think you'll be fine even with that.
As for the Gen3 thing, having the Gen3 opens up a door for Ivy bridge upgrade with PCIe 3.0 support. It's not a major issue yet, and you might not be needing it for a while. But then it's only $20. But take your pick, you will be happy either way. You just might been to do a bigger upgrade eventually when you do. But that most likely won't be soon.