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Build for Skyrim, BF3, MW3 @ 5760x1080 Max Settings?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 18, 2011 6:25:20 AM

Please help me build a new system/upgrade. :) 
(Hope it's okay to post this here as well. It occurred to me that this section is more appropriate.)


Approximate Purchase Date: Preferably before 11/11/2011

Budget Range: ~$2500 seems like a reasonable target, but very flexible on this

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: Monitors, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, OS, Case, Sound card, SSDs/HDDs, Optical drives, PSU(=CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: Any

Overclocking: Any/Open (but I won't have any time to devote to this for next 6 months or so.)

SLI or Crossfire: Any/Open

Monitor Resolution: 5760x1080

Additional Comments: System must be capable of running all soon-to-be-released games (e.g., Skyrim, BF3, MW3, etc.) at all maximum graphics settings at ~60fps, 5760x1080 resolution and minimal microstuttering.

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Current build:

CPU: i5 750 @ 2.67GHz
Mobo: Intel DP55KG Extreme Series Desktop Motherboard (P55 ATX Core i7 Core i5 LGA1156)
RAM: 8GB Kingston Technology Hyper X 1600MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL9
GPUs: 2 x HD 5770 in Crossfire
Storage: Intel X-25M MLC 80GB SSD + 4 x Toshiba 1TB HDDs in RAID 10
OS: Win 7 Ultimate
Monitors: 1x ASUS VK246, 2x ASUS VW246
a b U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 12:15:51 PM

use your current system.

Grab a i7-2600k, a ridiculously overpriced motherboard and GTX 580 in SLI, possibly tri SLI to get 60 fps at that resolution.

Good luck.
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a b U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 12:56:57 PM

Hard to comment for ALL soon-to-be-released games but at that resolution with that budget I would be looking at tri-fire 6950's or 6970's. Both significantly cheaper and perform better than any 580 SLI variant, especially at those high resolutions. Build your system around that, so 2500K or 2600K, ASUS WG Revolution is the only P67 / Z68 mobo I know of that has x16/x16/x16 but x8/x8/x8 is only going to loose you roughly 1% in performance so personal choice here, consider MIVE-Z or UD7, even something cheaper like the Extreme 7 will be fine. Bah too late to think about all the options! There's a starting point, bed time for now. Hope that helps.
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a b U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 12:57:57 PM

Hi Agondie, I've looked quite a bit at SLI and Crossfire Scaling and Microstuttering. According to the latest Toms article about microstuttering, the sweetspot comes with 3 cards:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

In order to use 3 GPUs with an LGA 1155 chip (2600k) you will need a NF200 Controller in your motherboard, as P67/Z68 each support only 16 pcie lanes.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the GPUs themselves, I would go with AMD, because their high end cards come with 2GB of video memory which you'll need for all the texture data to fill a resolution of 5760x1080.

3 2GB 6950s will offer the best performance per dollar, but 3 2GB 6970s will offer the best performance. If you are tech savvy and feel comfortable flashing the BIOS of your GPUs buying 3 2GB 6950s and flashing them to the 6970 BIOS will give the absolute best performance/price, but read reviews first. Non-reference cards are incompatible with the 6970 BIOS and you could ruin your cards

What voltage does your currrent RAM use? You will be able to overclock your 2600k more easily if you are using lower voltage RAM (1.5v)
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a b U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 9:35:51 PM

I agree with what Blade says, just a few clarifications:

Quote:
In order to use 3 GPUs with an LGA 1155 chip (2600k) you will need a NF200 Controller in your motherboard, as P67/Z68 each support only 16 pcie lanes.

A NF200 controller will allow x16/x16 however it does not ensure x16/x16/x16. Take the UD7 or MIVE-Z for example which do have a NF200 controller but on tri-fire / 3-way SLI only offer x16/x16/x8. But as I noted above you are correct in that the WS Revolution you linked does allow x16/x16/x16. Also it is NOT necessary to have a NF200 controller for 3 GPU's, any mobo with enough PCIe 2.0 / 2.1 slots will work (though you may be limited to say x4 on the third card).

Quote:
If you are tech savvy and feel comfortable flashing the BIOS of your GPUs buying 3 2GB 6950s and flashing them to the 6970 BIOS

AMD were onto this pretty quick and it is difficult to find original reference cards which you can flash. Do not expect to be able to flash your cards.
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a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2011 1:52:12 PM

Quote:
Also it is NOT necessary to have a NF200 controller for 3 GPU's, any mobo with enough PCIe 2.0 / 2.1 slots will work (though you may be limited to say x4 on the third card).


You are right. The two alternatives to the WS Revolution look good. I hadn't seen those before. I would recommend against going with a board that will allow only x4 on the third card. The drop from x16 to x8 is not very significant performance wise, but the drop to x4 can result in noticeable performance decrease.

Quote:
AMD were onto this pretty quick and it is difficult to find original reference cards which you can flash. Do not expect to be able to flash your cards.


Again You are right about most of the 6950s at this point. There is still one reference design available on Newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

All of the reviewers report being able to Unlock, some even report that the 6970 BIOS is already installed on the second position of the BIOS switch.
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a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2011 2:05:51 PM

Yeah I have heard good results with the Toxic, would definitely be worth considering.
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