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$2500 - $3000 gaming PC build

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December 28, 2011 4:59:47 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the first 2 weeks of 2012.

Budget Range: $2500 - $3000.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, productivity, watching Blu-Ray movies.

Parts Not Required: Peripherals not needed (displays, keyboard, mouse, etc)… looking to build tower only.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.

Country: US.

Parts Preferences: I would like to stick with Intel & nVidia for CPU & graphics. Most of my homework’s already been done in this arena.

Overclocking: Yes. This will be my 3rd build, but my first overclock, so I kept compatibility, erroring on the safe side (even if more expensive), and general ease of overclockability in mind when choosing parts.

SLI or Crossfire: Yes (SLI).

Monitor Resolution: I have 3x 24” 1080p displays I will be using. I’m planning on gaming with nVidia 2D surround (or at least crossing my fingers and hoping it’s not as buggy as some of the stories I’ve been reading). Gaming resolution will be 5760 x 1080.


CPU: $300
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I72600K


Motherboard: $170
MSI Z68A-GD55 (G3) LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
I’m currently planning on keeping the motherboard & memory combinations the same as in THG’s recent System Builder Marathon. I’ve had issues before with CPU/memory combinations during previous builds (which has scared me away from OC’ing before). I’m going this route since it seems to be a combo that works. Also, I like the appeal of actually seeing what kind of settings they’re pumping through the BIOS). Other failsafe suggestions are welcome, though. Hah.


Memory: $84
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C8R
Again, I was planning on playing it safe and going with the recommendation paired with the motherboard in the recent SBM. Early on I was toying with the idea of doing 16GB, but I’m not 100% sure it’s needed. Sticking with the memory in the SBM guide pushed me back over the fence onto the 8GB side.


Video: $1240 (YOWZA) ($620 x 2)
2x EVGA 03G-P3-1595-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) Classified ULTRA 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card (2 in SLI)
From what I’ve been reading, the 3GB GDDR5 versions are the way to go if you’re doing nVidia surround, especially if you’re expecting to play the newer titles (BF3, MW3, etc) on high (or close to high settings). Some other research showed tri SLI/Crossfire was ideal for nVidia Surround / Eyefinity, but I’d rather not tinker with tri SLI out of the gate. Dumping more dough into these factory OC’d cards seems less scary in my book. I’d also rather not tango with OC’ing video myself this time around and stick purely with CPU. Baby steps…


Case: $160
Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower Gaming Case
I usually go back and forth between sleek but plain looking cases, and flashier cases. I think I’m officially in a flashier mood for this build. Concerns here were finding something I think looks alright matched with good airflow. Getting a little noisy is OK with me if it brings good performance (as long as I don’t feel like I’m on the tarmac at Logan).


PSU: $250
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
Again, probably going overkill, but wanting to play it safe. eVGA claims that each of these video cards needs 600 watts. I know that manufacturers usually overshoot this number, but I also know that EACH of these cards requires 1x 6pin & 2x 8pin pci-express connectors, which is a lot more potential juice than the other 1.5GB, non-OC’d video cards out there. I was reading a lot of reviews of people running OC’d GTX 580’s in SLI with supposedly-good 1000 watt power supplies and running into power issues. I usually play it safe in the PSU department and sacrifice cost to do so.


Aftermarket cooling: $48
ZALMAN CNPS9500A-LED 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
I was originally looking at the Cooler Master Hyper 212, but I was reading mixed reviews regarding performance when OC’ing. Also, I think I will run into problems with the 212’s size in combination with the height of the sinks on the Vengeance memory. In the interest of creating less problems when OC’ing, I opted to find a different HSF. I’ve used this one before and haven’t had issues (although I wasn’t really overclocking). This one also won’t have a problem fighting the memory for space. From what I’ve read this HSF seems on par with the performance of the Hyper 212, although other suggestions are welcome. (PS: I’m picking up some Arctic Silver 5 as well for thermal grease).


SSD: $200
Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
…going with the SBM recommendation for SSD. Plus, the Newegg reviews seem pretty solid, and they’re never wrong, right? ;) 


HDD: $250
Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
I know I’m kind of eating it here because of the flooding, but I want a 2 TB drive, and WD’s my preferred brand, so I’m just sucking it up and going for it.


Bluray drive: $100
LITE-ON 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner with 3D Playback iHBS212-08 LightScribe Support
I Picked this out quickly via Newegg reviews. Optical drives for me always seems to be a crapshoot no matter how much I research. I’m open to alternative suggestions here if anybody has them, though.


Total cost = $2802


What do you folks think? Thanks in advance!

More about : 2500 3000 gaming build

December 28, 2011 5:10:59 PM

dont think you need a 1200w psu
December 28, 2011 5:29:25 PM

I have that exact same power supply and they lie about it being silent. It has a nasty howl at about 60% power draw and it only gets worse after that. I had to take mine and change the fan to a noise blocker 140mm fan to get it to run silent and still cool properly. Otherwise everything looks great.
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a c 204 4 Gaming
December 28, 2011 5:36:23 PM

CPU - If ya doing just gaming, is the 100 bucks worth maybe an extra 0.1 GHz ? If not, the 2500k is ya CPU.

MoBo - Down $10 this week ....ya need a better MoBo w/ superb voltage regulation for SLI'ing those buggers ... spend more money
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - forget the bit toothy heat sinks ..... their only purpose is to look cool, DDR3 doesn't need it. $40 for no gain ?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - 1200 V3 is a Great case.....but i don't use it in $2k builds ....at your budget, I'd not be thinking about any other case than the Level 10 GT Snow ... down $20 this week
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

PSU - Can't think of a CM PSU, I'd put in any build. If ya gonna buy a $250 PSU, it better have a jonnyguru 10.0 rating, not a measley 8.0
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Heat Sink and TIM are not where ya wanna be today.....here's some of the best of today's coolers compared

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

The Silver Arrow beats the Hyper 212 by 7-10C .... the Hyper 612 (and Scythe Mugen 3) beats the its lil bruddah (Hyper 212) by 5-7C.

Why I don't use AS5 .....

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Quote:
After this article was first published, there was an immediate backlash from some of the manufacturers listed in this review. The primary argument was the lack of cure time. Here is the Arctic Silver 5 recommended cure time instruction from the manufacturers web site:

"Due to the unique shape and sizes of the particles in Arctic Silver 5's conductive matrix, it will take a up to 200 hours and several thermal cycles to achieve maximum particle to particle thermal conduction and for the heatsink to CPU interface to reach maximum conductivity. (This period will be longer in a system without a fan on the heatsink or with a low speed fan on the heatsink.) On systems measuring actual internal core temperatures via the CPU's internal diode, the measured temperature will often drop 2C to 5C over this "break-in" period. This break-in will occur during the normal use of the computer as long as the computer is turned off from time to time and the interface is allowed to cool to room temperature. Once the break-in is complete, the computer can be left on if desired."

So by my estimation of this statement it would take almost a year of normal use to properly cure the AC5 compound, or almost nine days of continuous power cycles to meet their recommendation.


As ya can see here, Shin Etsu has same thermal properties but none of the curing issues:

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Quote:
Tuniq TX-3 (0) Aluminum Oxide Moderate 37.65°C A+
Gelid GC-Extreme (0) Aluminum Oxide Low / Thin 37.65°C A+
Thermaltake Grease A2150 (4) Polysynthetic Silver Low / Thin 37.65°C A+
Arctic Silver 5 Polysynthetic Thermal Compound (4) Polysynthetic Silver Low / Thin 37.55°C A+
Shin-Etsu MicroSi G751 (0) Aluminum Oxide Moderate 37.55°C A+


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

HD - If Im spending $250, it's only gonna be one drive ..... make sure ya get the 5 year warranty version

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Have the 2TB model, it boots to windows in 21.2 seconds compared tot he vertex 3 max IOPS 15.6 seconds.

SSD - I see here that the 128GB M4 is a Tier 5 SSD.....I'd take a Tier 3 (21% faster) ....

$215 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$205 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$210 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$212 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical - Save $10 and get a free set of media
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 28, 2011 7:21:19 PM

Thanks for the feedback, I looked into everything.

Quote:
Case - 1200 V3 is a Great case.....but i don't use it in $2k builds ....at your budget, I'd not be thinking about any other case than the Level 10 GT Snow ... down $20 this week
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...


I've never been a big fan of the look of the Level 10's. Although I did check it out in detail more just now. I'm not 100% sure if those brackets on the side panel are removable or not. The graphics card I'm looking at is about an inch deeper due to the fan on it. I'd have to do some more digging and see if it would be an issue if I were to consider the TT case.

Quote:
PSU - Can't think of a CM PSU, I'd put in any build. If ya gonna buy a $250 PSU, it better have a jonnyguru 10.0 rating, not a measley 8.0
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...


I was surprised to see a CM PSU getting positive feedback in a few places too. That Corsair does look better though, I overlooked that when I was searching earlier. I think that's the new winner so far if I'm sticking with a 1200w PSU.

Quote:
Heat Sink and TIM are not where ya wanna be today.....here's some of the best of today's coolers compared

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

The Silver Arrow beats the Hyper 212 by 7-10C .... the Hyper 612 (and Scythe Mugen 3) beats the its lil bruddah (Hyper 212) by 5-7C.


Hmmm. I do want to choose an adequate cooler, but a lot of these pose the same worries I had with the Hyper 212, they're huuuuuuge. I suppose that wouldn't be much of an issue if I change out the memory, but I still have reservations straying from the mobo/ram combo in the SBM guide. As it stands right now, I'm kind of counting on it to save some headaches as I venture into the world of overclocking.

Quote:
HD - If Im spending $250, it's only gonna be one drive ..... make sure ya get the 5 year warranty version

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Have the 2TB model, it boots to windows in 21.2 seconds compared tot he vertex 3 max IOPS 15.6 seconds.


Not bad at all.
I've had bad luck with Seagate in the past, though. I'm sure it could have just been the way the dice were rolled, but I think I'm going to stick with WD to feel warm and fuzzy for this build at least.
December 31, 2011 10:39:11 AM

Water cooling is honestly overrated IMO. If your an enthusiast by all means but air cooling will get you a nice OC just fine. Plus the real world benefits of overclocking unless in large amounts are minimal. Yes you notice a performance boost but not as much as some people think. Plus you could save money by buying a cooler master hyper 212+ with a second fan and get a 2500k/2600k up to 4.8 Ghz if you do it right.
December 31, 2011 10:42:35 AM

midget666 said:
Water cooling is honestly overrated IMO. If your an enthusiast by all means but air cooling will get you a nice OC just fine. Plus the real world benefits of overclocking unless in large amounts are minimal. Yes you notice a performance boost but not as much as some people think. Plus you could save money by buying a cooler master hyper 212+ with a second fan and get a 2500k/2600k up to 4.8 Ghz if you do it right.


Unless you go full blown watercooling. Then it's alright. Just the Corsair ones are not the best.
December 31, 2011 5:26:50 PM

majorgibly said:
Unless you go full blown watercooling. Then it's alright. Just the Corsair ones are not the best.



From what I've been reading in the last couple of days, I think you're right. I heard some buzz about the Corsair Hx0 series and Antec Kuhler 620 & 920 and read up on all of it.

The general consensus is that the all-contained liquid cooled units are near the top as far as performance goes, cost a little bit more, but can be outperformed (and are quieter) than a few of the higher-end air-cooled HSF's. Performance was the most important to me with noise at a close second. I read a ton of reviews on the Corsair & Antec units and from what I understand, when they get going, they're loud.

Also, the Hyper 212 seems to be kind of hyped out and mediocre. I was reading good things about a few different alternatives. One of them that seems to be easily available for purchase is the Thermaltake Frio.


PS:
Here's one of the links I was looking at talking about the water-cooled units
January 1, 2012 9:57:39 AM

lamsid said:
From what I've been reading in the last couple of days, I think you're right. I heard some buzz about the Corsair Hx0 series and Antec Kuhler 620 & 920 and read up on all of it.

The general consensus is that the all-contained liquid cooled units are near the top as far as performance goes, cost a little bit more, but can be outperformed (and are quieter) than a few of the higher-end air-cooled HSF's. Performance was the most important to me with noise at a close second. I read a ton of reviews on the Corsair & Antec units and from what I understand, when they get going, they're loud.

Also, the Hyper 212 seems to be kind of hyped out and mediocre. I was reading good things about a few different alternatives. One of them that seems to be easily available for purchase is the Thermaltake Frio.


PS:
Here's one of the links I was looking at talking about the water-cooled units


The corsair H100 is only loud when you turn on the highest fan settings. Use low/medium fan settings and you don't hear a thing. The performance of the corsair H100 exceeds ALL high end air coolers including the 80 bucks Silverarrows and Noture WITHOUT the HUGE size and WEIGHT problem of the air coolers.

There is a review on Corsair H100, H80 and H60 water coolers at Anandtech and they also include the result of the best air cooler on the market (Silver Arrow) for the sake of comparision. Keep in mind that the Corsair H100 in that review only use 2 stock corsair fans with push configuration. At highest fan settings, it has the highest performance compared to all other coolers. At Medium fan settings, its about the same as the Silverarrow.

Here is the catch, the result of that review only takes into account 2 stock corsair fans as push configuration, if you add 2 more compatible fans onto the corsair H100 and utilize the push/pull configuration, even at low fan settings for push/pull, the corsair H100 will beat out all other coolers on the market without the noise problem. The only thing you need to be aware of is to find a compatible case that is large enough for a push/pull corsair h100 config at the top or at the side panel.
January 1, 2012 1:08:51 PM

Ahhh thanks for the info.

I WAS worried about the weight of some of these HSF's. These things are getting HUUUUUUUUGE.

I looked at a lot of the Corsair coolers but didn't include the H100 in my search. The size of the radiator initially turned me off since I anticipated having issues finding the right case for it. I should do some more digging though. I'll have to scope out that Anandtech article and read up. Thanks.
January 1, 2012 2:10:19 PM

i use a megahalems rev.b and it's great.i would suggest new phantek coolers.they seem to be a great product IMO.here's a review-
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/phanteks_ph_tc1...
LCS kits are not worth IMO.they come with crappy fans and average quality rads.sandybridges don't need hell of a cooling.
January 1, 2012 3:44:03 PM


that cooler is really loud. the hyper 612 is much quieter and cools just as well. the scythe mugen 3 is also a very good option. How high do you want to overclock the 2600k?

for that build all you need is a 1k watt psu- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... this psu is the best of the best
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=... . you have to put a half a point back on to value for it being 220$ instead of 265$ listed on the review

the crucial m4 128gb is a great ssd. extremely reliable. if you want to get a faster one

i find WD somewhat overpriced. I usually go with samsung or seagate. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Get the blu ray drive JackNaylor listed

you want to run those 580's at x16/x16. it will make a difference at that resolution. here is a good motherboard with a nf2000 bridge so you can actually run them at x16/x16. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - put the gpu's in pcie 1 and pcie 4 so that they both run at x16. you will need a very long sli bridge though.

im not so sure about the antec 1200. there is better cases out there. the antec df-85 cools better than it if you were looking for great cooling.

You should wait until Jan 9 for the 7970 3gb @550$. It is more powerful than a 580 and it is cheaper.

January 1, 2012 3:53:47 PM

TT chaser MK-I looks sexy IMO.
January 1, 2012 4:01:57 PM

^ ya it looks pretty good. it is the cheapest at amazon if you are wondering lamsid.
January 1, 2012 4:40:26 PM

Quote:
that cooler is really loud. the hyper 612 is much quieter and cools just as well. the scythe mugen 3 is also a very good option. How high do you want to overclock the 2600k?


I'm not actually sure how high I'm going to go as this will be my first attempt at overclocking. I figured it'd be a good learning experience by comparing things to what kind of speed they were getting in the recent system builder marathon article, since it's the same board, cpu, and memory.

Quote:
you want to run those 580's at x16/x16. it will make a difference at that resolution. here is a good motherboard with a nf2000 bridge so you can actually run them at x16/x16. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - put the gpu's in pcie 1 and pcie 4 so that they both run at x16. you will need a very long sli bridge though.


Hmmm that's one thing I didn't look into very closely, I figured the SLI ready boards would be able to do SLI well, especially since the SBM article used it for its SLI build. Is the MSI board not capable of doing x16/x16? Should I be looking for other options since I'm going to be running a crazy resolution for nvidia surround?
January 1, 2012 7:43:54 PM

Quote:
I'm not actually sure how high I'm going to go as this will be my first attempt at overclocking. I figured it'd be a good learning experience by comparing things to what kind of speed they were getting in the recent system builder marathon article, since it's the same board, cpu, and memory.

overclocking as much as tomshardware does on the system builder marathon doesn't require much over a hyper 212 evo.

Quote:
Should I be looking for other options since I'm going to be running a crazy resolution for nvidia surround?

why not eyefinity? as i have said before the 7970 3gb is coming out 8 days from now and it is more powerful than the 580 (cheaper too). eyefinity has actually been around longer and many people think it is better than surround. the only thing is you need one of these adapters for the third monitor- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The X79 platform can run 2 cards at x16/x16 on the cheapest motherboard- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-you need quad channel memory for this platform though
-the cheapest overclockable cpu is 600$ (3930k)
-the cheapest X79 cpu is 290$ (3820) , but it isnt out yet. It is only partially unlocked (only 43x instead of 57x) but because of X79's various preset BCLOCK frequencies it can be overclocked past 4.3 ghz.
If you dont mind waiting (february) the Asrock X79 extreme3 paired with the i7 3820 is a very good option because of your resolution.
January 2, 2012 3:25:09 PM

Quote:
overclocking as much as tomshardware does on the system builder marathon doesn't require much over a hyper 212 evo.


I suppose you're right on that one. I didn't dig too much into the details on their OC'ing process. Now that I think of it, I don't even know if heat was the bottleneck with whatever ceiling they hit.

Quote:
why not eyefinity? as i have said before the 7970 3gb is coming out 8 days from now and it is more powerful than the 580 (cheaper too). eyefinity has actually been around longer and many people think it is better than surround. the only thing is you need one of these adapters for the third monitor- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The X79 platform can run 2 cards at x16/x16 on the cheapest motherboard- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-you need quad channel memory for this platform though
-the cheapest overclockable cpu is 600$ (3930k)
-the cheapest X79 cpu is 290$ (3820) , but it isnt out yet. It is only partially unlocked (only 43x instead of 57x) but because of X79's various preset BCLOCK frequencies it can be overclocked past 4.3 ghz.
If you dont mind waiting (february) the Asrock X79 extreme3 paired with the i7 3820 is a very good option because of your resolution.


Is the adapter needed even if you're doing CrossFire? I was under the impression that it was only needed if you were trying to do EyeFinity on a single card.

And I did look into EyeFinity briefly in the beginning, but I got the gist that nVidia Surround was on par for the most part (even though it hasn't been around as long).

Also, I just looked at motherboards again. The MSI board has 2 x16 slots, but I couldn't find anything in the manual about them both NOT running in x16. Does one scale back to x8 or something when they're used in SLI because of bandwidth or something?
January 2, 2012 3:49:24 PM

Quote:
I suppose you're right on that one. I didn't dig too much into the details on their OC'ing process. Now that I think of it, I don't even know if heat was the bottleneck with whatever ceiling they hit.

voltage is their ceiling. They dont go over 1.4v i think.

Quote:
Is the adapter needed even if you're doing CrossFire? I was under the impression that it was only needed if you were trying to do EyeFinity on a single card.

yes all the ports come out of 1 card. it is the same for nvidia surround except in surround they can use an hdmi port instead of a display port which is why you need a display port to dvi adapter unless you have a monitor with a native display port.

Quote:
And I did look into EyeFinity briefly in the beginning, but I got the gist that nVidia Surround was on par for the most part (even though it hasn't been around as long).

it is for sure. i am just not sure why you were set on nvidia surround.

Quote:
Also, I just looked at motherboards again. The MSI board has 2 x16 slots, but I couldn't find anything in the manual about them both NOT running in x16. Does one scale back to x8 or something when they're used in SLI because of bandwidth or something?

exactly. the lack of bandwith scales it back to x8/x8 when 2 gpu's are in

sandy bridge extreme has much more bandwith making higher end gpu setups like your's more attractive on an x79 platform.

i7 3820 (285$)+ Asrock X79 Extreme3 (215$)= 500$ (x16/x16)

i5 2500k (220$)+ Asrock Z68 Extreme7 (270$)= 490$ (x16/x16)

both cpu's can be overclocked past 4.5ghz. you need a very long cf/sli bridge for the extreme7 to run 2 cards at x16. a normal sli/cf bridge is needed with the x79 solution. with the purchase of the long sli/cf bridge it will more than likely make the Z68 option more expensive.
January 2, 2012 4:11:34 PM

Ahh interesting. I will start digging into this stuff and checking it out.

Do you know of any good nVidia Surround vs Eyefinity sources off the top of your head? I did a brief search for some reviews/comparisons/technical discussions but everything I turn up doesn't seem to provide anything concrete.

Thanks,
January 2, 2012 4:43:00 PM

I will be searching.
January 2, 2012 5:12:44 PM

Much appreciated. I'm currently hunting down some stuff so I can read up on the horrors of a board that can only dedicate x8 to each pci-e slot. I've seen plenty of recommendations on the boards that just do dual x8 and are outfitted with GTX 580's but those setups never involved gaming in 5760 x 1080 with the cards each being OC'd with 3GB's of GDDR5 in them. I'm interested in reading on what kind of symptoms are seen and how it all ticks.
January 2, 2012 7:07:21 PM

Hmm I've been looking for articles that show results from both sides of the fence (and also anything showing benchmarks/testing with big resolutions like 5760x1080). So far I dug this up:
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/08/23/gtx_480_sli_pcie_bandwidth_perf_x16x16_vs_x8x8/1

Granted these are only GTX 480's, but they show results in 5760x1200 which is nice. From that article I'd gather that there IS a hit in performance but not too bad. I wonder, though, that if newer titles would show an even bigger gap in framerate. Also, I'm sure these 480's don't each have 3GB's of GDDR5 on them like the cards I'm eyeballing have. I'm wondering if even MORE vram would starve the limited bandwidth further.
January 3, 2012 12:17:37 AM

lamsid said:
Hmm I've been looking for articles that show results from both sides of the fence (and also anything showing benchmarks/testing with big resolutions like 5760x1080). So far I dug this up:
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/08/23/gtx_480_sli_pcie_bandwidth_perf_x16x16_vs_x8x8/1

Granted these are only GTX 480's, but they show results in 5760x1200 which is nice. From that article I'd gather that there IS a hit in performance but not too bad. I wonder, though, that if newer titles would show an even bigger gap in framerate. Also, I'm sure these 480's don't each have 3GB's of GDDR5 on them like the cards I'm eyeballing have. I'm wondering if even MORE vram would starve the limited bandwidth further.

not only do they have more vram but they are much more powerful.
January 3, 2012 1:30:31 AM

Wowsers. Tomorrow I'll have to start looking at that ASRock board you linked earlier. I think I definitely want to stick with an SLI board that can do x16/x16.
January 3, 2012 1:50:55 AM

an x79 system will be cheaper!!!
Quote:
sandy bridge extreme has much more bandwith making higher end gpu setups like your's more attractive on an x79 platform.

i7 3820 (285$)+ Asrock X79 Extreme3 (215$)= 500$ (x16/x16)

i5 2500k (220$)+ Asrock Z68 Extreme7 (270$)= 490$ (x16/x16)

both cpu's can be overclocked past 4.5ghz. you need a very long cf/sli bridge for the extreme7 to run 2 cards at x16. a normal sli/cf bridge is needed with the x79 solution. with the purchase of the long sli/cf bridge it will more than likely make the Z68 option more expensive.


did you not see this? I posted it up above.
January 3, 2012 1:51:35 AM

the only thing is the 3820 is coming out early february.
January 3, 2012 4:53:50 PM

Quote:
did you not see this? I posted it up above.


Yup, I did. I'm going to check it all out now. Thanks!
January 4, 2012 2:35:48 AM

I'm liking what I see with the ASRock Extreme7 Gen3. No idea what memory to go for though as of yet. Tomorrow I will dig around and see if the Corsair Vengeance stuff still looks like the way to go.
January 5, 2012 2:09:26 AM

lamsid said:
I'm liking what I see with the ASRock Extreme7 Gen3. No idea what memory to go for though as of yet. Tomorrow I will dig around and see if the Corsair Vengeance stuff still looks like the way to go.

ya corsair makes good memory. remember with the Z68 option you need a long sli/cf bridge to run both at x16. the cards need to go into pcie1 and pcie4. there is a pretty large gap in between them.
January 5, 2012 4:58:23 AM

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
for 279.99$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

go for that, a 1200W is good since you seem to got the bread, i see a possible upgrade for you ^_^ oh and i like the ASRock Extreme7 Gen3, i use one my self and it's good
January 5, 2012 11:58:05 AM

Quote:
ya corsair makes good memory. remember with the Z68 option you need a long sli/cf bridge to run both at x16. the cards need to go into pcie1 and pcie4. there is a pretty large gap in between them.


I did looked into that after you mentioned it... it looks like the SLI bridge that comes with the motherboard is tripple-spaced, so all should be good.

I looked into memory too. From what I gather so far, outrageous speeds and ridiculous memory overclocks aren't needed in order to OC the i7-2600k. I think I'm either going to stick with the original memory at the top of this thread or maybe this:

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM (out of stock at the moment).

The most popular combo for 2x4GB DIMMs with this CPU seems to be some flavor of DDR3 1600 with cas 8 latency. Why, I haven't got a clue since this will be my first overclock, hah.


Quote:
oh and i like the ASRock Extreme7 Gen3, i use one my self and it's good


Good to hear!
!