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Upgrading my build. Going for SLI GTX 460. Sufficient PSU? Please HELP

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January 9, 2012 9:13:40 PM

Hello,
so I am upgrading my computer. Here are my current specs. (Please don't laugh xD)

CPU: Athlon x2 2.5 Ghz Dual Core Processor
GPU: Nvidia Geforce PNY GTX 460 1GB XLR8 OC
MoBo: Gigabyte M68M-S2P
PSU: Ultra LSP650
RAM: 4GB DDR2 PC2-6400
CASE: Sentey Black Box Series BX1-4283 V2.3

Anyway it runs pretty good, but I plan on getting rid of it and upgrading to some more heavy duty stuff. I play Battlefield 3 at 20 fps average on High so my want for upgrading is pretty high. Haha. Anyway I am selling the CPU, Mobo, PSU, and RAM to a friend I am going to buy these items with some extra money I have.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 Sandy Bridge 2.8GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core BX80623I52300 ($185)
GPU: Nvidia Geforce PNY GTX 460 1G XLR8 OC - SLI ($120)
MoBo: MSI P67A-G43 (B3) LGA 1155 ($115)
RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) ($50)

As you can see I am going to buy another GTX 460 and SLI it. I was originally going to buy a AMD Phenom x4 965 and a better mobo, but then I found out that SLI mobos for AMD are hard to come by sense AMD wants you to get ATI GPU's and Crossfire those. Looking at the price tag I decided that I could get a cheaper mobo, and spend the extra money for a better CPU if I went Intel. So that's what I decided, but now I need to get a Power Supply that will run all of this. I was thinking about getting this:

RAIDMAX Blackstone series RX-700AC 700W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

It's Bronze Certified and it is a 700W. 70% of Newegg.com rated it 5 Stars (eggs). Will this be enough to run an Intel i5 CPU and SLI 2 GTX 460? And does Newegg.com sell SLI bridges? If so, link please. And I was looking at the mobo, it will run SLI at x16 and x8. Is that sufficient? What's the performance difference? Also, how much power will SLI produce? Will it be as powerful as a single GTX 570? 580? Thanks for your input!
January 9, 2012 9:17:31 PM

I would not go with raidmax for a psu, stick with one of the better known brands. Power is not something you want to go cheap on, but picking out a 700w psu from a better manufacturer should provide you with ample wattage for your build.

Have you checked out the microstuttering articles on this site? I am not sure how bad 460's are with it once sli'd. Before making a final decision I would definitely check that out
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
January 9, 2012 9:26:08 PM

I would go up to an i5-2400 or stretch for a 2500k if you can.

The Corsair RAM will have to go. It has among the highest failure rates of any brands right now. I would suggest Crucial instead.

The PSU also absolutely won't work. Get an XFX 750w instead, it will put out roughly 2x the power as the Raidmax will.

The SLI bridges should come with the cards. You can check in the product description, though, just to be sure. I get them with my AMD cards and I would assume Nvidia would do the same thing.

I think 2x 460s would probably do about as well as 1x 580, but a lot of stuff plays into these things and a lot of it depends on the particular game too.

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a b B Homebuilt system
January 9, 2012 9:50:05 PM

AMD's new 900 series chipsets (I think it is mostly 990FX, but possibly others as well, depending on the manufacturer) do support SLI. So you can go for an AMD platform if you want.

Just because a PSU is popular on newegg doesn't mean that it is a good choice.
The 12V rating is more important than the 'big' number on the label. In the case of the Raidmax Blackstone it has two 23A +12V rails. Even if they can both be loaded to 100% at the same time (which is not necessarily the case, even on high quality units, which the Raidmax most likely isn't) then it would have 552W available. I think a unit with that much 12V capacity should be called a 650W at most.

It doesn't have enough connectors for a build with two GTX 460s. It only has two PCIe connectors, but you will need a unit with four.

It looks like it has a voltage regulator switch, which would suggest that it doesn't have APFC, even though it claims to.

Antec Earthwatts Green EA-650 80Plus Bronze $72 ($7 rebate, $3 shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Doesn't have enough PCIe connectors, but this unit is high quality enough to be a good idea to use. Also doesn't come with a power cord, so you will have to reuse one or buy one yourself.

XFX Pro 650W Core Edition 80Plus Bronze $90 ($25 rebate, $6 shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill Capstone 650W 80Plus Gold $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Earthwatts Green EA-750 80Plus Bronze $92 ($12 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Again, doesn't come with a power cord.

It would be a better idea to get a 2x 4GB set rather than a 4x 2GB set as there is no price difference, you put less stress on the memory controller and you give yourself more upgrade options.
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January 9, 2012 10:37:48 PM

Thank's for the reply. I think I'll go with the Antec EA-650. I got the PCIe coverters and I got many power cords. I'm trying to keep it cheap. I would think that having the memory divided would allow better flow and speed for each individual RAM card. What would you recommend for 8GB under $45? As for everyone else, I am sure I want to get another GTX 460. I was going to originally sell my current one and get a 560Ti, then I found out how SLI works and that instead I could use the extra money to get better components. I think I want to go with Intel over AMD. Overall, they are just the better brand (in my opinion). I know there are SLI Mobo's, but all the ones I could find on Newegg were over $160 or they were x16 x4. I want x8 x8 or x16 x8 and x4 doesn't work SLI anyway. Also, the Nvidia GPU's do not come with SLI bridges. Can someone get me a link for one on Amazon, Newegg, or ebay? Thanks. I'm still confused about the differences in performance for x16/x8. Any info? Thanks again! :D 
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January 9, 2012 11:55:53 PM

Best answer selected by Arlen10.
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January 10, 2012 12:09:59 AM

SLI bridge: http://www.evga.com/products/prodlist.asp?switch=4
You might be able to get one at a local computer retailer. Dunno why they're so hard to find.
I have 460's SLI'ed 16X8 and jumped up about 178% on Unigine Heaven 2.5 bench in FPS. Get a side panel fan to blow air on those cards, dropped my temps from67C to 57C.
Intel Core i5-2320 Sandy Bridge 3.0GHz (3.3GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I52320 $189.99 free shipping. No extra HSF needed. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Only $30 separates that frm a 2500K

16X16 vs 16X8 SLI differences are negligable.
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