Alright so my current mobo supports single pcie 16x or 8x/8x SLI or CrossfireX modes. After reading alot about shuttering I would like to stay away from Sli/CrossfireX. The best stable setup with the least amount of shutter at the moment is Triple CrossFireX using HD6870 X2 and an HD6870 respectively.
Back on topic... my current PSU is ModXStream Pro 700W. However it is very poorly made and after knowing what I know now I wouldn't have bought it. However it's what I have and we will have to work with what I got. Basically its a dual +12v 25a each rail BUT the pcie lines are connected to +12v2 while the other connection (+12v1) is used for the motherboard. Both +12 rails offer a maximum of 552 watts which if my math is correct offers 276 watts per line (although OCZ didn't properly rate the lines.... they claim 25a each line but 276 watts is only 23a each line). What kind of company gives 424 watts to the motherboard and only 276 watts for the GPU, hdd's, and all other devices? Unless I'm missing something and power gets drawn from the pcie slot too.
Anyways all that gibberish isn't probably needed. I just want to know what I can run in my system with my current PSU. What GPU can/should I get to run with my system and two years from now upgrade my system. IF my numbers above are correct than I can run a HD6950 in single GPU mode non-overclocked and have 20 watts remaining for everything else. Another option I have is run dual PSU's with an atx adaptor that is linked to the main PSU to turn the secondary PSU to use power draw for possibly running the HDD's etc. Main PSU could be in the first pcie power plug and second PSU could be plugged into the 2nd pcie connector. Secondary PSU offers single +12 rail of 18a (but to be safe I'll say its 16a maximum) or in otherwords 192 watts maximum.
I know this is a super big confusing post but contains all the information anyone could ask for.
Edit: Also another important thing to note is the 276 watts is limited only to the +12v2 rail. HDD's, and DVD's also use the +5 line which offers 150 watts. So I should be able to run a single 6950, 2 HDD's, and a DVD burner without worrying about running a secondary PSU.
Hmm 32 views and no replies. Well while waiting for a reply it seems these 4 cards slice the dice for my PSU.
I can't include the GTX 560 Ti unfortunately as it uses too much power for my PSU to handle. Of these cards on stock settings in a ratio of power consumption, benchmarks, and real-world gameplay the 6870 seems to be my best possible option. However the 6950 is still a viable option although AnandTech rates the 6950 @ 292 watts (which if this is true is 16 watts more than the total available not even considering HDD's etc).