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New System Build Help

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June 25, 2012 4:46:38 PM

Hi everyone!
Long time reader, first time poster, so bear with me here.

I am currently in the process of building a new Gaming/Media Center Rig. My idea behind this rig was something small and inconspicuous, yet something so powerful it'll blow away any budget gaming PC, as there is no actual budget for this one. I want to make a monster, really.

Here's what I have so far

Intel Core i5 3570K CPU
MSI Z77MA-G45 Mobo
Corsair XMS3 16GB RAM
Thermaltake TR2 RX 750W PSU
Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 OC Edition GPU
And this cooler Cooler Master X6 Elite

And all of this is in this tiny little case
Cooler Master Elite 343
And I know you're wondering, but no, the CPU cooler doesn't fit in the case perfectly, I had to bend the side panel a bit to get it to fit(small price to pay for extreme performance in a tiny package)

Now for the questions.
First off, would this case have enough cooling performance to be able to handle another 6950 crossfired?
Also, if it is able to handle crossfire, would I want to try to overclock them or no?
Regarding the CPU, how high of a stable clock would I be able to achieve with the cooler that I have, but also considering how small the case is?
Would you recommend overclocking the RAM also, or would it get too hot and fry my motherboard/ram?
How exactly would you go about the overclocking process? As in, in which order would you overclock first? i.e. CPU, then RAM, then GPU?
How do I overclock?(First time I'm able to have decent enough income to get a computer worthy of overclocking)

I do have a 120mm fan in the front that came with the case, and I also installed a 92mm fan in the back(the fans are in push pull configuration), but there was no room for the one to put on the side panel, so take this into consideration if and when you are answering my questions.

Thanks a lot!

More about : system build

a c 82 B Homebuilt system
June 25, 2012 6:27:59 PM

I wish you had asked before you bought that power supply. If you can return it for something that's not dangerous then it would be a good idea to do that.

Thermaltake TR2 is one of the worst power supplies on the market and it's not even priced with the other junk. So not only do they sell you junk they rip you off for it.

The 2 best power supply review sites are Hardwaresecrets and jonnyguru. Here is the Hardwaresecrets review of your PSU. The whole article is worth reading but here is the conclusion.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermaltake-TR2-...

Here is a very good ( not perfect but very good ) tier list. Notice the TR2 and TR2 RX are tier 5. The do not buy under any circumstances and replace ASAP if you do have one tier.

http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

Thermaltake and Coolermaster are 2 companies that shoud not be in the power supply business.

For quality stick with Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power and Cooling, XFX, Silverstone, Enermax, OCZ and Antec.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
June 25, 2012 7:03:45 PM

The time to ask for advice is BEFORE you buy so you have a chance to change things.

To answer your questions:

1) The case has only minimal airflow for one good card, let alone two.

2) CF in a M-ATX motherboard is not a good idea. The cards must be close together, and the top card will be starved for air.
If you are willing to spend $250 on two 6850's, spend the same amount on a single GTX670 or GTX680. They will run cooler anyway.

3) In a well ventilated case, the cooler would be ok for a modest oc in the 4.0-4.2 range. In this case, I think less.

What to do?

You could replace the fans with high rpm versions at the cost of high noise levels.

You could replace the case with a good cooling case able to handle tall coolers like the cm hyper212.
For example, the Silverstone TJ-08E:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4) I think you should find the tr2 psu to be defective, and return it. The review anort3 linked suggested more issues with high temperatures, and you will definitely have a heat issue.

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June 25, 2012 7:21:13 PM

geofelt said:
The time to ask for advice is BEFORE you buy so you have a chance to change things.

To answer your questions:

1) The case has only minimal airflow for one good card, let alone two.

2) CF in a M-ATX motherboard is not a good idea. The cards must be close together, and the top card will be starved for air.
If you are willing to spend $250 on two 6850's, spend the same amount on a single GTX670 or GTX680. They will run cooler anyway.

3) In a well ventilated case, the cooler would be ok for a modest oc in the 4.0-4.2 range. In this case, I think less.

What to do?

You could replace the fans with high rpm versions at the cost of high noise levels.

You could replace the case with a good cooling case able to handle tall coolers like the cm hyper212.
For example, the Silverstone TJ-08E:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4) I think you should find the tr2 psu to be defective, and return it. The review anort3 linked suggested more issues with high temperatures, and you will definitely have a heat issue.


=[ I wish I saw that case before I bought the one I have. I should be able to return the PSU as well. If I get the new case, how well would the OC go to? Would it be able to get to what you said yourself, or close? Also, how powerful of a PSU do you think I should go for if I decide to OC as well as run crossfire 6950's? I got them on a deal, so it still ends up being cheaper than the GTX670 or 680, just uses up more power and takes up more heat.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
June 25, 2012 7:45:49 PM

wannabeklutz said:
=[ I wish I saw that case before I bought the one I have. I should be able to return the PSU as well. If I get the new case, how well would the OC go to? Would it be able to get to what you said yourself, or close? Also, how powerful of a PSU do you think I should go for if I decide to OC as well as run crossfire 6950's? I got them on a deal, so it still ends up being cheaper than the GTX670 or 680, just uses up more power and takes up more heat.


With the tj08E, you can oc as high as your cooler will let you.
It can handle a full sized cooler. I use a prolimatech megahalems, and the fan is undervolted. Even the front 180mm fan is on low and also undervolted. I am at 4.3 with no issues; I don't need any more. Once you need to apply voltage increases to OC, the 3570K heats up very quickly.

A 6950 will need about a 500w psu. For crossfire, I would look at a 750w unit. Do not buy an unusually long psu for the tj08E. A max of 160mm or 6.3" should be ok.

A conservativeOC does not add much to the power demand.

Try out a single 6950 first. You may be well satisfied.
If you need more, you could try a second card, but realize that the top card will get hot. It's intake will be blocked by the lower card.

If you need more than a 6950, I would sell it in favor of a stronger single card.
Two cards may be susceptible to microstuttering.
Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...
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June 25, 2012 7:57:18 PM

geofelt said:
With the tj08E, you can oc as high as your cooler will let you.
It can handle a full sized cooler. I use a prolimatech megahalems, and the fan is undervolted. Even the front 180mm fan is on low and also undervolted. I am at 4.3 with no issues; I don't need any more. Once you need to apply voltage increases to OC, the 3570K heats up very quickly.

A 6950 will need about a 500w psu. For crossfire, I would look at a 750w unit. Do not buy an unusually long psu for the tj08E. A max of 160mm or 6.3" should be ok.

A conservativeOC does not add much to the power demand.

Try out a single 6950 first. You may be well satisfied.
If you need more, you could try a second card, but realize that the top card will get hot. It's intake will be blocked by the lower card.

If you need more than a 6950, I would sell it in favor of a stronger single card.
Two cards may be susceptible to microstuttering.
Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...


Thanks again for that! I guess the last thing I'm curious about is the actual RAM that I'm using. Are those good for OC? If so, how much would I OC by? Would you suggest messing with the timings as well?
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
June 25, 2012 8:27:25 PM

wannabeklutz said:
Thanks again for that! I guess the last thing I'm curious about is the actual RAM that I'm using. Are those good for OC? If so, how much would I OC by? Would you suggest messing with the timings as well?


The ram you picked is good.

There is little value in faster ram, or by overclocking it.
I would not bother.
Read this. http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...
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June 25, 2012 8:31:09 PM

Best answer selected by WANNABEkLuTz.
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