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$2000+ budget for new gaming PC

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December 4, 2012 3:32:50 AM

OK so I have been away from here and from computers for a while, pursuing my music. However I am ready to get back into gaming and do it with a bang. With the Matrix 7970 out I really wanted to try and base a build around that and the Maximus V EXTREME. So here is what I came up with. I don't know how much it will be exactly because I am not sure whether to go with an i5 or i7?

My budget for this is around $2300 at most though I'd like to stay under that. So a couple questions, is a VelociRaptor overkill as a storage drive? Should I just go with a cheaper 1TB? Also is 850W enough to power CFX Matrix 7970s? Or should I get a slightly more powerful PSU? I was also thinking about possibly the Maximus V FORMULA instead of the Extreme?

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit OEM
Case: AZZA Genesis 9000B
MoBo: ASUS Maximus V EXTREME LGA 1155 Intel Z77
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LP Black 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1600
CPU:
HSF: Noctua NH-D14
GPU: ASUS Radeon HD 7970 Matrix Platinum
SSD: SAMSUNG 840 Series 250GB
HDD: Western Digital VelociRaptor 500GB 10000RPM
PSU: Corsair Professional Series Gold AX850
ODD: ASUS DVD Burner OEM

More about : 2000 budget gaming

December 4, 2012 3:58:43 AM

If you have an SSD there's no need for a raptor. The SSD wipes the floor with the Raptor and for not much more. In fact if this is a gaming build I would do away with a storage drive all together and put the money towards a larger SSD like this one down below.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $379.99 FREE SHIPPING
SAMSUNG 840 Series MZ-7TD500BW 2.5" 500GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Seasonic manufactures all XFX psu's and the upper tier Corsair psu's. Here's a money saver down below.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $144.99 - $124.99 after $20.00 rebate card
XFX PRO850W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80 Plus Silver Certified 850 Watt Active PFC Power Supply
December 4, 2012 4:07:18 AM

Thanks for the idea. I will make those changes. So should I go with the i5 or i7? I have been told that there is no real difference in gaming between the two so should I just stick with the i5? That's what I'm thinking.
Related resources
December 4, 2012 4:07:28 AM

Here's a build, I cut a couple corners to give you twin 7950 GPU's for superb graphics in any game.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/qQQi
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/qQQi/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/qQQi/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.79 @ DirectCanada)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.98 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus V Extreme EATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($385.79 @ DirectCanada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.12 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($61.99 @ Computer Valley)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($184.35 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($299.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($299.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Azza Genesis 9000 (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($148.35 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional Gold 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($178.16 @ DirectCanada)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1967.49
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-04 01:05 EST-0500)
December 4, 2012 4:13:27 AM

You have the budget, so i5 versus i7 shouldn't be a big deal, just realize that i7s are generally just marginally better than i5s in gaming.

If you go for an Ivy Bridge i5 or i7, then don't get the Noctua NH-D14. That cooler is designed to handle huge thermal loads, something that Ivy simply doesn't cause. Ivy needs a cooler that is designed to get small thermal loads as low in temperature as possible and for that you need a cooler that has better thermal conductivity/impedance than the Noctua NH-D14. Two examples of such coolers include the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme and the Xigmatek Aegir. Their advantages over the NH-D14 are mostly involved in their direct-touch heat pipes which touch the CPU directly instead of having a thick metal block of osme sort between the heat pipes and the CU, increasing the time that it takes for heat to get to the heat pipes and thus out of the cooler. Remember, Ivy doesn't generate a lot of heat, it just has trouble getting rid of what lttle heat that it does have.

For similar reasons, I don't recommend getting a very expensive motherboard if you're doing so just with the intent of getting the best overclock because it won't make much of a difference at all compared to most far cheaper boards. Ivy doesn't consume a lot of power, so it doesn't need exotic VRM and other components related to power delivery. Even an AsRock Pro4 Z77 for ~$100 can do almost exactly as well in overclocking an i5-3570K or i7-3770K as the top of thew line Z77 motherboards.

I think that a higher wattage similar quality PSU might not be a bad idea, but it shouldn't be necessary.
December 4, 2012 4:21:23 AM

babernet_1 said:
Here's a build, I cut a couple corners to give you twin 7950 GPU's for superb graphics in any game.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/qQQi
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/qQQi/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/qQQi/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.79 @ DirectCanada)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.98 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus V Extreme EATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($385.79 @ DirectCanada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.12 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($61.99 @ Computer Valley)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($184.35 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($299.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($299.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Azza Genesis 9000 (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($148.35 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional Gold 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($178.16 @ DirectCanada)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1967.49
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-04 01:05 EST-0500)

Thanks for taking the time to make me a list however if I am going to spend $2000 on a gaming PC id rather have a higher end card I can add on to vs a couple lower end cards.
blazorthon said:
You have the budget, so i5 versus i7 shouldn't be a big deal, just realize that i7s are generally just marginally better than i5s in gaming.

If you go for an Ivy Bridge i5 or i7, then don't get the Noctua NH-D14. That cooler is designed to handle huge thermal loads, something that Ivy simply doesn't cause. Ivy needs a cooler that is designed to get small thermal loads as low in temperature as possible and for that you need a cooler that has better thermal conductivity/impedance than the Noctua NH-D14. Two examples of such coolers include the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme and the Xigmatek Aegir. Their advantages over the NH-D14 are mostly involved in their direct-touch heat pipes which touch the CPU directly instead of having a thick metal block of osme sort between the heat pipes and the CU, increasing the time that it takes for heat to get to the heat pipes and thus out of the cooler. Remember, Ivy doesn't generate a lot of heat, it just has trouble getting rid of what lttle heat that it does have.

For similar reasons, I don't recommend getting a very expensive motherboard if you're doing so just with the intent of getting the best overclock because it won't make much of a difference at all compared to most far cheaper boards. Ivy doesn't consume a lot of power, so it doesn't need exotic VRM and other components related to power delivery. Even an AsRock Pro4 Z77 for ~$100 can do almost exactly as well in overclocking an i5-3570K or i7-3770K as the top of thew line Z77 motherboards.

I think that a higher wattage similar quality PSU might not be a bad idea, but it shouldn't be necessary.

Thanks for that info, I think I will go with the i5 and look into those other coolers. I will say though I was looking st those two boards not for better OC's but because they can handle two triple slot GPUs which I am not sure that ASRock can. Is there a cheaper board that can take a couple Matrix 7970s? I also liked that it was color coordinated with red and black.

Would the Hyper 212 Evo work as well btw?
December 4, 2012 4:29:39 AM

Two triple slot graphics cards... I'd rather get two Radeon 7950s and throw in water cooling such as the Accelero Hybrid 7970 cooler. That'd solve the motherboard issues with triple slot cards and most 7950s with tend to overclock as well as 7970s with overvolting and comparable cooling. 7950s really aren't lower end cards if you like to overclock because they usually overclock equally well to 7970s because the main difference between a 7950 and a 7970 is just GPU frequency and voltage, both of which can be raised manually.

If that's not an option that you're willing to consider, then sure, some cheaper boards might prove to be insufficient. I'd think that any decent Z77 board that can have at least one empty expansion slot of space between two triple slot graphics cards would do the trick, but I doubt that any cheap board can handle three of them (I'm unsure of any board and case being able to give adequate spacing to three of them).
December 4, 2012 4:30:37 AM

babernet_1 said:
Here's a build, I cut a couple corners to give you twin 7950 GPU's for superb graphics in any game.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/qQQi
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/qQQi/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/qQQi/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.79 @ DirectCanada)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.98 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus V Extreme EATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($385.79 @ DirectCanada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.12 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($61.99 @ Computer Valley)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($184.35 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($299.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($299.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Azza Genesis 9000 (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($148.35 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional Gold 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($178.16 @ DirectCanada)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1967.49
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-04 01:05 EST-0500)


There is absolutely no reason to spend $400 on a motherboard on a $2K build. You'll be replacing it within a year or two guaranteed. Just get an inexpensive one and spend more on the GPUs.

Try this:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($80.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($192.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($454.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($454.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Switch 810 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($179.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $2049.72
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-04 01:30 EST-0500)
December 4, 2012 4:34:55 AM

Don't get a Noctua NH-D14 for an Ivy Bridge build... It's a waste of money. That cooler isn't good for Ivy Bridge. The cheaper Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme would work better on Ivy Bridge for the reasons that I gave in my first post in this thread.
December 4, 2012 4:35:39 AM

I don't want to mess with water right away and I really have my heart set on the Matrix just because its so pretty. Haha I am really trying g to treat myself otherwise I'd get a couple 670s. I wanted to go that rout until the Matrix was released. I also don't want three I just want two. Lol idk if I said three or not but I didn't mean to if I did. I know I'm being lucky but when you are going to spend that kind of money you tend to stick to your guns when money isn't a big issue. I hope I don't sound rude. I just really want that Matrix. In the future however I will probably go under which is why I chose such a large case, lots of room for water.

That Gigabyte board word work with a couple Matrix 7970s so I will really look into that.
December 4, 2012 5:04:23 AM

Alright then, looks good IMO.
December 4, 2012 5:32:09 AM

MX5J6 said:
I don't want to mess with water right away and I really have my heart set on the Matrix just because its so pretty. Haha I am really trying g to treat myself otherwise I'd get a couple 670s. I wanted to go that rout until the Matrix was released. I also don't want three I just want two. Lol idk if I said three or not but I didn't mean to if I did. I know I'm being lucky but when you are going to spend that kind of money you tend to stick to your guns when money isn't a big issue. I hope I don't sound rude. I just really want that Matrix. In the future however I will probably go under which is why I chose such a large case, lots of room for water.

That Gigabyte board word work with a couple Matrix 7970s so I will really look into that.



Sounds like you have a good plan. With today's games, Far Cry 3, even a top of the line 680 or 7970 will not be enough.

http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/far_cry_3_graphics...

Keep in mind, this site is just after a new Nvidia driver came out specifically for the Far Cry 3 game. A new driver from AMD is due out about now so the 7970 should catch up to the 680 in the near future. Anyways, note that with VERY HIGH settings, (not ULTRA HIGH) and a 1920 X 1200 monitor, the mighty 680 is brought to its knees. 8XMSAA and 32 FPS. Ultra high seems to cut another 10% off so it will run at about 29 FPS. So SLI two 680's and you will have your 60 FPS at maximized settings, everyone's goal.

That Gigabyte board has triple spacing between two of the PCI-E connectors so you will be okay. As others have said. You will put Windows (for fast booting) and your games on the SSD so you do not need a fast HDD. That's why you want a min of 120GB, but since the prices are really falling, 240GB seems to be the new norm.
December 4, 2012 3:38:07 PM

MX5J6 said:
I don't want to mess with water right away and I really have my heart set on the Matrix just because its so pretty. Haha I am really trying g to treat myself otherwise I'd get a couple 670s. I wanted to go that rout until the Matrix was released. I also don't want three I just want two. Lol idk if I said three or not but I didn't mean to if I did. I know I'm being lucky but when you are going to spend that kind of money you tend to stick to your guns when money isn't a big issue. I hope I don't sound rude. I just really want that Matrix. In the future however I will probably go under which is why I chose such a large case, lots of room for water.

That Gigabyte board word work with a couple Matrix 7970s so I will really look into that.


The problem with the Matrix is that each card takes up three slots so you won't have much room for anything else (wifi adapter, maybe sound card).
December 4, 2012 3:43:19 PM

This is true, I have never really thought about a sound card before but lately I have kind of wanted one. Decisions, decisions.
December 4, 2012 4:53:17 PM

angaddev said:
$2042
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/qTUQ
with a 3570k, an TRIPLE 7950s, and a 500GB SSD + 1TB wd black


Very Nice Build. I modified it a bit. One, a full tower case that has a side fan to keep the 7950 farm cool! Also I reduced the SSD size a bit for you don't need that much space for Windows and your games, freeing up the cost for the top quality case. I went for a somewhat cheaper 1TB drive, again to keep it under 2K and, with a massive 256GB SSD, your HDD needs are minimal.

Note, I changed the cards for these are 950MHz rather than 900MHz ones at the same price.


PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/qUg4
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/qUg4/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/qUg4/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Professional ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($209.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Crucial V4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($152.97 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($309.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($309.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($309.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Blue ATX Full Tower Case ($189.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS224-06 DVD/CD Writer ($27.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1952.84
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-04 13:49 EST-0500)
December 4, 2012 5:00:57 PM

babernet_1 said:
Sounds like you have a good plan. With today's games, Far Cry 3, even a top of the line 680 or 7970 will not be enough.

http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/far_cry_3_graphics...

Keep in mind, this site is just after a new Nvidia driver came out specifically for the Far Cry 3 game. A new driver from AMD is due out about now so the 7970 should catch up to the 680 in the near future. Anyways, note that with VERY HIGH settings, (not ULTRA HIGH) and a 1920 X 1200 monitor, the mighty 680 is brought to its knees. 8XMSAA and 32 FPS. Ultra high seems to cut another 10% off so it will run at about 29 FPS. So SLI two 680's and you will have your 60 FPS at maximized settings, everyone's goal.

That Gigabyte board has triple spacing between two of the PCI-E connectors so you will be okay. As others have said. You will put Windows (for fast booting) and your games on the SSD so you do not need a fast HDD. That's why you want a min of 120GB, but since the prices are really falling, 240GB seems to be the new norm.


AMD already did release such a driver. There have been seven releases from AMD since Catalyst 12.11 Beta ;)  Guru3D is almost always behind when it comes to AMD drivers.
December 4, 2012 5:16:23 PM

blazorthon said:
AMD already did release such a driver. There have been seven releases from AMD since Catalyst 12.11 Beta ;)  Guru3D is almost always behind when it comes to AMD drivers.


Actually, just this morning Guru came up with the updated article.

http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/far_cry_3_graphics...

As you can see, Nvidia still has the advantage.
December 4, 2012 5:28:03 PM

babernet_1 said:
Actually, just this morning Guru came up with the updated article.

http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/far_cry_3_graphics...

As you can see, Nvidia still has the advantage.


I see mention of only Catalyst 12.11 beta with CAP2 for it. There are seven newer drivers than Catalyst 12.11 beta. Heck, there might even be eight of them by now, I'd have to check to be sure. Like I said, forever out of date with AMD drivers.
December 4, 2012 10:11:30 PM

babernet_1 said:
Very Nice Build. I modified it a bit. One, a full tower case that has a side fan to keep the 7950 farm cool! Also I reduced the SSD size a bit for you don't need that much space for Windows and your games, freeing up the cost for the top quality case. I went for a somewhat cheaper 1TB drive, again to keep it under 2K and, with a massive 256GB SSD, your HDD needs are minimal.

Note, I changed the cards for these are 950MHz rather than 900MHz ones at the same price.


PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/qUg4
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/qUg4/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/qUg4/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Professional ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($209.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Crucial V4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($152.97 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($309.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($309.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($309.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Blue ATX Full Tower Case ($189.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS224-06 DVD/CD Writer ($27.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1952.84
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-04 13:49 EST-0500)


That build might be nice if that board supported triple Crossfire. Only like super high end boards will do that. Better to get dual 7970's.
!