I have a budget of 1000 dollars (after shipping) to upgrade my current system. I use the computer mainly for playing EVE Online with 3 clients on 3 separate monitors, and I also play first-person shooters, namely Battlefield 3. With current nVidia requirements, I cannot use true SLI with 3 monitors, and using nVidia Surround is not something I am interested in. Even with the decent hardware listed below, I’m not satisfied with the performance I’m getting in the newer games, especially since it is really only utilizing one of the 480’s. I’m looking for a system configuration that would utilize SLI with all 3 monitors (and when necessary, focus on one full screen game on my focus monitor) and still keep up with today’s games.
My options are, as I see them:
1. Buy a new MOBO with 3x PCI-E slots, and buy a 3rd so/so card to supplement the 3rd monitor to allow for SLI using the GTX 480s. I see that with the newer generation i7s, 1366 pin mobos have gone the way of the dodo bird, and it may not be worth the price to invest in a new board for my 1st gen i7.
2. Buy a new MOBO and 3 new video cards altogether for Tri-SLI. I’d like to think that the 480s are still relevant in today’s world, but I’m two generations behind already.
3. Buy updated core components (CPU, MOBO, and GPUs), although I'm not sure my budget would allow that to even surpass my current performance.
Which do you think would have a bigger impact on system performance? I’d be willing to stretch my budget a bit to update the core components if there isn’t a simple fix to this. Is there anything else I’m missing? Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
CPU: Intel Core i7-930 2.8Ghz 8M LGA1366 CPU (OC’d at 4GHz)
MOBO: Asus P6T Intel X58 Socket LGA1366 Motherboard
GPUs: 2x GALAXY GTX 480 (Not in SLI, 3 monitors)
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Ridgeback 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000)
OS HD: Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC
PSU: Kingwin 1000W 80 Plus Bronze Modular Power Supply
CASE: Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower Black Case
MONITORS: 3x Acer GD235HZ bid 23.6" 1920X1080 Monitor 3D Ready
a single card is always better than sli its produces less heat less power consumption and in general less compatibility issues
a single gtx 680 will net similar performance to your two 480's with less issues http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
also a 7970 can be an alternative to the 680 as they pretty much trade blows but the 7970 is better in your case as it has more onboard memory which will help with your resolution
you could get them both and sli or crossfire them for more performance down the road and overclock them the reason i advised the msi cards is they both overclock really well thanks to the triple overvolting they have good cooling and look amazing
the i7 930 is still a very capable cpu so there isnt much point to upgrading and since haswell is being released in a couple of months it wouldn't make much sense to add to that the 8000 and 700 series gpu's are rumoured to come out around this time so you may want to wait until then as the leaked specs for the 8000 series seem to be a major upgrade from 7000 series cards THE CHOICES THEY BE OVERWHELMING but seriously this is a decision up to you if you can deal with your current setup for a few more months then wait as prices would drop and new hardware will be released or if not you could go with the gpu upgrades i have listed above.