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Old December 18, 2010, 12:28 AM
Jeff1961's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 69

My System Specs

Default My picks for an eyefinity build. (compatible?, suggestions?)

Thanks to everyone for their advice. I've purchased the rig from NCIX. Just awaiting its completion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~

Hello all! :)

My previous experience at building a computer is very limited. (taking two old computers and switching components so one has the better of the two)
I have considered if a store in my area would build it for me...but I think I can do this myself. My big concerns are putting the cpu on the mobo, protecting everything from static electricity, and any issue I have to go into the bios for. And i've never connected everything to a mobo from scratch. A few mysteries for me, but I think I can do it, and i've got local friends who could help if needed.

I've spent a huge amount of time surfing the net the past 3 weeks, looking at building a gaming rig for an eyefinity 3 monitor setup.

I'm not really asking you to build something for me...seeing i've done a lot of the research already and am fairly confident that it is okay. I'm really asking for someone to confirm that the list i'm providing below will not have compatibility issues...and if something IS incompatible, any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
My biggest hassle was finding the 4x 4GB of RAM I want. The mobo and RAM manufacturer sites have their lists...but there's not much 4GB sticks out there.
And I did go out of my way to make it look nice. I will add some lighting for it as well.
1. The PC will be used for simulation racing games, photo editing (Photoshop 7), 3D editing (Blender)...and perhaps some modest video editing with 1GB files.
2. My budget is inbetween $3500-5000.
3. I'm in Canada and buying most components from Canada. But may be looking at a few things from the U.S. (e.g lighting mods)
4. The machine has to be an AMD cpu and ATI video card.
5. All parts are new. See list below... (although I will be attaching a wheel, pedals, scanner, 3 external 1TB drives, mouse and keyboard, USB headphones)...printers are evil. lol
6. Haven't actually looked at "build" threads...but looked at tons of reviews for products, and online stores.
7. Overclocking isn't a big concern for me...but I did expect to try it. So...yes. :)
8. I plan to build it within the next two months. The sooner the better. I would like to start ordering components immediately, but this was the last thing to do before buying...get someone else's opinion.
9. I'm expecting to run 5760x1080. With 3 monitors using the eyefinity feature.
I just did a quick search at Newegg.ca and found most of what I want. Of course, the RAM is out of stock. I'm being picky about the RAM...I want this to look cool...so blue and gold colour is not what I want.
And i've chosen 2000 RAM...and I know I could use 1333 or 1600...I may go down for a lower price. I suppose i'm not getting much of a performance difference with 16GB of 2000 instead of 16GB of 1600...but I really don't know much about that. The 2000 is mighty expensive.

I'm still uncertain about what cpu fan to use. (3 listed below)
I may buy a 3 fan radiator for the top of the Obsidian case later on. I don't think I need it...and don't want the computer to be too loud if I can help it.

I will probably buy a second Asus Matrix 5870P card later...using crossfire. (when their price gets lower) Either that...or replace it with the upcoming 6990 when it goes under $600.

I'm still not certain of the monitors I will use...other than they will all be the same model and size, 2ms, can do 1920x1080 and there will be 3 of them.

============THE LIST OF COMPONENTS FOR MY GAMING PC==============
-Please tell me if something doesn't make sense here...or will not work together with the other components

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT90ZFBGRBOX

ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 AMD Motherboard

[2x] G.SKILL Flare Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Desktop Memory Model F3-

ASUS ROG MATRIX 5870 P/2DIS/2GD5 Radeon HD 5870 Platinum 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

KINGWIN LZG-1000 GOLD 1000W ATX 12V v2.2 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Corsair Obsidian Series 800D CC800DW Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case w/window

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS 300GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders

--------------------which one?-------------
EVERCOOL HPJ-12025 120mm Ever Lubricate Bearing (Long Life bearing) Transformer 4 Heat Pipe CPU Cooler

ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED 120mm 2 Ball Low-noise Blue LED CPU Cooler

ZALMAN CNPS 9500 AM2 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink

[3x] Asus VE248H Black 24" Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor w/Speakers
================================================== =======================

I don't need the monitors in the speakers. I use headphones...and will be looking for some great surround sound headphones. But I do have good computer speakers and subwoofer already.
I also have a huge amount of data on 3 external drives using USB 2.0...and will want some more ports...either on the front using a spare tray...or at the back.
A fan control system might be nice at the front in a spare tray. The Obsidian has quite a few...not sure if I should get more.
I'll have at least two optical drives. I don't have much use for Blue-ray...but need two 24x burners.
I like the Razer keyboard and mouse.

The above is listed at Newegg.ca as a wishlist build...viewable by the public, but I don't know how to link to it. If you wanted, you could search for the build under its title: "Eyfinity 3 monitor config".

As an aside...i've already purchased my racing cockpit, wheel, pedals, and shifter.
I've been playing racing games for 10 years. Mostly I play rFactor now. But i've currently got installed TMS,TMU, TDU, CMR4, Most Wanted, and Underground 2.

I'm attaching the Word document I created to keep track of everything i've been looking at. It's quite a mess in some places...but there's a ton of web links to various products, and at the bottom was supposed to be my final choices. That isn't quite complete.
Feel free to use it and share it.

Last edited by Jeff1961; December 21, 2010 at 08:45 AM. Reason: Rig completed...no more assistance required.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old December 18, 2010, 02:29 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 638

Corsair Vengeance 8GB
HD6950CF (You will most probably reach 30 FPS max on one card in F1 2010, which is playable, but for the price of your rig and 3xdisplays, 300 more $$ and reaching 60FPS should be a priority.)
Corsair AX850 should be safe for overclocking CPU and GPU. 1200 to be extra safe. Not aware of kingwin
Try to find a monitor that supports AMD's 3DHD since your buying new. I don't know how much they cost and hope someone can suggest something!
Razer's Black Widow Ultimate Mechanical keyboard.
128GB SSD rather than a 300GB 10,000RPM HDD
Newer case? Corsair Graphite 600, Lian Li or Silverstone $160~200 range.
I'm not sure your choices of coolers are the best. Hope others can help.
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Old December 18, 2010, 06:00 AM
matsta31's Avatar
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Location: Montreal
Posts: 2,204

I agree 16 gb DDRIII is a waste on a gaming system. Go for 8 gig if you really really want to... 1600 mhz is enough for gamig. 1333 is also enough for that matter. you wont really see a difference from 2000 Mhz unless benching is your thing.

Drop the Raptor. Get an SSD, it has better performance. If you do need the storage, get a WD black or something of the like.

Go on the newer generation of red team GPU unless you get a deal on the 5870.

Do you want to OC ?

Finally, Intel is coming out with Sandy Bridge CPU early january. You might want to see what it will do to the pricing structure before buying the cpu, since you are really claose to the launch.

Sold hardware again.....
Currently using WHS hardware....
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Old December 18, 2010, 08:46 AM
JD's Avatar
JD JD is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 8,244

My System Specs


Why buy the HD5870? Go for either the HD6950 or HD6970.

I'd go for a Corsair PSU over Kingwin any day. You'd be fine with something like the 850HX or AX850.

As others have said 8GB of DDR3-1600 is more than sufficient. No real need for 12GB in a gaming system.

Go for a SSD over the Raptor. It'll be far faster, though a bit more costly.

No need for Windows 7 Professional either unless you're running a domain-setup in your house? Home Premium is more than fine.

Heatsink wise, how about trying the Corsair H70?
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Old December 18, 2010, 11:23 AM
Jeff1961's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 69

My System Specs


Thanks very much to all.

Firstly, I love the 600 case from Corsair. I almost chose it thinking I could find someone to cut a window in to it. Emailed Corsair to make sure they didn't have a window. Then I got scared off with the increasing sizes of GPU cards...so, no way. But it is a sweet case.

I had also bookmarked the Corsair H70 fan. I wondered if it would really make a difference with overclocking and started looking at others simply because they might "light up" better with some lighting mods. But if i'm playing a racing game for 3 hours, and this system starts to overheat...i'd rather have performance than good looks.

And the Corsair Vengeance 8GB RAM...if this is okay for my mobo, then i'm okay with it. I was being super cautious and sticking to what the manufacturers were saying "tested" okay. If I can use this...it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for RAM.
So I assume you are saying by this that, as long as it meets the mobo requirements of 1333, 1600, 2000 and is dual...then I can get whatever I want?
If as you say, there's no big difference (big defined as +5 to +10 fps?) with 2000 as opposed to 1600...then I will definately go down to 1600 to save the money.
And it is the same with going down to 8GB from 16GB. If it won't get me another 5-10fps...and the comment from Microsoft that Win7-64bit can use up to 24GB isn't going to be visible to me...then i'll change to 4x2GB sticks of 1600.

I'm willing to put out a few hundred more for a few fps...because I don't want to be upgrading the mobo or ram over the next 3 years. The GPU...yes...I may by a second and use crossfire...or buy a new GPU.

And your GPU suggestions are all in line. I looked at so much data. Confusing for someone with my level of experience. I kept going back and forth from the different 58xx, 59xx, and now 6xxx cards. The few reviews I saw (sorry, can't find them now) had benchmark testing showing the 5850 and 5870 were giving just as good, and rarely better scores than the others.
I had thought at one point it would make more sense to get a 5850 now...and get the 6990 when it comes out. But the confusion over the specs i'd read were that, the various specs were sometimes double...but yet the fps in many games were only 5-10 higher.
It seemed to make more sense to buy two cheaper 5850 or 5870's than the newer cards. But I have no evidence that this is the case.
I can see that there's significant improvements in the 6950 and 6970.
Okay, well i'm seriously considering the 6950 and 6970 now. So, to me...it is worth the extra $300 to get 10 more fps and more stability with the 3 monitors. Do you think that doing two 6950's will give me that? Or would I be better to upgrade in a year to a newer GPU? I was a bit thrown off the whole crossfire thing. I kept seeing people talking about issues with crossfire and eyefinity.
I want a system that will make the 3 monitor system work very well. That's what scares me the most. Investing in 3 24" 2ms monitors and then the performance sucks in a racing game.

Regarding the SSD's...I thought i'd be better with a 300GB sata instead of a 120GB SSD...because i'm assuming the 10 or so new racing games and all the files would add up quickly. But perhaps i'm overreacting. I guess most games are still around 4GB when you install everything on the drive? I just added up what my 6 4 year old games are in total...26GB. The operating system probably needs 5-10GB. I dunno...i've got my eye on another 10 games. I guess that's still within range unless games have doubled to 8GB in size.
If 10 or so new racing games will not add another 80GB...then I will then keep the other SATA 1TB or 2TB drive for storage, then use an SSD for the operating system and programs to get better speed.

I saw that 850 for a PSU seemed okay...but in fear of needing more power in a year or two, I opted to go up to 1000. The PSU should last me a long time so...preparing for the future and possibly upgrading the GPU later.
I also haven't a clue what kind of strain little things like lighting would have, and of course...the three monitors...later getting a 3 fan radiator for the top of the 800 case.
I actually changed my choice for PSU yesterday when I noticed a few others saying "crossfire ready" and my initial choice did not. You can see i'm totally driven by these labels as I don't understand the full extent of what they mean. So to be cautious i'm following that. Neither the 850HX or AX850 say "crossfire ready". I thought perhaps this implied a specific cable type coming from the PSU. Is it okay for me to get a PSU that doesn't cay crossfire ready? What does that really mean?

Thanks again to all of you for your time and advice. :)

Last edited by Jeff1961; December 18, 2010 at 11:24 AM. Reason: Bolding "fan".
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Old December 19, 2010, 03:45 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 638

Case wise: Lian Li PC-V1020 or Silverstone Fortress FT02. Obsidian 800 is awesome as well. I just like the new all aluminum cases.
SilverStone Fortress FT02 Case Review | Hardware Secrets

Cooler: Noctua NH-C14

8GB RAM 1600 is fine. 2000 won't increase performance, 16GB won't give you the increase justified for the price. Corsair Vengeance is awesome value
and compatible with current and future generation Intel and AMD platforms. The link is a review of the X58 kit.
Quick Review: Corsair Vengeance Series PC3-12800 12GB Kit :: TweakTown USA Edition

For eyefinity and 60fps on average @ 5760x1080, you will need 69xx CF. HD6950 CF for $600 is real value and bottom line performance, 6970CF if you can afford it. Keep on checking benchmarks for this setup in Eyefinity with your chosen games to see if you're over or below your required performance.

You will have many issue in crossfire (compatibility, heat, noise), and even more than that in eyefinity (try 50m of cable), as for 3D with AMD, you will have the most issues.

OCZ Revodrive x2 60GB or 120 SSD if you can afford it. You don't need to install your games (especially playing online) on a SSD. Baracuda or WD Green is fine for games and files (music, movies etc.).

Any 650W and above PSU can handle dual cards and should be equipped with the connections needed. Corsair AX850 should be enough for your configuration and $100 cheaper than AX1200.

About 3D, there aren't any good options out now that I know of. Viewsonic has a model but the bezel seemed too thick for eyefinity.

I would appreciate other opinions my self. Lots of money at stake. LOL
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Old December 19, 2010, 04:56 AM
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Location: Windsor, ON
Posts: 244

I agree with the corsair psu recommendations as I prefer trusted brands like Corsair, Seasonic & Antec myself. The psu is the heart of the system, so if its a cheap quality one then it's most likely going to take out most, if not all of your other components as well when it does fail!

I also back up the 6970 recommendation as well, the 5870 is last gen's tech and the 6970 brings better tessellation to mix!

I'd recommend the OCZ Vertex 2 Extended drives over the RevoDrives any day since you lose TRIM on the revo's due to them having onboard raid. Get the 120GB as said or the 240GB if your worried about the amount of storage and have the budget to do so.

The 600T is a great case and has a removable hdd cage to accommodate larger cards like the 5970 & others like it in size. So unless your planning on having a lot of ssd/hdd's, then I would reconsider it as an option as the 800D on the other hand is a case better suited for water cooling.

Also, skip the H70, you'll get better temps with a great air cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus (with a 2nd fan) or V6GT, just check out the reviews on this site.

Any of the offerings for ram from Corsair, G Skill, Patriot & Mushkin would do you great! DDR3-1600 is the sweet spot atm.

As for optical drives, I like Plextor drives, great performers

Everything else looks great Good luck with your build & enjoy the new machine
"What are you practicing to hold in your mouth? " Sagath
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old December 19, 2010, 10:30 AM
JD's Avatar
JD JD is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 8,244

My System Specs


Seems your getting caught up in a lot of the marketing BS. Which is understandable though because they push it so heavily and it makes things down right confusing.

Basically any DDR3 RAM should work with your motherboard. I rarely ever have RAM that's listed on the QVL for the motherboard and haven't had any issues. Going from 8GB to 16GB or DDR3-1600 to DDR3-2000 is going to show 0 FPS gain. You gain FPS from better a video card card or CPU.

Going with 4x2GB is fine as well, since it's unlikely that you'll need more than 8GB for gaming. If you were doing some heavy multitasking, like the full Adobe suite or AutoCAD, then you may need more than 8GB.

A well-built 850W, like the Corsair models I suggested, will handle any setup IMO. They deliver power beyond their specs in most cases too. But if you want 1kW, that's fine. I'd just avoid Kingwin. Stick to Antec, Seasonic, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling.

And as others have said, there's no real benefit to having games on a SSD. It's more for booting Windows faster and having applications open instantly. Games definitely don't benefit much, if at all, from my experience with my Vertex 2 120GB. They all reside on my RAID5 array of 3xSamsung F1 1TB drives.
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Old December 20, 2010, 12:50 PM
Jeff1961's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 69

My System Specs


Still no choice made for cpu cooler, but made some changes.

I have a few choices in the background for a monitor. Decided on this one due to the larger 16:10 size. I hope that doesn't cause issues with games.

I would like to have that second GPU...but am afraid of "issues" that i've been hearing about. So i'm even contemplating waiting a few months for the 6990 card.

I hear ya about the 16GB not helping with games. Would it help with 3D modelling in Blender...or having lots of large photos open in Photoshop?

I hear you all about the case. I looked at at least 200 and found very few that had a window and didn't look like a tank or a refridgerator. I liked about a dozen...but there always seemed to be one little thing I didn't want to live with. Like the Z-Machine GT900. Why did they put their logo all over the machine? Once is enough. No sale for that small narcissistic decision. lol Or this Silverstone Temjin...but the window was too small. What can I say...i'm picky. :)

I'm sticking with Win7 Pro...for no other reason than I thought it might have some better options as with WinXP home vs pro. Although I can't even remember what the hell those were now. Pretty minor i'm sure.

Thanks again for your advice.
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

Corsair Obsidian Series 800D CC800DW Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full
Tower Computer Case w/window

CORSAIR Professional Series AX850 850W ATX12V v2.31 / Modular Active PFC
Power Supply

ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 AMD Motherboard

XFX HD-687A-ZNBC Radeon HD 6870 Black Edition 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI
Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready / Eyefinity

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Six-Core

CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

OCZ Vertex 2 Extended 180GB 2.5IN SATA2 Sandforce SF1200 Solid State Disk Flash Drive

Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"
Internal Hard Drive

3x ASUS VW266H Black 25.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor (1920x1200)

2x LG DVD±RW SuperMulti Drive Black SATA Model GH22NS50B

Steelseries Siberia V2 USB 7.1 Surround headset w/mic

RAZER Black Wired BlackWidow Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Razer Lachesis Gaming Mouse 3.5G Laser Sensor 5600DPI 9 Button Optical
USB Multicolor Lighting

Last edited by Jeff1961; December 20, 2010 at 03:11 PM.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old December 20, 2010, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: mtl
Posts: 12,691

you could get an ssd and have the wd 2tb for storage.

shave a bit here and there and either get 2 6800 series cards or one 6950? :)
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