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Old November 18, 2011, 07:00 PM
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Tom's did a series of articles testing exactly this question: multi-GPU scaling against available PCI-e lanes. The third article's probably the most relevant to your build: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...fire,2910.html, though the second is also a good read: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...ance,2887.html
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Old November 22, 2011, 10:05 AM
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Well I've ended up changing my mind, I'll be switching over to an X79 system and probably posting a new list within a week or two. The price premium doesn't seem that bad since it has that much more room for upgrade (CPU/RAM) and the SLI is that much better.

Also realized I completely forgot to take the power from all 3 580s into account while choosing a PSU so I'll make sure to remember that for this next one.

Thanks for all the information and advice!
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Old November 23, 2011, 12:54 AM
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From a purely gaming perspective, X79 costs allot more than what it can give. P67 and Z68 are either similar or a bit behind X79 because most games are GPU bound and the reduced number of lanes does not affect fps as much as one would assume.
X79 / Z68 / 990FX CrossFireX HD 6970 x3 Performance Analysis :: TweakTown USA Edition

As you will see from the link below, 80+ gold 1200W PSUs can easily handle 4-way SLI GTX580 and an over-clocked core i7 980x cpu. I would recommend the new XFX and Seasonic PSUs
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...ws,3072-6.html

Since I recommended the Thor2, Rosewill released a new and more expensive case, which I don't think has an equal in the market for the price and design.
Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra Super Tower Case Review-Hi Tech Legion-Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra Super Tower Case Review
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Old November 23, 2011, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luay79 View Post
From a purely gaming perspective, X79 costs allot more than what it can give. P67 and Z68 are either similar or a bit behind X79 because most games are GPU bound and the reduced number of lanes does not affect fps as much as one would assume.
X79 / Z68 / 990FX CrossFireX HD 6970 x3 Performance Analysis :: TweakTown USA Edition

As you will see from the link below, 80+ gold 1200W PSUs can easily handle 4-way SLI GTX580 and an over-clocked core i7 980x cpu. I would recommend the new XFX and Seasonic PSUs
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...ws,3072-6.html

Since I recommended the Thor2, Rosewill released a new and more expensive case, which I don't think has an equal in the market for the price and design.
Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra Super Tower Case Review-Hi Tech Legion-Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra Super Tower Case Review
After looking at that first analysis, to me X79 isn't worth it right now. The main reason I'm going SB-E is because I really feel I will be able to keep the system longer while updating it since it has processors with more cores (once games that can take advantage of it come out) and more to offer in the SLI department.

The real problem is figuring out if that extra price premium now will actually end up letting me stay on this platform for at least 6 months to a year longer than the SB platform while still keeping up with the new games.

As a comparison, right now I'm running this setup:
AMD Phenom X2 555 BE @ 3.9ghz
4 GB G.skill Ripjaw 9-9-9-24 @ 7-7-7-22
Gigabyte 890GPA-UD3H rev 1
ASUS DirectCU HD 6870
ASUS Xonar DX 2
WD 640 GB Caviar black
Corsair TX650w psu
CM HAF 922 case

I game at 1920x1080 right now and I am starting to find the performance is not that great in the higher end games I play (BF3, Metro 2033 and more). I've just never owned a very high end system and really feel this is a good time to make the leap.

Am I crazy to think that SB-E would be able to keep up with new games for that much longer than the SB platform?

Edit: I also might have access to the intel RE holiday offers so now I have to take that into account too... a 100$ 2700k.

Last edited by Cherpin; November 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM.
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Old November 26, 2011, 01:09 AM
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The only justification I have for buying SB-E purely for gaming is the need to drive a resolution higher than 25600x1600, which is three monitors, and it becomes more important when your monitors are 120hz, because then achieving 120fps will improve your games and, with the right hardware, SB-E will provide those extra frames.
Core i7 3960X with 4-Way CrossFireX HD 6970 Performance Analysis :: TweakTown USA Edition
Eyefinity Examined with Sapphire HD 6970 x4 and Core i7 3960X :: TweakTown USA Edition

A good compromise would be to add another HD6870, and maybe a q-core phenom if the scaling was less than %75, and call it a year. By next Christmas or early 2013 you will want to build a new high-end rig.
NVIDIA GeForce Kepler Roadmap Compiled | techPowerUp
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Old November 26, 2011, 05:38 PM
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Considering how well an i7-920 still does in games, and the potential for meaningful speed upgrades with Ivy Bridge (unlike the Bloomfield to Gulftown tick) I'd not be too worried about the gaming lifespan of 1155 versus 2011. At the least, the savings from going Sandy Bridge would mean you have money saved to upgrade earlier if you so choose -- and a mainstream system based on new architecture is likely to be more powerful than an old enthusiast system. Same amount of money spent over the same amount of time, but with greater result.

Alternately, if there's not much advancement (and AMD's certainly not putting any pressure on Intel to innovate in the consumer gamer space) then games aren't likely to advance very quickly either.
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Old November 29, 2011, 04:11 AM
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I hate to say it but I've changed my mind once again. Sticking with SB for sure this time though since I got my hands on a 2700k through the Intel RE program. Also partly because I'd rather wait for a platform that is more of an upgrade than SB-E vs SB before blowing all my cash on it!

Anyways, updated the first post to reflect my new budget and changed the parts list also!
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