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 Post subject: 2600k or 3930x & 570/580 SLI
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:42 pm 
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I'm planning on putting together a gaming PC with 570 or 580 SLI & either a 2600k or the new 3930x CPU. So while I'm weighing the pros/cons on those, I'd also like to figure out which case to use.

Silent/quiet is better. I was look at the review here on the SilverStone FT02 case & really liked both the look & quiet nature of the case.

But is there something else I should consider for a high-end SLI configuration?

I'm guessing there's only so much you can really do about the noise of the GPU cards themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: 2600k or 3930x & 570/580 SLI
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:17 pm 
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Welcome to SPCR!

Consider what games you want to play and then go do a google search for CPU and GPU benchmarks. Chances are you are planning some serious overkill for $'s spent as well as excess heat/power and noise.

Both the 2600K and any SNB-E CPU are overkill for gaming. Very few games use hyperthreading. Heck, lots of games just use 2 cores. Sweet spot is the 2500K and then overclock it if the game is cpu intensive. Get a mobo that claims to be ready for Ivy Bridge. Take the $100 to $300 in CPU savings and pop in an IVB CPU sometime down the road for an upgrade. Or, better yet - throw the savings into getting a 128GB SSD.

Again, look to see if you truly need SLI for games you want to play at your monitor's resolution and quality level.
If you truly want to go down this path, look for a motherboard that supports 3 PCI-e x8 or x16 lanes. That way, you can keep the graphics cards separated and have a chance at getting some airflow into both cards. (Hopefully, there is a double length SLI connector available...).

After you figure the above out, then look at cases.

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 Post subject: Re: 2600k or 3930x & 570/580 SLI
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:00 am 
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Location: UK
Sandy Bridge E is the better choice because it will give you a performance boost in two-way or three-way SLI, see for example http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-3960x-x79-sandy-bridge-e,3071-18.html. Now those results are for the 3960x but I suspect you could get close to that by mildly overclocking the 3930x. The reason for the performance boost would include I suspect the additional memory bandwidth from the four channel memory which is only available for Sandy Bridge E.


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 Post subject: Re: 2600k or 3930x & 570/580 SLI
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:35 am 
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I agree with the posters above: SLI is rarely needed and Sandy Bridge -E i7-3XX is better for SLI but also a lot more expensive than regular SB i7/5-2XXX.
If you want an SLI SB-E system, you will have 3 hot and potentially noisy components. You do need a case with good airflow, the FT-02 is a good start. It takes more steps to quiet this system than a HTPC with a regular CPU.
The quietest graphic cards come with a preinstalled aftermarket cooler, the KFA² GeForce GTX 580 Anarchy comes with an Arctic Colling Accelero which is one of the best. You also need a good CPU cooler: the Scythe Mugen 3 should support Socket 2011 for SB-E, but only the latest batch, so make shure before you buy.
You can quiet the rig by reducing the RPM of the preinstalled fans with a fan controller like the Zalman ZM-MFC1 which can control up to five fans.
And you need a good 800W+ power supply like the Enermax Platimax or Seasonic Platiinum series.
How quiet will it be?
Hard to tell, few people (here) spend that kind of money on a gaming machine and expect it to be quiet, so you'll have to find out for yourself.
If silence is the main objective you might want to reconsider SLI/SB-E for a regular Sandy Bridge System with a single graphics card.

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 Post subject: Re: 2600k or 3930x & 570/580 SLI
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:21 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:30 am
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Thanks for the feedback.

I should have also noted that I plan on getting a 24" 3D monitor 1900x1080 with this upgrade.

My understanding is that a single GTX 570 should do most any game in Ultra res at 1080p. Maybe not Metro 2033 or BF3. But going 3D essentially halves your framerate, so you need SLI.

I don't think that I can make a totally silent 3930x w/ SLI 570/580, but I'd like to make it as quiet as I can when idle. I figure when I'm actually gaming I'll either have the sound cranked up or headphones on, so the GPU fan noises won't be that noticeable then.


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 Post subject: Re: 2600k or 3930x & 570/580 SLI
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:40 pm 
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Get a big nice heat sink on the CPU like a Silver Arrow or something similar, you can run those fans pretty quiet and still get very decent cooling.

Research aftermarket cooling on the 570/580 and choose the most quiet solution, for the best value for your money of course.
Here is a chart you can use to gauge difference in noise (eg.570SLI).
http://www.guru3d.com/article/evga-gefo ... d-review/8
The aftermarket coolers from MSI-Lightning/Asus-DCUII all work in the same noise field for 580 and 570 cards.

Of course everything ramps up when you've been gaming for a while, but then you've got gaming noise and won't notice it that much. It's when you're surfing on the web that you want everything nice and quiet.

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 Post subject: Re: 2600k or 3930x & 570/580 SLI
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:09 am
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Hi

The SilverStone FT02 is a great performer. As for the GPU i would suggest a Gainward Phantom which has approximately the same noise level as Asus DirectCUII. Theres is one important fact you should be aware of while making your descision about graphics cards. Since the FT02 has a 90 degree orientation of the motherboard, there might be efficiency problems concerning the heatpipe construction of the graphics cards. See this article for further information. The Gainward Phantom has a more favorable heatpipe alignment for the FT02.


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