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Thread: Looking at card(s) for a new build




  1. #1
    boondocks's Avatar
    boondocks is offline Senior Member
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    Default Looking at card(s) for a new build

    Currently running 6850's in Crossfire. On my new build I'm trying to decide between a single card or 2, and will likely be watercooling the graphics at some point. I only use a single 27" monitor as that's all I have room for.
    So it would be helpful to find a card(s) that have waterblocks available. Would like to keep the costs down but honestly haven't set a limit yet. I'm not a big gamer although I want decent performance and since I will be water cooling will probably w/c the graphics for the "bling" factor.
    Suggestions?

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    Lightbulb Re: Looking at card(s) for a new build

    The first thing you should do is a web search using: video card water cooling guide.
    The stock video card air cooling setup also cools the video card's memory and VRMs.
    A video water cooling setup will need to cool these components too.

    You need to consider how many motherboard slots will not be accessible with either cooling option.
    An air cooled dual card setup presents additional cooling challenges especially when you have additional plug in cards installed next to the video cards. I have a sound card installed below the lower video card in my SLI setup and the lower card's gpu temperatures are ~ 5o (C) higher than the upper video card. I have an additional 92mm cooling fan that draws outside air from unused drive bays and directs the airflow to the top and bottom of both video cards.

    For simplicity, lower cost, and a cleaner looking setup I think that using a higher end single card setup will be best.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Looking at card(s) for a new build

    I don't have an issue with room as I don't use any add in cards and for the foreseeable future I doubt I will. I would be going full coverage block most likely and should have said that, else I'll have to use something for the other components.
    Do you have an opinion on a single card setup that meets this criteria? IOW full block coverage available and good enough performance for high end graphics on a single monitor?

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    Default Re: Looking at card(s) for a new build

    single card would be best? maybe a 7950 or 7970 card,either of those would beat 6850 xfire,you could choose two 7850's but i think its better to run one single card and add a second card in the future? as for watercooling i dont think they would get hot enough,maybe in xfire but not a single card
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    Default Re: Looking at card(s) for a new build

    Wow. $100 difference in price between the 2. Does the 7970 perform that much better?

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    Default Re: Looking at card(s) for a new build

    yes,it overclocks really well,so does the 7950,you could choose a gtx670 but those are more expensive plus ive read they suffer from stuttering on some games

    other option is a single 7850,you would take a little dip in performance from 6850 xfire,unless you unlocked the voltage and clocked it higher,then it would match your current cards

    how much are two 7850's compared to a single 7950 or 7970? with a 27" monitor you want some extra grunt
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Looking at card(s) for a new build

    Hmmm looks like 2 7850's would be about $500 US + w/c figure roughly $750? So a single 7950 about $390 a 7970 about $490. Looks like the single card would be better money wise. IDK overall cost of cooling 2 cards would bring me higher $wise than a single card + cooling.
    -This is helping me work through this as I never put a lot of thought into upgrading graphics before.-
    What would the performance of 2x7850 compared to a single 7970 be like?

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    Default Re: Looking at card(s) for a new build

    2x7850 would match roughly a stock 7970,if you overclocked them it would beat it,but remember the 7970 can overclock too,max temp i get on a 7850 with core 1050,memory 1450mhz is 69c and 0 fan noise

    best thing with one 7970 is you can afford to wait till they become cheaper and add a second card in,
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Looking at card(s) for a new build

    Yeah after looking around I think the 7970. It's going to be a bit yet, maybe by then the prices will come down a little.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Looking at card(s) for a new build

    Before you commit to a GPU I have some suggestions first.


    Yes if you going to water cool the GPU it is better that you get a Full Cover block. But here are a few things to look out for,

    1. Make sure the block you pick out is going to work with your card. Most full cover clocks work only with stock PCB GPUS, in other words some MFR's will move some things around on the PCB which would me a full cover block incompatible.
    2. Extra heat will be dumped into your water loop, which means your cpu will now run hotter.
    3. Another device in the loop is going to add to restriction which in turn is going to make things run hotter.
    4. Every time you want to upgrade your GPU you will need to Upgrade your GPU water block.

    Ideal setup would be to run a seperate loop for your cpu and one for the gpu but that mean you need 2 radiators and 2 pumps and 2 res.

    Then you have the Universal GPU water block which only cools the GPU core it self and not the whole GPU. This can be fine depending on the model of GPU being used. Some people said the VRMs and Memory dont get hot enough or they put head sinks on them and are just fine with a little air blowing on them. But then again it all comes down to which card you are choosing.

    To me its not worth it unless your going for the "BLING" factor just stick with air cooling for the GPU.
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