Upgrade to SLI 660ti - advice needed

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Upgrade to SLI 660ti - advice needed

Postby rrronald199 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:04 am

CPU = i7 920 (D0)
MOTHERBOARD = ASUS P6T
RAM = Upgrading to 3x4gb 1600MHz
HEATSINK = Skythe Mugen 2
OS = W7 64
POWER SUPPLY = Corsair 750W
VIDEO CARD = 6950 Modded to 6970, upgrading to SLI 660ti
SOUND CARD = SoundBlaster x-fi platinum
CASE = CM690
OEM SYSTEM = -

Hello! I've been orienting myself towards upgrading my system to an SLI configuration. I plan on using EVGA 660ti SC edition (2GB). I have a few uncertainties though, and I hope you guys can help me clarify this;

- First of all, the mobo I use has 3x PCIe 16x slots, from which 1 is a 4x slot. Is it true that only the blue ones support 16x? If so, here's my next question

- If only the blue slots support 16x, this means my cards will go in 'back to back'. I'm worried about airflow and temperatures, since the fan from the top card will not be able to suck in a lot of air. Is it better to use a different card from the EVGA, ie. one that has a more open design?

- Last but not least, the 920 is quite an old CPU. Will this bottleneck my system. I am able to OC it to about 3.4 - 3.6 Ghz. Will this be enough to keep up with the 2 cards?

Thanks in advance,

Ronald
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Postby Mr T » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:10 pm

Welcome to the motherboards.org....

First off, the i7 -920 may be an old CPU, but it is still a very viable one... I run a Q6600 with 4Gbs of DDR2 to rip and reauthor DVD/Blu ray using Handbrake and it does the job very quickly... For gaming, the CPU is not a bottle neck...

Second off, Sli'ing two cards in close proximity is OK, they are well cooled with heatsinks and fans and won't overheat. If they do get a bit toasty for your liking, get a fan bracket and fan, stick it over the top of the two cards blowing down...

Also, keep both cards the same, buy them as a pair if you can. Sli'id cards tend to work better as a matched pair.

The only true bottleneck on your set up is the dated motherboard, but it is still up there as a good one...
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Postby rrronald199 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:34 am

Thanks for the feedback! Ordered a pair today (MSI Power Editions), will see if it needs some extra fans...
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Postby bdub » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:53 am

let us know how those MSI boards work for you.
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Postby rrronald199 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:49 pm

Cards are in! They are some really nice looking cards :) As expected the card on top gets hotter then the one under it. When they are both on full load the top 1 reaches about 73 degrees, the other one stays below 60.

The temperatures are reasonable, but the noise the card produces is kind of insane... I had to change the fan profile a bit for the top card so it would cool more (obviously). But the fan make a hell of a lot of noise. I'm considering upgrading my mobo so that there will be 2 slots space in between.
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Postby Mr T » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:09 pm

73 Degs C is ok for a card... Its when it reaches 100 Degs C you start worrying... Download and run Furmark... It will stress test the cards out, leave it running for an hour and the temps will amaze you what they top out at and the card still runs fine.. Have used it many times when testing odd graphics card issues out...
I have been programming on computers since the ZX81.
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Postby rrronald199 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:35 am

Alright , I ran furmark for 15 mins. Temp of top card: max 89 deg, other card: max 71 deg.

I'm considering either changing mobo or returning 1 of the cards. Since the noise is quite unbearable (vacuum cleaner). Another option is to underclock the top card a bit, and overclock the bottom. But I'm not quite sure how much of a difference +- 10% in clocks will do to the temps.

Edit: It seems better now, played with fan profiles a bit. When I'm gaming it doesn't make the fans go annoyingly loud anyways. Crysis 3 really get's these cards and my cpu to their knees. It's the only game that shows my CPU is bottlenecking. Even though I overclocked it to 4GHz, it still reaches 100% load. All in all I'm quite satisfied with the cards though.
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