Originally Posted by Levesque
CPU speed, BCLK and RAM speed are the thing making the biggest difference in my experience. And watercooling. Don't expect crazy OC on air.
x16 vs x8 doesn't really make a major difference.
The best thing to do is to flash the BIOS of the 6990s to 1.25v, OC trough CCC (and not using Afterburner). But if you go to 1.25v, you need to watercool those cards.
An i7 2600K at 5.3-5.4 with an Asus Maximus IV, with RAM OC to DDR3-2133 or DDR3-2400 with tight timings will give you great results for a good price.
If money is burning a hole in your pocket, then a 980/990 plus a great X58 motherboard, with a high BCLK is also another great/crazy fast alternative... but it will cost you dearly. And Bulldozer, SB-E are near... so X58 is not the wisest choice right now.
Personnally, I would wait for Bulldoze and SB-E. And until then, start planning and building a good watercolling system, that will follow your upgrade path trough the years..
Thank you so much for your advice!
Please explain what you mean by SB-E (Is this Sandy Bridge?) is this some new INTEL based CPU?
And yes the gpu's will be water cooled of course! i explained that in my thread.
As for the Ram i was thinking of getting The Corsair Dominator GT DHX Pro Connector CMGTX7
so im not worried about ram .