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Motherboards and the Slot Sandwich

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to settle on a motherboard and am stuck in the wonderful area of many good choices with no clear winner. Given this is the first machine where I plan on doing some overclocking and maybe SLI, I figured the comunity here can help with some input on an issue I keep returning to.
First let me hit you with the relevant specs:

Core i7 2600K
- CoolerMaster Hyper 212+/Evo
4 sticks of DDR3 RAM
MSI GTX 580 Lightning 3GB (i.e. Twin Frozr III Heatsink)
Asus Xonar Essence ST (PCI slot)
CoolerMaster HAF 932 Advanced

I do a good deal of gaming as well as some video work. (I'm not necessarily sold on the Z68 chipset though, as I heard of some system stability concerns with Virtu and the Z68 benefits are meh to me.) For overclocking, I'd really like to push the CPU to the 4.5-4.8 range or more if I can keep it under 70C with my current heatsink. (I've been looking at the stickied guides here and it seems possible, but I just wanted to voice my intentions.) Might do some graphics card overclocking for kicks, too.

To this end, the ASUS and Gigabyte have some good offerings. I've hit a snag though. I definitely enjoy me some future proofing, and while I'm pretty set right now I'm hitting a big "can't have your cake and eat it too" for the future. Down the road I may go SLI and/or pick up the Asus Xonar H6, so I'm trying to account for those changes. This introduces an issue though where all current options seem like I'm going to have a setup where the two graphics cards would be right on top of each other or the PCI sound card would have to sit in the open space between them. PCIe to PCI converters for the sound card strike me as iffy, and the Xonar Essence PCIe model is known to be of a lower quality. One saving grace is the sound card is only half as long as the graphics card, and the graphics card fan that is uncovered is the one that sits directly above the GPU (fourth picture here). Still, even with the case's side intake, I'm nervous about a layout like this. Given I've never had a rig with either a sound card (let alone potentially two slots taken for one) or dual graphics cards, this is a level of cooling estimation that I am in no way familiar with. Anyone with the knowledge/experience to let me know what I'd be walking into with this setup? I'd definitely be willing to swap/add case fans as well, and if I had a choice I’d go for positive pressure. Watercooling the GPUs would be an option, but really would like to avoid it if possible.

Hopefully some of the more seasoned overclockers and heat managers around here have a better pulse for these things. I've done some searching, and found a topic here but I'm also trying to measure twice and cut once here (with some more details than was in the linked thread if possible).
Breaker
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 2600K @ 4.5GHz Turbo Asus P8Z68 Deluxe ASUS GTX 1080Ti Strix OC G.SKILL Ripjaws 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB x2, WD Caviar Blue 640GB CD/DVD Burner Windows 10 Upgrade ViewSonic XG2703-gs 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent Antec High Current Pro HCP-1200 1200W Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced Zowie FK2 
Mouse PadAudioOtherOther
CoolerMaster Swift-RX ASUS Xonar Essence ST Swan M50W Sennheiser PC350 
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Breaker
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 2600K @ 4.5GHz Turbo Asus P8Z68 Deluxe ASUS GTX 1080Ti Strix OC G.SKILL Ripjaws 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB x2, WD Caviar Blue 640GB CD/DVD Burner Windows 10 Upgrade ViewSonic XG2703-gs 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent Antec High Current Pro HCP-1200 1200W Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced Zowie FK2 
Mouse PadAudioOtherOther
CoolerMaster Swift-RX ASUS Xonar Essence ST Swan M50W Sennheiser PC350 
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post #2 of 5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813157265

future proof as hell excellent overclocker and a pci slot behind where u would put your second card but not too close to first card
Stevev pc 2.5
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I7 6700k Asus Z170 Pro Gaming gtx 980 ti evga SC 8gigs Corsair 3200 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
256 Gb Crucial SSDs X2 junk dvdr xspc custom loop Windows10 64 But 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
QNIX evo 2 2560x1440 oc96hz +Samsung S23a950d 1... Razer Blackwidow Chroma Tournament edition evga 1000w  Corsair 600T 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Naga 2014 Razer Goliathus Razer kraken 7.1/ 2.1 stereo speaker set up 
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Stevev pc 2.5
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I7 6700k Asus Z170 Pro Gaming gtx 980 ti evga SC 8gigs Corsair 3200 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
256 Gb Crucial SSDs X2 junk dvdr xspc custom loop Windows10 64 But 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
QNIX evo 2 2560x1440 oc96hz +Samsung S23a950d 1... Razer Blackwidow Chroma Tournament edition evga 1000w  Corsair 600T 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Naga 2014 Razer Goliathus Razer kraken 7.1/ 2.1 stereo speaker set up 
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Actually, that is exactly the PCI slot arrangement I keep seeing that would sandwich the sound card between two graphics cards. It's pretty much what I'm saying I'm worried about doing. That or the PCI slot right under the second card (and I think all configs like that I've seen have the graphics cards with no breathing room which is a definite "no".
Breaker
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 2600K @ 4.5GHz Turbo Asus P8Z68 Deluxe ASUS GTX 1080Ti Strix OC G.SKILL Ripjaws 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB x2, WD Caviar Blue 640GB CD/DVD Burner Windows 10 Upgrade ViewSonic XG2703-gs 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent Antec High Current Pro HCP-1200 1200W Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced Zowie FK2 
Mouse PadAudioOtherOther
CoolerMaster Swift-RX ASUS Xonar Essence ST Swan M50W Sennheiser PC350 
  hide details  
Reply
Breaker
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 2600K @ 4.5GHz Turbo Asus P8Z68 Deluxe ASUS GTX 1080Ti Strix OC G.SKILL Ripjaws 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB x2, WD Caviar Blue 640GB CD/DVD Burner Windows 10 Upgrade ViewSonic XG2703-gs 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent Antec High Current Pro HCP-1200 1200W Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced Zowie FK2 
Mouse PadAudioOtherOther
CoolerMaster Swift-RX ASUS Xonar Essence ST Swan M50W Sennheiser PC350 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 5
Honestly you're not going to get much better than that. Just bite the bullet.

1- Get PCIEx1 sound card.
2- Place said card in top x1 slot.
3- Sell old PCI card.
4- ???
5- Profit.

Problem solved.
Edited by SMK - 10/8/11 at 9:07am
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-7700K Delidded 5.0Ghz Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-GamingK5 EVGA GTX1080FTW.Hybrid.Scythe GT/AP-15 P/P 2x8GB Kingston HyperX Savage Black 2800CL13 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung 960 EVO 250GB NVMe Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 1.5TB Hitachi 7K3000 TTWater 360mm w/ Corsair Sp120PWMs 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell S2716DG 2560x1440 144Hz GSync Razer BlackWidow Chroma v2 Corsair AX750 Corsair Carbide 600C Inverse 
MouseAudio
Razer DeathAdder Chroma ALC1220 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-7700K Delidded 5.0Ghz Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-GamingK5 EVGA GTX1080FTW.Hybrid.Scythe GT/AP-15 P/P 2x8GB Kingston HyperX Savage Black 2800CL13 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung 960 EVO 250GB NVMe Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 1.5TB Hitachi 7K3000 TTWater 360mm w/ Corsair Sp120PWMs 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell S2716DG 2560x1440 144Hz GSync Razer BlackWidow Chroma v2 Corsair AX750 Corsair Carbide 600C Inverse 
MouseAudio
Razer DeathAdder Chroma ALC1220 
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post #5 of 5
I know that the Asus P8P67 Deluxe has breathing room between my 2 580s. I have mine setup to be 580 in the top slot-wireless card in the middle-580 on the bottom. You may want to look at one of the NF200 boards (Asus WS Revolution, gigabyte UD7 and Asus maximus)

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UNDER $1700!!!
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7-2600k [5.0GHz Daily] ASUS P8P67 Deluxe eVGA GTX 580 SLi 8GB Corsair Vengeance 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 510 120GB WD Caviar Black 2TB LG Blu-Ray Burner EK HF Supreme Gold Edition+Black Ice GTX 480 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
2x Koolance VID-NX580 Windows 7 Ultimate Dell U2412M+Acer H233BMID Steelseries 6Gv2 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Silverstone ST-1000 Silverstone TJ07 Logitech G9x Razer Vespula 
Audio
Sennheiser PC-350 
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UNDER $1700!!!
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7-2600k [5.0GHz Daily] ASUS P8P67 Deluxe eVGA GTX 580 SLi 8GB Corsair Vengeance 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 510 120GB WD Caviar Black 2TB LG Blu-Ray Burner EK HF Supreme Gold Edition+Black Ice GTX 480 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
2x Koolance VID-NX580 Windows 7 Ultimate Dell U2412M+Acer H233BMID Steelseries 6Gv2 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Silverstone ST-1000 Silverstone TJ07 Logitech G9x Razer Vespula 
Audio
Sennheiser PC-350 
  hide details  
Reply
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