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New Tri-Fire (3x7970) Setup: ASUS Maximus V Formula vs. Extreme?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi, thanks for any help here.



I'm looking at:

ASUS Maximus V Formula
- vs. -
ASUS Maximus V Extreme


I have 3 x XFX 7970 3MB Black Edition factory OC'ed cards that I want to use to drive a triple monitor setup in Eyefinity (3 x 2560x1440 LCDs for a huge 7680x1440 total resolution).



I now need an appropriate motherboard. I'd like to use an i7 3770k in this rig, and am considering the above motherboards (partly because I like the brand and looks).

First, is one the obvious choice here? The Extreme says it supports a PCIe configuration of 8x16x8 for trifire. It looks like the Formula will only do 8x4x4. Will this throughput difference actually matter or is this academic?

The Formula supplies upgraded onboard audio. I assume I'd have to plug a discrete audio card into the Extreme if I wanted anything special. I'm not sure I care about this point...this won't be hooked into any really serious audio equipment so far as I'm currently thinking.

It is very likely this system will be just aircooled for some time. The Formula also supplies some already-integrated watercooling points. The Extreme leaves that option all to you.

The Extreme obviously gives the option of quad-fire as an upgrade if I spot a deal on another card at some point, but would 4 cards mean no option for a discrete soundcard (not sure I care, just trying to understand)?

I currently have a Zalman Z11 Plus HF1 case. I know the Formula will fit. I don't know if the extra 0.6" of the Extreme will. I really love the case, but it won't break my heart if I have to replace it with something bigger (wish they may a full tower version of the Z11).



Thoughts? Is this an easy choice between the two if I'm not overly concerned with the cost difference? The Extreme definitely includes some features I'll never use (VGA hotwire?!) but it's certainly a nice board, and I will very likely get around to watercooling and overclocking when I get sick of the fan noise and want to tinker and squeeze more performance out of the GPU's (and the CPU, which should be easily accomplished on the ASUS boards).

Thanks for any help.
post #2 of 8
Color oriented build, I guess? Otherwise there are few non-red options.

This should help you to decide.
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post #3 of 8
Your current case will not fit the extreme... as for the choice it all depends on what you are looking for.. i wont talk about over kill (since it will be mostly hypocritical), but i would look at what yuo will be using the machine for and where you can utilize your money the best... I personaly would not go more then 3x card (or even 2x probably) without full WC... you will not see hardly any performance benefit between the extreme and the formula (maybe a couple FPS)... lastly, a sound card generally needs one PCI-E x1 slot, but you may want to go with an extrenal DAC if you are going for high quality... it realy comes down to weighing what you want and how much cash you have (im at a bit of a lul in my build atm, since have to wait about another month before i can afford the case tongue.gif)

i think i answered most of your questions... if i missed any just repost them and ill help where i can smile.gif
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post #4 of 8
Speaking of cases. That Zalman has 7 PCI brackets. It won't fit 3rd 7970 if you go with MVF.
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post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeXel View Post

Speaking of cases. That Zalman has 7 PCI brackets. It won't fit 3rd 7970 if you go with MVF.

nice catch... didnt even think about this part tongue.gif
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Q6600 EP45-UD3P Sapphire 5870 ASUS 5850-Top Direct CU 
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post #6 of 8
get the Extreme cause your doing 3 way, the Formula isnt built for 3 way
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post #7 of 8
As was stated earlier in the thread... The MVE will not fit in your case. It's a shame though... Even though you may loose only a few frames by using the MVF, you should be able to get the most out of your tri-fire setup. I would not buy 3 cards to run 2 of them at x4.

Another alternative would be to go with the x79 platform. That would give you plenty of options with 40 lanes to the CPU for a x16/x16/x8 setup. It may not be worth it for you, however. If you don't want to go all in with x79, you can just run one or two cards at x4.

Or, just get a new case tongue.gif
Edited by Rmerwede - 2/25/13 at 5:00pm
post #8 of 8
It was never stated in this thread that MVE won't fit biggrin.gif. It'll probably fit, but will block cable holes.

What most people don't realize is PCI-E x4 3.0 is as fast as PCI-E x16 1.0. It has enough bandwidth with minimum performance hit.
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