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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the process of picking up i7 parts for testing purposes.

I have already purchased an i7 920, LGA1366 bracket kit for my lapped TRUE, and a set of 3x2GB Corsair 1600Mhz Dominators.

I also picked up a Creative Labs Titanium sound card (in order to use the common PCI-E slot above most graphics cards).

The only stumbling block thus far has been the motherboard. I originally was planning to purchase the Gigabyte UD4P but upon looking at its slot layout, realized that it will not work for what I want to do.

I currently have two Asus HD4870X2's TRI-Fan version (sitting in different systems for now). I would like to be able to mount them on the same X58 board for crossfire.

The issue is that they both take 3 slots due to the size of the cooler. I can mount the sound card above the first graphics slot in most cases so that won't be an issue.

The problem I have seen is that on the Gigabyte boards, there is not enough space between the first PCI-e slot and the second to put dual 3 slot cards in.

Some boards with 3 slots have the bottom graphics slot running at 4x and that obviously won't work as well.

So what I need is a board with its two 16x PCI-E slots at least 3 slots apart.

The board also needs to be able to do 4ghz with an i7 920 from an overclocking perspective. I'll be using my lapped TRUE with push/pull Silverstone FM121 (110 CFM fans) so I am assuming with hyperthreading disabled, I will be able to sustain 4ghz 24/7 with manageable temps.

Any recommendations would be appreciated


I need to be certain though that the two slots in question will have full bandwidth for crossfire (a necessity with the X2's) and not 8x or 4x in the lower slot.

Attached is pics of my tri-fan mounted on my UD3P to denote its size.

My other concern is that if the second pci-e slot 16x is at the bottom of the motherboard, then I wil have to change cases (see attached pic) as the space between the bottom pci slot and the power supply is very narrow. Ironically the antec 1200 I recently sold would have plenty of space for this purpose. Mind you, as much as I enjoy the Sniper, I don't mind terribly if I have to change it.

thanks


 

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Discussion Starter #2
The two I have found that may work is the Asus P6T Deluxe and the EVGA X58.

the question is with the asus board (first pic attached), is the white pci-e slot 16x?

On the EVGA board (second pic) is the 3rd slot 16x (or is it the one in the middle)?

I really would prefer not to have to spend $375 on a motherboard...

The gigaybte UD4P was under $300.

Is the a $300> X58 motherboard that can do what I need?

I also noted that the Asus P6T Deluxe comes in two versions (about $10 difference in price), the standard and the V2 version? Is there a benefit to one over the other?

Edit: After some digging apparently the version 1 of the P6T Deluxe has a buggy Marvel SAS controller which has been removed for the V2 board.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
The V1 and V2 have the same pci slot layout

The other board I noted that may work is the MSI X58 platinum. Mind you, I'm not a fan of MSI products.

Its definitely the cheapest board though at $285 CAD.


 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, after some more detailed research, the EVGA board will not do.

Only the first and second pci-e slots run at 16x. The third (bottom slot) runs at 8x irrespective of number of cards installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Now that I have narrowed it down to either the Asus P6T Deluxe (v2 i suppose) or the MSI X58 Platinum, I know the following things:

The MSI X58 platinum will run 16x16x crossfire in its two slots and still provide room for a pci 1x sound card.

The MSI X58 Platinum while not listed as supporting SLI, will do so with a bios flash from its SLI supported brother board.

The MSI sells at $285 CAD

The Asus P6T deluxe seems to be a better overclocker but its $100 more...

The P6T Deluxe also provides the needed room for a PCI 1x sound card above the first gpu slot.

The question I need to find out is with the Asus P6T Deluxe, which of the two lower PCI-E slots provide 16x, the white or the black?

If its the black, I would have to change my case, if its the white, then it would work (but cost me more...)

It looks from the pic below that the Asus P6T Deluxe has 16x silkscreened on the board just below the white slot but so does the adjacent black slot...


 

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I had the MSI X58 Platinum and I didn't like it at all. The bios doesn't tell you what voltages you are setting, it only tells you how much you are increasing it by and it doesnt even tell you what you are increasing it from on some things so it is like a guessing game.

Mine also would not save the bios settings, so everything I would boot my computer it would say that the CMOS clock was wrong and then I would have to do my setting all over again, but that could have been just a bad board.

I would go with the P6T, since all Ive heard was good things about it and it is made by a reliable motherboard company.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I will go with the Asus P6T over the MSI if I can get confirmation that the white pci-e slot is full 16x (as opposed to the black slot). If the black slot is the 16x port, the I will have to change my case as well.
 

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I've heard bad things about the MSI board. The Asus board on the other hand I've heard great things about, I'd go for that, the extra cost is worth your board not being made by MSI
 

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Newegg says, "True @ x16 3-Way SLI™ in slots 1, 3 and 5 when slots 2 and 4 are not occupied," which would be the blue slots, though I can't say for sure.
 

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P6T Deluxe V2 has no SAS Controller and the expansion slots runs at x16, x16, x1.

I think that is what I remember reading some where I'll try and find a link for you.

EDIT: A little off topic but. If I cannot get confirmation on this what case would you be thinking of switching to?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It would have to be either EATX supported or have space below the motherboard (like my Antec 1200 did) or have a top mounted power supply (like my CM stacker 830 did).

Given that I will need beefy side airflow for the two X2's, I may go back to the stacker 830 (I can mount 3 120 fans in the door).

Zarken, how did you get the cosmos S to fit a TRUE with the door fan? I had the same config and the TRUE 120 banged into the door fan no matter which way I oriented it (In fact CM states right on their site that you need a cpu cooler lower than 145 mm to work in conjunction with the door fan).

As you can see in the attached pic, my antec 1200 had plenty of room below the bottom pci slot.

The second pic is my stacker 830. Again plenty of room at the bottom if the card extrudes.

The other cases I've owned, HAF932, TJ09, and Cosmos S do not have the necessary clearance (my current case included)

 

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Simple I don't have the side panel on it =P Hehe.

Besides before I had my true the door fan kept breaking no matter what it would just start to make a hitting sound on nothing.

Plus I always get to look at my system whenever I turn my head to the right.

I am actually getting an Antec 1200 soon through work (I work for a computer store) and Stacker 830? I wish I had that case. Do you mind pointing me in the direction if anyone still sells them? =P I live in Australia so it's kind of hard for me to get certain products even through our suppliers.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I can't speak for australia in terms of availability. I loved the Stacker 830 (had it for over a year).

My only issue was wire management.
 

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All I could find for you was an nVidia version of the stacker.
hate how some things you just can't get here in Australia.
Stacker 830 @ PcCaseGear

edit:
also, It seems the pci-e slots on the P6T Deluxe are variable?

Quote:


3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (at x16/x16/x1 or x16/x8/x8 mode)

so maybe you could choose either the black or white slot to run at 16x?
Surely they would state if otherwise.
 

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but the thing we're wondering is which of the two other pci-e slots is the 16x one.
like there's the main pcie slot then two others, so out of the three, which are the two that would run 16x simultaneously?
 
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