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Mark Reiss
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2012-02-14 08:31:12

Hi all - my i7 computer died - it had 8gb memory, 1tb hd, & a gts 240 GPU. I am looking to build another i7 computer - I want to run 2 to 4 gpu's, & add more memory = but do it as cheaply as possible & still have a good machine - I also want it to run - using as little power as possible, because i am on a tight budget. for cpu i have decided on the i7-2600 which i can get for around $300 - for a hard drive around 250 Gb will be enough - i do want usb 3.0 - can i run a mix of Nvidea & AMD gpu's - that way i get the best of both worlds - need help with a motherboard, basic sound is fine, basic dvdrw is fine, would like to have 6 memory slots so could run 24Gb (4Gb x 6) or 48Gb (8Gb x6) & have room & slots for 4 gpu's (but how much power would they use?) may have to cut bact to 3 or 2.

Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated! P.S. would like to spend no more than $1,000 - I can add more memory, gpu's later!
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2012-02-15 14:56:26

It's possible to run both amd and nvidia cards in the same machine. It does require either a monitor or "dummyplug" on each card though, otherwise windows wont see the other card(s). Dummyplugs are cheap, so maybe you can find one in some shop.

The i7-2600 runs on socket 1155, which has 4 ram sockets typically, i admit i haven't seen it with 6. So there will be a physical limit on ram there, but why have more than 24 gigs of ram? Do some projects use so much?

I admit it's hard to advice on what to buy, which is why i never really do it, but maybe if you looked at a pair of 560ti's or 570's to go with the i7, then you have some fast cards. Of course, both Ivy Bridge (Intels replacement for i7-2600) comes within a couple months, and also nvidia will soon release a new series of cards, the 600-series, so if you can hold the horse back a while, there is potential for faster cards and cpu, although I have no idea what their prices will be.

I hope this is useful in some way, but what to buy is always difficult to advice i think.

With regards to PSU, it also depends on how much each card draws. I had 2 6950's and a i7-860 on a 850W PSU once, and have also tried 1 5850 + 1 gtx570 strapped to it, some weeks back. I had no issues. Just make sure to get a decent psu, since quality varies as with all things.

Look at it this way: GPU's can always be added, it's the motherboard, cpu and PSU, that you should consider first, since they are "harder" to replace once the system is running.

Good luck with the decisions
Konrad Strafer
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2012-02-15 17:29:37

If your main goal is to crunch work units, then you might think about getting a motherboard that is "obsolete" but that can still handle the CPU you want to use and handle the GPUs as well. You could check out a place like Computer Geeks. For example, you can get something like a ZOTAC X58SLI-A-E Intel X58 2-way SLI Socket 1366 ATX Motherboard w/Audio, GbLAN & RAID for $108. Why spend a lot of money on the latest motherboard when you can take that money and use it for GPUs?
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