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[WIP] New Gaming rig in time for Skyrim

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by theeldest, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Damn_Smooth

    Damn_Smooth New Member

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    What is meaningful to me is real benchmarks and not some made up bullshit by a moron that was proven to be a fraud long ago.

    That's just me though.;)
  2. Darkleoco

    Darkleoco

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    How much of a performance increase have you seen overclocking the 2500k? I am looking to overclock my 2600k but am rather nervous since this is my first build. Also have you overclocked your 6950's yet and if so what are your overclock specs, I have Twin Frozr ii's so also looking to overclock those?
  3. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    nice :) grats!!!
  4. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    Get a new system when the games released not before it. That way you can make sure your new system will run the game as well as you require.
  5. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    sooooo....... how do you know it will, without running the game on the new system?
  6. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Haven't overclocked the GPUs yet. I'll be out of town for the next week so it'll be sometime in oct before I get that far.

    It's hard to say whether the overclocked CPU has an affect on everyday computing. I think I'll set it back to stock and use it like that for awhile then bump it back up. Give me the opportunity to try and see if I can tell the difference.

    Maybe I'll test my wife. Make her use it for stuff.


    And even though the games aren't out, this system had better play them on high settings. If it doesn't, I'm going to burn this town to the ground. It certainly cost enough...
  7. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    :toast: exactly :)



    I ran my Opty at stock until I started seeing some places for improvement, and then beat it into submission at almost 3Ghz. Played with overclocking my GPU's, but while my scores went up in benchmarks, I really didn't see much improvement in fps in my games, so I left them alone...
  8. theeldest

    theeldest

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    My ATI 4870 was that way. I could OC it pretty well but all it did was get louder while I was gaming with no real noticeable performance increase.
  9. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Finally got to OCing / unlocking the GPUs.

    The BIOS listed here: http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/msi_r6950_twin_froz_iii_power_edition_unlocking,1.html

    It works. It'll unlock the shaders and give you higher OC limits.Tested at 900 MHz on the core and there were no problems. 3D Vantage generated quite a bit of heat though so I'm not sure that I'll keep these OC'd. My case has decent cooling but it's made more for silence. The unlock gave me a decent bump (I'll post some specifics when I get home this evening). So I don't think I need the OC.


    Note: I've done a total of 4 of the MSI Frozr III 6950 2GB cards and have 100% success rate with the shader unlock.
  10. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    I'm hoping I'll have the same luck with mine, as I really do want to unlock them.... don't tel the fiancee, but she'll get the two that don't unlock, if I only have limited success :eek:
  11. Darkleoco

    Darkleoco

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    How much more heat did it generate OC'ing them? I have a case made for cooling and noise so I'm looking to get some insane performance out of my Twin Frozr ii"s :D
  12. theeldest

    theeldest

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    I'll try to do a proper test tonight. Might be worth picking up a dB meter (though I probably won't).

    My case is limiting in that there's a single 120mm intake fan and two 120mm exhaust fans for the GPU/CPU compartment. (there's another intake that is for HDDs and PSU).

    And with the setup much of the GPU hot air sits there without getting pushed out of the case.

    I just set up a buddy with nearly the same system but in the HAF 932. It's pretty much the little brother to your HAF X and that side fan really helped to move the air from the Frozrs.


    NOTE: The BIOS I linked above is only for the Frozr III, not the II. But the RBE method of unlocking shaders should work fine. (let me know if you need a link on this one)
  13. Darkleoco

    Darkleoco

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    Hmmm I'm hoping I can find a set of the BIOS for the Frozr II so I can work on unlocking them :D
  14. theeldest

    theeldest

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    It's a pretty easy process. Use GPU-z to save a copy of the BIOS. Use RBE to modify the BIOS for the shader unlock (it's a checkbox; literally that easy). Use ATIWinFlash to program the new BIOS.

    Once you've done it with one card you just need to flash the same modified BIOS to the other card.
  15. theeldest

    theeldest

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    It wasn't a real scientific test (a couple runs of the first test in 3D Vantage) but the 50 MHz OC on the core only increased my temps by about 3-5 degrees C. The problem is the fan profile increase the fan speed by about 10% over that temperature change giving quite a bit more noise.

    What are 'safe' temps for GPUs? I maxed out at 75 on the warmest card (70 degrees on the other).
  16. Darkleoco

    Darkleoco

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    Idk about "safe temps" fpr GPU's but mine have not broken even 65 during the full Heaven and 3DMark 11 benchmark.
  17. theeldest

    theeldest

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    How about some final images?

    My Desk!!

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    The Tower!

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    Yes, I'm using wireless. I know.

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    Both cards unlocked to 1536 shaders. w00t!

    [​IMG]

    I've only got one of the SSDs mounted properly. I need to request some of the SSD screws from Antec as the case only comes with enough for one SSD.

    [​IMG]

    And I should spend a bit more time hiding these cables. But the 4 640GB drives in the RAID10 work pretty well and temps in this lower chamber are good as there is a dedicated intake fan and the exhaust fan on the PSU.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

    Ahhzz says thanks.
  18. techtard

    techtard

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    Nice specs and build, congrats!
    Like those Antec cases. They aren't too bad looking, and pretty quiet.
    Sick raid array too. Just make sure to remember to backup often. :D
  19. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Yuppers. Weekly incremental backups to the server listed on the bottom line of my specs.
  20. theeldest

    theeldest

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    *sigh*

    I can't stop coming to this thread to look at pictures of my rig while I'm at work.
  21. shiraz82 New Member

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    Hi The eldest, I was just searching for skyrim stuff and happened across this thread. Saw your pics and it's very similar to the kit i have. I felt compelled to sign up and ask why u have 2 crossfire cables on your gfx cards? Any reason or just show?

    Also just for info i have the same cards although mine cannot be flashed as they are v2 or someshit like that, was bummed when i realised that, and one of them has a noisy fan which i sometimes either whack to shut it up or take it out completely if I'm not gonna game too streniously for a while.

    I was also gonna watercool them tho eliminate this prob but since they're not reference cards we cannot get full cover waterblocks, am I right?

    Like I said I just signed up and I'm on an oil rig just now but when I get home Ill upload my rig, crazy similar.

    Thanks.
  22. douglatins

    douglatins

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    Ditch the noctua fans for the case, they are overpriced, also ditch the HDD get a new one, and why 2 ssd?
  23. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Crossfire Cables:
    I might someday add a 3rd card (unlikely but possible). This way I know where my cable is.

    Watercooling:
    Pretty sure not waterblocks for these cards as they're customer PCBs

    Flashing BIOS:
    You should really try flashing the BIOS on this page: http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/msi_r6950_twin_froz_iii_power_edition_unlocking,1.html (so long as you have the Frozr III; not the II).
    All cards are flashable but some may not unlock. Only way to find out is to do it and test the cards for artifacts.
  24. theeldest

    theeldest

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    1. If you think these fans are overpriced can you please provide a link to another option that you'd recommend?

    2. Why should I switch out the HDDs? I had them on hand because I upgraded my server and 4 of these in RAID10 give quite good performance. The price was right too.

    3. I had purchased the 120GB OCZ drive a couple months back with the intent of using it for boot/apps. I had it set up that way in my old system but I hit the 120GB limit pretty quick and had to work to maintain what was on the SSD and what wasn't.

    I like simple so I decided I can go for slower boot time so long as apps are still quick. So I'm booting from the RAID10 array and I install just apps & games on the 120GB.

    But when I decided to do the Z68 I figured it's a pretty small cost to add the 20GB caching drive. I'd put it in a friend build and it gives pretty good performance. And now that most programs are on a standalone drive those don't get cached so there's more room in the cache for other stuff.

    The performance and responsiveness of the system is pretty top notch. If I hadn't already purchased the 120GB Agility drive I would have gone with a 60GB Vertex 2 for caching. I know that you get better performance out of installing directly on the drive but I'm pretty lazy and don't like managing what's on the SSD (and a 256GB was out of my price range).
    Ahhzz says thanks.
  25. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Bad news: One of my cards went bad. No output on any port and the fans just run at 100%. Setting up the RMA with MSI now.

    Only piece of bad hardware through the whole build so not too bad actually.

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