For an upcoming build, I'm hoping to run 3x 2560x1440 displays off my machine. My usage is mostly 3D and video work, but I would like to start gaming a bit more. I'm a really big fan of EVGA GTX cards, and don't mind using SLI if it's the best option. What do you guys think? What should I go for?
For my graphics use, I'm going to need plenty of graphics memory, but is there anything that could cope with this crazy resolution?
EDIT: Would rather something air cooled with a backplate. I guess I could stretch to a custom watercooling loop but if it's doable with air cooling then that's the option for me.
If you are planning on breaking the bank for that kind of screen real estate, I would go with AMD cards. I have an EVGA gtx 680 4GB FTW+, and although it rapes, murders, and pillages everything, the usage of those 4GBs are not the best. I would use 2 or 3 Saphire 7970 GHz edition cards. However, if you plan on using a lot of Adobe software, then I would highly recommend Nvidia. The EVGA gtx FTW+ cards have fantastic reference cooling. At 1100mHz core clock, my 4GB FTW+ 680 (EVGA) maxes out at 40 degrees during Borderlands 2. I love it, and would buy it again. However, with 2 or 3-way SLI/Crossfire, cooling can become an issue. For the reference EVGA cards (which come with backplates), you would definitely have to watercool for 3-way SLI, but 2-way you could pass, as long as you have superb case cooling. For cooling the Saphire cards in 2-way Crossfire, again, reference cooling will be fine. Anything above 2-way SLI/Crossfire puts the cards really close to each other on the motherboard. I would recommend using a Maximus V Formula/Extreme if you plan on using LGA 1155, or Maximus IV Formula/Extreme if you plan on LGA 2011. Don't use AMD for that kind of work - the Sandy Bridge-E (I recommend the 3930k), and the soon-to-be Ivy Bridge-E processors will suit you better. Overall, an Nvidia and Intel rig would be fantastic for that resolution - when I said that Nvidia's memory bus isn't as large as AMD's, that doesn't mean that the visible performance will differ that much. I love my GX 680, and I wouldn't trade it for any AMD card (well, maybe a 7990 GHz....). If it ever comes out, the MARS III GTX 8GB 690 (4GB per 680) would be better. You could buy 2 and put them in quad-SLI (quad because each card has 2 GTX 680s on it). Currently, the GTX 690s made by ASUS and EVGA have 2GB of VRAM per 680, making their multi-monitor power lessened. I hope I helped!
Thanks for the response - As it is so far, my build consists of a 3930k with a P9X79 Deluxe, but I'll definitely look into the Maximus boards. I'm going to be using almost exclusively Adobe products for my 2D and video work, so CUDA cores are a must.
My case cooling is going to be pretty top-notch hopefully, H100i for CPU, triple 140 Noctuas up front, ditto in the back, and two in the bottom.
If I'm running to 680s for example in SLI, do I get the video memory from both cards? And as far as I know I only get the display outputs from one card right?
That build sounds great - Asus boards are great, including the one you currently have. Maximus boards are fantastic for cooling and overclocking, though. I love my Maximus V Formula - it performs fantastically with my 3770k and GTX 680.
As for CPU cooling, I do not recommend the H100i. It used to be a good option, but the reveal of the Swiftechs H220 has shown the true champion in cooling. If you got the Swiftech H220, you could add waterblocks to the 680s and hook everything up to the same pump. The pump on the H220 is 6x as powerful as the pump on the H100i, and has support for expansion for cooling GPUs, adding more radiators, and generally bridging the gap between per-built all-in-one coolers and custom loops. By the time you build this monster, the Swiftech H220 will be out and making the H100i embarrased.
For case cooling, there are many options. I recommend using either the Fractal Design Define XL R2 case or NZXT Phantom 820. Both are opposite in design choice - I have the Fractal Design XL R1 and find it to be one of the best cases on the market. Cooling in both cases is superb, and for water cooling (even with the H220), the Corsair 900D will be a fantastic option as well. The Fractal Design Define XL R2 is a much cheaper case compared to the 900D and Phantom, but for $170, the build quality is unreal. The XL is more than 95% solid steel, weighing in at 40 pounds. It feels like a tank. No matter what case you use, I recommend getting Corsair AF/SP fans. AF (Air Force) fans are better for your case cooling, and SP (Static Pressure) fans are better for cooling on your radiator(s). I have 2 Corsair AF 140mm fans in my Fractal Design XL R1 and they lowered my temps a good 7 degrees, compared to the stock case fans. They (the AF 140mm fans)are extremely quiet and move as much air as most 200mm fans.Noctua fans are nice, but I find that Corsair AF/SP fans look better and perform better.
In SLI, you will get memory usage from all of the cards. You can use multiple cards to output video signals, yes.
if surround is that important, honestly, I suggest learning to use sony vegas and other stuff. nvidia surround is a POS.amd eyefinity is much more mature, and amd cards have up to 6 gigs of vram, the sapphire 7970 ghz ed w/ 6g vram. nvidia maxes at 4 gigs
brennan, sli doesn't share vidmem. the cards are mirror processing, so they both need the vidram, and don't share
The limiting factor for huge resolution gaming is vram but you don't get 8GB of usable ram if you SLI two geforce gtx 680 4GB cards. You get 4GB duplicated twice and processed by two different GPU. 4GB is probably not enough to suport 7680x1440 gaming but will probably support 2560x1440. I'm pretty sure the 7990 uses 2x3GB and not 1x6GB which would make the radeon setup (3gb) worse than the geforce setup (4gb)
If you were wondering if you needed a crazy high end video card to browse the internet and do excel spreadsheets and check emails on 3 monitors, no you don't. You probably can't find any setup that could run games at 3x1440p with max settings smoothly, though.
Also Adobe CS6 does indeed support OpenCL.......................... but only on macbook pros that use mobile radeon cards in mac os version 10.7+.