Question for the PC gamers

corrinthianscorrinthians Posts: 35
edited February 2012 in Video Games
My current pc is an i7 2600k with dual Radeon 6950s (reference design that are unlockable) in a Asus P8P67 Deluxe. I?m thinking of water cooling the 6950s. Are the gains in overclocking worth the price that comes with decent water cooling?
Receiver: Pioneer VSX-1121K
Front: Polk Monitor 70 II (cherry)
Center: Polk CS2 II (cherry)
Surround: Satellites from my previous HTIB
Subwoofer: Outlaw LFM-1 EX
Post edited by corrinthians on

Comments

  • DrenisDrenis Posts: 2,870
    edited February 2012
    To some, yes. All depends what you want out of your setup. However, the cool temps and lack of a VERY audible pair of fans are simply enough for people to justify that investment.
  • greg2350greg2350 Posts: 557
    edited February 2012
    The only reason I would see in water cooling your system is noise reduction. Your system should be able to play anything you throw at it for awhile. Overclocking GPU's would net minimal gains...:biggrin:
    TV: Philips 42" LCD 1080p
    Front Speakers: Polk Audio RT800i
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    Subwoofer: Polk Audio DSW pro500
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  • AsSiMiLaTeDAsSiMiLaTeD Posts: 11,717
    edited February 2012
    You shouldn't need water to get a decent overclock out of that system. I would get a good cooler for the CPU and play with overclocking that and the GPUs before you buy anything, you'd be surprised at how well all that will overclock on air.
  • greg2350greg2350 Posts: 557
    edited February 2012
    I really dont see the need to overclock that setup at all. Stock clock speeds should yield high frame rates with any game settings maxed for awhile..
    TV: Philips 42" LCD 1080p
    Front Speakers: Polk Audio RT800i
    Center Speaker: Polk Audio CS1
    Surround Speakers: Polk Audio R50's powered of Denon AVR
    Subwoofer: Polk Audio DSW pro500
    AVR: Denon 3801
    DVD Player: Denon DVM 745 upscale 1080p
    Sat: Directtv HD 10
    Front Speakers Amp: Rotel RB 890
    Center Speaker amp: Rotel 970 BX
  • AsSiMiLaTeDAsSiMiLaTeD Posts: 11,717
    edited February 2012
    The words 'need' and 'overclock' generally shouldn't be used in the same sentence. As long as you keep the temps down there's no harm in overclocking. he specifically asked about the combination of overclocking and water cooling, I was only pointing out that water cooling isn't necessary in order to overclock.
  • greg2350greg2350 Posts: 557
    edited February 2012
    The words 'need' and 'overclock' generally shouldn't be used in the same sentence. As long as you keep the temps down there's no harm in overclocking. he specifically asked about the combination of overclocking and water cooling, I was only pointing out that water cooling isn't necessary in order to overclock.

    I agree water cooling isnt needed for overclocking like you said you would be suprised how much overclock you can get with air cooling. Only reason I see for water cooling is noise reduction...:biggrin:
    TV: Philips 42" LCD 1080p
    Front Speakers: Polk Audio RT800i
    Center Speaker: Polk Audio CS1
    Surround Speakers: Polk Audio R50's powered of Denon AVR
    Subwoofer: Polk Audio DSW pro500
    AVR: Denon 3801
    DVD Player: Denon DVM 745 upscale 1080p
    Sat: Directtv HD 10
    Front Speakers Amp: Rotel RB 890
    Center Speaker amp: Rotel 970 BX
  • MudfrogMudfrog Posts: 39
    edited February 2012
    6950's will hit 1000 on air. Anything past that is just being greedy :wink:
    Main HT:
    Speakers: CS2, Monitor 70's, Monitor 30's, BIC F12 12" Sub
    Receiver: Denon AVR-2200W
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  • SyndilSyndil Posts: 1,591
    edited February 2012
    For gaming, doubtful you'll notice an improvement unless maybe you're rocking 3 monitors. Maybe not even then, depending on what you play.

    Assuming you're running 60Hz LCD panels like most of the rest of the planet, I'd say spend your money on 120Hz LCD panels instead, or possibly a CRT if you can still find a quality one in good shape. Can't touch my stockpile of SyncMaster 997DFs though. Anything over 60FPS on a 60Hz panel is either going to result in frame-tearing, or if you have V-sync enabled, just throwing away extra FPS. With dual 6950s you should be way over that limit, so anything more would just be pissing money away. Still irks me that CRT was abandoned in favor of a far inferior technology just so people could have more free space on their desk.

    RT-12, CS350-LS, PSW-300, Infinity Overture 1, Monoprice RC-65i
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  • corrinthianscorrinthians Posts: 35
    edited February 2012
    In general my pc runs pretty cool. I've got a haf x and noctua nh-d14 cpu cooler. The cpu is clocked at 4.5. I wanted to play BF3 at ultra and everything at max and keep fps at 60 (i'm playing on a Dell u2410). That's why I was looking into overclocking. For most games, yes, there is more than enough horsepower. The fans on those cards will be pretty loud if I overclock and that would be annoying. I thought about getting air coolers (AC extreme plus ii) but the money would be lost as the air coolers wouldn't work for a future build.
    Receiver: Pioneer VSX-1121K
    Front: Polk Monitor 70 II (cherry)
    Center: Polk CS2 II (cherry)
    Surround: Satellites from my previous HTIB
    Subwoofer: Outlaw LFM-1 EX
  • DrenisDrenis Posts: 2,870
    edited February 2012
    Syndil wrote: »
    Still irks me that CRT was abandoned in favor of a far inferior technology just so people could have more free space on their desk.

    Right..... because that was the reason.:rolleyes:
  • SyndilSyndil Posts: 1,591
    edited February 2012
    Drenis wrote: »
    Right..... because that was the reason.:rolleyes:

    Aside from weight, size, power consumption and production cost (the real reason), CRT is superior. When it comes to doing the job a monitor was built to perform, displaying an image, a high-quality CRT trounces an LCD in every way. I might abandon CRT when OLED becomes cost effective, but that's a loooong way off.

    RT-12, CS350-LS, PSW-300, Infinity Overture 1, Monoprice RC-65i
    Adcom GFA-545II, GFA-6000, Outlaw Audio 990, Netgear NeoTV
    Denon DCM-460, DMD-1000, Sony BDP-360, Bravia KDL-40Z4100/S
    Monster AVL-300, HTS-2500 MKII
  • SyndilSyndil Posts: 1,591
    edited February 2012
    Edit:

    Oh I guess you meant the OP's. :P

    RT-12, CS350-LS, PSW-300, Infinity Overture 1, Monoprice RC-65i
    Adcom GFA-545II, GFA-6000, Outlaw Audio 990, Netgear NeoTV
    Denon DCM-460, DMD-1000, Sony BDP-360, Bravia KDL-40Z4100/S
    Monster AVL-300, HTS-2500 MKII
  • AsSiMiLaTeDAsSiMiLaTeD Posts: 11,717
    edited February 2012
    Agree on the CRT monitors, and windows index is a meaningless measure on machines of this caliber
  • SherardpSherardp Posts: 8,048
    edited February 2012
    Did you unlock the 6950s with firmware to access the extra shaders on the card. You will see some gains there and still be fine on just air. In other words a 6950 card will unlock to a 6970 if you know what your doing and it sounds like you do.

    Edit: I think you already know about the unlock. I have a Sapphire 6950 and it is awesome, minimal overclock though.
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  • PrazVTPrazVT Posts: 1,607
    edited February 2012
    I think what everyone has said here is valid. Considering you have a modern CPU and dual 6950s, you should be able to run BF3 on Ultra with no problems - even at stock. Any overclocking should only help / not hurt.

    While I have a 'classic' waterblock / pump / res setup in my main 970 / GTX 580 rig, I've never gone ahead w/ watercooling the GPU. That seems to be the most often upgraded component if you're a gamer and the cost / complexity of adding GPU waterblocks to a loop is a little pointless unless you're running top end cards in SLI / CF and will have them for a couple of years.

    I'd rather get a nice space tower case and ensure airflow is good. In my case, it's taken care of b/c there's a triple radiator blowing air down into the case, which is then exhausted out the sides and back. And even then, I rarely turn the fans up.
    ALL BOXED UP for a while until I save up for a new place :(

    Home Theater:
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  • corrinthianscorrinthians Posts: 35
    edited February 2012
    I downloaded fraps yesterday and during bf3 (single player) gameplay, it?s showing fps around 35-40 on Ultra settings. I?ve ensured crossfire is enabled. I don?t currently have my cards unlocked. I?ve overclocked both cards using CCC to max allowable settings of 840/1325 (I know you can do more but I just wanted a quick test). Does that fps seem low? I have 8 gigs of ram and I'm running Windows 7 Professional x64 installed I'm on a 1tb WD Caviar Black harddrive.
    Receiver: Pioneer VSX-1121K
    Front: Polk Monitor 70 II (cherry)
    Center: Polk CS2 II (cherry)
    Surround: Satellites from my previous HTIB
    Subwoofer: Outlaw LFM-1 EX
  • newrivalnewrival Posts: 2,020
    edited February 2012
    windows index is a meaningless measure on machines of this caliber

    +1...
    design is where science and art break even.
  • newrivalnewrival Posts: 2,020
    edited February 2012
    I downloaded fraps yesterday and during bf3 (single player) gameplay, it?s showing fps around 35-40 on Ultra settings. I?ve ensured crossfire is enabled. I don?t currently have my cards unlocked. I?ve overclocked both cards using CCC to max allowable settings of 840/1325 (I know you can do more but I just wanted a quick test). Does that fps seem low? I have 8 gigs of ram and I'm running Windows 7 Professional x64 installed I'm on a 1tb WD Caviar Black harddrive.

    That seems ok. perhaps a little low, but not far off depending on the ram youre using
    design is where science and art break even.
  • PrazVTPrazVT Posts: 1,607
    edited February 2012
    That seems a bit low for 2 cards - especially 2 6950s.

    I'm temporarily house sitting for my parents and they have an older Q6600 machine (3.2ghz, 16GB of RAM, RAID 0 OS drive). I was looking at a single HD6950 and a GTX 560 ti 448 core to plug in there while I was away from my own rig. I ended up getting the GTX 560 ti and it can't handle BF3 on Ultra settings in 64 player maps - it'll do 35 - 40fps but dip down into the unplayable area when the action gets too crazy. So I run it on a mix of Ultra and High @ 1680 x 1050 (older 22" lcd) and it's fine. My point is, that card is equal to an HD 6950. I would have thought 2 6950s would give you plenty of breathing room ... even at 1080p.

    What resolution are you trying to play it at?
    ALL BOXED UP for a while until I save up for a new place :(

    Home Theater:
    KEF Q900s / MIT Shotgun S3 / MIT CVT2 ICs | KEF Q600C | Polk FXi5 | BJC Wire | Signal / AQ ICs | Shunyata / Pangea PCs | Pioneer Elite SC 57 | Parasound NC2100 Pre | NAD M25 | Marantz SA8001 | Schiit Gungnir DAC | SB Touch

    2 Channel:
    Polk LSi9 (xo mods), Polk DSW MicroPro 2000 sub | NAD c375BEE | W4S DAC1 | SB Touch | Marantz SA-8001 | MIT AVt 2 | Kimber Hero / AQ / Signal ICs | Shunyata / Signal PCs
  • corrinthianscorrinthians Posts: 35
    edited February 2012
    PrazVT wrote: »
    That seems a bit low for 2 cards - especially 2 6950s.

    I'm temporarily house sitting for my parents and they have an older Q6600 machine (3.2ghz, 16GB of RAM, RAID 0 OS drive). I was looking at a single HD6950 and a GTX 560 ti 448 core to plug in there while I was away from my own rig. I ended up getting the GTX 560 ti and it can't handle BF3 on Ultra settings in 64 player maps - it'll do 35 - 40fps but dip down into the unplayable area when the action gets too crazy. So I run it on a mix of Ultra and High @ 1680 x 1050 (older 22" lcd) and it's fine. My point is, that card is equal to an HD 6950. I would have thought 2 6950s would give you plenty of breathing room ... even at 1080p.

    What resolution are you trying to play it at?

    I'm playing at 1920x1200. Even on high settings I'm not averaging 60fps
    Receiver: Pioneer VSX-1121K
    Front: Polk Monitor 70 II (cherry)
    Center: Polk CS2 II (cherry)
    Surround: Satellites from my previous HTIB
    Subwoofer: Outlaw LFM-1 EX
  • newrivalnewrival Posts: 2,020
    edited February 2012
    To be honest I'm not surprised by your speeds. If 35 is your low end and you're not witnessing any slowdown, it seems about right to me. Especially if youre running 1600MHz RAM. If you're running 2200 i would think its definitely low.
    design is where science and art break even.
  • pikerpiker Posts: 101
    edited February 2012
    newrival wrote: »
    To be honest I'm not surprised by your speeds. If 35 is your low end and you're not witnessing any slowdown, it seems about right to me. Especially if youre running 1600MHz RAM. If you're running 2200 i would think its definitely low.

    RAM speed has next to no effect on framerates while gaming. The difference between 1333 and 2133 speed memory might be somewhere between .5 to 1fps at most.

    Crossfire 6950's should easily average 60fps on BF3 when running on high settings. Can you check your Catalyst control panel and verify that Crossfire is enabled and running?

    As for your question on watercooling those AMD cards of yours, the gain wouldn't be worth the cost for most people. OC'ing video cards usually only nets between 2-4% extra frames. I've read so many articles and seen plenty of benchmarks to be aware of this.

    If money isn't an issue, it's probably best to sell your cards and just buy faster ones. Otherwise the gains from the expense to get dual cards on water isn't worth it.
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  • FaceFace Posts: 14,714
    edited February 2012
    Sounds software related, what else do you have running?
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  • Juggalo23451Juggalo23451 Posts: 42
    edited February 2012
    for i7 memory 1600mhz is the sweet spot anything over that is purely if you are into benching.
    i water cool and posted a guide here. overclocking can help in games
    I would water cool the cpu and gpus
    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?125496-Water-cooling-guide&highlight=water+cooling

    my rig.I guess I can call my self a pc enthusiast(moddder overclocker,water cooler,gamer)
    intel 970 oced to 4.5ghz gtx590s both water cooling 715-730 core 1900 memory
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