Re: ASUS P6T7 SLI not working
08-05-2011, 10:31 AM
I spot checked the first few on the list... they work with one of my two requirements, but not both. The key here is breathing room -- I want an extra slot between the cards with at least three cards, if not four. The SR2 you mention would fit the bill for 3 or 4 cards, but I'm too cheap to buy the xeons, and from what I read previously when the board was first released, I don't believe you can run a non-xeon processor even if you just use one chip.
Going cheap doesn't make sense for a build like this. Though I do understand your desire to stick with consumer grade Core i7's or uni-processor Xeons. You have to spend a fortune to get a decent pair of Xeons. At a bare minimum though, you will need an expensive motherboard and an expensive (relatively speaking) case to handle the real estate needed by that many cards. Also I must have misunderstood as I didn't know you needed room for three cards. Really there aren't many choices for that and meeting your criteria for "breathing room" between all three cards. Pretty much everything you'll want aside from maybe the P6T7 WS Supercomputer is going to be XL-ATX. You'll need a case which will accept those boards and either have more slots than the boards expansion area or will allow the card to hang off the last slot. The Super Computer won't require as big a case necessarily but the last video card may need to hang off the edge of the PCB. Then you run into the problem of making sure your SLI bridges fit the setup. Otherwise you've got to get three long flexible bridges and go that way. The only boards I know of that will work for you are listed below:
ASUS P6T7 WS Super Computer
EVGA X58 4X SLI Classified
Now I've run 3-Way SLI more times than most. I can tell you that you do not need that space for "breathing room" provided you've got two things happening.
1.) Ambient room temperature which does not exceed about 78F degrees. (Hard to do in the actual room where the monster machine resides.)
2.) Use fan speed controls from MSI Afterburner, NVIDIA control panel or other to keep fan speeds high enough to cope with higher temperatures.
And even then, you may still need to increase fan speeds anyway depending on the case you've chosen and a few other factors. Honestly this is all a pain in the ass but it's cheaper than the alternative. And believe me there is an alternative. With 3 8800GTX's I found it was simply easiest (although expensive) to just water cool the damn things. That was it problem solved. If you really want three cards you have to choose where you shell out your cash. Either you shell it out for water cooling gear, or you shell out for a case and a more expensive motherboard. You water cool and you can use virtually any case and any of the motherboards I listed above and more.