Hi guys this is Steve,
today I want to share with you my plans for the GPU setup of this build. This one is kind of special because it will be the most expensive and most important part of the build.
My plans for the GPUs are to mount them facing up from the wooden board, which means that I need those beloved PCIe riser cables/cards. I know there is a lot of controversy out there and I want to share with you what I have found out so far:
1. PCIe risers in general do not effect performance!
Let me clarify this a bit. PCIe risers in general do nothing more than extend the length of the interconnect between PCIe slot and graphics card. What matters though, and this is very important, is that they need to be shielded by default. It can work that you buy cheap unshielded ones and wrap them in aluminium foil BUT there is absolutely no guarantee and btw it looks like crap. Take the extra money and invest in shielded ones from a renown manufacturer like 3M. But keep in mind: The longer your cable gets the higher the chances of EMI interrupting your signal gets even with high quality cables.
2. The cross-sectional area matters.
I have read a forum post of a guy who claimed that when a GPU is put under load, it pulls power from the PCIe slot as well, which I can understand. He said, that when the cross-sectional area increases, conductance decreases and that you want to look for cables with lower AWG (American Wire Gauge) rating. I found out that 3M cables have an AWG rating of 30. When searching for riser cables I came across a company that is located in Taiwan called Li-Heat. They claim their wires have an AWG 28, are shielded and can transfer PCIe signals over long distances. Proof can be found here although I personally don’t believe everything I see.
My build will feature the 2nd best of the 4 upcoming Pascals which will presumably be called GTX 1080. Depending on the price and performance per card, how they will scale and what new features they will have, I will either just get 1 and leave space for a second one later on or they are kicking ass and I will be buying two of them at once. Of course this also depends on the price of the i7 6850K when launched.
So now the post is getting too long and I’ll leave for today. I made and AutoCAD drawing of the Gigabyte GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming which will be used as a placeholder for the 1080s in my future plans. But have a look yourself: Gigabyte GTX 980Ti G1 Gaming (PNG), Gigabyte GTX 980Ti G1 Gaming (DWG).
So guys there you have it, keep it up!