Build specs - another request
Hi folks,

I'm just getting off the ground with cracking, and it's been super fun but lots to learn. I've been crawling the forums here, trying to do my research but couldn't resist asking for feedback more directly. Thanks ahead of time for bearing with another "is this ok?" thread.

My rig is for personal use. I'll never have the most bleeding edge setup, but as it's time for a new computer I figured that I'd set aside the funds to have something pretty good for research and fun. This will be a desktop setup for mixed use - home computing, gaming, running multiple VMs, and research. Graphics cards will be used to run VMs in addition to cracking.

I've been reading about reference/non-reference cards and the general recommendation seems to be for non-reference in this kind of situation (i.e. desktop case and quieter performance). Sound right?

My build also calls for the 280X, though I know that it's the same as a 7970. If it makes any difference one way or another, I'd love to hear.

CPU: Intel i7-4770k 3.5 GHz
Motherboard: Asus Z87-Deluxe/Quad ATX LGA 1150
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 32GB
HD: Samsung 840 SSD
Case: Cooler Master HAF X Full Tower
Power: Antec 1300W 80+ Platinum
Video cards: (3x) Sapphire Radeon VAPOR-X R9 280X 3GB

Am I making any rookie mistakes here? Power supply look ok? Am I going to melt my motherboard with heat from 3 of those suckers? There's quite an array of options among the 280X/7970s, so if anyone has recommendations other than the Vapor-X flavor, that would also be nice to hear.

I very much appreciate any thoughts you care to share.
for 3 GPUs you want to ensure there's enough spacing between the gpus, otherwise they overheat. check out my old thread. the motherboard i got is discontinued now but basically you like that.
Awesome! Thanks forumhero, I appreciate the reply.

I read through your thread and checked out the nice picture of your motherboard that you included. From what I can tell without my prospective motherboard in hand, I should have about that much space between cards. The three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots on the ASUS z87 motherboard are not evenly spaced. But the minimum spacing seems to be about the same as what I see in your picture - a PCIe 2.0 x1 slot and a row of capacitors. I haven't found any schematic diagrams to allow me to measure this stuff accurately, so I'm stuck with eyeballing. The third PCIe 3.0 x16 slot is well away from the other two, so there should be good flow through there. If anyone knows of a site that lists measurements like that, I'm all ears (eyes).

Also, the R9 280x cards are scarcer than hen's teeth right now. It seems like everyone is out of stock. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. But if anyone else is interested in comparing the third party non-reference flavors of the 280x, I found this article helpful:,3655.html

Based upon that, I'm leaning toward the Asus model (R9280X-DC2T-3GD5-V2) instead of the Sapphire Vapor-X.
I would be worried about the third (lowest) PCI-E slot. When fitted into the case, the motherboard often is at the very bottom of it leaving no room for a double-slot video card.
What you want is a 3 slot card which has is lowest PCI-E slot higher than the bottom of the card (if it exists) or take a 4-slot card and not use the bottom one like this one:
ASRock Z87 OC Formula LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard
Thanks mastercracker for your thoughts and suggestion.

I am concerned about space, as much for the fact that the third card might interfere with USB and system panel connectors which are on the other side of the board (but probably within the reach of a chunky graphics card) as anything.

As far as the case goes though, my hope is that the full tower version of the HAF X will provide ample room so that the components won't be physically constrained by the case.

I like some of the features on the ASUS board (for use other than cracking), so I'm trying to decide whether to chance it or take your advice and go with the ASRock which also looks like a nice board. Either way, thanks again for weighing in.