Description

Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 (Mac Edition) • 3GB GDDR5 Memory • 800 MHz Core Clock (5000 MHz effective) • 384-bit. These 3 cards were salvaged from old Mac Pro towers we recently recycled.

Intel Core i7-6850K 3.6GHz, 6-core, 12-thread, 15MB cache • 40 PCIe lanes • Most affordable (40 lane) Intel Core i7 available – confirmed on Gigabyte’s CPU Support List.

Gigabyte GA-X99-DESIGNARE-EX (rev 1.0) • Supports (true) 3-way x16 PCIe video cards in Crossfire mode • To achieve 3-way x16, all of the following interfaces must be unpopulated:  M2_32G  U2_32G_2  PCIEX8 slot (5th full slot)

Populating ANY of these interfaces would have dropped the respective video card(s) sharing those lanes, down to x8.

Had to use the U.2_32G_1 interface for the Intel 750 Series NVMe SSD since the M.2_32G and the U.2_32G_2 could not be used.

An illustration of how this board gives me the (3) PCIe x16 lanes I needed is included in my pics.

Part Reviews

Motherboard

Wanted x16/x16/x16 and got it! Small sacrifices were necessary, but no biggie.

Storage

Ridiculously fast! Worth every penny.

Case

What a beauty! Awesome showpiece case.

Custom

Keeping everything running nice and cool, even OC'd to 4.3GHz. Very impressive AIO without running tubes and reservoirs everywhere.

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Comments

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

I like, +1.

Is there a reason for Tri-Fire, or is that just cuz you had them, and could?

Note I am not saying "cuz I could" is not a good reason:)

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

We had 'em, and maybe we can convert this into a Video Rendering Rig at some point. Right now, it's the PC gaming centerpiece for a production we call GameChangers from HowStuffWorks.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

can we get some benchmarks out of this ? please ? C:

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Currently, hits P20,000 +/- on 3DMark11. Any others you'd like us to try?

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  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, it's gotta look good for us on camera.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Please keep feedback polite and constructive.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

I wanna see a custom loop on this!

+1

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

I decided to upgrade to the CoolerMaster MasterLiquid Maker 92 on the CPU, but other than that, we kinda like the simplicity of this build.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Done!

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build although I don't like the CPU cooler. I would recommend an AIO or custom loop but even a decent air cooler would do. Temps?

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, I do like the Intel AIO. We'll see how this machine's role evolves with time, but with the X299s and X399s coming out, folks are gonna start building True 4-way (x16/x16/x16/x16) rigs soon anyways.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Fair enough

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow! Great job!

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

No problem. :)

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

@purehobby was this supposed to be a Intel based PC cause you could have gotten a much better hard drive than that like a 1TB Samsung hard drive

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

The fastest SSD interfaces on this board are the M.2 and the 2 U.2s. Since I had to keep the M.2 and one of the U.2s unpopulated. I went with the other U.2 interface which should be 5-6X faster than SATA.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

But...you can't actually do x16/x16/x16 with that CPU. That would be 48 PCIe lanes.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Great observation. This board has the PEX8747 controller that turns one x16 lane from the CPU into 2 x16 lanes.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

This is definitly one of a kind. White and blue what a great combination

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much!

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

If you use it for gaming, do you disable the 3rd card? Or have any snags with a 3way config

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

So far, no snags. I've also heard that some platforms don't like the 3-way crossfire, but they usually blame it on the ATI drivers, which I hope they've updated to support the good stuff. :)

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Ahh always blame someone else, on one hand it doesn't make sense why they wouldn't want sli and crossfire because people would spend more money on crazy configs but also then they are able to push more upgrades because people find that they're gpu is outdated and cannot preform as well as it once was

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

get backplates for the gpu's remove that ugly *** cooler and replace it with a normal air cooler from coolermaster or something and it will be perfect!

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Just bought a CoolerMaster on Amazon. This board is Gigabyte 's Ultra Durable series with the steel-reinforced PCI slots, so no backplates necessary.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

New CoolerMaster MasterLiquid 92 installed!

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

I didn't know they have a snow edition of the P3. Looks insane! +1

  • 31 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you!

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

why....?

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

It's the only motherboard I could find capable of Premium 3-Way PCIe x16 Multi-Graphics (http://www.gigabyte.us/Motherboard/GA-X99-Designare-EX-rev-10#ov) and since I had 3 decent cards at my disposal and couldn't find anyone else who actually did this (right), I gave it a swing.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

mhhh... how much did the 3 gpus cost you?!

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

I pulled them out of (3) old Mac Pros we had slated for recycling. We bought them a couple of years ago to give those workstations the ability to render in 4K. If memory serves me, we dropped about $500 each, which I think they still sell for.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

i can get one for 200€ in my country... sooo... maybe 2 1080s wouldve been more worth it or even 1080Tis

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

That's a great price! 1080s are decent too, but please keep in mind that the (3) salvaged 7950s we had, are what started this project. I completely built this rig around those 3 cards.

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  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build, well done! I have the same board with 2 Asus Strix Gtx 1070s, I was thinking of adding a third card but I thought I'll check the needed space before buying it, and noticed that the USB 3 cable connected to the board will block the third card (the fans), did you guys have this problem? I kind of don't want to disconnect the USB 3 cable, it's pretty handy! It also can't be bent. Or is it not tall enough to block the card?

Would appreciate it if you shared any info, Thanks in advance.

  • 31 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes, I had to bend mine slightly, which I wasn't crazy about, but it doesn't seem to be jeopardizing the board or the cable; just made me a little uncomfortable.

  • 31 months ago
  • 2 points

And (luckily) my video card fan isn't close enough to be affected.

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  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Good god the price of those ancient Tahiti cards... Why is it so much for the MAC version? I just bought two normal 7950s on ebay for literally $50 each.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

According to Sapphire: "With Dual Firmware support, the Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition is compatible with Mac OS X/Windows under non-UEFI compliant mode and Windows with UEFI hybrid firmware enabled." There's a little 2-position switch on top of the cards to do this. It wasn't why we bought them though, we just needed the most powerful card (at the time) to do 4K rendering on some older Mac Pros.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Ohhhhh. I figured you payed that listed price recently, because they were Mac edition lmao. Gave me a heart attack

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

EPIC

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  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

We're leaving some room for OC'ing later. Right now, it's super stable at stock clock. Gigabyte's BIOS let's me push it to i7-6850K (4.3Ghz), which I wouldn't dare do on an aftermarket stock cooler, unless I wanted to roast marshmallows.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

CoolerMaster MasterLiquid 92 installed!

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah. LTT did something recently about stock coolers and a 7700k with the stock cooler at stock hit 100C and throttled so I hate to think about the 6850k with that

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  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Newer, but you folks have overwhelmingly convinced me to get something a bit more robust. When I swap it out, I'll update my pics and specs. Should arrive in a couple of days.

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  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

I went with the CoolerMaster MasterLiquid Maker 92. I like the ideal of an AIO but don't want to mount a fan anywhere - this should be perfect!

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Done!