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Do I need two video cards?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to figure out which motherboard to replace my dead motherboard with, and I can't really decide what kind I want. For one main reason.

Do I need two video cards?

I use mATX boards, just something I grew used to, and while mATX boards with two PCI-e slots aren't hard to find, they're not exactly cheap either.

Anyway, that's just what brought me to this question.

Here's what I'm planning on using my rig for (once it's fixed and what not). Gaming of course. Some video editing n such. Rendering everything from 3D models to code. Virtual machines. And so on. I want to have at least a dual monitor setup in the near future as well, hopefully at high resolutions.

So yeah, do I NEED two video cards for that? Well, ok, is it BETTER to have two video cards for that setup instead of just one, or would I be alright with just one card?
post #2 of 13
you certainly don't need a dual gpu setup...a high end single card solution should fit the bill swimmingly

flash a 6950 to a 6970 would be my suggestion

Be aware though that with micro atx boards you are generally limited in overclocking potential, and very few micro atx cases will fit higher end video cards
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
So I could get away with just one if I were to use two or more monitors of at least 1080p resolutions?
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRK View Post
So I could get away with just one if I were to use two or more monitors of at least 1080p resolutions?
Yes depending on the card. a GTX 480, or a GTX 580 will fit the bill.
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post #5 of 13
People have run 5600x1200 eyefinity on a single 6970, so I don't see why it would be an issue. You might not be able to crank the AA all the way, but it should be fine.
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post #6 of 13
Do you need two video cards? Most definitely not. However, having the option of using two video cards opens up a whole new avenue you can take.
What I mean by this is that you can get two cheaper video cards, and when paired, can perform as well as a much higher end card for, typically, a lot less.

Then lets look at upgrade path. If you have an SLI/CFX board, if you already have a decent gpu, later on, you can simply get another one (for A LOT less usually) pair it and extend the life of your current rig.

As far as gaming is concerned, the only issue I could foresee is if a particular game doesn't utilize SLI/CFX. Then, obviously, a single card solution would be better.
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post #7 of 13
Well from your config.. I blieve it's time you do upgrade to ATX or ETX boards.. & if you wanna play game in full HD resolution you can get a high end grafix card like 5600 GTX or ati 6870. Dual grafix SLI or CFX is just a matter of choice .

well if you intend to use multi display setup.. you can opt for dual 5770 . it gives more juice than a single 5870. .. go as per your budget !
    
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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saiky View Post
Well from your config.. I blieve it's time you do upgrade to ATX or ETX boards.. & if you wanna play game in full HD resolution you can get a high end grafix card like 5600 GTX or ati 6870. Dual grafix SLI or CFX is just a matter of choice .

well if you intend to use multi display setup.. you can opt for dual 5770 . it gives more juice than a single 5870. .. go as per your budget !
A dual 5770 does not give more juice to a single 5870, its come to par and can suffer from microstuddering from XFire and related Xfire issues.

Also you DO not need a ATX or EATX to enjoy "full HD" experience or whatever you want it. Slap a decent VGA such as a 6870, 560, or a cheaper 470 if you can find it dirt cheap onto a mATX and your good to go.

Edit:
Slap another card if you don't see reasonable FPS once you play on a dual screen setup depending on resolution.
Edited by Versa - 2/27/11 at 2:14pm
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm sticking with mATX boards for now. I enjoy having a rig that doesn't look like a small aircraft.

Anyway, thanks for the input, though I'm still undecided about which route I should go... Some say no, some say not really but the extra slot adds to possible upgrade options.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRK View Post
I'm sticking with mATX boards for now. I enjoy having a rig that doesn't look like a small aircraft.

Anyway, thanks for the input, though I'm still undecided about which route I should go... Some say no, some say not really but the extra slot adds to possible upgrade options.
One thing to consider about SLI/Cross Fire is that there are games out there that won't utilize it, or won't get a big benefit from it. Also there can also be micro stuttering among other issues. I've run both sceneries and always end up going back to a single powerful GPU.
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