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Need advice on set-up for Crossfire 2 x 5850

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Howdy - newbie here so please be gentle

I put my first build together last year which includes:
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3
V/CARD: PowerColor PCS+ AX5850 1GBD5-PPDHG2
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE
While I was pretty happy with the set-up, I've been eying Crysis 2 and getting greedy for higher graphics specs so I thought I'd go crossfire. Just received a ASUS EAH5850 today and NOW I realize that my MOBO isn't crossfire ready, doh!

OK, before I do something else stupid, I thought I'd ask for some expert advice on getting my two graphics cards set-up in crossfire at reasonable expense and effort.

New MOBO? OK that one's a given, but which one? One thing that bugged me about the current one is that I ran out of internal USB connections for my frontpanel card reader - as my case already used the supplied one (HAF 932), so it would be nice (but not essential) to resolve that issue. I'm willing to go up to $200, but would rather not spend that much if I don't have to. Suggestions?

Is my PSU good enough? What about the two video cards - any problems that you foresee?
Current
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE GA-870A-UD3 PCS+ AX5850 1GBD5-PPDHG2 CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD1002FAEX 1TB Win 7 / 64bit SyncMaster 2263UW CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 
Case
HAF 932 
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Current
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE GA-870A-UD3 PCS+ AX5850 1GBD5-PPDHG2 CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD1002FAEX 1TB Win 7 / 64bit SyncMaster 2263UW CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 
Case
HAF 932 
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post #2 of 14
Edit,

sorry, I was wrong on the CF post..
Edited by Spct - 3/4/11 at 8:45pm
My First Build
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I7-860 2.8/OC'ed 3.60 FPO/batch # L935B730 Asus P7P55d Evo MSI 580 TF II OC 8 Gig Corsiar DDR3 1600 XMP 
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WD Black 750 Samsung H50, pull/push Win7 Pro 64 
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My First Build
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I7-860 2.8/OC'ed 3.60 FPO/batch # L935B730 Asus P7P55d Evo MSI 580 TF II OC 8 Gig Corsiar DDR3 1600 XMP 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
WD Black 750 Samsung H50, pull/push Win7 Pro 64 
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HP 2509B 25" 1920x1080 Steelseries backlit Merc Corsiar TX650 Thermatake V9 Black 
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spct View Post
Is this your board? if so... doesnt it have 2 pci for CF?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128443

2 PCI-E 2.0 x16 interface for ultimate graphics performance
That's the one - I just googled it with "crossfire" and came up with many comments say it can't do CF e.g. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/28...870a-crossfire
Current
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE GA-870A-UD3 PCS+ AX5850 1GBD5-PPDHG2 CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD1002FAEX 1TB Win 7 / 64bit SyncMaster 2263UW CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 
Case
HAF 932 
  hide details  
Reply
Current
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE GA-870A-UD3 PCS+ AX5850 1GBD5-PPDHG2 CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD1002FAEX 1TB Win 7 / 64bit SyncMaster 2263UW CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 
Case
HAF 932 
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Reply
post #4 of 14
Asus M4A79XTD EVO $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131402

Or buy it open box for $78
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...2E16813131402R

This board has an 8+2 power phase + 2x8 PCI-E 2.0 slots. The X8 slots only have the performance difference of a couple frames when compared to the X16 slots.

Edit: I think your PSU will be fine as well.
Edited by KillingTheSilence - 3/4/11 at 9:00pm
Rescue 1
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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Seagate Barracuda 1TB Windows 7 64-bit Hanns.G HW191A SeaSonic X650 
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(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X3 740 MSI 770-G45 XFX HD 6850 G.Skill Ripjaws 4GB DDR3 1600MHz 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Seagate Barracuda 1TB Windows 7 64-bit Hanns.G HW191A SeaSonic X650 
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HAF 912 R.A.T. 5 
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip. Interesting comment on the difference between x8 and x16...

I want to try to future proof the set-up a bit i.e. I don't want to buy a new mobo for 2-3 years. As such, a multiple (i.e. more than 2) crossfire set-up needs to be feasible - at least on paper if not with my bank (or wife!).

Could the dual x8 be a limitation? I've been told that the MSI 790FX-GD70 would be ideal - although it looks a little pricey.

Any other ideas?
Current
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE GA-870A-UD3 PCS+ AX5850 1GBD5-PPDHG2 CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD1002FAEX 1TB Win 7 / 64bit SyncMaster 2263UW CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 
Case
HAF 932 
  hide details  
Reply
Current
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE GA-870A-UD3 PCS+ AX5850 1GBD5-PPDHG2 CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD1002FAEX 1TB Win 7 / 64bit SyncMaster 2263UW CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 
Case
HAF 932 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 14
I have the GA-870A-UD3 is it is capable of crossfire, only at 16x/4x however. Also if you use any of the other pcie slots it uses the 4x bandwidth and you cannot run crossfire.

I would definitely try the 5850s on the board to check your performance, but you should notice a small improvement going from 16x/4x to 8x/8x or 16x/16x.

Also if you keep the gigabyte board make sure to get the enzotech mst-88 for mosfet cooling. Fits the board perfectly.
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Crucial m4 64gb ssd Samsung F3 1tb Corsair H80 Windows 7 x64 
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Gateway FHX2402L LED-LCD 24in 1080p Logitech K120 Corsair TX 850W NZXT Phantom White 
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post #7 of 14
Can tell you right now you will not need two 5850s to run Crysis 2?

If you really want to run two cards, sure do it, don't do it just for that game because it doesn't need it for your res

I run 2wo OCed 5850s with the TX750 and it does the job great. and most likely more then needed even but I like to have extra overhead.
post #8 of 14
There are a couple people around here that will state that the 16x/4x config will hurt your performance. There are also some reviews out there that show the performance drop is very small.
I personally don't think it's worth getting a new board, unless you HAVE to. If you want to get in on Bulldozer, wait until those boards drop and then get a 16x/16x or 8x/8x AM3+ board.
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post #9 of 14
Here's a decent article: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...ng,2517-4.html

It uses Intel boards but I would imagine that there is a similar effect with AMD boards. And I can't for the life of me find an article that goes over the different PCI-E lanes with an AMD/Crossfire board.

Here's another article though it uses Nvidia/SLI.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...x4,2696-4.html
Rescue 1
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X3 740 MSI 770-G45 XFX HD 6850 G.Skill Ripjaws 4GB DDR3 1600MHz 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Seagate Barracuda 1TB Windows 7 64-bit Hanns.G HW191A SeaSonic X650 
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HAF 912 R.A.T. 5 
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Rescue 1
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X3 740 MSI 770-G45 XFX HD 6850 G.Skill Ripjaws 4GB DDR3 1600MHz 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Seagate Barracuda 1TB Windows 7 64-bit Hanns.G HW191A SeaSonic X650 
CaseMouse
HAF 912 R.A.T. 5 
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post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Being new to build vs buy - and having caught the bug, I convinced myself that I should upgrade the mobo afterall. I purchased what seems to be like a nice alternative; an ASUS M4A89TD PRO - and after having fun re-installing, re-configuring , etc (really - it was fun, amazing how useful dental floss can be when trying to separate heatsink and cpu!?!) I am amazed at the difference. Everthing just works smoother, faster, etc.

Now I've just gotta figure out what to do with the GA-870A-UD3...

Agaoiin - your feedback was much appreciated
Current
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE GA-870A-UD3 PCS+ AX5850 1GBD5-PPDHG2 CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD1002FAEX 1TB Win 7 / 64bit SyncMaster 2263UW CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 
Case
HAF 932 
  hide details  
Reply
Current
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE GA-870A-UD3 PCS+ AX5850 1GBD5-PPDHG2 CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD1002FAEX 1TB Win 7 / 64bit SyncMaster 2263UW CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 
Case
HAF 932 
  hide details  
Reply
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