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Build compatibility with cases and dual monitor w/crossfire

Everything already in the build should work just fine, but was wondering what the easiest route would be to run a dual-monitor setup with this build

I'm not 100% sure if the motherboard will support the GPU, the network adapter which connects to a PCI-E x1, and then an additional GPU down the road for either crossfire or just for the second monitor.

And If I get a 2nd 7870 GHz down the road and crossfire both cards, how would I go about the dual-monitor setup?

I usually don't use speakers and have everything play through my headset so I was thinking with one card to run the DVI-I into an HDMI adapter so they would both be HDMI-in when connecting to the monitors, because I want audio from both (I plan on putting my music on the secondary monitor while gaming) but wasn't sure if the HDMI is only required for speaker audio or just registering audio at all to play through any output device like headphones.

I don't have any experience with crossfire, I watched a video but forgot exactly what you do. I know the idea is to get ~twice the performance by using two of the same card, but when you crossfire does that mean you are plugging in both cards to the monitor? Basically I want to know how 2 cards in crossfire would run a dual monitor setup if at all possible

Also for the case compatibility I was wondering if the either of these cases would have any real issue with 2 GPUs and the PCI-E x1 Network adapter

HAF 912

CM Elite 430 Red edition
24 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about build compatibility cases dual monitor crossfire
  1. If a motherboard has a PCIe 16x slot (which is all of them ~2002 onward), it will support whatever graphics card you could throw at it. Really is that simple.
    Much more likely is that the mobo wont properly support Crossfire. The two PCIe slots need to run 8x/8x for the cards not to be starved for bandwidth. Cheaper motherboards and non-Z (if Intel) chipsets usually have a 16/4x config, which will bottleneck the 2nd card and lower performance below that of a single card.

    Adding in another card wont change how your monitor setup works. With Crossfire only the primary card (usually the top one) can send display signals, so if the existing card is the primary, you wont have to change anything.

    Im confused about your audio setup, do the monitors your looking at have speakers and are you trying to get them to play separate audio?

    Case compatability pretty much just comes down to whether it has the airflow to deal with two cards being in there, on budget cases like those you will probably need to get some aftermarket fans.
  2. manofchalk said:
    If a motherboard has a PCIe 16x slot (which is all of them ~2002 onward), it will support whatever graphics card you could throw at it. Really is that simple.
    Much more likely is that the mobo wont properly support Crossfire. The two PCIe slots need to run 8x/8x for the cards not to be starved for bandwidth. Cheaper motherboards and non-Z (if Intel) chipsets usually have a 16/4x config, which will bottleneck the 2nd card and lower performance below that of a single card.

    Adding in another card wont change how your monitor setup works. With Crossfire only the primary card (usually the top one) can send display signals, so if the existing card is the primary, you wont have to change anything.

    Im confused about your audio setup, do the monitors your looking at have speakers and are you trying to get them to play separate audio?

    Case compatability pretty much just comes down to whether it has the airflow to deal with two cards being in there, on budget cases like those you will probably need to get some aftermarket fans.


    Yeah I planned on getting some fans but was wondering if I would need all of the fan ports in the HAF 912.

    Do you know of a motherboard that will fit into my build that will properly support crossfire that is less than $100

    Also I was trying to follow a black/red theme so I would prefer to have a mobo with red/black/gray/silver/white
  3. Probably not, two front intake fans coupled with a side intake and the stock rear fan will probably be fine.

    Dont know what CPU you are planning on.
  4. manofchalk said:
    Probably not, two front intake fans coupled with a side intake and the stock rear fan will probably be fine.

    Dont know what CPU you are planning on.


    Either AMD FX-6300 or possibly 8320 but most people have said they are similar enough to where it won't make much of a difference to get the 8320

    this is the build link
  5. Also on the topic of cooling, are the only fans the blow air out of the case the rear fans? (in general) like on the elite 430 there are two 120mm fan spots on the top, one on the back and one on the front, would those all be intake fans and then the rear fan would blow hot air out? Never built a computer and cooling is one of the few things I haven't researched yet
  6. Best answer
    These are the cheapest boards I can find on Newegg that support dual Crossfire/SLI properly, just a bit above your budget.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128514
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157281

    Though TBH, by the time you would want to upgrade your 7870, its more than likely a better option to just plain get a better GPU. This will also mean you don't have to spend as much on a PSU, freeing up about $50 to spend elsewhere.

    Front, side and bottom (if its there) panel fans intake air, rear and top exhaust. That will create your typical front to back airflow, which is whats recommended in most cases.
  7. manofchalk said:
    These are the cheapest boards I can find on Newegg that support dual Crossfire/SLI properly, just a bit above your budget.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128514
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157281

    Though TBH, by the time you would want to upgrade your 7870, its more than likely a better option to just plain get a better GPU. This will also mean you don't have to spend as much on a PSU, freeing up about $50 to spend elsewhere.

    Front, side and bottom (if its there) panel fans intake air, rear and top exhaust. That will create your typical front to back airflow, which is whats recommended in most cases.


    So would you recommend just getting a 650W PSU (same one I have in the build just the 650W version) and then replace the mobo with the gigabyte GA-990FXA that you linked and just upgrade my GPU instead of run crossfired cards down the road?
  8. You could get a 550W unit and be fine. The XFX Core 550W is a pretty good option. If you dont plan too Crossfire/SLI down the line, then you can keep the mobo you already have slated in. The only reason to upgrade the mobo was Crossfire/SLI support.

    But yes, I do think that if you want to upgrade your graphics later on, it will be a better option to just buy a stronger card than track down a 7870 (remember they are discontinued now).
  9. Well then the only difference between the two cases as far as fans go is that the elite 430 has a 1 front intake compared to the HAF 912's 2, but has a bottom intake that the 912 lacks, would that make much of a difference? Logically a bottom intake fan sounds less efficient than a front intake
  10. Probably wont make much difference, but the dual front intake would beat a single front intake + a bottom intake.
  11. manofchalk said:
    Probably wont make much difference, but the dual front intake would beat a single front intake + a bottom intake.


    I'm assuming if I just upgrade a GPU and never crossfire cards that the dual front intake won't really matter then though right?

    And since the 7870 GHz is discontinued, and sold out on newegg which was where it was cheapest, do you know where I could get one for ~$150? Or maybe just a different card completely that is on par or even slightly better that is less than $180 ish
  12. The R9 270 is the same as a 7870, just name rebranded. You could get one of them.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121823
    Dont bother with the 270X, its literally the same card clocked a bit higher.
  13. This card said it was an XT version on pcpartpicker but on the retail website it doesn't mention it, do you know if it's an XT version or not?

    http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=PC-787_2V3&c=CJ
  14. manofchalk said:
    The R9 270 is the same as a 7870, just name rebranded. You could get one of them.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121823
    Dont bother with the 270X, its literally the same card clocked a bit higher.


    I had asked on another thread and multiple people were saying that the 7870 was better than the r9 270, and I have also been using this benchmarking website to compare cards, although it's all theoretical data.

    this is what it shows for 7870 XT vs R9 270
    http://www.hwcompare.com/16556/radeon-hd-7870-xt-vs-radeon-r9-270/
  15. The 7870 XT is kind of a weird hybrid card, it basically uses the Tahiti GPU from the 7900 series and straps it on a 7870 memory system. It performs closer to a 7950 than a reference 7870.
    Thats probably why the numbers are skewed in its direction.
  16. manofchalk said:
    The 7870 XT is kind of a weird hybrid card, it basically uses the Tahiti GPU from the 7900 series and straps it on a 7870 memory system. It performs closer to a 7950 than a reference 7870.
    Thats probably why the numbers are skewed in its direction.


    Alright thanks for all your help!

    This is what the build looks like after the adjustments, any other suggestions?

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2fUQK
  17. I would change the PSU to this.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207013
    550W is enough, and its not worth $40 for the Gold Efficiency over Bronze.
  18. manofchalk said:
    I would change the PSU to this.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207013
    550W is enough, and its not worth $40 for the Gold Efficiency over Bronze.


    The main reason I chose the PSU I did was because the cords are all red/black with a sloppyish red/black sleeve job as well instead of random colors, and it is fully modular so I can eventually neaten up the sleeve job on them because I'm going with a side-panel case, which to me was worth the $40
  19. And the only remaining question I have before I get to buying is do you know if the mobo/cpu will be able to support the 560g cooler?
  20. It'l be fine, even the heaviest heatsinks are fine for whatever motherboard as it comes down to the mounting hardware. Only thing is if you wanted to transport the rig later on (using conventional post, a car ride would be fine), you would probably want to take it off. The heavier heatsinks (stuff like an NH-D14) have been known to crack motherboards during shipping, can only assume the system was dropped or something in transit.

    Which is pretty much why every pre-built system you can get either uses the stock cooler or a CLCr.
  21. manofchalk said:
    It'l be fine, even the heaviest heatsinks are fine for whatever motherboard as it comes down to the mounting hardware. Only thing is if you wanted to transport the rig later on (using conventional post, a car ride would be fine), you would probably want to take it off. The heavier heatsinks (stuff like an NH-D14) have been known to crack motherboards during shipping, can only assume the system was dropped or something in transit.

    Which is pretty much why every pre-built system you can get either uses the stock cooler or a CLCr.


    Alright thanks for all the help!
  22. I lied, one last question: Is there a graphics card that would give quite a significant increase in performance that is <$240? Or about how long do you think I could get away with using the R9 270
  23. Not really, the only other card (current gen) that fits into that pricepoint would be the GTX760, which is fairly similar for performance.
    You may be able to dig around and see if anywhere has HD7950's still in stock or get your hands on a 2nd hand HD7970, but thats about it.

    A graphics card will last as long as your willing to accept its performance. If you intend to play at 1080p, then I think it will last you a fair while provided your fine with not maxing out settings on current top tier games or future intensive games.
  24. manofchalk said:
    Not really, the only other card (current gen) that fits into that pricepoint would be the GTX760, which is fairly similar for performance.
    You may be able to dig around and see if anywhere has HD7950's still in stock or get your hands on a 2nd hand HD7970, but thats about it.

    A graphics card will last as long as your willing to accept its performance. If you intend to play at 1080p, then I think it will last you a fair while provided your fine with not maxing out settings on current top tier games or future intensive games.

    how long would I be able to play games like BF4 at at least medim?
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