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Looking to X-Fire but can´t decide

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 5, 2012 8:52:47 PM

Hello, I´m looking to X-fire. I have the 6850 in mind mainly because I hear that it is an okay card and I do not have the moneys to go up higher. Anyways, Im trying to pick inbetween the following three cards.
The sapphire 6850 with 1gb gddr5 Vs Same card but with 2gb Vs the sapphire vapor x with 1 gb.

Is the vap0r any better than the standard sapphire 6850?
I hear that memory doesn´t stack up when x-firing. Should I consider getting the 2gb one? I may end up pushing these two guys up to the limits and I don´t know if memory will be an issue.


Last question. I plan on using an AM3 cpu along with the 6850. Can I get a couple of suggestions for a cheap motherboard and powersupply that can support the x-fire config.?

Forgot: Will these guys fit into a Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case¿

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a c 124 U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 9:00:26 PM

I would suggest you do not buy two 6850s but instead buy a 7850 when they are available (reviews are out, should hit stores in the next couple weeks). The 7850 MSRP $250.

And as far as I know all AMD motherboards will support crossfire.

Also, "X Fire" is technically when you crossfire different models (like a 5850 and 5870) while Crossfire is the proper term for a multi GPU AMD setup of similar cards (like two 6850s).
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March 5, 2012 9:05:52 PM

Do you already have the CPU? If not, I would recommend switching to Intel since you still need a motherboard. The i5-2500k will last you much longer than anything AMD currently has available.

If you do already have the CPU and you're sticking with AMD
AND
You're intent on crossfiring:

when selecting a motherboard you want to make sure it has two 16x PCI-e slots that allows 16x and 16x, or 8x and 8x. If one of the slots is only 4x, then you will take a large performance hit when crossfiring.

For a PSU, you should select at least 750w from Antec, Corsair, or Seasonic.

Do you already have a 6850 or are you going to buy both? If you don't have one, then I VERY MUCH recommend what wolfram did: Wait for and buy the 7850 when it comes out in a couple of weeks. Similar price to two 6850s and then you can crossfire the 7850 if you really need in a couple of years.

I would only recommend the 2GB card if you'll be gaming above 1920x1080 resolution. At 1080 and below 1GB is enough.
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March 5, 2012 9:33:01 PM

Hehe, ic. I was just being lazy and not wanting to type crossfire but thanks for the clarification. And No, I haven´t started buying anything yet. Im currently building an intel machine with a 2500k and an asus gtx 570. When I came across the sapphire 6850 i figured that it would be nice to build an Intel for my sisters. A price tag of 250 is a bit too pricy for what my sisters play. hehe. I´ll stick with the 6850s.

Anyways, with the motherboard. I´ll be okay as long as It has dual x16 or x8 slots. What about the distance between the slots or the interference of a different slot in between them?

What about the psu?

Thanks for the advice sofar!
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a c 124 U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 9:40:01 PM

Most GPUs are 2 slot, so generally a mobo has a "throwaway" slot under an x16 (like an x1 slot) which gets covered. If you have any other expansion cards like a sound card, you'll need to have another slot at least 2 away from the card. Two x16 slots side by side is a bad design but you rarely see that.

EDIT: And two 6850s will probably have better performance than a 570. My two 5850s certainly do (though they are closer to 6870 performance)
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March 5, 2012 9:41:12 PM

So wait, you're building the 2500k + gtx 570 for you or your sisters? You came across a 6850 for an Intel build for your sisters? Where did the initial AMD CPU come in?

Crossfired 6850s is really not that far off from a single 570 (two 6850s might even beat a 570 in pure FPS), it just has bigger headaches with driver issues, micro-stuttering, motherboard requirements, and higher power draw. If your sisters don't play anything demanding, then stick with a single 6850 or a 6870.

I've heard concerns about spacing on the motherboard for crossfiring, but in spite of all the worries, I've never heard of anyone actually HAVING a problem with it. It depends on the layout of the mobo, but if you buy one that says it's crossfire-ready, you should be OK. Heat dissipation, however, is a bigger concern. You might find you need better cooling.
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March 5, 2012 10:11:04 PM

The amd cpu came up after i came across the 6850. Not really a fan of amd but I happen to have some sort of attraction towards radeon and figured that these guys would be a cheap alternative and a way to finally try radeon out. Anyways, I´ll also look into the 6870 and 5850 and see what I can find out.

Thanks for the help!
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March 5, 2012 10:13:10 PM

Erm, before I forget. Any ideas of how I can find out if the 6850s will fit into the Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case? And no I haven´t bought it yet.
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