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GOT ATI X1800XT! now what?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
December 24, 2005 9:11:35 PM

Hi there,
I've heard very good reviews about X1800XT, without knowing anything else I bought it (big motivation was

big sale and store coupon though :D  ), not what??? I need BIG FAVOR that is your advice. Which motherboard

would support this card. I've searched and found "ASUS P5WD2-E Premium" is Crossfire capable. Card's box says

Crossfire compatible motherboard is required and this motherboard is ATI Crossfire capabale. Other I've found

was "ASUS A8R-MVP" but thats AMD base board. I prefer Pentium base processors because I always had bad

experiences with AMDs. I want to play Battlefield 2 without any jitters and its all for that. I would like to

use my 2 x 1 GB DDR RAM if useable, PCI Creative Audigy 4, ATI All in Winder TV Tuner card, PCI IDE

controller for my 4 Hard Drives and 2 DVD Burners.

In short, I'm looking for
- system board with processor (Intel Pentium D if its worth buying or AMD) to get max performance of ATI X1800XT
- with no builtin video,
- no sound (may be),
- 2 PCI Express,
- 3 PCI slots (minimum),
- DDR RAM slot (if possible).

by the way, do I need a master video card too??? 80

Thanks for reading. Merry Christmas and Happy New year!!!

More about : ati x1800xt

December 24, 2005 9:47:39 PM

Crossfire is for running 2 graphics cards in parallel. It's only if you are planning on buying a second X1800XT Crossfire Master Card that you need a Crossfire compatible motherboard. If you are just running a single X1800XT, any motherboard with a PCIe x16 slot will do.

Motherboard choice depends on your budget and your CPU choice. Since you bought a X1800XT you probably have a pretty big budget, but it'd be nice to first know how much you are willing to spend.
December 24, 2005 9:59:13 PM

WELL no big bank really, spent most on this card, thinking rest a nice board and processor would be covered. So a single PCI ex slot board would take care of decent frame rate in game and graphics quality? I would say between $350 - $450 in range for motherboard and processor!
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December 24, 2005 10:16:26 PM

Unless you are running at the highest resolutions a single X1800XT should be plenty fast enough.

Well for motherboard, since you have an ATI you might as well get a Crossfire capable board anyways just in case you decide to go Crossfire in the future. I'm predispositioned toward ASUS boards, so I would recommend the ASUS A8R-MVP. It has a ULI southbridge so that should avoid the USB problems that ATI southbridges sometimes have. It's available for $114.99 at ZipZoomFly.

Selecting the ASUS A8R-MVP means that your choice of CPU will be an AMD64. There won't be a decent dual core in your price range as the Intel 820 is terrible for games and the 830 is just at the edge of your price range and isn't much better. The AMD X2 3800+ is also at the top edge of your price range. However, if you want best gaming performance you should stick with single core processors as they clock higher for the same price. Your best bet is the A64 3700+. It costs $211.40 making it much better valued than the A64 3500+ which goes for $201.00. The A64 3800+ is also a good choice and costs $282.00 putting it at the top end of your price range. The A64 3700+ at ZipZoomFly is here:

When you are buying single core AMD processors make sure you get the Venice core ones as they are the newest revision. Anandtech has a great CPU price list here:
December 24, 2005 11:07:09 PM

FYI, the X1800XT will run all current games at the highest resolutions. Its performance falls between the nVidia 7800GTX 256 meg card and the 7800GTX 512 meg card, and is getting faster due to driver optimizations, as are included in the Catalyst 5.13 driver.
Also, dual core will not help most current games, but will make the overall PC experience better, by using the second CPU for o/s tasks, real-time virus scanning, etc, keeping the other CPU free for gaming. Performance should be at minimum on par with equivalant cache and megaherz single core Athlons.
And the latest 5.13 Cat driver is coded for multi-threading, taking advantage of dual-core CPU's giving it about a 5% perfomance boost.
Future games will take advantage of dual-core, as they already are speaking of support.
December 24, 2005 11:14:37 PM

Are you considering dual-core? Do you encode video or multi-task? If so, the dual-core would be an advantage.
A retail Opteron 165 starts at around $320 and has a core speed of 1,800 mhz and 2x1meg cache. Opterons run a little cooler and less voltage than X2's, and have generally better overclocking capabilities.
Likewise, a retail X2-3800 starts at around same price, but has a core speed of 2,000 mhz but 2x512k cache.
December 24, 2005 11:17:32 PM

It's the 5.12 driver that added support for dual core processors and Hyperthreading. The 5.13 driver activated the AVIVO engine for media encoding and decoding. Most of the driver optimizations came in the 5.11 driver and were related to optimizing the memory controller for OpenGL games. I don't think there have been major speed improvements (not counting dual core and HTT optimizations) since then only compatibility fixes.

I am aware of the future for dual cores, and in fact games are beginning to support them now since Intel is taking the time to help developers. Both Call of Duty 2 and Quake 4 now support dual core and HTT. However, as I mentioned before the performance of the 820 and 830 is terrible in games that aren't multithreaded, and the X2 3800+ is likely out of his price range and is likewise slow compared to single core processors in single threaded games.
December 24, 2005 11:33:52 PM

There has been a few other performance enhancement with the catalyst drivers before 5.12

Cat 3.0 to 3.04 was a significant boost, as was 4.02 to 4.05 and 4.08 to 4.11.

ATI is diligent about updating drivers, so much so they committed to monthly driver updates and have stuck by their commitment. Some companies would have charged for AVIVO feature support... Fact is, ATI is trying and supplying what it promises lately, and that is a good thing.
December 25, 2005 12:30:00 AM

What I meant was in terms of performance improvements for the x1xxx series. I am aware that there have been other large performance jumps for other series beforehand.

Personally I'm waiting another month for the X1900XL AIW. My X800XL AIW is fine for now. I was hoping that the X1800 would have been another 9700 but its performance wasn't significantly better than the competition. The X1900 series looks good though with its 16 pipelines and 48 pixel shaders. Hopefully the 16 TMUs are enough though since ATI is pushing for a 3:1 pixel shader to TMU ratio while nVidia wants a 2:1 ratio. AVIVO is great for me since I do a lot of encoding, but thats really the defining feature of the X1800 series for now. The X1900 should add great performance to the portfolio as well.
December 25, 2005 5:27:14 PM

Isn't the X1900 supposed to have 48 pipelines? or only the XT will have that much?
December 25, 2005 6:12:53 PM

Not sure about the XL, but the XT will have 48 pixel shaders and 16 TMUs. I'm not exactly sure how they plan to organize them internally. Both nVidia and ATI are trying to transition the industry toward pixel shaders rather than TMU usage which is why they are now producing cards biased to pixel shaders. This was first seen in the X1600 series which has 12 pixel shaders and 4 TMUs for a 3:1 ratio. nVidia is going to use a 2:1 ratio so they will likely have 48 pixel shaders as well, but 24 TMUs. With nVidia also moving to 90nm ATI will not likely have much of a clock speed advantage so they'll have to rely on their superior memory controller and driver optimizations to beat nVidia.
December 25, 2005 9:13:55 PM

that means dual core processor should be a good buy for long run and AMD should be my chioce? Any suggestion which board and processor combo would be best for $350 - $450 price range?
December 25, 2005 9:52:45 PM

What about Gigabyte board. Aren't there any? Or Asus is better choice?
I making my mind towards AMD Opteron 165!
December 25, 2005 10:35:59 PM

Buy an Asus A8R-MVP (great for OC and has CrossFire support) and an Opteron 165.
December 28, 2005 4:00:49 PM

Hi everyone! thanks for your contribution and guidance.
One last thing. What if I add ATI Radeon X1300 (H130H256N) or ATI X800 as another Crossfire card, or the next card HAVE TO BE ATI X1800???
December 28, 2005 8:49:25 PM

From what I've read you can run two different types of graphics cards in CrossFire mode. So, you don't need to buy another X1800XT.
December 29, 2005 1:18:34 AM

Crossfire only works for the same series. For example 2 X1300s can work in Crossfire and 2 X1600s can work, but a X1300 and a X1600 won't. You can cross specific editions or manufacturers though like a Sapphire X1600PRO 128MB will work with an ATI X1600XT 256MB.

However, for the X800, the X850, and the X1800 you need to buy a specific master card. The X1800XT you have will only work with the X1800 Crossfire Master. The X1800XL requires the exact same one. X800 vanilla, GT, GTO, GTO2, XL, XT, XT PE, whether 128MB or 256MB (wow thats a lot of different models) require the X800 Crossfire Master. The X850, X850XT, and X850XT PE require the X850 Crossfire Master. For reference, I believe the X800 PRO and the X850PRO were only available for AGP in case people were wondering why they weren't mentioned.