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DFI or Asus?

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May 17, 2006 2:59:57 PM

Basically, i cant make up my mind of whether to get an HIS IceQ X1900XT or a BFG 7900GTX. I've found them both for an almost identicle price with the rest of my build, so im wonder whats the best motherboad:

If i choose nVidia, i'm going with either the Asus A8N32-SLI or DFI LanParty NF4 SLI-DR EXPERT
If i choose ATi, i'm going with the Asus A8R32-MVP or the DFI LanParty UT CFX3200-DR RD580 Crossfire.

Or, whats the best motherbaord on the market? that's another question worth asking.

I'll be using an Opteron 165, which i plan on OC'ing a bit, to around 2.5-2.6 (With a Zalman cooler), and 2*1024MB RAM.

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May 17, 2006 3:53:40 PM

For sheer overclockability, there is no beating DFI for AMD processors. However, that overclockability comes at a price: ease of use. I am currently running a vanilla Asus A8N-SLI, and I have had great OC results. That being said, I could probably go even higher with a DFI board, but I set my OC up in just a few hours, instead of a few days or weeks to dial in a DFI.

Your choices as to model are spot-on. Right now, the X1900XTX is considered by most to be the top graphics card. Of course, the 7900GTX is no slouch, either. I personally prefer nVidia's products, but that's just me.

You may want to post back with which games in specific you're thinking of, because individual game engines have very different results on ATI and nVidia hardware.

Either way, what you're looking at will be an excellent gaming platform.

-J
May 17, 2006 4:03:40 PM

The highest end games i have, and plan on playing: Oblivion, FEAR, Quake 4, Call of Duty 2, Half-life2, FarCry, Age of Empires 3...

I know ATi card can handle AA+HDR, and that tips me in that favour. But a personal prefrance to nVidia, and the fact that i've heard X1900's are really bad noise wise, tips me in favour there.

It's half a dozen of one, 6 of the other.

How about in SLI/xfire do they compare?


I'll probably end up flipping a coin here as to what to choose, i was hoping maybe the better motherboard will help decide...
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May 17, 2006 9:12:00 PM

All right. As to the games that you're playing, you're about evenly split on which hardware works better. So, a toss-up there.

As far as SLI/Crossfire, from my understanding, SLI is a little more efficient, while Crossfire is a little more forgiving of model variations. In other words, SLI will harness more of the power of both cards than Crossfire. Is that enough of a benefit to outweigh the lack of simultaneous AA/HDR on the 7900GTX? Not really, in my opinion. But again, I'm an nVidia fan, and that's what I run.

As far as overclockability goes, the RD580 chipset from AMD, which is used on the DFI board you speced above, tends to allow for a slightly better OC than teh nForce 4, maybe on the order of 1-2%.

Once again, we're splitting hairs.

Also, bear in mind, that it is (supposedly) possible to get SLI running on the RD580-based motherboards, so choosing that board should not prevent you from taking advantage of SLI. However, I have no hands-on experience with this. SuperFly would be better able to answer those types of questions, as he is currently trying to get SLI working on the same board you mentioned.

Bottom line: I personally would go nForce4 SLI-32, with the 7900GTXs, however for absolute performance, I'd go with the 2 X1900XTXs in Crossfire, on the CFX3200. Either way, you'll have a screamer on your hands.

Enjoy your new rig.

-J
May 17, 2006 10:06:36 PM

I'm going to end up flipping a coin here. Or making a poll.

Anything else i can boin my choise down to? Give me a crucial componant, i'll say what i'm getting and see if there are any problems with anything.
May 17, 2006 10:41:02 PM

If you do a poll, nVidia will win because most people on these forums prefer nNvidia. I personally don't care but in my new system I will most likely get the HIS IceQ 1900XTX because it has a silenced cooler and it obliterates the 7900gtx in Oblivion... Basically, the whole cliche is that ATI > nVidia in DirectX and nVidia>ATI in OpenGL
May 17, 2006 10:50:58 PM

Right. Is there a crossfire master card with the IceQ cooler? Or just the ATI own brand master card?
May 17, 2006 11:02:55 PM

Go with ATI. They can do AA with HDR, nvidia can't right now.
May 17, 2006 11:52:40 PM

I'd buy the ATI card. But I'd buy a Saphire card, not a HIS. Crossfire has the advantage of running both cards at all times, with no switching between SLI and Non-Sli for different games or applications. At the same time, in some games, SLI works better The next big advantage of the ATI based cards are the ability to use both SM 3 and HRD at the same time. That does cost some ultimate speed, but many people think its worth it for the graphics quality.
May 18, 2006 12:42:47 AM

Quote:
Basically, i cant make up my mind of whether to get an HIS IceQ X1900XT or a BFG 7900GTX. I've found them both for an almost identicle price with the rest of my build, so im wonder whats the best motherboad:

If i choose nVidia, i'm going with either the Asus A8N32-SLI or DFI LanParty NF4 SLI-DR EXPERT
If i choose ATi, i'm going with the Asus A8R32-MVP or the DFI LanParty UT CFX3200-DR RD580 Crossfire.

Or, whats the best motherbaord on the market? that's another question worth asking.

I'll be using an Opteron 165, which i plan on OC'ing a bit, to around 2.5-2.6 (With a Zalman cooler), and 2*1024MB RAM.


Get the DFI board,the Asus (all of them) not only does not overclock as well but the NF4-32 chip it uses gets both GFX slots to run at 16X by cutting the bit rate in half.

I don't build with Zelman coolers. I use Thermalright SI-120's with Silverstone FM-121 fan (and same fan for the case as well) . Cools the ram,power regulators and PWMIC at the same time when useing that cooler.
This cooler keeps the Optron 146's I tend to build with at a nice cool 38C (under full load) when they are OC to 2.95Ghz on stock volts.

Z
May 18, 2006 1:11:01 AM

Now forgive me if i am wrong but I belive that SLI only works if the game supports it and Crossfire works in all games. If you are going to go with Crossfire just buy the x1900xt not the xtx cause as soon as you put that card in Crossfire it clocks back to the same speed as the XT. The DFI board should be the most stable when overclocked.The DFI has 2 more SATA ports 6vs 8 which is kinda overkill but has 3 PCI-e slots vs 1 on the asus which isnt a big deal. So comes to how much you wanna oc .

the zalman 9000 was the Tom's top rate cooler.
May 18, 2006 1:13:39 AM

Quote:
Now forgive me if i am wrong but I belive that SLI only works if the game supports it and Crossfire works in all games.


You're wrong. This is me correcting you. :lol: 

Both SLI and Crossfire have modes that work in all games. They also each have a select group of games that are optimized for that respective technology.

-J
May 18, 2006 2:01:51 AM

both the Abit AN8 32X & AT8 32X are also worthy of consideration with personal preference leaning towards the AN8 32X (I just can't help feeling that as it stands the nF4 chipset/SLI package is more mature than the RD580/Crossfire).
Plus 2x7900GTX will be quieter than 2 X1900XTs.
May 18, 2006 7:50:32 AM

dont give me more options please.

I think i'll be going with ATI and the FDI board. Best choice i think.
May 19, 2006 12:48:38 PM

Had the Asus A8R32-MVP on a HIS crossfire x1900 setup. Don't know how it could have gone any smoother. Its a good board to learn to overclock on.
Just be sure to get the best (BIG) power supply you can afford. Before I sold it I stuck 2Gs of Muskin Econo Ram in it with a Athlon 64 3000 and ran prime stable at 295x9 with no real effort.
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