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GPU Upgrade Help - X1900XT 256 CrossFire, 8800GTS, or other?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 25, 2007 10:01:16 AM

I currently have a Asus EAX1900XT/HTVDP/256M - A Radeon X1900XT with 256 MB GDDR3.

So, if I wanted to upgrade to a faster graphics card I feel that I have two options.

1) Replace my GPU with a single faster card.

2) Replace my MOBO and put in a CrossFire Card.

Any ideas? I can't seem to find out if I need to buy a CrossFire specific card to use CrossFire. Asus says the card supports crossfire, but older cards need a normal card and a crossfire card. While the newer ones all do crossfire, no special master card required. Anyone know about the 256 MB X1900XT? Do I need a CrossFire Edition card or just another XT 256MB?

So in the Spring 2007 VGA charts, the X1900XT 256 in crossfire mode beats the 8800 GTS 640 MB in most of the tests, it seems.

So if I go crossfire, do I have to buy a X1900 Crossfire Edition? Does it matter that the CF models have 512MB and my XT has 256MB?

Assuming I can just buy another X1900XT 256MB card, I will have to spend about $200 for the card and about $200 for a CrossFire Mobo, am I better off spending the $400 on a single card solution?

Thoughts? Ideas?
a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2007 10:05:36 AM

Howa bout forgettin BOTH o those and just buying a 2900xt in 3 weeks? Itll kill a GTS and you can use all your old equipment
April 25, 2007 10:37:18 AM

Quote:
Howa bout forgettin BOTH o those and just buying a 2900xt in 3 weeks? Itll kill a GTS and you can use all your old equipment


:D  That sounds like a good idea to me.
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a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2007 10:58:18 AM

He may need to upgrade his psu tho. To the OP, if you do get a new psu, make sure its 2.2 compatable, this includes the 8 pin connector
April 25, 2007 11:26:07 AM

2.2 ? 8pin? My Antec TruePower 2.0 550 Watt PSU that I just bought last fall with my new mobo and GPU and CPU and RAM won't work 8 months later? It says it's ATX 2.0 compatible and it has the standard 6pin connector.

I'm guessing i'm gonna have to upgrade my PSU again! Ack!
a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2007 11:35:55 AM

You can use a 6 to 8 pin adapter. Another tech advance lol, its the old, the more the things change the more theyre the same. I only included that IF you needed a new one, which you may , depending on the power requirements of the card
a c 171 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
April 25, 2007 11:44:34 AM

Lets assume your right and the x1900XT in CF mode is equal or better then the 8800GTS. (I'm not going to bounce back and forth between the two charts, if you did that already, great.) There are possibly three things you'll need to make CF work. The motherboard, the second card, and the psu.

You said you'd need to buy a CF motherboard. I don't know what else you need this motherboard to have, but you can certainly get one for less then $200. My Asus A8R-MVP cost me only $50. (on sale at newegg, $100 with a $50 instant rebate if I also bought my CPU at the same time.) This was quite awhile ago, so I would think a basic (If you can call a motherboard that has CF, firewire, SATAII ports, surround sound audio, gigabit networking, etc "basic") for less then $100.

The next thing you need is the second card. Take a look at this. Find your card in the first column. (fifth from the top.) The recommended second card is the x1900XT CF (master) card. The optional card is the x1950XT CF card. These master cards are (currently) the only cards that will let you use CF with your current card. The cheapest card that will work is this one. It will run you $307 counting shipping.

The last thing you might need is a bigger PSU. Again, you failed to list system specs, so you might not need this. Two X1900XTs are going to consume a lot of power, so a 600-800W SLI/CF approved PSU is in order.

Your looking at $100ish for a motherboard, $300 for a video card, and another $100-$150 for a PSU. This will get you an X1900XT CF setup. I'd do more research on whether this is worth it. I thought early CF wasn't very good. Limited resolutions was a complaint I remember hearing about. (although you might not game above 1600x1200...) This also locks you into the motherboard you chose. If something better comes along, you'll have to upgrade everything again. I'm an AMD fan, but I'd get the 88000 if you ask me. Single card, no expensive CF card to buy, no driver/game issues if it fails to work with CF, etc. Throw in the DX10 support, and you've got a winner. The only way I'd consider the CF setup is if the FPS are much better with CF, or if you already have some of the things like a CF motherboard/PSU.
April 25, 2007 11:45:02 AM

JUST GET THIS...

R600 at 800MHz / 1024MB DDR4 at 2200MHz

The samples are out. ATI already has samples of R600XTX or Radeon HD 2900XTX and XT cards. The new XTX card might be delayed, but some sources also say that ATI might have a handful of these cards for launch.

The R600 card has two DVI connectors and a PCI Express 16X plug. It comes with two power connectors, one eight pin that we talked about here and one six pin.
The card itself works at 800 MHz core and it can be overclocked even more. It comes with 2200 MHz GDDR4 memory. The 1024 MB memory works with a 512 bit memory interface. The card supports DirectX 10 and Shader model 4.0.
The card is native crossfire ready and you won't need these annoying external cables anymore. Maximal power consumption is listed as 230 W and the current sample is a HDCP ready.
The card supports S-Video out, dual monitor setup and TV IN and Out. The new card as we reported here runs just fine but we are still not sure does it comes in May or later.

Hopefully ASAP
April 25, 2007 4:55:05 PM

Thanks all for the replies! It looks like i should go with either the 8800 GTS or one of the HD 2900 cards. It seems I would need a new PSU probably for Crossfire. The box on my PSU says it has 1 6 pin connector, although I'm sure it has 2 (from when I installed it.)

Since someone mentioned it, here are my (sorta lowly) system stats.

Raidmax Scorpio 868 Black Case
Antec TruePower 2.0 550 Watt PSU
Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 Rev 1.0 Mobo
Intel E6400 Core 2 Duo 2.13 GHz currently OC'd to ~2.60
Stock Intel Cooler
1 GB (2 x 512) 667 MHz DDR2 RAM CS5 (can't remember brand, shoulda got better ram for OC)
Asus EAX1900XT/HTVDP/256M (X1900XT 256MB OC'd to 688 core, mem won't oc on stock cooling and voltages)
400 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 SATAII HD - Model ST3400633AS
Samsung B90A 19" 1280x1024 - 8ms Response time LCD

Well, that's what I have been able to cobble together with the limited money I have. I can't really OC much higher without better cooling. This PC started as an Athlon 64 3000+, 1GB RAM, Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB, 120GB. When one of that Mobo's voltage regulators caught fire (i only increased the vcore 1 notch in the BIOS!), I had to replace it. Turns out it wasn't much more to upgrade my wife's PC (Athlon XP 1700+) to a core 2 duo E6300. She got my 9800.

But I digress... The HD 2900 XT is looking interesting. Besides a new GPU, a bigger wider screen would be nice. But at the moment, I can't really game higher than 12x10 so I tend to up the quality settings and FSAA so I get at least 30 FPS in the game.

Well thanks again!
!