I'm trying to build a decent gaming computer but am unsure whether or not I should pick an SLI/Crossfire mobo. It seems pretty expensive, but the thing I'm most worried about is making sure my computer won't need an upgrade for a long time. Would going for a dual card build be better in the long run to keep my options open? What about ATI's new 3870 x2?
The price difference between a board with 2 PCIe x 16 slots and one really is that significantly. Most reviews suggest there is no real performance advantage to a dual GPU set up, you're better off putting you money into a better card. With out a budget and how you're using the machine, really can't make any suggestions
My budget is about 1k or so and I want to build a mid-range gaming computer. I considered getting a dual card mobo because I wasn't sure if I would ever want to switch to SLI/Crossfire, so I wanted to keep my options open. If I'm going for a non SLI/Crossfire mobo, what would be a good mobo that would last me a few years?
Any of the P35 motherboards, DDR 3 is way too expensive and DDR2 will still serve you well for atleast a year or 3 ,
You've got different price ranges...
The MSI Neo2 FR are relatively cheap and do well. 100 usd
I myself have an abit IP35 PRO 170usd i believe...
P35 can't do SLI, SLI is a waste of money in my oppinion anyway. Why don't just wait a few months and buy a card that runs games better.
anyway if your on a budget... a quad core or dual core processor (Q6600 or atleast a Core 2 Duo E6850) will fit. nicely with a mid range videocard... ATI 3850 or if you prefer nvidia 8600GTS (don't know if its a good price performance card, please fill me in) Don't cheap out on motherboards, and Power supply's always get a decent power supply.
The Gigabyte P35 DS3L is a good board as well and $100. Mobo will now run either Crossfire or SLI, the P35 series will handle Crossfire meaning ATI GPUs. The E8400 would be idea or the E6750, doesn't seem to be much difference in performance between the E6850 and E6750 The GPU will be more important for gaming than the CPU so if you have to save somewhere, the CPU would be better. For $1000 you should be able to put together a nice E8400 with a good GPU, how out below for GPUs. The Sonata III is a nice case and comes with a good PSU usually on sale
Go for Asus X35, or X38 Chipset...(680, 780 chipset Intel) You will be fine
Most good boards today is SLI or crossfire capable regardless you use it or not. Boards today are not that expensive considering the stuff that goes with it that we use to purchase separately(Audio , Network, RAID, USB ports, OC options..etc). My board have 8.1 audio,2 GBIT LAN, 8 USB, 6 SATA...That could easily go >$200 if purchase separately.
Its good to put money on good reliable motherboard. It pays in the long run.
3850 is a reasonable GPU for midrange game machine.
Get a known reliable PS (Antec, Thermaltake ...etc)...