Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Hybrid Crossfire 780G w/ 3870?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
March 15, 2008 9:20:30 PM

Hi there. I have a bunch of questions about the new 780G chipset, AMD processors and video cards. I just got 600 dollars worth of gift cards to the egg for my bday (today!!!) and cannot decide what to get. Here is what I currently am running:

Opteron 180 s939 @ stock 2.4 (has an AC freezer on it) | ATI x800 pro OC 550/550 (AC after market cooler) | 2 GB DDR 400 | Antec TPII 550 watt PSU | XP Home | 19" Viewsonic VX922 Monitor | 250 GB HDD

I am trying to figure out the best way to spend the money. I like AMD, but am willing to go to the dark side if it is the best way to spend my money :wahoo: 

Here is what I am strongly leaning toward:

I already have a second mATX case that I bought a few months ago. I'd like to take my current rig, buy a mATX 939 board on ebay, and have a XP and ubuntu box to fiddle around with. I also want my new machine to use 64 bit vista (I'm curious, and i figure I'll have a solid 32 bit XP machine also) and I want to OC. With the gift cards buy:

Vista Home Premium 64 Bit
780G Full ATX mobo
X2 4000+ 2.1 GHZBrisbane
OCZ 600W PSU
500 GB HDD
4 GB Patriot Viper DDR2 1066 RAM

For the time being, I'll OC the Brisbane to 2.8 (bump up HTT to 266 to match ram speed) and use the onboard graphics. In the next few months, I'll pick up a 3870, 4870, or 9800 card. For the time being, the XP machine will do fine for gaming (I only play day of defeat source, counter strike, sim city 4, and starcraft).

I have a few questions though:
1) I read somewhere that with a 3870 and a 780G chipset, you can hook up your monitor to the onboard DVI slot and use hybrid crossfire - use the 3870 in games, use only onboard for surfing the net, etc. Is this true, or will the hybrid crossfire only work with a lowly 34XX card? Am I better off looking at a 790X or FX? I am not looking to ever use 2 discrete cards, but I like the idea of having the hybrid power down my discrete card...
2) Am I being realistic thinking a 4000+ will hit 2.8? Should I get DDR2 800 ram instead and OC it? There is a great deal on the Patriot ram - It's only $120 - I think it is probably worth the $20 premium over DDR2 800 especially considering my OC situation and wanting to match RAM to the HTT.
3) Will I be able to upgrade this system in a year? With AM2+, I'd like to drop in a 45nm quad - will AMD be on to AM3 by then?
4) Any information about the 4870? I'm a patient man and cant wait if it's worth it.

Finally - Any Starcraft 2 or Spore news? Those are the two games I am looking forward to. As long as I'll be able to upgrade the proc and the video card to play them in the future I'll be happy.

Thanks in advance for any advice, and please forgive any noobish oversight.

March 15, 2008 9:39:54 PM

#1) No, The 780G can't do this at this point in time. NVIDIA's upcoming chipset will do this and AMD's LAPTOP computers will have this feature. But at this point, the OnBoard Graphics will simply disable themself if you install a high-end GPU.

March 15, 2008 11:39:52 PM

Any opinions on the build? Would I be way smarter to go with a e2180 now and a penryn later? I just built my Dad a box with a e8400....wish I could pull that off.
Related resources
March 16, 2008 1:16:15 AM

Probably would be better to get an e2180 now and go Penryn later (look at the Q9450; it shall be of utmost sweetness.)

Also, so far, only the 3400 series supports Hybrid Crossfire. If you put in a 3870, it would disable the onboard graphics. I doubt they'll run Hybrid Crossfire or SLI with higher cards, because the performance increase would be negligible.

Also, the R700 series graphics (IE, the 4870 you mentioned), will supposidly be being launched in May 2008. They are expected to have an official announcement, as well as showing, at Computex 2008.
March 16, 2008 1:56:41 AM

I concur with Darkness Flame. Just bought an e2180, and easily overclocked it to 3.2, with little effort or heat.

My rationale is that according to that famous article on Tom's, when OC'ed to over 3.0, the e2000 series is the functional equivalent to a 6750-6850. At that point, there are few if any games where the CPU will be the bottleneck. And that being said, I put my extra $$$ into a 3870.

I then figured that if I absolutely still feel the need to grab an 8400, if I can "suffer" through a couple more months with the 2180, the price differential between a $240 8400 and a $179 8400 will be greater than the hit I will take eBaying my 2180.

On another note, I too made the switch from a 939 X2 4200 OC'ed to 2.5 GHz. My Shuttle mobo died, so I had to pretty much start from scratch. Hate to say it, but the 2180 spanks the AMD. Sigh. And that said, it is not that I regret my 3870 per se, but lets just say I would go with an 8800gt if doing it over again (and if I hadn't invested in a Crossfire mobo).

The 3870 throttles down to 300 MHz during 2D applications (i.e., regular video), and then throttles up to full ~800 MHz speed during 3d (games). Thus, there is little need to "save power" with a chip GPU.

Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions about my purchase.

Good luck!
March 16, 2008 4:00:34 AM

Thanks for all the advice. I figured the hybrid crossfire wouldn't work with a 3870, and if it didn't, I was going to go with a 9600gt. The egg has a sweet deal on a MSI OC card with a nice cooler on it...As far as an upgrade path, I am still torn. Penryn will be as high as the P35 board will go. I realize a 2180 @ 3.2 will be much faster than a 4000+ @ 2.8 for the time being (I have a e6300 @ work, which, not overclocked @ 1.83, is about as fast as my 2.4 opty). Is it just a pipe dream that I will be able to drop in a 45nm quad AMD w/ 6 megs of l3 cache? I'm still hanging onto that last little thread of AMD hope...

Another option is not spend the gift cards, being that I have a decent setup now, and wait for nehalem or bulldozer...I am patient, but I don't know if I am *that* patient.

Thanks again.
March 17, 2008 2:04:52 AM

If your stuck on AMD, I'd waite till phenom is up to snuff, maybe get a cheap triple core when they go on sale.
If you want to be able to fully utilize a Phenom, you need to go with a 780 or 790 AMD chipset.
the 780G has the best southbidge chip of the 2 currently out. that should change soon.
there is no SLI Mobo that fully utilizes the AM2+

you might as well get a 780g (and have OBG in pinch if needed), your 9600gt, and a cheap dual core. then upgrade your processor a little down the road.

most would tell you to just get an intel q6600.

PS your giftcard isn't earning you any interest.
March 17, 2008 4:01:07 AM

I'm not necessarily stuck on AMD. I know it is never good to buy now based on upgrading to what isn't out yet. However, I'm thinking of it from the angle that AM2+ may not be a dead end, whereas a P35 or X38 board is for sure a dead end come Q4 w/ Nehalem. With a budget of $600, and a 4000+ running for $49, it just seems like the best option...

How about Vista 64? Is it worth the driver issues?
March 17, 2008 5:28:25 AM

Vista 64 is good now and i run all may games fine. Cat 8.3 made my crossfire setup totally stable but ATI has had stable driver for running a single card since last summer. Not sure about Nvidia's drivers, my friend has a 8800GTS (640mb) and has only had a few problems recently that i know of.
March 17, 2008 5:57:56 AM

chrislax20 said:

How about Vista 64? Is it worth the driver issues?


not if your primarily playing games, but I think cheap memory is going to change that in the near future.

Tom's did a good article on setting up an 8gb system.

I've been running 64 with just 2 gigs for a while. It hurt my performance I'm sure, but It still plays the games fine (with the exception of constant crashing witcher, but Its not just me having problems with that game, and it wont even run on my XP partition for some reason)

I'm a Patriot fan myself, but the Corsair Dominator 1066 I just picked up was a much better deal (I'll use the goofy little fan thing elsewere)

If your building a 64bit system based of Phenom support, 8gigs of 1066 would be the way to go, but its a pretty big chunk of your budget.

if you reuse some of your old system, your $600 will go further. or if you sell it, you can start saving for your next upgrade. you should get enough to pay for a quadcore.

some rough numbers:
780G mobo - $90
8gb 1066ddr2 - $300
cheap AM2 cpu - $40
OS - $100
good PSU - $100
HDD - $100
9600gt - $150
optical drive - $20

thats already $900

without reusing some of your old system the only to save major money is memory. you may want to consider 2 gigs of 800 for now. $100 bucks can be saved on PSU and HDD. you could reuse your OS or downgrade to hybrid graphics (but not both). you may want to consider a used graphics card. looks like a 7900gs goes for $50 on ebay.

you can do what you want, you just cave to shave some corners and pinch some pennies.

as to your question about AM3, Ive heard that they will have DDR2 memory controlers too, and should work fine with AM2+, but I heard that quite some time ago. things change. I think AM3 is in the distant future in computer terms.
March 18, 2008 4:21:16 AM

I ended up going with the following:

Antec Performance One P180 Silver cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $79.99 (St. Patty's Day Deal!)
GIGABYTE GA-MA770-S3 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - $84.99
MSI N9600GT 512M OC GeForce 9600GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card $174.99
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ Brisbane 2.1GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADO4000IAA5DD - OEM $49.99
Patriot Viper 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model $124.99
Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM $99.99
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM $5.99

Total 620.93 + 60 for tax and shipping

Went a little bit over my budget, but am very happy with the parts I got. I figured the 770 chipset would be fine considering I cant do hybrid crossfire, yet can still run a Phenom on it some day. I am going to pull the the Antec TPII 550, DVD Burner, AC Freezer 64, and 250 SATA drive out of my current rig.

Any advice on OCing this Brisbane? With 1066 RAM I'm thinking about dropping the HT to 4, bumping the fsb to 266, and having a 2.8 Ghz dual core running at 1:1 without touching the memory...sound good? Any advice?

Thanks again. The video card came with the game the witcher. I don't want it, so if any of you do PM me and it's yours.


March 18, 2008 5:14:35 AM

so far, its a good game, but I have problems getting it to play on my machine.

There is a full nudity patch out there, the US version is censored.

who ever did it has a thing for redheads, and so do I, so thats a plus.

as for your machine, looks like a good combo to me, and about were I'll be after my next video upgrade.

I never had any problems OCing my brisbane. setting the memory to 2T was about the only "trick" I needed to get fairly far. remember, the memory is controled by the CPU, so its not just the memory's capabilities you have to consider. I don't remember what I maxed at, because I set it back to stock so "cool and quiet" would work. maybe once I reinstal an official bios, I'll go at it again. my cheater bios has way too many settings.
March 18, 2008 9:05:42 AM

groo said:
If your stuck on AMD, I'd waite till phenom is up to snuff, maybe get a cheap triple core when they go on sale.
If you want to be able to fully utilize a Phenom, you need to go with a 780 or 790 AMD chipset.
the 780G has the best southbidge chip of the 2 currently out. that should change soon.
there is no SLI Mobo that fully utilizes the AM2+.


Those $229 triple cores @ 2.4 look good for a 780G budget build. Of course, I wouldn't worry about hybrid Crossfire, as I'd use the 3870x2. Spending too much money on a B3 this April doesn't make sense when 45nm Deneb @ 3.0 (probable) isn't that far away.

chrislax20 said:
I'm not necessarily stuck on AMD. I know it is never good to buy now based on upgrading to what isn't out yet. However, I'm thinking of it from the angle that AM2+ may not be a dead end, whereas a P35 or X38 board is for sure a dead end come Q4 w/ Nehalem. With a budget of $600, and a 4000+ running for $49, it just seems like the best option...

How about Vista 64? Is it worth the driver issues?


If you can wait till early April, that's when the B3 Phenoms are supposed to be available. I can't see getting a 4000+ for a few weeks, unless your computer died and you can stick with an X2 for 6 months until Deneb. Yes, that motherboard thing with Nehalem is typical Intel. That's one of the reasons I'm not considering a Q6600.

I wonder about Vista 64 bit. I'm using 32 bit now, but I'd like to have 8 gigs of RAM for video editing and whatnot. I'm thinking of looking into upgrading my version, but if I have to buy a new OEM or retail, then forget it. I have a copy of Vista that my wife hated and had me take off her system. She went back to XP, but I don't mind Vista because I'm playing one DX10 game right now (LOTR Online with DX10 patch), and will play more in the future.

Vista SP1 is supposed to be available today with Windows update. It won't be offered if you have driver incompatibilities, but all my stuff's recent. I'll check when I get home from the data center in the morning. Then I'll see if it improves anything at all, or just causes new hassles.

Edited to add: see you bought already. Why didn't you consider an Nvidia board for that 9600gt? It seems that Linkboost works to increase the card's clocks, but has caused some hassles with factory overclocked cards. Hope their are no incompatibility issues (those I've found more on Nvidia boards vs. ATI cards; like the old MSI K9N 405 chipset board I had before the one in my sig).
a c 105 U Graphics card
March 18, 2008 10:49:42 AM

I'd upgrade my video card and sit on the rest of the money til Christmas time. That machine you have now is good. I wouldn't compromise it.
March 18, 2008 11:35:27 AM

Yes you cannot pair it with high end GPU, I wonder why like Nvidia competitive chipset too.

AMD 780G with built in ATI 3200 can only be paired with ATI 3400 card

Nvidia Geforce 8200 MCP78 chipset can only be paired with 8400GS

Marketing reasons I think... or whatever I still could not understand still.


But well you can still use high end cards but then you have to disable hybrid setup. ^_^
March 19, 2008 3:59:37 AM

I'll report back when I get the parts. I am curious to see how a Brisbane at 2.6-2.8 performs compared to my opty at 2.4...should be a fun build.
March 19, 2008 4:24:45 AM

pogsnet said:
Marketing reasons I think... or whatever I still could not understand still.



The reason is that a more powerful card has to clock down to match what is essentially a full X2400XT IGP. AMD did a great thing, implementing a full last gen entry level card in the chipset, but it still can't work any better in Crossfire with a high end card.

The 690 chipsets have what is essentially an X700SE, 4 pixel pipelines instead of 8. The 780 chipsets have all 40 stream processors instead of cutting it down to 20. That's a serious improvement at the "free" IGP end and it's even better with hybrid Crossfire.

Imagine an X2400XT and a 3870, it would not add anything and might degrade performance. With an X2400 Pro, a 3450 or 3470, then it's even better. Plus the 780G IGP can be overclocked in CCC. Isn't it great?

I have a 780G on order for my son's PC. He'll get an Athlon X2 4200+ with 2 gigs of legacy DDR2 667. It will beat his old P4. Since he's at an age where he plays Fate (E 10+) and not Oblivion, it will be fine for a couple of years, especially since I'll get a 3470 later.

My decision is whether to go 780G just for a quality cheap motherboard with a B3 9750, or get a 790 instead so I'm positioned for CrossfireX. I'm thinking 780G because AM3 will be out next February, so why get locked into AM2+ for Deneb?

March 20, 2008 12:15:42 AM

I wasn't necessarily thinking you could use them in crossfire, per se. I just thought you could switch between them for more energy efficiency. I am sure the onboard 780G graphics are more than enough to run aero, office, etc. and 1/3 the power of a 3870 in idle or low power mode.
March 20, 2008 2:49:27 AM

why would the 3870 not work with 780g? it was working with 3450 and 3650...now the new driver is out, hope they are working on it for new stuff if it doesnt work. i know the 3450 and the onboard picked up like 60.4% increas in performance. not too shabby of an onboard! i would have went with the onboard and get a good phenom when they come out soon, and a 4000 series card. but you bought some decent stuff.
March 20, 2008 6:39:46 AM


you can plug a 3870 onto a 780g and it will work just fine. Its the hybrid Crossfire that wont work. too much difference between the cards GPU and the on board GPU.

you would think the OBG could be used in idle mode, and I think its something they are working. I think the major hurdle is to get it to transition smoothly and automaticly. Kind of like GM's first attampt at turning off certain cylinder in thier V8s in the 80s. it was so rough the people couldn't stand it, and the feature was disabled. The technology was shelved for about 20 years. Hopefully AMD gets it figured out in less than 20 years.
March 21, 2008 5:49:51 AM

they should...they got a better dual gpu card in operation per not overheating and working pretty good, just bad bus width and ram function, but you seen nvidia before, gx2 flop sort of....and overpriced!!
March 21, 2008 12:27:35 PM

From a budget stand point, I would lean toward the AMD route, and getting a cheap X2 CPU. That would allow you to focus the rest of your money on good components for your build (like high quality PSU, Ram, GPU and a nice case). Then when the good Phenoms are out, you can make the jump to quadcore. For most purposes, a decent speed x2 will be just fine, especially if you get a decent video card and some good fast ram. Will it do as good as a Q6600 OC'd to 3.5 ghz in 3Dmark06? No, but who cares about that. In most games, you will be able to play at max or very close to it, if your video card is good.
March 21, 2008 1:17:09 PM

Quote:
Quote:
Then when the good Phenoms are out


This statement just gets me. 99.9% of users will never see any TLB errata, so what do you mean by good phenom? They are excellent processors with an excellent design, they just arent quite as good as the Intel quads, so this makes them bad? These fanboy comments are so out of context.
If what you mean by "good Phenom" is a faster clocked phenom, then yes that statement makes sense.


I was refering to the higher clocked Phenoms. I am by no means a fanboy for either side... though I lean AMD (my current system is a X2 4000+). But, the current Phenoms are just not worth it, yet. Since the clocks are so slow, they really don't do much better than the dual core CPUs, unless an application specifically uses 4 cores. That is I why I say they should wait for the better Phenoms.
March 22, 2008 3:25:53 AM

Quote:
Quote:
Then when the good Phenoms are out


This statement just gets me. 99.9% of users will never see any TLB errata, so what do you mean by good phenom? They are excellent processors with an excellent design, they just arent quite as good as the Intel quads, so this makes them bad? These fanboy comments are so out of context.
If what you mean by "good Phenom" is a faster clocked phenom, then yes that statement makes sense.

My understanding is the TLB bug limits thier speed and at low speed the bug shows up every so often.
The TLB patch slows 'em another 15% on average, some memory intensive tests are at half speed.

I've also heard they don't work with Vista 64.
That has me more worried than the TLB
Who knows how many other major problems have been bandaided over, or just not widle know yet.

Face it, the Phenoms just are not ready for the market.
It pisses me off when companies sell stuff that isn't up to snuff.
nothing like buying a $60 game and having it sent with major bugs, and now the CPUs are sent out with bugs too.

I'm tired of paying retail prices to be a beta tester. I may consider a phenom or something similar when they are actualy ready for sale, but that isn't now.
March 22, 2008 4:02:34 PM

Just got Vista installed and some first drivers...loving the system. With the Antec case, some good push/pull fans, and an AC Freezer on my Brisbane, it is idling at 22C, full load at 30C!!! For comparison, my Opteron 180 idled at about 32C and would hit 40C at full load. I'll report back when I start to overclock. I don't want to jynx it, but I have a good feeling I can hit 2.8ish in the same thermal envelope as my opty!
March 23, 2008 5:53:21 AM

Ended up hitting 2.65 w/ stock voltage - prime stable for 6 hours. The CPU was cool at stock voltage up to about 2.9, but my RAM kept crapping out on me due to a cheap motherboard. I got DDR2 1066 RAM that operates at 2.3 volts. Unfortunately, the motherboard only would supply 2.0 volts. So, I have my memory at DDR2 880 4-4-4-12 w/ 2.0 volts - anything above that and I was getting blue screen RAM errors.

Overall I am very happy with the OC though. It still idles at 23C, and full load during prime it hit 37C max! Not too shabby for a 49 dollar hold-me-over chip!
March 23, 2008 1:37:27 PM

did you end up with the ECS board?
March 23, 2008 2:46:41 PM

groo said:
My understanding is the TLB bug limits thier speed and at low speed the bug shows up every so often.
The TLB patch slows 'em another 15% on average, some memory intensive tests are at half speed.

I've also heard they don't work with Vista 64.
That has me more worried than the TLB
Who knows how many other major problems have been bandaided over, or just not widle know yet.

Face it, the Phenoms just are not ready for the market.
It pisses me off when companies sell stuff that isn't up to snuff.
nothing like buying a $60 game and having it sent with major bugs, and now the CPUs are sent out with bugs too.

I'm tired of paying retail prices to be a beta tester. I may consider a phenom or something similar when they are actualy ready for sale, but that isn't now.



Your understanding is based on other's understanding that are probably based on other's understanding.

I have a Phenom. My understanding is that I don't have any problem with the bug as I run mine with the patch disabled. My understanding is that my 9500 at 2.2 GHz is overall faster than my X2 4800+ at 2.4 GHz. My understanding is that I only got one crash due to drivers mixed up. And I use an ECS 770 motherboard and 4 Gigs RAM. My underderstanding is that since it is rock stable and fast, it is ready for the market. My understanding is based on facts.

My understanding is that you have no clue about what you are talking about.
March 23, 2008 3:33:46 PM

are you running Vista 64?
March 23, 2008 4:21:09 PM

Please... somebody known a list of videocards with Hybrid CrossFireX support???
March 23, 2008 4:46:33 PM

2400
3400 series (3450, 3470)
no others known
March 23, 2008 8:08:26 PM

groo said:
are you running Vista 64?


I tried, but lack of drivers for some of my older devices make me using the 32 bits version. I should check back to see if 64 bits drivers are now available, but that won't really be useful until my next upgrade.
March 26, 2008 12:49:15 AM

I am running Vista 64 bit. I ended up with a Gigabyte 770X board. Really happy with the whole setup - typing on it now! It feels much faster than xp 32 bit. The 9600GT is awesome, too. Drivers work well for the games I've played - it plays day of defeat like butter, been getting even higher scores than usual!
March 26, 2008 12:50:24 AM

Only thing I would say I am unhappy with is the board - should have spent the extra 100 on the 790FX - would have my ram at 2.3 volts, at least 1066, and my chip would be closer to 3 ghz...
March 26, 2008 1:51:14 PM

I beleive you mentioned a PC for junior, you could always heand over the memory of MoBo and start again. or just sell one of the 2 components and start again.

there may also be modded bioses for your board that will give more voltage options for you memory. take a look online and see what you see.
March 29, 2008 10:39:42 PM

1799162,12,82114 said:


...
Any advice on OCing this Brisbane? With 1066 RAM I'm thinking about dropping the HT to 4, bumping the fsb to 266, and having a 2.8 Ghz dual core running at 1:1 without touching the memory...sound good? Any advice?...
quotemsg]

hey, that will take your ram to 931 with stock divider for cpu multi and full ram multi.

266 x 10.5 is 2793mhz. now the internal ram speed from cpu is half the multi in whole numbers only. 10.5 is 5.25, which will defualt to 6. 2793/6 is 465.5. double that and you would have 931mhz. if you drop the multi to 10 instead of 10.5 you would get your 1066 on ram, but you would be sitting at a 2.66ghz clock on core, not 2.8. up to you, but i had trouble runnin my system at 250x10 to get 1000mhz on ram (my patriot can do it at 2.3v, but my mobo wasnt up to task...its a k9a platinum) i also have brisy, and to keep my stuff cool and stable i will have to put wc back on it, on chips too, that little fanless thing is useless!
March 29, 2008 10:45:40 PM

but then again, your board will run 1066 on ram without ocing the cpu...if you oc'd, it would be more like 1200 some ram speed. but either way, with boards that are 800mhz stock is crazy to get that speed and stable.
March 29, 2008 11:10:40 PM

that board will not run that memory at 1066 stock without a phenom. its phenom memory controler that is needed for 1066 suport
March 30, 2008 7:59:47 AM

so i was right? ok then, so no, you will never run your ram at 1066 unless you have a phenom, or can get a massive oc. so stick with patriot extreme ddr2 800...i have that set, and its works great, BUT im not sure about your boards max vdimm voltage. mine hits 2.1 stable....so check that out, if you want some good ram, go with 2gbnq g.skill. i hear that hits some good freqs without too much voltage. and the ballistix as well. good luck, but then again, i guess you bought stuff already.
!