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Dual or single ATI 3870 HD x2 cooling??

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 25, 2008 12:02:10 AM

I am in the market for a new computer and have always been a fan of ATI cards. I was looking into either getting a single ATI 3870 HD X2 when i get my computer and upgrading too another one soon after with crossfire. Or i might just get them both in, in the beggining. My main question is how much cooling will i need, id like to stay away from water cooling as it is expensive and ive heard it is a hassle to take care of. I thought of getting just a water cooled cpu and then air cool everything else, would that be sufficient???

Just looking for suggestions, the rig i have now has terrible cooling but it was the first one i built and ive had it for a few years, i have the side off of the case so that the cpu doesnt over heat which it still likes to do everyonce in a while. Id like to avoid over heating if at all possible. Thanks for the help in advance
May 25, 2008 12:14:44 AM

Well first thing is what motherboard are you using? A pair of 3870 X2's will require a motherboard that supports CrossfireX not just Crossfire. Once set up watercooling only requires light maintaince and watercooling X2 cards is the best way to keep a pair of them cool.
May 25, 2008 1:39:54 AM

yeah i havent decided on everything yet, ill definately be getting a crossfire mother board, any recomendations? I think id rather go with air cooling will that be an issue?
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May 25, 2008 2:56:08 AM

there is nothing wrong with air cooling, just buy a quality case with good ventilation and fans; antec nine hundred is a common case for a gaming system - http://www.antec.com

You only need water cooling if you're overclocking I would think.

If you want to go with an ati hd 3870 x2; go with this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

visiontek overclocked edition - its rated pretty well by hardocp

has a much better cooler the only downside is that it blows air into your case; however it will be much cooler than a standard hd 3870x2 with the shell cooler even though its overclocked

http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=117&l3=0&l4=0... -Asus rampage formula board, i've heard its good for a crossfire system; but i'm an nvidia SLI user myself.
May 25, 2008 3:32:05 AM

The Visiontek card that ovaltineplease posted the link to isn't a card you would want to use a pair of in an aircooled case thats for sure. When you install two of these the fans from the bottom card will end up very close to the bottome of the top card in a CrossfireX motherboard. The bottom card wouldn't have access to clean air. The enclosed fan card also have problems as well. They do blow the hot air out of the back of your case, but the air moves from one GPU over the other GPU before getting out of the case so your going to have one GPU running hotter then the other.

If you plan on running just one of these cards it would be a good card. As far as motherboards it would depend on which way you want to go, Intel or AMD. Just make sure if you plan on running two of the 3870X2 cards the motherboard must support CrossfireX. Also your gonna need a very good PSU. Also remember these X2 cards are very long you going to need a case that gives you the room between the end of the card and your hard drive cages. One more thing to remember when you buy a case. Two 3870X2 cards are going to take up 4 slots on the back of the case, if you plan on running any more cards of any type, (sound, TV tuner, or something along that line) you may want to get one of the new cases with 10 slots in the back.
May 25, 2008 3:40:22 AM

stoner133 said:
The Visiontek card that ovaltineplease posted the link to isn't a card you would want to use a pair of in an aircooled case thats for sure. When you install two of these the fans from the bottom card will end up very close to the bottome of the top card in a CrossfireX motherboard. The bottom card wouldn't have access to clean air. The enclosed fan card also have problems as well. They do blow the hot air out of the back of your case, but the air moves from one GPU over the other GPU before getting out of the case so your going to have one GPU running hotter then the other.

If you plan on running just one of these cards it would be a good card. As far as motherboards it would depend on which way you want to go, Intel or AMD. Just make sure if you plan on running two of the 3870X2 cards the motherboard must support CrossfireX. Also your gonna need a very good PSU. Also remember these X2 cards are very long you going to need a case that gives you the room between the end of the card and your hard drive cages. One more thing to remember when you buy a case. Two 3870X2 cards are going to take up 4 slots on the back of the case, if you plan on running any more cards of any type, (sound, TV tuner, or something along that line) you may want to get one of the new cases with 10 slots in the back.



yeah, what you said :) 

the problem with the regular hd 3870 x2 video card is that i've heard it runs obscenely hot under load which is why I suggested the visiontek card instead because it reportedly does not run nearly as hot under load - watercooling would simplify this regardless if its an option I suppose :o 

I really don't know what is worse, 2 regular cards 3870x2 running way too hot or 2 of the 3870x2 visionteks running at odd temps.

Bleh, i'm an nvidia user first regardless - I like my EVGA stepups :S
May 25, 2008 3:49:51 AM

Actually if I were going to use 4 GPU's and aircooling I would get one of the four PCIe slot CrossfireX boards and run 4 single 3870 cards. The 4 single GPU 3870's are cheaper the two 3870X2 cards and run cooler.

EDIT: Your really gonna need a large monitor running at a very high screen resolution to take advantage of the 4 GPU's. I just can't see spending that kind of cash when 2 cards would most likely do. I would also wait for the 4870's to come out next month.
May 25, 2008 10:45:11 AM

Thanks for all the replies, so would just one card be enough, since it is tecnically two gpu's in one, or should i just go with a 8800 sli?
May 26, 2008 9:29:40 PM

or should i wait another month and just get the 4xxx X2? Thanks
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