P45 vs x38/x48

Hi Guys,
I'm building a new gaming/work system, and my biggest sticking point so far has been which chipset to go for.
I want to try and make it as future-proof as possible, so I want DDR3, and I like some of the features of the Asus boards, so I thought my mind was made up on the P5Q3 Deluxe, however, on some further research, I find that if i want 2 boards in crossfire (which i do :kaola: ), I'm only going to get 8x speed, which shows significant slowdown...
This led me to look at the P5E3, which I see is available in 2 flavours, the x38 and x48. Is there any real significant difference between the 2?? I don't really want to spend the extra £100 on the x48 if there isnt...
I was planning on using 4GB of DDR3 @ 1600MHz.

Any help appreciated...

Oh and also :whistle: i'm planning to make it a dual monitor system, how does this work with the crossfire, will i be able to use crossfire with both or just one, or a mix?

Thanks people!
Powerstone :o
8 answers Last reply
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  1. You will take a big performance hit adding the second monitor.

    Just get a 4870X2 and a P45 board.

    As far as RAM, what are you hoping to accomplish by buying DDR3? You'll pay double for it, as well as more for the motherboard.

    If this really seems like an issue you should just wait a month and pick up an i7 and x58 board.
  2. P35 supports CF @ 16x4x which isnt good
    P45 supports CF @ 8x8x which is good but sometimes hurts performance
    X38 support CF @ dual 16x which is the best for CF.
    X48 is like X38 with some minor changes so i recommend X38 over X48 because the difference isnt much.

    Also forget about DDR3 get DDR2,its cheaper and again the difference between DDR2 and DDR3 isnt much.

    I was going to get a HD 4870X2 with a P5Q-E motherboard but i went for ASUS MAXIMUS FOFRMULA X38 instead and i i love it :) excellent OC support and great cooling and also a second 16x PCI-E slot.
    Btw the price difference between P5Q-E and MAXIMUS FORMULA wasnt much in IRAN,so its the another reason i went for X38 one.
  3. P45 has PCIe2 x8, its the same speed as PCIe1 x16 speeds. It offers double the bandwidth over previous generation pcie
  4. Ok thanks guys,
    So I'm thinking then to get some kind of x38 board. I don't know - the reason I wanted DDR3 was that DDR4 has already been announced and makes DDR2 seem so old lol. But maybe I'll stick with the DDR2 for now, and at least I'll be able to upgrade later if necessary.

    Another question if I may, is there a difference between getting the 2 cards in one slot jobbie, i.e. the 4870X2 and getting 2 4870's? With the latter where do I get the little crossfire attachment bit from? Excuse my n00bishness, I haven't upgraded my desktop for about 5years, so aren't familiar with all this...

    Oh, and @Proximon, why will I take a hit with the other monitor, because it will effectivley double my resolution? In this case can't I unplug a montior when I'm gaming and put it back for sensible mode?
  5. Oooh I seeee lol
    If I get the 4870X2 I can put it in the one available 16x slot on a P45
    D'oh, sorry i'm still not awake yet.. hehe
  6. It's what your card is writing, not what your monitors are displaying.

    So no, you cannot simply unplug a monitor. You have to disable dual monitors in your display properties, as well.

    One option, if you do not need much speed on the second monitor, is to have a second, slower card running on another PCI-E slot.
  7. DDR3 is not future proof. At least not the current modules. Nehalem boards warn against using DDR3 ram with a voltage higher than 1.65 which would be the majority of kits out there. Furthermore triple channel kits optimized for Nehalem will be available on release, there's no point in getting that high performance DDR3 dual channel kit which probably runs at 1.8-1.9v if you won't be able to use it when you upgrade. DDR2 is cheap and sufficient, either that or wait for Nehalem.
  8. im in your situation, i was thinking in getting a p45 but i want my board to be future proof, so the 8x8x PCie is a nogo for future graphics uptade with CF. so the x38 seems to be the right option since the x48 doesnt do anything more than the x38 than being more expensive.
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