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Graphics Card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 13, 2008 5:26:14 AM

I'm a beginner and have now completed by design and am ready to buy and build.

One thing is not clear to me, probably because there is no one answer but...., I plan to run a
ASUS EAH3870X2/G/3DHTI/1G Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card on
my ASUS Rampage Formula by itself in an Antec P182 case with two mid level fans and a Northbridge cooler. OS Windows XP64.

In my research I find there are two kinds of builds: one, where everything goes fine and: two, where it does not. Much of this seems to
be driver related. I'm primarily interested in good graphics on multiple monitors which is why I settled on this card. Now here is my question:

Should I download and flash this card with the latest BIOS and drivers from ASUS....there site is a pain in the ass by the way or
just use the latest Catalyst control center software and drivers for the card and flash the card with them before installation.

Or just stick the thing together and hope for the best. I am planning on flash updating the mobo as many, many at newegg say that's the way to go :sarcastic: 

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August 13, 2008 5:43:40 AM

I don't think that is a very good value at the moment, especially if you're only planning on using 2 monitors. The 4850 and 4870, as well as the GTX 260 are much better options.
a b U Graphics card
August 13, 2008 6:05:45 AM

I agree with Pedro. But first, what are you planning to use it for? If gaming, what games and monitor?

If gaming, I would say you are investing a lot in the system and not allocating enough to the business end - the graphics card. Of course one could argue that a case is a good long term and investment -and the 182 is an excellent choice for that. But I would spend less on the mobo and more on video cards. Get a 4870 and try for a second when you can afford it. Maybe just by getting less expensive mobo you could now.

Also, why go XP now instead of Vista? What will you do when they stop supporting it? The original issues of Vista have been cleaned up and now it runs as well as XP and you have the features - and life - of the new system.
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August 13, 2008 1:11:14 PM

I am not a gamer. Want to use the system in construction for estimating off plans. I currently have a two monitor system and find it's really a good way to go. MIght want to go to three in the future and am very interested in as high a resolution I can get at that time. My reading does not show how two cards, crossfire, will help.

I will take your advice on Vista. I really want to go 64 bit to be able to take advantage of more RAM as I often have multiple programs open.

To recap I'm more interested in up to three or four monitors for in the future, high-res and multitasking. That's why I picked this card because it allows me to plug in four monitor in high res with nothing else to buy...As I understand it anyway.

Thanks much for the input so far.

Do you still think another card would be better if so which one? There sure are a lot of 'em!
a b U Graphics card
August 13, 2008 3:06:21 PM

I would agree with them, for your setup a 3870x2 isn't the way to go. If you are considering going up to 3 monitors in the future rather than an X2 card why not get two seperate cards. Right now I'm running 2x4850's. I run 2 17 inch monitors and a 22 inch monitor. When I want to game, I enable crossfire, all the power then goes to my 22 inch monitor. When done gaming I simply disable crossfire and the other two monitors are then re-enabled.

As far as multi-tasking, 3 monitors makes multi-tasking what it should be. Its lovely having sports center on one monitor, itunes and some yahoo chat windows on another while still free to work on my primary display.

I run Vista 64 bit and it works beautifully for my setup. The 4 gigs of ram definitely comes in handy for multi-tasking. So far I haven't had any issues with Vista (just switched from XP in June). Before you make your purchases though make sure ALL your hardware has 64-bit drivers available for Vista. As long as you do this Vista will run beautifully.

A picture of my setup, yes she is a thing of beauty:
http://www.3shiznits.com/image_hosting/Computer_01.jpg
!