Looking to spend around $175 for the board, been out of the game for a while. Was looking at the Asus P5Q-E with an E8500 maybe Q9550. Want to run 2 9800's as I don't know a lot about ATI and crossfire. Any help would be appreciated!
You really want to get ATI cards and run crossfire, the P45 run 8x/8x crossfire, the X38/X48 run 16x/16x crossfire. Your choice of a P45 is a good one, or you could go with a X38 and still make budget. Replace the 9800s with HD4850s for better performance. A good article showing crossfire with different chipsets. http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=761&p=2
The ASUS P5Q-E is an excellent motherboard and replacing the 9800's with a pair of 4850's will give you a faster, cheaper system. CrossFire is just as easy to use as SLI. Install both cards, install drivers and game.
I thought the p45 was 16x/4x in crossfire. I would stick with a x48. I love my x38. I have 2 3870's in xfire on a gigabyte ga-ex38-ds4.
But, i would not do xfire at this point. The 4870 is so fast why would you need it. Get the x48 and one 4870 1G and the q9550. That will play far cry 2 @ 1600 on high easily. You can always get a second card later if needed when they are half price, early next year.
That brings up, what are you goint to do with this pc? Game? if so, what games? COD5:WaW, Far Cry 2, GTA, Starcraft II? Those games will be great with one 4870 on a 22 or 24 inch monitor.
I thought the p45 was 16x/4x in crossfire.quotemsg]
No, that would be the older P35 that offered PCIe 1.1 16x 4x CrossFire.
The P45 has 16 PCIe 2.0 lanes that can be used for either a single card or split 8x 8x for CrossFire. Additionally, some P45 based motherboards, like the P5Q-E, offer an additional 4x PCIe 1.1 slot that can be used for a a third card.
As far as 4870 1Gb vs 4850 Cf....
The cheapest 4870 1Gb is currently $269.99 on newegg.
As you can get a pair of 4850's for $279.98 and get increased performance now, it seems to be a better option.
even tho i have 3870's xfired, i am not a fan of 2 cards. The heat is a pain, tight fits, extra power, etc. I personally after this will try not to go with a xfire setup. IF he has the extra room, good cooling and plenty of power than, i would agree. 2 4850's are a better deal for the money, but i just would prefer a single card. IMHO.
the 2 single slot solution 4850's will pump a lot of heat into the case. A LOT.
I would still go with a x38/48 if he does xfire.
EDIT: my 2 3870's run about 70c. If i remember right the 4850's run over 80c at load. My 2 3870's vent outside the case. The 4850's vent inside the case. That is some major heat.
Excellent info guys! I always thought ATI was a step behind in the video card buzz! The few articles I have read seems to always favor Nvidia over ATI especially when it comes to SLI'ing two 9600's compared to the 4850's. I'm definitely interested in the crossfire configuration. I have read nothing but good news about the x48 chipset, just hard to justify the $200+ price tag when the P45 chipset at 8x8 looks just as good. Would I see that big of a performance gain with the x48 compared to the P45? I appreciate you guys helping me out, great info out there!
Depends on your resolution. I have 2 HIS 4850s in crossfire and I game at 1680x1050. From all the charts and reviews I have read and now from personal experience, I can tell ya that at my resolution the difference between x8/x8 and x16/x16 is almost ZERO. Maybe 1-2% in real world gaming. I was debating this very heavy myself before my purchase, I ended up going with a Gigabyte p45 and I haven't looked back. The performance of these two cards is nothing short of amazing.
As for heat, I figured seeing as my cards were a single slot solution that I would have major heat problems. This is not so in my case. Both cards never exceed 60c under FULL load after hours and hours of gaming. Of course, I have to believe that my case (Antec 1200) and the crazy amount of airflow within has something to do with it.
There's a small hit from running 4850s in crossfire on a P45 board and that may be from immature drivers when the article was written. It's only been about 4 months since ATI knocked Nvidia out from under the graphic card crown in terms of price/performance. Unless you're considering going with 4870s the P45 is a very good solution.......even with 4870s it's still a good solution.
Well I'm definitely either going with the Asus P5Q-E or the GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P. I'm really liking the crossfire options and think I'll give that a shot. Any recommendations on specific card (Asus, HIS, Sapphire ) and memory (Muskin, Kingston etc)? Again people I really do appreciate you guys giving me a hand in this. I have a 10yr old son that can't wait to help me build this thing (it is actually my xmas present!)
Well, as far as brand for video cards, what has the best cooling/price. They all use the same exact GPU on board, i would not know what brand has the best Customer service. Im a Nvidia kinda guy until there giving away ATI cards.
As far as memory goes it is solely price, make sure it is 1.8v or lower because Ive been reading anything higher then that is not very stable. Perhaps not bargain bin, however Mushkin, Corsair, patriot, Kingston so on and so on are all equal in quality.