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Does my motherboard support dual video cards?

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August 7, 2009 3:30:43 PM

Hi, help set my mind at ease. I just bought a new PC yesterday from Best Buy. I like it and can play games like GTA4 and Mass Effect at super high quality.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9366642&t...

Only problem is, when playing Crysis (which I love) I only get about 15-20FPS at super high. This got me to thinking about upgrading my video card.

However, the CNet review on my system says it doesn't support dual cards. However, when I look up the info on the chipset used in the system (Intel x58) it says it DOES support dual cards.

I'm confused, using the specs listed can someone tell me whether I can or CAN'T upgrade my video card? Is the stock card (GTX 260) the highest it can support? Can I add dual cards? Where can I find more info on the topic.
a c 106 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
August 7, 2009 4:27:04 PM

The site says you have 2 PCI-E x16 slots with one of them available, as one is taken up by your current card. So yes your motherbard can accept another card, but it doesn't say if you can run those cards in SLI. X58 boards need to pay an NVIDIA tax so that the BIOS will have a special code that lets the drivers run NVIDIA cards in SLI. The site makes no mention of SLI capability.

There is also no mention of the Power Supply so I don't know if your PSU can handle two 260s in SLI. You will have to open her up and see what kind of PSU you have, but chances are you will need a new PSU. Also check to see if you have the sp192 or sp 216 version of the GTX 260 before buying another one. If you don't know what I'm talking about then do some research.

Finally even with another card in SLI you won't get a completely smooth experience with Crysis on the highest settings (especially if you have a pretty high resolution). Look into overclocking your CPU to get the most out of your system, but for now you will have to settle for the "High" settings on Crysis.
August 7, 2009 4:27:08 PM

Base on the specifications, it should still have one PCIe 16x slot open for you to SLI. However the main problem is not your video card, a GTX260, it's the game. Crysis just plain run slow on most hardware. If you want good frame rates, you'd have to drop down the settings a bit.

GTX 260 can run nearly all modern games at very good resolutions and better than avg frame rates.
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August 7, 2009 4:42:20 PM

Thanks a lot - I've been doing a gang of research this morning simply trying to figure out what mobo is in this mug. According to what I'm seeing, this is the board:

http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=6i86Hj0lGriFHfY9&...)

However, I've read that it's possible that this aftermarket board may not be exactly the same as what I \have in this off-the-shelf system from BB. In comparing the two by looking at the back, there is only one minor difference, but that's enough to let me know it's not the exact same card.

I would like to open her up just to see - but when i went to do so I saw one of those 'warranty killing' stickers on the side. I paid like 250 extra for Best Buy three-year warranty, so I'd hate to void it out by simply peeking under the hood.

Thx again for the feedback
August 7, 2009 4:50:26 PM

ok - i think i just confirmed it. I went to do a bios update and the download is named "rampageII-GENE-ASUS-CG5290". This should confirm that the Rampage II is my mobo.
August 7, 2009 5:04:56 PM

orpical said:
ok - i think i just confirmed it. I went to do a bios update and the download is named "rampageII-GENE-ASUS-CG5290". This should confirm that the Rampage II is my mobo.


Go grab this free utility and install/run it. It will show you detailed specs of your gpu. I am guessing it will indicate whether you have the 192 or 216 core version as well, though i'm not 100% positive if that kind of detail is provided.

http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/1379/TechPowerUp_G...

-- MaSoP
August 7, 2009 5:44:36 PM

If you are afraid to open up your case because of the warranty, how exactly did you expect to install a new video card? Just don't do anything stupid when you have the case open, like say spill water over everything or rub your feet on the carpet and touch the CPU.

Anyway, check the power supply, post up the brand and the wattage, or some kind of identification. I assume you will SLI 260s, which should give some nicer frame rates on crysis. GTA4 is just a terribly coded game, but you should still be able to get a some more FPS.
August 8, 2009 4:23:24 PM

Quote:
If you are afraid to open up your case because of the warranty, how exactly did you expect to install a new video card?


Haha - cold man. It's not that I'm planning to never open it, but since I just got that mug Thursday, I didn't want to go voiding the warranty the very next day - especially if it turned out to be a lemon or something. So far system's running nicely though. I do plan to SLI 260s if I can with this mobo, in fact, I'll likely get this exact same card.

That said, I'll prob get up the nerve to crack it open this weekend to finally answer my questions. I'll post when I do.

Thx
August 8, 2009 4:29:42 PM

masop said:
Go grab this free utility and install/run it. It will show you detailed specs of your gpu. I am guessing it will indicate whether you have the 192 or 216 core version as well, though i'm not 100% positive if that kind of detail is provided.

http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/1379/TechPowerUp_G...

-- MaSoP


Ahhhhh - this tool was a big help, thx. Do you know of anything similar that will provide specs on the mobo?

Here's what it's telling me about the gpu.

it's a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260, looks like it is the 216 core version. However, it says NVIDIA SLI is "Disabled". Does this mean I can't use SLI or is it just disabled because I don't yet have a second card in the box set to run SLI?
August 21, 2009 3:05:00 PM

Have you tried to reflash your bios using the asus gene II from their website ? not the one for the cg5290 one ? i have had luck with the officialy asus gene II bios and have no problems at all.
August 21, 2009 8:12:19 PM

exv129 said:
Have you tried to reflash your bios using the asus gene II from their website ? not the one for the cg5290 one ? i have had luck with the officialy asus gene II bios and have no problems at all.


Dude I really appreciate you passing this along. I have everything I need to flash, but I haven't done it yet. I was waiting until I had a need. In order to upgrade my system I'll need a new power supply and VDO card, so I'll likely wait until then till I do something.

Did you see any difference by simply upgrading ur BIOS without making any change to the system itself?

September 3, 2009 6:52:01 AM

Ok, Guys here is my post, hope that you find a solution for RAID or maybe flashing the original rampage II gene into the CG5290-BP007 will work, can anyone confirm this?

Please check this thread that I opened here.
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