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Which would you choose? Crossfire or X-fi

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October 6, 2009 1:04:29 AM

Hey everyone, I've been pondering this for awhile and I decided to shoot it over here for some advice from my peers. I'm running a Gigabyte EP45-UD3P and I have two Sapphire 4870 Vapor-X GPU's, but the problem is the cards and the motherboard. There are two PCI express slots on the mobo and the 4870's have large vapor fans so I'm currently running one and my X-Fi soundcard which fits between the two PCI express slots. If I try to add another GPU to the picture, the soundcard obstructs the fan flow of the first card to the point of it overheating. So now I have a 4870 just sitting in my drawer collecting dust and I was wondering should I just go with the onboard sound and run two crossfire cards or stick with what I'm doing and run one 4870 and the X-Fi card. What would you do? Any suggestions or advice would be greatly welcomed.

More about : choose crossfire

a c 177 V Motherboard
October 6, 2009 1:48:34 AM

You pays your dues, and you takes your choices - the difference between the onboard CODEC and a high-end sound card are imperceptible to human hearing, and, the increase in framerates from the second vidcard is likely past human visual perception, which tops out at about 30-45 FPS...

All in all, the obvious solution:
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October 6, 2009 12:25:37 PM

Alright, what I'll try to do is stick something between the soundcard and the GPU because they actually touch each other when the X-Fi is in between them which can't be good.
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October 7, 2009 7:24:06 AM

I believe that what bilbat showed you is that his rig is water-cooled. Unless you want to make that kind of change, I would suggest pulling out the sound card and using the on-board sound. It's usually quite good these days. Then you can x-fire the 4870 cards.
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a c 177 V Motherboard
October 9, 2009 2:59:24 AM

Those 4870s make over 40 decibels of noise at full load, and dissipate over three hundred watts of heat - you won't believe how quiet and pleasant to use a system becomes when you remove those little helicopter rotors, and put the heat and noise where it belongs - in the ceiling of the basement below ;) 
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October 9, 2009 6:07:53 PM

Bilbat, you've done even more engineering than I thought. Here in Phoenix, basements are a rare thing, so that setup would not be possible. I'm currently running off the integrated video on the GB-Phenom-2 build. So I can go with the stock air-cooling in a modestly ventilated case. It's audible, but it does not sound anything like a crossfire build.
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a c 177 V Motherboard
October 9, 2009 8:15:33 PM

Post proelia praemia! Came to water cooling pretty much by accident; planned a fairly powerful workstation as a carefully designed 'heat pump' - from in the box to out of the box, thirteen fans total, so I could run 'em all at pretty low speed. Used a couple 3850s to keep the heat & power draw down, as I don't game, and planned to just OC 'em flat out. Intended to run the thing in the nice, big, cool (year-round) basement - until assembly and integration: in the month I spent qualifying memory, breadboarding, and assembling, even with filtered intakes, discovered that just wasn't going to work. Dust - specifically, sawdust! Sawdust is awful stuff - it's 'sticky', due to the sap component, and then, once it's been heated, the sap turns it to concrete! So, I moved it into a nice little 'nook' in my bedroom - and found out what a great space heater it made; in January, with the room's heating ducts turned off, it was getting well above eighty - and I take too many psychiatric drugs to deal with heat well - knew I wasn't living in the room with it in summer! Put an eight amp ten to fifteen volt DC adjustable supply to tune the pump & fans for varying ambients without drawing any more power from the system PSU, triggered it with a relay off one of the fan channels, put in a wall plate with a couple quick-disconnect water couplings and a remote switch to 'burp' the system:

Found out afterward how much noise those damned vidcard fans actually made! Amazed me...
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