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Made wrong mobo purchase, unsure what I need. nVidia SLI + AMD Phenom?

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May 3, 2010 5:49:05 PM

So I thought I had done my research, but I failed. Whether or not the fail was epic, I need your help to determine.

I had one BFG GeForce 275, and my old CPU (Athlon X2 7750) was a major bottleneck. So I decided to upgrade my mobo/ram/cpu and purchase a second identical video card to run in a SLI configuration. My first mistake was that I thought I just needed any mobo with 2 PCI-E slots. So I bought an MSI 770-G45 for $55 at the local Micro Center. Fail #1, apparently, it needs to specifically say "nVidia SLI ready." I also bought the aforementioned second BFG Geforce 275, an AMD Phenom II x4 965 and two 2GB sticks of Crucial DDR3-1333.

I put it all together and it works fine, save for the somewhat major issue that the second GeForce is doing jack. At first I thought I had just screwed up and bought the wrong mobo, but when I went back to Micro Center I didn't see a single AMD mobo that said it was SLI ready. When I told the sales guy what I needed he said he thought they had it, but after checking stock for about five minutes, said "hmm, maybe not. " At this point I decided to retreat rather than get myself into any more trouble.

So the question is: is there a motherboard that will work with the CPU and RAM I bought, and allow me to run the two nVidia cards in SLI?

Worst case scenario, I will just return the GeForce and maybe get hit for 15%. I'm quite happy with the CPU upgrade and feel like I got a good deal aside from the wasted money on the GeForce. But I'd really like to do the SLI and I don't think returning the CPU is an option (smeared with thermal grease etc).

Thank you in advance for your expert assistance. I probably should have come here in the first place.
May 3, 2010 10:34:39 PM

Here are two Asus motherboards that support your CPU/RAM, and are also SLI ready.

Your story reminds me of what happened to me after I decided I wanted SLI and finally got my hands on two identical nVidia GPUs only to find out that my motherboard only supported ATI crossfire. I ended up purchasing a new mobo and RAM.
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May 3, 2010 11:07:25 PM

you need to get an nvidia 980a based chipset am3 motherboard (if u want to be six core capable) or a 750a am3 (though its dual 8x pci express total no go in my opinion). Anyways i feel your pain as i run a small server farm that doubles a a LAN for gaming when i have friends over. I use to run both AMD/ATI and nvidia based/ certified sli and one crossfire 775 socket Intel system(s). Anyways frustrated with crossfire quirks/drivers i started going to a strictly nvidia based video card system leaving to upgrade a few mother boards that were crossfire but not sli friendly in the event i want to run dual GPUs or greater. With Nvidia slow to release dual GPU cards as i was forced to buy new motherboards in a couple of my four systems. Expensive i know! I just like the higher minuim refresh rate i get in games; I like to crank up my filtering as high as it can at 1080P...my guilty geeky pleasure, sue me!

Anyways hope i was able to shed some light on your SLI issue. If i have an SLI compliant in regards to AMD is that their is not a single board that will do both crossfire and SLI natively. Serious AMD ione reason i still buy your chips even though they are not the best performers is cost and versitility had till their accusition of ATI been far greater in the upgrades department then Intel....now i find myself runnning more intel machines then AMD. Disappointing big green. If your not careful you could loss your bread and butter in the PC enthusist market. Guys like me and every one else on tom's.
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