A hard I5-750 or PhenomII decision. PLEASE HELP!!!

OK guys, here is my dilemna:

I bought an i5-750/Gigabyte P55A-UD3 board, and it is currently setup with my HD5770 vid card. I got the mobo/cpu at frys for 219.99 - $15 rebate making it 204.99. It was a sweet deal considering that the cpu alone can cost that much at some retailers.

Now the problem: After being so excited about the deal, I overlooked the part where it stated that the PCI-Express 2.0 slots ran in a 16X/4X setup in crossfire mode. Crossfiring was a significant (but not huge) part for me in my build. I can live with one 5770 for now, but I would really like to upgrade to two in a few months. I have a 650w psu which can support it, so all I need to do is buy another 5770.

I know can still setup Crossfire in 16x/4x, but I heard that it can have a SIGNIFICANT bottleneck in performance. On the other hand, I have also read that the performance decrease was MINIMAL for mid range cards like the 5770. I was not sure, and I am getting kinda sick of taking out my mobo/cpu and waiting in line to return my items. (I purchased a combo deal at Fry's for a PhenomII 925/Biostar TA790GX A3+ for 149.99, but returned it because I saw the i5-750 deal while I was looking for a case fan. Project actually snowballed from an Asus P5QPLAM micro ATX/Intel E6300 - $69.99 for a HTPC into this, and also becoming a member of Tom's Hardware. LOL)

After looking around for any other reasonable options, I came across a deal for a PhenomIIx4 965BE/Asus M4a79xtd-Evo for $245 which actually supports crossfire in x8/x8 mode. The deal ends on April 1.

Do you think that I should return my current setup (I5-750/Gigabyte board) and pickup the new setup (PhenomII 965BE/Asus board) or should I just keep my current setup and wait for the 5770 prices to drop in the future and get a newer board later that supports a better crossfire setup?

Your inputs would be very appreciated.
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  1. Well heres the thing all 1156 boards are limited to 8x 8x in crossfire and SLI I am not sure if there is a difference in performance between 16x 4x and 8x 8x, but I do know that the performance on 8x 8x only takes about a 10 to 15% hit from 16x 16x so not really that big of a deal but 16x 4x IDK how that scales. You will most likely have to upgrade the 650 watt PSU too IMO you will be better off with just a single 5850 or 5870 then two 5770s.

    I would sell the 5770 when your ready and get a 5870 since dual 5770 will be about the same performance of a 5850.
  2. The x4 slot will cause some bottlenecking when compared to x8. From the way I see it you have 2 options keep the board you have and trade in the 5770 for a 5850 or 5870 as SAAIELLO suggested. The other option is to go with the 965 setup. This is all going off of the assumption that you are using this pc mainly for gaming. If you have the money for the 5850 or 5870 now I would stick with the i5 and upgrade now. If you do not or really want to have a crossfire setup I would return the i5 and get the 965 setup. The asus evo is a great board and in game there is no difference between the i5 and the 965.

    What brand is your power supply? If you have a cheaper power supply it may not be able to handle the crossfire setup. If it is a good quality is should have no problem supporting the 2 cards.
  3. saaiello said:

    I would sell the 5770 when your ready and get a 5870 since dual 5770 will be about the same performance of a 5850.

    +1. I actually bought an SLI motherboard making sure that I get x16/x16 in Crossfire and I already got 1 HD4890. But the problem is with the release of HD58XX series I find it hard to invest in another HD4890 to complete my crossfire build and make use of my mobo's PCIe.
    The point is if you buy a mid end card now with intention to crossfire, you may not find the same card appealing down the road when new cards are released. So if you can afford it, keep the i5-750 motherboard combo and use the savings to add up to the single powerful card as suggested by SAIELLO.
  4. Thanks for your help thus far. The thing is that I wanted to save some money by not buying a 5870. I can't afford that right now. In addition I would really like the option to crossfire, even if I were to buy a 5850 or 5870, crossfiring those puppies would be pretty amazing.

    Do you think if I kept my setup, the x4 slot would drastically cause a bottleneck, or would it be something that I can live with? I really love the i5.

    BTW, my PSU is a 650 watt corsair. I also do other things like media downloading, watching HD movies, and alot of media burning.
  5. Doesn't a 5870 only lose 5-10% from a 4x slot? If you ask me, from that data, a 5770 should be fine in a 4x 2.0.

    Is your other slot always 4x? Can you plug your current 5770 into it to test it out?


    I prefer a single card over crossfire any day. But in you case i'd prefer getting $400 performance for $150. :)
  6. Heh, was about to post that TechPowerUp review.

    MilkMan, if "losing" a couple % worth of performance really bothers you (are you really going to notice it?) try to get Frys to exchange it for a UD4P or UD5.
  7. Thanks alot for your help to those tha contributed!!!

    So i decided that I was going to ditch my project all together and buy an Alienware product.

    YEAH RIGHT!!!!

    But I am going to ditch my current build and return all the parts except for the case, fans, psu, dvd drive, and HDD?

    Instead of either an i5 or Phenom II, I am going to get the i7-930. Yippeee!!

    So those are my new parts for now:

    proc: i7-930 (199.99)
    mobo: gigabyte x58a-ud3r (199.99)
    mem: 3x1gb Patriot vipers 1600mhz 8-8-8-24 (temp. solution, short on budget but planning on returning in 15days)
    vid card: 9800gt (again a temp. solution, returning within 30 days for ehhhemmm..."fermi"
    case: Thermaltake v3black (temp. buying a new one using this one for my E6300/Asus board)
    cooler: undecided on which one

    planned upgrades (finished withinn month of April)

    memory: Corsair dominators 3xgb
    vid card: EVGA GTX470 (I will be doing an SLI within the next few months)
    cooler: as of right now considering either Thermalright VenomousX or Corsair H50
    Case: Either an Antec 1200 or CM Sniper, maybe an Antec 900 to save a few bucks

    So what do you guys think?

    I know, it all started from a budget build to thiss... but I still think I got the parts relatively cheap thus far.

    Tell me know what you think about my future upgrades. Also, regarding my PSU, do you guys think this is a good PSU, I've heard mixed reviews but I figured for $99 I couldn't really go wrong. Im not really skimping on the PSU because it is a good quality brand with sufficient power and specs.
  8. Good build. It'd be hard for me to pass up a $200 930 as well. :)

    The 470 is nvidia's best priced card if you ask me and is great if the 5870 is out of your budget.

    Your corsair 650 will be perfect.
  9. damn i need a link to that combo ahaha
  10. http://www.frys.com/product/6007298

    X8/X8 SLI and Crossfire.

    Overclocked my i5 750 to 4.0 GHz with 1.4v, and is running like a champ.

    Just get it and forget about a completely different build, you already have the i5 750 and the i7 930 is USELESS in comparison, unless you like throwing money away.
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