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Some thoughts on a new motherboard...

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October 25, 2010 9:43:26 AM

Soooooooooooooooooo.......been thinking a lot about making some small changes to my rig and the most important change I need to make is the motherboard. When building the computer i didnt initially think much of the motherboard as long as everything else cleared right. My thoughts are now different on the matter after hearing that it may be bottlenecking my graphics card's in terms of performance. Never really was a big deal since i been playing mostly older shooters/rpgs/rts's and WoW but now that I need to make sure my pc's pumping out the best i could with FFXIV Its come to my attention that the motherboard may need to go.

The Specs:

Case: Coolermaster HAF 922
Motherboard: ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO (The one PCi x16 and the "x4" bother me.)
CPU: AMD Phenom II 965 Black Edition (3.4Ghz x4)
Graphics: XFX Radeon HD 5870 x2 (CF)
Memory : Generic 4GB (2G per stick at 2 sticks) x1600 DD3 (May consider getting some decent g skill equiv since the ram was free and kinda generic when i got the bundle)
Hard Drive: WD 700G 7200RPM
Power Supply: Coolermaster Pro 1250W (I know its overkill but it was a free gift from a friend when my generic one fried when i was playing L4D2 with some mates >.>. Was told that having a higher wattage may affect bills and curious as to the effects of a higher wattage, clarity on the matter much appreciated.)

So what im sure you guys can gather is i have two almost 400 dollar cards with one in a x4 slot. Before the wtf's start flying, i wasnt aware of the second lower slot and i still am not aware on how much of a performance in terms of CF loss we are talking here. Regardless I would like some recommendations on what kind of new board i need to get. Id like some clarity on where i draw the line on price/quality for what I need to just play video games vs having a cool looking board, but I dont know what i do./dont need on a board. I dont need usb 3.0 or special sound card stuffs or shiny transistors. My original thought is you just need a DD3 1600 memory capability and two pci slots (BOTH x16.....)

Some clarity on the wattage on the Power supply would also be appreciated and possibly some ram suggestions unless someone has noticed some other changes need to be made, thanks for your feedback in advance.

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a c 239 V Motherboard
October 25, 2010 2:39:23 PM

1) What resolution are you playing at, and what FPS are you getting? Is it adequate?
2) Have you tried just a single card to see how you do? Both cards in crossfire may be reduced to the lowest common denominator.
3) Replacing the motherboard will be about $100; a good thing to do if it will solve the problem. Your old motherboard will not fetch much used.
4) Another option is to get a 5970 and use just the single X16 slot. Your two 5870 cards should be very marketable. Check ebay. Or, you might wait a month or so for the new 6970 cards to show up.
5) There will be little real fps difference with better ram, not worth the cost in my opinion. Synthetic benchmarks will shine, but what good is that?
6) No problem on the strong psu. It will draw only the wattage that is demanded of it. If there is any issue, it is that because the psu will be loafing, it will operate at a less than optimal efficiency. On the other hand, it will run cooler and quieter because the fan will not have to spin up to exhaust heat.
7) If you get a motherboard with a X8-X8 slot configuration, that is OK. With 5870 class cards you will lose only a few % in fps.
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October 25, 2010 3:22:45 PM

Not sure what full atx means but ill look into it, I also have considered a ssd but too pricey for me at the moment. Good to know I don't need to worry about new ram and did consider the 5970 route but I haven't ever sold anything over the internet. I mostly sold parts to friends but none need even a single 5870. The res I run at is 1900x1080 and get great fps at 60+ (have a 120 hz monitor so I can push 100+ frames with some games) its just ffxiv is a horribly optimized game for both ati cards and crossfire so I was just considering getting the most out of both cards with at least a x2 pci x16 board so any suggestions? Really want to just go the single 5970 route but if I sent both my cards in id lose a couple days of game time and I really have no console to hold me over in the meantime and all I do is game outside of work. May just borrow my buds ps3 and beat some games I wanted to finish and ask a friend to ebay the cards and I still have the original boxing...
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