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Recommended Motherboard for an i3 550

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November 29, 2010 4:18:26 AM

Hello:

I am considering to build my own PC with my father given the cost effectiveness compared to buying a pre-built machine. I am replacing a Dell Inspiron 580 that I paid approx. $700 for last Feb which was lost due to water damage in my home. So, I am being practical in terms of total expenditure.

I'd like to use an Intel i3 550 CPU, and would appreciate any recommendations toward the most reliable, cost-effective motherboard.
I have spent countless hours researching reviews from various manufacturers including Intel, Asus, ASRock, Biostar, etc. My initial instinct was to purchase an Intel MoBo, but it seems like they have the worst reviews.

I was hopeful to find a board with 4 memory slots and ability to upgrade to i5 or i7 CPU in the future. I plan to use the following components as well:

Western Digital 500 GB Caviar Blue ($39.99 CompUSA)
Corsair 4GB DDR3 $89.99
Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650W PSU $79.99 -OR- Antec 450W PSU $44.95 ($19.95 after rebate)
Radeon HD5570 video card for simultaneous use of 3 monitors
Lite-On IHA522406 DVD/CD drive

I will genuinely appreciate any insight the good members of this forum may be able to share in recommending a motherboard.

Sincerely,
Quantum10


November 29, 2010 3:37:47 PM

hello Quantum10,
u have selected good configurations.These appears to be future proof as well.
If u are going to use it for high-end gaming then u should go for Radeon HD 5770 or if u can afford more then go for GTX 460 instead of Radeon HD 5570.
But as u are planning to have Intel Core i3 550,it means that u need a motherboard with 1156LGA socket.
On 1156LGA socket,u can place even core i7 but of 8-series.Corei7 9-series will not be applicable.
Core i7 9-series is applicable on motherboards having LGA 1366 socket.
................................................................................
here are some motherboards:
*Intel DP45SG.
*ASUS P7P55D.
The two motherboards given above have two PCI-e 2.0 X16 slots it means that u can connect two graphic cards if u want to.
The motherboards given below are having single PCI-e 2.0 X16 slot:
*ASUS P7H55-V.
*ASUS P7H55D-M PRO.
................................................................................
Best Of Luck.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
November 29, 2010 4:33:38 PM

^+1 i7 9xx are X58/1366 - but the i7 8xx are P55/1156.

GPU:
While the HD 5570 supports the feature, the costs getting it to work make it a poor choice. I would recommend the SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 ; one dongle will cost you an additional ~$25~$30.
SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Eyefinity:
Dongles - http://support.amd.com/us/eyefinity/Pages/eyefinity-don...
Set-up - http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/gpu50-ati-ey...

MOBO:
Do not get Intel MOBO, great CPUs -- horrible and problematic MOBOs; go figure?! ASUS is about the least problematic MOBOs.

$140 ASUS P7P55D-E http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$130 ASUS P7P55D Deluxe http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS Side-by-Side -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-131-405^13-131-405-TS,13-131-620^13-131-620-TS,13-131-601^13-131-601-TS,13-131-604^13-131-604-TS,13-131-400^13-131-400-TS

PSU:
Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650W PSU $79.99 {Japanese Capacitors, Single Rail, over/under and fault protection} Antec is better 'now' but in the past they wouldn't last and in the end take-out components like CPU/MOBO/GPU in their death throws.

CASE:
$80 CM 690 II Advanced http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD:
$50 Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU:
i3 530 or i5 750 ; the $10 savings from 530 to 550 is a free BIOS tweak in the BIOS.
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Related resources
November 30, 2010 12:41:13 AM

jaquith: Do not get Intel MOBO, great CPUs -- horrible and problematic MOBOs; go figure?! ASUS is about the least problematic MOBOs.


buddy thats why i have mentioned three ASUS motherboards above.
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November 30, 2010 10:16:45 PM

I am also getting the parts needed to build a very similar computer (i3-550), except I will be using a PNY GTX 460 and a SSD.

I wanted the possibility of SLI-ing the video cards in the future, and am confused as to the best way to go about that.
Do I need the P7P55D-E's faster USB or SATA's?
What is the best PCIe configuration: 1x16 and 1x4 or dual 8x
Basically which is the best mobo of those asus mobo's for: 1) SLI expandability and 2) OC-ability

Any recommendations or information appreciated!!!
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a c 716 V Motherboard
November 30, 2010 10:42:04 PM

SLI -> single at x16 or dual at x8/x8 mode ; look at the ASUS P7P55D Deluxe the 12+2 Phase can easily OC to melting your i3-550 CPU.
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November 30, 2010 10:52:21 PM

Hey, thanks for the info, jaquith. Seems like a pretty good price? Hopefully all the rebates come thru...
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a c 716 V Motherboard
November 30, 2010 11:15:17 PM

ASUS is good about rebates, but this time of the year expect to wait 2~3 months.
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December 1, 2010 12:00:47 AM

i actually have another question about ram.

the i3 doesn't natively support 1600 DDR3 ram, correct? Is there any way to use the ripjaws @ 1600 by OC-ing something? Or is that not a good option? Are there better options?

First build...sorry.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
December 1, 2010 12:04:53 AM

The i7 9xx series has 800/1066 Memory Controller; so you're fine.
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December 1, 2010 12:17:42 AM

woah you're fast...

I ordered the ASUS P7P55D Deluxe, but didn't really understand your last comment.

I would be using an i3-550, not an i7 9xx series? Are you saying that since the i7 can use it the i3 should be ok as well?

I'm kind of regretting that purchase now...
Hopefully everything works out.

CPU i3-550 $110
MOBO Asus D Delux 130
RAM Gskill 2x2gb 50
HD OCZ 90GB SSD 120 (will prob get a big drive for storage, this for OS)
GFX GTX 460 150

What speed do you think the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus Processor cooler will let my little i3 get to?
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a c 716 V Motherboard
December 1, 2010 12:33:31 AM

Clarification:
Memory controllers
i7 930 DDR3-800/1066 - http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=41447
i3 550 DDR3-1066/1333 - http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=48505

ASUS P7P55D Deluxe G.SKILL Tested RAM -> http://gskill.com/configurator2.php?pid=2&model=162 Use ONLY RAM listed here from G.SKILL!

RE: "HD OCZ 90GB SSD 120 (will prob get a big drive for storage, this for OS) " -> Don't do it get at least 120~128GB SSD. I 'get' the $ but I too get you want ALL of your OS + Apps to fit on the SSD; otherwise you're causing more problems than a solution. Splitting Apps on another HDD is NOT a good thing and defeats the purpose of the SSD. Trust Me!

There's no problem with you running 1600 MHz RAM with either the CPU or MOBO; Good to Go!
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December 1, 2010 8:26:48 PM

Hi geniusender:

I appreciate your time and effort in responding to my thread.

geniusender said:
hello Quantum10,
If u are going to use it for high-end gaming then u should go for Radeon HD


I do not intend to use the video card for gaming. Rather, I trade the financial markets and would like to utilize three monitors for displaying multiple price charts in my workspace.

Would it be more beneficial to purchase 2 additional video cards as opposed to 1 high-end video card in terms of memory?

geniusender said:
Core i7 9-series is applicable on motherboards having LGA 1366 socket.


Sounds as though, dependent upon price, it may be most beneficial to consider having a MoBo supporting LGA 1366?

Sincerely,
Quantum10
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December 1, 2010 8:34:23 PM

Hi jaquith:

I appreciate your insight.

jaquith said:

GPU:
While the HD 5570 supports the feature, the costs getting it to work make it a poor choice. I would recommend the SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 ; one dongle will cost you an additional ~$25~$30.
SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Eyefinity:
Dongles - http://support.amd.com/us/eyefinity/Pages/eyefinity-don...
Set-up - http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/gpu50-ati-ey...


So, in order to operate three monitors simultaneously I will need to purchase an "active" dongle from the URL provided?


jaquith said:
CPU:
i3 530 or i5 750 ; the $10 savings from 530 to 550 is a free BIOS tweak in the BIOS.


So, when purchasing the i3 530 I would need to manually tweak the BIOS?

Sincerely,
Quantum10
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a c 716 V Motherboard
December 1, 2010 11:57:50 PM

^ ANS:
1. Yes you'll need a dongle for the 3rd monitor if using the GPU I linked. More 'stuff' for the GPU you picked. Keep in mind there are some HD's with 6 miniports.

2. If you purchase the cheaper CPU you'll need to OC to match the speed of the CPU that you choose {baby OC}. And yes you'll need to modify a couple of settings.
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December 2, 2010 3:21:27 AM

hello Quantum10,
As u dont require it for gaming so one graphic card would be enough.
But yes a good pair of graphic card can beat a high end graphic card like the pair of HD 5770 is an excellent pair.
Similarly,
A pair of GTS 250 is a good one.

Now i move towards the processor.If u have budget then u should go for the Core i7 9-series.It is future proof as well.
In that case ur CPU will not bottleneck your GPU n u will not have to Overclock it.
Yes buddy for 3rd monitor u will require dongle.
Best of Luck buddy.
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December 5, 2010 9:08:07 PM

Hello everyone:

Thanks again for all of your continued insights. I'm wondering if it is possible, and feasible, to utilize the built-in video of a MoBo for 1 monitor, and then employ the use of two, individual low-end video cards for the 2nd and third individual monitors:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It would seem more cost-effective, since I do not intend to use the monitors or video cards for gaming. I do not foresee this use in the future either.

I understand this may not be a realistic possibility, but wanted to ask this question because it has been on my mind.

Sincerely,
Quantum10
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December 5, 2010 9:27:52 PM

jaquith said:
^ ANS:

2. If you purchase the cheaper CPU you'll need to OC to match the speed of the CPU that you choose {baby OC}. And yes you'll need to modify a couple of settings.


Thanks for clarifying this. I will probably purchase the 550 then, to avoid any frustration in having to modify the bios settings.

Sincerely,
Quantum10
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December 5, 2010 10:39:24 PM

Hello:

In the interim, I have decided to piece together those components which I am certain of purchasing at this point:

Mobo: Asus P7P55D-E
CPU: Core i3 550
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-650TX
HD: Barracuda 7200.12 1TB

On the Asus board, I did not see any product specs indicating built-in ethernet, although I assumed it came equipped with such.

For memory, is the following suitable:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Sincerely,
Quantum10
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December 5, 2010 11:38:28 PM

jaquith said:
Putting my blinders on and only commenting on the RAM; choose RAM from the tested list -> http://www.corsair.com/configurator/product_results.asp...

I never recommend single sticks especially if 'upgrading' EVER.


Hi Jaquith:

Thanks for this. I appreciate your sharing the compatibility resource.
From the list specific to the MoBo selected, I think I am going to purchase the following:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I was wondering if there is a different case you would recommend aside from the CM 690 II. Although I appreciate the aesthetics, I am looking for something a bit more "plain". Unless I could simply deactivate the neon blue lights inside?

Sincerely,
Quantum10
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a c 716 V Motherboard
December 6, 2010 12:26:05 AM

I use the CM 690 II Advanced for my office, they're about as plain as it gets. Yes, there's a switch that turns on/off the blue LED or simply unplug the LEDs. They have excellent airflow, wiring, connections {I like the SATA on the top / covered by smoked plastic cover}, and toolless. The next step-up is the Corsair Graphite Series 600T but it's twice the price with 10% more...

Amazon -> http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Advance-Mid-Tower-R...
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December 6, 2010 4:51:57 AM

jaquith said:
I use the CM 690 II Advanced for my office, they're about as plain as it gets. Yes, there's a switch that turns on/off the blue LED or simply unplug the LEDs. They have excellent airflow, wiring, connections {I like the SATA on the top / covered by smoked plastic cover}, and toolless. The next step-up is the Corsair Graphite Series 600T but it's twice the price with 10% more...

Amazon -> http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Advance-Mid-Tower-R...


Hi jaquith:

Thanks again for responding. In the spirit of learning ,I am interested to know why it is not advisable to utilize a single 4GB memory stick.

The particular reason I was going to buy a single stick was to occupy less slots on the MoBo for future upgrades.

Does it employ the memory less efficiently?

Sincerely,
Quantum10
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a c 716 V Motherboard
December 6, 2010 12:30:37 PM

The problem is as I mentioned upgrading, and MOBO upgrading paths; review your manual or download. The typical options are:
1 Stick - period
2 Sticks
2 Sticks + 2 Sticks

ASUS P7P55D-E http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=9i872VNaAILRp8bS

Examples Dual Channel MOBOs:



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December 6, 2010 5:21:40 PM

jaquith said:
The problem is as I mentioned upgrading, and MOBO upgrading paths; review your manual or download. The typical options are:
1 Stick - period
2 Sticks
2 Sticks + 2 Sticks

ASUS P7P55D-E http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=9i872VNaAILRp8bS

Examples Dual Channel MOBOs:
http://i1013.photobucket.com/albums/af254/Jaquith/P55_Dual_Channel.jpg
http://i1013.photobucket.com/albums/af254/Jaquith/DDR_DUAL.jpg


Hi jaquith:

Thanks for this. It would seem I would not be able to operate dual channel mode with just one stick. I appreciate the info.

I'm about ready to order the components, but just slightly unclear on purchasing the dongle from ATI. The site linked to lists many variations, seemingly different based upon the input column.

I will require a dongle with a DisplayPort input, correct?

Sincerely,
Quantum10
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a c 716 V Motherboard
December 7, 2010 11:03:09 PM

Again, 1920 X 3 = 5760 X 1080 resolution on a HD 5450 is something I would not recommended or use. Hopefully, if it doesn't 'work' to your expectations you can exchange it...
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December 8, 2010 4:34:23 AM

jaquith said:
Again, 1920 X 3 = 5760 X 1080 resolution on a HD 5450 is something I would not recommended or use. Hopefully, if it doesn't 'work' to your expectations you can exchange it...


Hi jaquith:

Thanks -- I do apologize for having missed your resolution recommendation. What resolution did you suggest?

Also, I just finished reading the very informative article you linked to regarding HD Eyefinity. It seems the article is touting the effectiveness of the HD 5450 for non-gaming users, like myself. You had previously recommended the 5770.

Seems as though the 5450 would be sufficient based on this article?

Sincerely,
Quantum10
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a c 716 V Motherboard
December 8, 2010 3:09:20 PM

I use the HD 5770 in an office environment and defiantly not in a gaming environment, I wanted 100% DVI {digital} and not D-Sub a/k/a VGA {analog}. We use Eyefinity, I prefer 2 screens and found 3 too distracting. Most HD 5770 have 2x DVI + HDMI. Further, 'just in case' I wanted a GPU that was either CF or SLI; this comes into place for rendering beyond games.

If you look at my 'More information' the Everyday are all pseudo Workstations and never play any games - office use.
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December 8, 2010 5:16:19 PM

jaquith said:
I use the HD 5770 in an office environment and defiantly not in a gaming environment, I wanted 100% DVI {digital} and not D-Sub a/k/a VGA {analog}. We use Eyefinity, I prefer 2 screens and found 3 too distracting. Most HD 5770 have 2x DVI + HDMI. Further, 'just in case' I wanted a GPU that was either CF or SLI; this comes into place for rendering beyond games.

If you look at my 'More information' the Everyday are all pseudo Workstations and never play any games - office use.


I see, thank you. What resolution do you use with the 5770?

Sincerely,
Quantum10
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a c 716 V Motherboard
December 8, 2010 5:29:58 PM

Office -> Most are 1920 x 1080 ~24", but some are on older 1400 x 1050 20" monitors. My everyday is CF HD 5770 with 2 1920 x 1080 in portrait orientation.

Gaming-> I use nVidia GTX 470's in 3-WAY for 3D Vision with 3 monitors. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 9, 2010 3:53:54 AM

Thank you Jaquith and all the good members of this forum!

I have completed the purchase of all components excluding the active display port adapter. They are as follows:

MoBo: Asus P7P55D-E P55
CPU: Intel Core i3 550
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 5770
Monitors: Acer G215HAbd 21.5" 1920x1080 (x3)
HD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB
RAM: Corsair XMS3 DDR3 2GBx2 PC10666
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650W
Case: CM 690 II Advanced

Now, I need to figure out how to select an active dongle for DisplayPort adapation.

Sincerely,
Quantum10
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December 10, 2010 3:28:57 PM

Just put together an i3-550, ASUS P7P55D-E LX motherboard, 2 4gb sticks of Corsair ram CMX8GX3M2A1600C9, SeaSonic S12II 620 power supply, and a SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 5750 video card. It booted first time (so much for all the problems I read about that mb and Corsair ram), and I couldn't be happier.
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December 10, 2010 6:41:59 PM

klockwerk said:
Just put together an i3-550, ASUS P7P55D-E LX motherboard, 2 4gb sticks of Corsair ram CMX8GX3M2A1600C9, SeaSonic S12II 620 power supply, and a SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 5750 video card. It booted first time (so much for all the problems I read about that mb and Corsair ram), and I couldn't be happier.


Hi klockwerk:

Thanks for sharing this. I was just about to post about my experience after putting together all the components. On my first attempted boot, everything powered up except I can not get a Signal to my LCD display.

The video card is appropriately connected to the power supply and the monitor is connected to the card via DVI.

Despite not being able to get a display signal, the MoBo LEDs are indicating a problem with both the DRAM and Boot Disk.

My Seagate Barracuda is appropriately connected via both Data and Power SATA cables to the MoBo and PSU.

The RAM is installed as per the MoBo recommended instruction for use of two sticks.

I will be sincerely appreciative of any troubleshooting insight the good members may be able to offer.

Thanks,
Quantum10
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December 11, 2010 6:09:14 AM

Update: With the help of a sticky thread guide in the New Build subforum alongside some common sense I was able to successfully complete my machine.

I had inadvertently connected only 4-pins of the total 8-pin ATX12V on the MoBo (two 4-pin adapters) because the other 4-pins were capped, which I did not remove.

I also did not have a keyboard connected on my first boot attempt because I was so excited to make sure it would actually power up. I didn't realize it would not even attempt a boot if no keyboard was connected.

Now, everything is operating properly, although one of the two LCD monitors I've opened has a dead pixel. So, I'll be exchanging it tomorrow and ordering the active adapter jaquith was kind enough to recommend.

Thanks again for everyone's kind help,
Quantum10
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a c 716 V Motherboard
December 11, 2010 1:34:00 PM

Glad to hear - we're clearly in different time zones nor am I on all of time; I'm GMT-5:00. Yeah, you want ALL the power 8/24-pin MOBO and 6-pin PCIe.

Sorry to hear about the dead pixel, that's not good. I wanted 'certified' vs not; the reviews on the non-certified at newegg weren't good.

Q - Besides the pixel, how does she 'feel'? Do you have good screen response?
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December 13, 2010 6:23:32 AM

Hi jaquith:

Exchanged out the display with dead pixel. Haven't had a chance to setup the two monitor display yet, but will do tomorrow and get back to you.

Will have to wait for an active dongle in the mail to setup the third. The link on Amazon you sent had two user reviews, both stated that this particular Accell adapter wouldn't work for Eyefinity despite the manufacturer's claim as being an active adapter. Will investigate further.

Sincerely,
Quantum10
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a c 716 V Motherboard
December 13, 2010 1:26:04 PM

^ I tend to go with the OEM on certified, but keep in mind I looked at your monitor's resolution. There is a different dongle for Higher Resolution monitors that requires a powered adapted {via USB}. Therefore, IF the people posting comments had a higher resolution monitor then obviously it would fail.

http://www.amazon.com/Accell-UltraAV-B087B-002B-Display...

Notice the Resolution column -> http://support.amd.com/us/eyefinity/Pages/eyefinity-don...
--
There are DisplayPort to DVI Cables as well...
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a c 716 V Motherboard
December 13, 2010 9:25:10 PM

Then why not just get a direct DisplayPort -> DVI-D and skip the adapter?

As I mentioned, all the 'stuff' add$ up. I've got boxes full of cables; it gets maddening.
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December 14, 2010 6:55:13 PM

Hi jaquith:

I hope your week is going well. Wanted to drop you a quick update and answer your previous question regarding the performance of the Eyefinity display. Although I only have 2 monitors running for the time being, I have finally set up Eyefinity.

* When running duplicate versions on both screens (not extended -- mouse cant move onto other screen) the response time is quite excellent.
* The color on one screen2 is a tad darker than screen 1.
* Extended display mode is performing great when working with applications directly off my desktop.

>> Curiously, however, when attempting to remote connect to one of the virtual servers I host my client trading platforms on, the color becomes extremely distorted and the servers become dysfunctional in that they are extremely laggy and freeze up.

As an example: I operate a small asset management firm, and oversee hundreds of client accounts. So, I host about 7-8 platforms per server and remote connect to the servers. Typically, my remote connections are lightning fast and look great.

When running extended mode on multiple displays, the remote server connections become visually distorted and extremely slow. It reminds me of when I am away from home, and remote control my home PC, and then remote connect to my virtual servers from two computers away:

ie. Hotel Business Center PC >remote> Home PC >remote> virtual server

Understandably, when running a remote connection within a remote connection, the virtual server graphics get a bit fuzzy, and it runs slow. This is what its like when simply using my Home PC with extended mode.

I imagine it may be my resolution. Apparently, the Eyefinity setup guide does *not* recommend my screen resolution for the 5700 series GPU. So, I might have to lower the res on my screens and report back.

Sincerely,
Quantum10
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a c 716 V Motherboard
December 15, 2010 1:49:35 AM

My assumption is that you are increasing the resolution of the 'virtual server' to the point that the Screen Refresh data > Available Bandwidth. Q - How or what program are you using to 'see' the server? ... this isn't an Eyefinity issue...this is a 'VPN' or bandwidth / throughput / bottleneck issue.


If the Eyefinity is working fine locally then -- it's not the problem. Reduce the resolution of the 'virtual server.'
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December 19, 2010 4:30:44 AM

jaquith said:
Then why not just get a direct DisplayPort -> DVI-D and skip the adapter?

As I mentioned, all the 'stuff' add$ up. I've got boxes full of cables; it gets maddening.



Hi Jaquith:

So, the DisplyPort -> DVI-D cable will do the same thing as using the adapater with USB?

The reason I ask is that I actually ended up accidentally repacking one of my DVI-D cables with the monitor I had to exchange for the dead pixel. Atleast, I assume I did this because after all the dust settled in building my machine, I am left with 2 DVI-D cables and 3 monitors! lol.

So, I should just purchase a DP to DVI-D cable and call it a day?
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a c 716 V Motherboard
December 19, 2010 3:46:16 PM

If you already have the adapter and it WORKS then leave good enough alone. Eyefinity can be VERY touchy. If you read the article I linked you'll not that even Tom's H/W had a 'fun' time getting it to work. In my case I was NOT budget conscious; I am willing to pay to have 'stuff work' properly.

Tell 'them' you packed the cable -- I'm certain that they'll send you another after buying 3 monitors!
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!