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Budget Motherboard for i7 950

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December 14, 2010 8:14:48 PM

Hi guys, I need a bit of help in deciding the motherboard/memory for my new system as I will be replacing my 7 yr old system. So I decided to go for an Intel Core i7-950 (Bloomfield 4c/8t). Now I dont know what motherboard and memory I should pair this up with?
My maximum budget for a motherboard,memory, PSU and case is $500. So can anyone recommend me which one to buy? I was looking at Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R for motherboard but its a bit expensive. It sells for Rs 14460 which is roughly $350(i think). My GFX card will be a Sapphire HD 6870. I will be mainly using it for 3d modeling/VFX and gaming. Do you think its sufficient?

Thanks

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December 14, 2010 9:59:55 PM

I would get the ASUS P6X58D-E or the ASUS SABERTOOTH X58 over the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R! They are much better & reliable boards.
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December 15, 2010 1:14:36 AM

teroxgt said:
Hi guys, I need a bit of help in deciding the motherboard/memory for my new system as I will be replacing my 7 yr old system. So I decided to go for an Intel Core i7-950 (Bloomfield 4c/8t). Now I dont know what motherboard and memory I should pair this up with?
My maximum budget for a motherboard,memory, PSU and case is $500. So can anyone recommend me which one to buy? I was looking at Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R for motherboard but its a bit expensive. It sells for Rs 14460 which is roughly $350(i think). My GFX card will be a Sapphire HD 6870. I will be mainly using it for 3d modeling/VFX and gaming. Do you think its sufficient?

Thanks


If you haven't already bought the 950, I'd buy a LGA 1155-based board and a cpu instead. They cost less, perform as well for how you will use them (almost no one can really get full usage of the Bloomfield's - their incredible capacity is inefficiently used by almost all available software). Your memeory will be cheaper as you only have to buy 2 DDR3's verses 3 and they use less power so you'll be able to buy a smaller PSU.

Same story for AMD...you can get their best 6-core CPU for less than what you will pay/have paid for that 950.

If you've already bought the 950, I'd suggest also looking at ASROCK (which is a subsidiary of ASUS). They make relatively cheap but pretty reliable motherboards.
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December 15, 2010 1:53:09 AM

tecmo34 said:
I would get the ASUS P6X58D-E or the ASUS SABERTOOTH X58 over the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R! They are much better & reliable boards.


Is there a known problem/issues with the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R, or are the ASUS ones just better? I was considering ordering the GB mobo next month? The ASUS P6X58D-E is only marginally more expensive, so I will probably get instead! The Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R was originally recommended to me as a good Mobo?

@ TeroxGT The cheapest X58 board I have found is the ASRock X58 Extreme. It is also recommended by this website. Check the list of features though to what you're missing out on... it's pretty basic, but if you need a really cheap one. Agree with wayneepalmer to go P55 if your budget is tight.
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December 15, 2010 2:16:50 AM

Formata said:
Is there a known problem/issues with the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R, or are the ASUS ones just better? I was considering ordering the GB mobo next month? The ASUS P6X58D-E is only marginally more expensive, so I will probably get instead! The Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R was originally recommended to me as a good Mobo?

Yes, the UD3R has some known issues. Here is a thread to highlight an issue... http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/276715-30-x58a-ud3r-r... . The ASUS boards are more reliable and with the P6X58D-E just being a little more money, it is worth the cost difference... IMO

@OP... As others have commented on, if you haven't purchased the i7 950, I would remind you that the LGA 1155 (Sandy Bridge) systems will be released in January. You might want to wait to see what comes of them performance & price wise before you purchase.
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December 15, 2010 5:10:31 AM

Thanks for the feedback. Actually I haven't purchased any parts yet. The thing is I need to have a system ready by January mid when I return home. The problem is that LGA 1155(Sandy Bridge) may not immediately be available at the place where I'm put up and so it might be difficult to procure it.
Now I'm kinda confused which one to buy. I had decided on the 950 based on the benchmarks here. The thing is I need to run pretty intensive apps like Maya, Max, Fusion etc, in addition to running the latest games. So can you guys recommend me which processor to buy? I have heard the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T is pretty good and its cheaper. So should I get that instead. Since I'm kinda new to this please suggest which processor is best paired with which motherboard. I do not intend to overclock (maybe the graphics card), so any board that would get my job done is fine. SLI/Crossfire capabilities is a must as I will add another card in due time.

Thanks...
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December 15, 2010 6:28:25 AM

I too vote for the X6 as it fits your budget constraints.. No need to get the 1090T though.. The 1055T will work out just fine.. The Asrock 870 Extreme3 will be a good motherboard to go with it.. With the saved cash, you can go for 8GB ram (2 x 4GB).. Which area are you from btw.?
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December 15, 2010 6:42:14 AM

Yes it is true that Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R has issues, I have recommended the motherboard to a neighbor and regret it - too late to read that tomshardware link.

For me it is best to wait next year - sandy bridge!
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December 15, 2010 6:57:31 AM

Should I go for a 890GX board? I was looking at Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB 3 which sells here for roughly $200. Or should I stick with Asrock 870 Extreme3 mobo?
With regards to memory, should I just slap two 4 gb ddr3 sticks or should I take note on the timings et al. Coz even after going through the Memory FAQ here, I'm still unsure. And which brand would be the best bang for the buck? Sorry for so many questions. Please bear with me!!!

@Emperus
I'm basically a student in gaming and CG. And the current laptop ( Dell XPS M1530) is really struggling to even get my models loaded into the viewport, let alone render!! And I did try rendering on my lappie and it took 3 hours just to render a car with Mental Ray shaders!!! And this is after formatting and shutting down all the BG services with aero off!!
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December 15, 2010 8:34:22 AM

Low amount of ram in conjugation with slow hard drive always poses problems while loading scenes.. Rendering is mostly processor centric.. Thus, as much amount of processing power you can provide it'll be better, along with good amount of ram.. Motherboard plays a very minute role here and thus, it wont hurt you going for a cheap model..
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December 15, 2010 9:11:13 AM

Cool.. My spec sheet looks like this as of now

Processor: AMD Phenom II X6 1055 T BE
Motherboard: Asrock 870 Extreme3 ( if unavailable could you please suggest an alternative model)
Graphic Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1 GB
Ram: Any suggestions?? I want 8 GB ddr3...
Hard Disk: WD Caviar 750 GB
Case: Cooler Master elite 430
PSU: My earlier comp's PSU which was at 500W. Should I buy a higher capacity one?

Monitor, KB/Mouse. DVD writer are from the earlier system...

Any suggestions on the above..
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December 15, 2010 10:46:40 AM

I'll advocate for an Nvidia card here.. Something like the GTX 460 1GB will do it.. Also, consider going for the Corsair VX 550 for the PSU.. As for ram Corsair Dominator 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 will be good.. An alternative motherboard option would be the Asus M4A87TD..
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December 15, 2010 11:44:39 AM

When you said 2 x 4 GB you meant 2 (4GB modules) or 4 (2GB modules)?? Sorry for the stupid question.. :p 
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December 15, 2010 12:24:13 PM

Two 4GB modules.. That'll help you maximize your ram amount later if and when the need arises..
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December 15, 2010 1:30:24 PM

But the dominators are pretty expensive here. A pair of those sets me back by around $400!! I was thinking to go with these Corsair Vengeance 8GB PC3-12800 1600Mhz CL9 DDR3 DIMM Memory Kit http://corsair.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php?vcode=PGCRS&partnum=CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9&__utma=1.165802853.1292424938.1292424938.1292424938.1&__utmb=-&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1292424938.1.1.utmcsr=(direct)|utmccn=(direct)|utmcmd=(none)&__utmv=-&__utmk=244086917
Do you think its worth it?
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December 15, 2010 3:47:27 PM

DAMN IT!!! If I can get my hands on the ones you have mentioned here at that price, then I'll go with them. The place where I live, computer peripherals are almost twice the amount of the price of those in the US!!! And I have made a slight revision. Here are my final specs:

Processor: AMD Phenom II X6 1100 T BE
Motherboard: Asus M4A87TD/USB3 ( if Asrock 870 Extreme3 isn't available) and does this mobo support crossfire?
RAM: As Emperus mentioned above, If I can get the dominatorshttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145313 at that price range, will pick em up else I'll go with these http://corsair.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php?vcode=PGCRS&partnum=CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9&__utma=1.165802853.1292424938.1292424938.1292424938.1&__utmb=-&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1292424938.1.1.utmcsr=(direct)|utmccn=(direct)|utmcmd=(none)&__utmv=-&__utmk=244086917
Graphics Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870
PSU: Corsair 550 W
Case: Cooler Master 430 elite

BTW I'm in for a monitor as well. So should I get any Samsung panel at 22" or is there a particular model I should watch out for? Thanks for all the inputs.
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December 15, 2010 4:20:10 PM

What's your budget for the monitor.? Also, where are you located.?
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December 15, 2010 4:21:17 PM

How in the hell did you go from X58/1366 to an AMD build?!

The 'magic' build number is > 1,200 X58 otherwise less it becomes a toss-up. The Architecture of the X58 is superior than that of the AM3; search for yourself I've proved it too many times and don't have the energy to prove it for the 100th+ time.

Most importantly, IF 3D Rendering is your 'thing' you're wasting your time not looking at either the i7 9xx or Xeon 55xx. Most 3D rendering Apps perform better with nVidia vs ATI/AMD GPU.

Q - What's your total Budget? Yes, I saw the $500 {MOBO, RAM, PSU, CASE}
Q - What 3D Rendering App

$170 MOBO open box / reg $235 P6X58D-E
$150 RAM Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D
$99 PSU Corsair 750TX
$79 CASE CM690 II Advanced
====
$498

$250 -$20 rebate card GTX 470 EVGA 012-P3-1472-AR 1280MB
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December 15, 2010 5:16:15 PM

jaquith said:
How in the hell did you go from X58/1366 to an AMD build?!

The 'magic' build number is > 1,200 X58 otherwise less it becomes a toss-up. The Architecture of the X58 is superior than that of the AM3; search for yourself I've proved it too many times and don't have the energy to prove it for the 100th+ time.

Most importantly, IF 3D Rendering is your 'thing' you're wasting your time not looking at either the i7 9xx or Xeon 55xx. Most 3D rendering Apps perform better with nVidia vs ATI/AMD GPU.

Q - What's your total Budget? Yes, I saw the $500 {MOBO, RAM, PSU, CASE}
Q - What 3D Rendering App

$170 MOBO open box / reg $235 P6X58D-E
$150 RAM Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D
$99 PSU Corsair 750TX
$79 CASE CM690 II Advanced
====
$498

$250 -$20 rebate card GTX 470 EVGA 012-P3-1472-AR 1280MB


Well I have seen the benchmarks and yes, Intels do beat the AMDs but from a bit of research, what I have found is that the Phenom II X6 1090/1100 Ts 6 core really help with rendering. Well on one site it even beat out the i980x which is a $1000 processor in Maya which is my primary modeling app http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=453&Itemid=63&limit=1&limitstart=4. I dont know the intricacies or the working but from a plain jane perspective, the processor does what I want it to do. If you can recommend me something cheaper, then I'm all ears. As I said earlier, I'm relatively new to these things as I have been living under a rock :p  for the past few years and totally lost touch.
I will surely look at the 470 GTX EVGA and check the price here. If its more expensive than the 6870, then I'll stick with 6870. If its almost same, then I'll grab the 470.

My total budget ( now including the monitor ) is roughly around $1200. My primary usage is for 3D modeling, texturing, lighting, and lastly rendering. I'm also starting out on VFX with Fusion and After Effects. Gaming is important but not to the point of getting obsessed with fps and all the technical babble! I want it to be playable. I dont care about playing at 60 fps or 30 or 120!!


@Emperus
around $250( I'm converting from my currency to yours as it will be easy for you guys). I'm in India.
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December 15, 2010 6:20:50 PM

Your link - is pointless & useless, unless you are using Maya or ANY of those rendering Apps. Clearly Maya needs a desperate 'fix.'

About as useless to you as this i7 950 vs 1100T link - http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1079/pg1/amd-phen... And you're still stuck with a slower architecture with the AMD.

Hmm... you're using Eyeon Fusion and Adobe After Effects. Take the time and bench those Apps.

Good Luck! :) 
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December 15, 2010 6:59:10 PM

Well, If you have read the earlier posts, my main bread and butter IS Maya. And yes I know i7 950 is better than 1100t in almost all the tests save a few. Even this site's charts said so themselves. Thats why I decided on it. But later on, as I did a bit of research on it, the tests proved that 1100 t was good at 3d apps. Even here too, the test with 3DS Max, it came third after the 2 intels. And it offered that performance at a lower price. Thats why I looked away from the 950. I have nothing against Intel as I have been using them all my (computing)life and were rock solid.
jaquith, if you can help me with the rig for a i7 950, and under the $1200 budget, it would be greatly appreciated. I haven't purchased any parts btw. Still researching on what would best suit me...
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December 15, 2010 8:11:48 PM

'My error' - you're the first I met that uses all those Apps to Render; they're totally different and overlapping {duplicate} Apps. Most people specialize in 1 3D App like Eyeon Fusion and use Photoshop, but After Effects is 'video composition.'

It would be very helpful to prioritize your needs so the 'best' or most ideal components can be chosen to match your needs.
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December 16, 2010 2:04:50 AM

For me 3D rendering comes first, then comes composition and vfx and lastly gaming. Getting my modeling work flow to be completed and getting it rendered smoothly and quickly is what I want first. So based on this, can you give me any suggestions on the build?
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December 16, 2010 2:46:55 AM

@Jaquith - May be adobe apps require thread optimization.. Every one is aware of the better architecture, higher clock to clock performance and superior per core output of the core I series processors.. However, for apps that can use more than 4 threads efficiently (3DS Max can use 16 threads effectively), the hexacore AMD's do perform better compared to the quad core i7's.. The hyper-threading feature of i7 is of little rescue here..

@OP - The i7 980X is actually the fastest single processor desktop solution available and will surely perform better in any given app compared to the X6's.. However, for the price at which it is available, a person has to be an idiot to consider it over a dual xeon setup..
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December 16, 2010 1:38:24 PM

^ The reference was to Maya and the i7 980X vs AMD 1100T both are 6-core. My comment is/was something is really written very poorly in Maya.
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December 16, 2010 2:04:09 PM

well for the money I have now, there are only 2 options in front... the i7 950 or the 1100 T. 1100 T is only good at 3d apps and other areas decent whereas i7 950 is good at everything but 3d apps, where it performs reasonably decent.. So ultimately it comes down to the money. If the i7 950 is cheaper than the 1100 T here, then i'll go the x58/1366 route, else its 1100 T for me.. The last I checked online at some site which lists the price, 1100 T was selling for Rs 14000 (around $350) and the i7 950 was selling for 15560 ( roughly $400). I dont get the kind of prices you guys get in the US. I'll do a bit of hunting at my local wholesaler for the accurate price of the two ( which is a bit closer to the US price) and let you know...
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December 16, 2010 2:44:12 PM

As I've been asking WHAT EXACT 3D App are you using??? I don't agree with your comments, and something is screwed-up with Maya; I have NOT taken the time to see if those tests are CONFIRMED.

This post is getting 'odd' ; people know what App they use and post it right off the bat. EXAMPLE ==> "What is the best CPU, GPU for Eyeon Fusion for a budget of $1,500? I also, render 300 MB Photoshop TIFF files."
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December 16, 2010 4:21:28 PM

My primary 3D app is Maya. Majority of time on the comp is spent on it. I also do 3D Studio Max but not to the same extent. I will be doing quite a bit of Photoshop as well ( textures for 3D models). The textures will all be in Targa and will be heavy. The texture size will be 2K and sometimes 4K. Please advise a system for a budget of $1000-$1100. I dont need the KB/Mouse/writer/speakers/soundcard as I'm going to carry them over from my earlier system. I hope I have clarified enough. If you need any other info please let me know...
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December 16, 2010 7:15:38 PM

For adobe apps (including photoshop of course) Intel excels over AMD.. However, for 3D apps such as Max and Maya, the AMD hexacore solutions are going to serve you better..
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December 23, 2010 1:36:29 PM

Ok guys I have purchased the following and my dealer assembled the system for me. I got the Asus M4A88GTD PRO/USB3 mobo with Phenom II X6 1090T BE, Sapphire Radon HD 6870 and Corsair TX 650W. Memory I went for Corsair XMS3 8 gb (4 sticks each 2 gb). I just want to know a couple of things( To clarify, I haven't installed an OS yet. Its still fresh)

1. I can't seem to install Win 7 via usb boot drive? Its not detecting any USB drives even though I changed the priority in the BIOS.

2. The main thing I'm worried about are the ram sticks. They are Corsair XMS 3 CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 http://corsair.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php?vcode=PGCRS&partnum=CMX4GX3M2A1600C9&__utma=1.288192182.1293117194.1293117194.1293117194.1&__utmb=1.4.10.1293117194&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1293117194.1.1.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=Corsair&__utmv=-&__utmk=92071706 ( 4 sticks, each 2 GB). In BIOS the memory installed is showing up as 8121 GB. But I cant seem to overclock to 1600 Mhz. It stays at default 1333 mhz. I'm kinda new to overclocking and all, so can you please help me with this. The reason I went with XMS is coz they did not have the Vengeance series and the Dominators, GSkill, etc.. are WAAY overpriced ( around $400 !!!!!), so the XMS was a 'bit' cheaper at $250!!!

Thanks for all the help and advice you guys gave earlier, esp Emperus and Jaquith (sorry dude, in the end went with the AMD build :)  )

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Best solution

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December 23, 2010 2:12:56 PM

Corsair sets for your CPU {CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 is meant for Intel CPUs} -> http://www.corsair.com/products/phenomii/default.aspx

MS USB Install & Prep -> http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd535816.as...
ISO for USB -> http://store.microsoft.com/help/iso-tool

{Makes no difference to me which way you go AMD or Intel; go with the fastest per $ per Apps used. You were just all over the place to prioritize App #1, App #2, etc.}

ref - ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=eCWbkolMf0DOW0IV
/note you need BIOS version 1301 or later.
RAM 1600 MHz:
Slots - Blue or Black
AI Overclock Tuner -> D.O.C.P.
DRAM OC Profile -> DDR3-1600 MHz
DRAM Timing Configuration -> enter 9-9-9-24
DRAM Voltage -> 1.65v
DRAM Command Rate -> 2T
--
Save & Exit -> Yes
Share
December 23, 2010 3:11:52 PM

So with your config, XMS will have no problem working with my system even if its incompatible? I had to purchase these since they did not have any other good modules which were cheap...
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December 23, 2010 3:38:28 PM

What I listed above is a Manual approach.

You can 'try' to simply change the DRAM Frequency to -> DDR3-1600 MHz assuming the BIOS will allow you and you don't have any errors. Assuming most of all that you RAM is indeed XMP compliant for your MOBO.
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December 23, 2010 3:48:44 PM

All the 4 sticks are Corsair XMS 3 CMX4GX3M2A1600C9. I'll try your manual approach tomorrow. I did try to simply change the frequency to 1600 mhz but it reset itself to 1333 mhz.. Will this cause any problems with my applications or games with the RAM being incompatible? It will work for my system, right?
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December 23, 2010 3:58:28 PM

^ I assumed it did, hence the Manual approach..
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December 24, 2010 5:15:06 AM

I saw all the settings in my BIOS and they were exactly the same as you have mentioned. Even the timings were the same. The only thing different is the D.O.C.P which is set to Auto. And one more thing, the system refuses to boot via pen drive even when I made it bootable, but when I plugged my friend's external usb dvd writer, the system booted. And also it takes around 10 seconds to get to the point of getting past POST. Is this normal? BIOS is showing all the components in it except for my graphic card, which I dont know where it is shown!!
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December 25, 2010 2:21:20 PM

USB, don't know - my guess is something you're overlooking in the links I provided above e.g. FAT 32. The GPU shows up in the post screen, and if it doesn't then re-seat and attach the 4/6-pin(s) if applicable. If your monitor is connected directly to the GPU and NOT the MOBO onboard DVI/VGA/etc AND you 'see' a post screen then obviously it works.

Q - is everything up and running?
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December 25, 2010 4:28:58 PM

Sorry for that, my stupid touchpad of my laptop entered the post...once again sorry for that.. and there is an UPDATE to that... The dealer had put the graphic card in the wrong slot (x8 slot, the grey one) instead of the x16 2.0 slot (blue). So I guess the card wasn't getting sufficient power to run the test. But there is another issue here albeit not a major one. The performance has dropped quite a lot. Earlier when the card was on a x8 slot I got 19740 3Dmarks06, but now I got only 18670 after putting it in the x16 one. In both the cases, the driver used is 10.12 Catalyst. So can you give some pointer on that.. I 'll update the other thread accordingly... Thanks for your time and patience, Jaquith...

The link is here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/305848-33-atikmpag-bsod
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December 25, 2010 4:41:20 PM

Here ... where? Post the link, generally not my section of interest, but I probably can figure it out.
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January 16, 2011 1:10:52 PM

Best answer selected by Teroxgt.
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June 21, 2011 5:45:34 AM

i have core i7 950 & gigabyta mobo GA x58-usb3
i m interested to sell the above kit.
its 4 months old
pls contact +91 9466826689
karnal (Haryana)
india
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