Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Motherboard and future-proofing: Crossfire or new card?

Last response: in Systems
Share
April 25, 2011 8:57:16 AM

Hello, I’m building my first system and trying to decide what’s the best path to take for future upgrades in terms of value for money.

So basically, I am going to build my system around this Radeon HD 6870 card I have (with probably a
Phenom II X4 3.2 Ghz). I’m looking at motherboards right now, and the way I see it,
there are two ways to go in terms of future-proofing:

1. Buy a pricier motherboard with supports crossfire, and buy a second card in down the road
Or
2. Buy a cheaper motherboard with built in graphics which supports hybrid crossfire, then just dump the card in 2-3 years time for a completely different, newer card (also more likely to get a new motherboard with this option as well)

So, which do you think is the best way to go in terms of price/performance? I know its hard to say what will be out
in 2-3 years time, but I’d still appreciate your advice.

Btw, basically the main reason for this setup is Civ 5, and of course the inevitable Civ 6. I know that 5 tends to run better on Nvidia cards but this is what I got.

Thanks!


Approximate Purchase Date: (this week)


Budget Range: (600-800)


System Usage from Most to Least Important: (Surfing the internet, gaming (Civ 5), watching movies)


Parts Not Required: (Graphics Card, CPU, Monitor, Keyboard, whatever else isnt that important)


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (newegg.com)


Country of Origin: (USA)


Parts Preferences: by brand or type (AMD, Gigabyte, Asus)


Overclocking: Maybe


SLI or Crossfire: Maybe


Monitor Resolution: (1920x1200)


Additional Comments: (Mainly for Civ 5, 6)
April 25, 2011 10:22:03 AM

If worried about future proofing, I'd seriously consider the latest generation of i3/i5 cpus, which, despite a clock speed deficit (and /or core count) in comparison to the X2/X3/X4 variants, outperform the assorted Phenoms of all varieties in pretty much ALL games...

A singlee GTX460(1 gb) is a fairly solid card at it's price point.
m
0
l
a b V Motherboard
April 25, 2011 11:47:09 AM

I game at that res with a q9550, intel. I've been swapping video cards for the past few years and it's more or less keeping up with the gaming. However, I'm becoming more cpu bound every few months..... as games progress ( and also a couple of older games. ) That video card isn't going to keep up as far as "future proofing". I have a 6950 2gig card and it's the best decision I've made so far. The 1gig cards can't handle some stuff. And with tessellation ( DX11 ) getting greater........... you do the math.

Running xfire doesn't mean you'll double the memory. Doesn't work that way. And as far as the one game you mentioned, it may be enough but your gaming habits will change.

My system is faster than yours, and if I can't "keep up" you should consider your next moves.

Right now I'd jump on the quad intel 1355 band wagon ( unless amd has something as good when you decide )..... dump the 1gig cards.
m
0
l
Related resources

Best solution

a b V Motherboard
April 25, 2011 12:32:35 PM

Quote:
So basically, I am going to build my system around this Radeon HD 6870 card I have (with probably a
Phenom II X4 3.2 Ghz). I’m looking at motherboards right now, and the way I see it,
there are two ways to go in terms of future-proofing:


if you want to future proof an AMD build you need to buy a MB that is Bulldozer upgradeable via the Bios.
ASUS AM3+ Bulldozer list:
Crosshair IV Extreme
Crosshair IV Formula
M4A89TD PRO/USB3
M4A89TD PRO
M4A89GTD PRO/USB3
M4A89GTD PRO

OR

like mdd1963 said, build around the Intel Sandy Bridge CPU. Which is my suggestion.

Quote:
1. Buy a pricier motherboard with supports crossfire, and buy a second card in down the road
Or

not all games improve with CF or SLI. also the CF and SLI are still buggy (not as bad as they used to be)

Quote:
2. Buy a cheaper motherboard with built in graphics which supports hybrid crossfire, then just dump the card in 2-3 years time for a completely different, newer card (also more likely to get a new motherboard with this option as well)


My recommendation is buy the best GPU you can afford now, and in 2 years time replace if necessary.
GTX 560 Ti, GTX 570, HD 6950 2Gb, HD 6970 are all good cards.

Quote:
So, which do you think is the best way to go in terms of price/performance? I know its hard to say what will be out in 2-3 years time, but I’d still appreciate your advice.


best price performance
i5 2500k P67 MB 4GB/1600 ram
GTX 560 ti or HD 6950 2GB
550w or better PSU from Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or Silverstone (XFX Core series is good also)

for budget
i5 2100 or 2400, H67 or H61 MB 4GB/1333
GTX 460/560ti or HD 5850/6850
500w or better PSU from Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or Silverstone (XFX Core series is good also) might get away with a 430w Antec PSU depending on the build.

AMD budget/performance
AMD Phenom II x 4 955 or better CPU on a Bulldozer upgradeable MB 4gb/1333 or 1600 Ram
one of the above GPU's
one of the above PSu's
Share
April 26, 2011 3:53:01 AM

Very informative, thank you. I'll look over the prices for the options you laid out and take it from there. Thanks again!
m
0
l
April 28, 2011 4:36:10 AM

Okay, you've convinced me to go with the Sandybridge, i5 2400.
Again, my graphics card is already decided as I got a good deal on an HD6870.

So, keeping in mind that I am on a budget and want to spend as little as possible, what do you think of this motherboard paired with the above chip?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, would the 500w still work with this setup?

And finally, for Civ5, would there really be that much of a difference going with the
i5 2500k??

m
0
l
a b V Motherboard
April 28, 2011 11:35:30 AM

happinessisawarmcard said:
Okay, you've convinced me to go with the Sandybridge, i5 2400.
Again, my graphics card is already decided as I got a good deal on an HD6870.

So, keeping in mind that I am on a budget and want to spend as little as possible, what do you think of this motherboard paired with the above chip?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, would the 500w still work with this setup?

And finally, for Civ5, would there really be that much of a difference going with the
i5 2500k??


The HD 6870 is a good card, if you got a good deal on it, makes it even better.

nothing wrong with the Gigabyte H61 MB's. they area solid manufacturer.

yes the 500w PSU is good
m
0
l
!