My current specs:
Corsair 650w TX
ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO
Diamond Radeon 5850 HD1gig
AMD Phenom II x4 965 Black Edition 3.4ghz
G.Skill DDR3@1600 - 8gigs
WesternDigital 300gb @ 7200rpm (outdated)
LG Flatron W2252TQ
I desire to get my rig Crossfired(dual), and with the 5850 being discontinued, I'm in a dilemna in that regard. The issue becomes worst, with the motherboard being a Hybrid Crossfire Board. The secondary PCI-E slot doesn't run a Crossfired card in x16. I believe it only runs in x2. I'm also looking into a good 2ms 22'' HDMI (1080p) Monitor, brand is not important (but i do like LG). I'm also looking into a hard drive, and wondering if the 10k VelociRaptor would be a cost-effective choice. Lastly, will my power supply be capable of running Crossfire, it's a nice PSU even with the low wattage.
So. What cost effective routes do you suggest I take?
I'm mainly trying to prep this computer for the upcoming Battlefield 3 release. I'd prefer to just swap the motherboard, get a new HDD, and Monitor.
650w PSU would be enough for crossfire 6850's. So i recommend either grabbing 1 or 2 of those depending on budget and such. This would enable you to keep your current PSU.
Your motherboard has "2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (blue @ x16 mode,gray @ x4 mode)" so I presume running 2 cards would give you x4/x4. Ideally a motherboard with x2 PCIe 2.0 x16 running at x8/x8 in SLI would be preferred, however not "necessary". Agin this depends on your budget and how much your wishing to spend on an upgrade.
An AM3+ motherboard might be a good upgrade choice, giving you the crossfire support you need, and allowing a future processor upgrade if required further down the line.
Veloci-raptor, in my opinion really isnt cost effective at all. Just grab yourself a 7200RPM WD Caviar Black, SeaGate Barracuda or Samsung SpinPoint F3.
Keep your current build
Buy a 6850
Buy a 7200rpm HDD
Consider buying an AM3+ Motherboard with x2 PCIe x16 slots running x8/x8 crossfire.
I thought you said 5850 was discontinued, meaning you couldn't buy another one?
6870's crossfire is always an option but you would need a new PSU...same applies to any other higher end card in SLI/Crossfire.
I know the 5850's are discontinued, and I can't find another one--but i'd prefer to just run x2 5850 in Crossfire, and make use of my current 5850. Rather than buying 2 new cards entirely. If you can point out a 5850 for sale (especially another one of mine), then I'd gladly just do the 5850 CF + New Mobo + New HD + New Monitor.
HDDs don't even use 3.0GB/s bandwidth totally. Its SSDs which benefit from SATA 6.0GB/s ports.
I personally use a 500GB Seagate SATA 6.0GB/s hard disk with 16MB Cache on a SATA 3.0GB/s port and its quite fast.
Also, if you can't find a new HD 5850, sell your current 5850 and get a single card thats more powerful than 5850. Something like, 6870 or GTX 560 Ti.