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January 4, 2012 12:50:30 AM

I have just got my computer built up and running. Just wondering any opinions on anything to add to my system or any ways that I can optimize my current build through software etc.
Here is what I have:
Asus M5A97
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Processor
Western Digital Caviar Black 500 GB SATA III
Liteon iHAS324 24X DVD-RW SATA Optical Disk Drive
SAPPHIRE 100338L Radeon HD 6770 1GB
Antec Three Hundred Gaming Case
Thermaltake TR2 W0388RU 600W Power Supply
2x-CORSAIR XMS 4GB DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

So far so good everything has been running great. Been doing a little bit of gaming and had settings on high with no problems. I was looking into on my motherboard how it has 1 PCI 16x port, and then one PCI 8x port. I did some research on the internet and found that you cannot put a PCI 16x card into a 8x port? Correct me if I am wrong but I have seen that my motherboard does support crossfire but what good does that do if most cards that I have seen only have PCI 16x. Also does it make that huge of a difference to where it is necessary to have dual graphics cards to crossfire?
Thanks

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January 4, 2012 8:01:20 AM

You can put a x16 PCI card into a x8 slot, it will just mean the card runs at the speed of the PCI lane, so it will run at x8 rather than x16.

Its the same as using a 1GB LAN cable with a 100Mbps port. It still works, but you will only be able to get 100Mbps the NIC supports, not the 1GB the cable can support.

EDIT: The motherboard you listed (Asus M5A97) has 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (blue), 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode, black)



January 4, 2012 8:11:26 AM

Oops, my bad. you are correct on that one. But now what is the difference in the x4 slot (The black one) compared to the blue slot. The reason I ask is because the blue slot doesn't state the mode that it supports?
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January 4, 2012 8:15:58 AM

So... It DOES make a very noticeable difference when you crossfire but, although possible, I don't recommend doing it on that board. You can do x8/x8 Crossfire but with an x4 slot you can't really do it and it won't make THAT much of a difference. Your system is pretty much running at its full potential. You could always do some overclocking, that speeds up your system. You'll have a noticeable difference if you overclock your CPU, your graphics card, and your RAM. But if you want to, you'll have to research, research, research. Be sure you know what your doing if you try overclocking. If you want more info, try asking a question in the overclocking section of the forums.

Gratz on the new build :D  !! Hope this helps!
January 4, 2012 8:27:13 AM

Thanks for the great reply's. In general terms, is crossfire something that usually would make a dramatic difference in gaming or is it overkill for the majority of people that use it for games and more for more graphic intensive things that goes beyond what the typical gamer would need it for? Sorry if those sentences were a bit confusing but I cant exactly put those into better words at the moment.
January 4, 2012 8:30:12 AM

The blue slot is x16, which means the card is running at its full potential. The other slot is x4, which means if you tried crossfire, the card would be running very slow. If you wanna Crossfire, get a new board. But I would wait until you feel like you really need it. Also, instead of Crossfiring at first, I really recommend you just simply switch out your card for either a 6870, a 6950, or a 6970 if you want to stay with AMD. But, if you really wanted the best price-performance ratio out there then I would switch out your card for a gtx 560 ti. They are about$220ish and have amazing performance for their price. Later on, you could switch out the board with another one that supports SLI (which is crossfire but for nvidia cards in case you don't know) and try to stick another 560 ti in. At that point, you'd be getting about 20% higher performance than the best single-gpu card- the gtx 580 (which is, btw, $550). Up to you on this one.

Also worth mentioning here- SLI and Crossfire boards with 8x/8x slots can be a bit pricey. Here are some good ones, though.

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

Both (couldn't find a cheaper Crossfire board from Asus)- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Anyways, hope this helps!
January 4, 2012 8:32:48 AM

Oh btw you could also look into some Gigabyte boards. And if your really trying to save on money you could always go with an ASrock board, although do so at your own risk. They tend to be buggy.
January 4, 2012 8:39:27 AM

Ah sorry, I didn't see the whole message there. So yes crossfire and sli make a big difference in gaming. You will be receiving almost twice the power and almost twice the fps. And no, SLI and Crossfire was actually created for gamers. For example, many, many people have done SLI on a pair of gtx 560 ti's so that they can play BF3 on Ultra settings. Or, I know a friend who has 2 gtx 570's in SLI and he plays on 3 screens on ultra on BF3 and never dips below 40 fps. If you think you're not getting enough power from your video card, then I suggest you switch it out first because once you sli or crossfire, you can't go back. You're stuck with those 2 cards and you can't do anything but ditch them and get new ones if you decide it's not enough power in the future. The cards worth SLIing or Crossfiring with I've already listed- 6870, 6950, 6970 but I really do recommend the gtx 560 ti. Look around for some reviews. They're phenomenal.

Hope this helps!
January 4, 2012 9:04:22 AM

NeutralEnergy said:
Ah sorry, I didn't see the whole message there. So yes crossfire and sli make a big difference in gaming. You will be receiving almost twice the power and almost twice the fps. And no, SLI and Crossfire was actually created for gamers. For example, many, many people have done SLI on a pair of gtx 560 ti's so that they can play BF3 on Ultra settings. Or, I know a friend who has 2 gtx 570's in SLI and he plays on 3 screens on ultra on BF3 and never dips below 40 fps. If you think you're not getting enough power from your video card, then I suggest you switch it out first because once you sli or crossfire, you can't go back. You're stuck with those 2 cards and you can't do anything but ditch them and get new ones if you decide it's not enough power in the future. The cards worth SLIing or Crossfiring with I've already listed- 6870, 6950, 6970 but I really do recommend the gtx 560 ti. Look around for some reviews. They're phenomenal.

Hope this helps!


Good advice here +1

However in a new build I would always recommend buying the best single card you can afford, with the intention to add another later down the line. For example, don't buy x2 6950's right away, but instead buy a single 6970 then add another in the future when you feel more performance is required.
January 4, 2012 10:26:26 PM

Thanks again for the advice! The only reason I ask is because so far I haven't done too much gaming but I have played Left for Dead 1,2 and I have used FRAPS and it comes out with all of my settings maxed out i am getting about 60 FPS. I have a 1080p monitor. I also do not plan on having more than one monitor either. Now would there still be a difference if I am maxing out at 60 FPS and my monitor has a refresh of 60 HZ anyways.
!