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Need Help from ATI CrossfireX expert

2502 Views 9 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  emosun
Hello everyone, I'm not an expert in the IT field but I'm learning... please bare with me.

I'm running into some problems with my video card so I'm planning to change but this time I want to be sure. I'm currently stationed in S.Korea so it's a pain in the butt when I order things that are incompatible, DOA or the likes.:upset: Please, if anyone can help me out I would be most appreciated.:pray:

I'm trying to build a HTCP with frequent web browsing/Blu-ray/downloaded HD movies/audio and occasional gaming.. cs:s, HL2, Call of Duty 4. I don't game too often but I would like the best graphics when I do.

Asus M3A78-EMH HDMI mobo (crossfirex ready)
Intergrated Radeon HD3200
AMD Athlon X2 4050e 2.5GHz 45w AM2
Western Digital 370GB
Lite-On Blu-ray ROM DH-4O1S
G.Skill 2GB (1 stick) 800 MEM
Antec Veris Fusion Black Case with 430watt power supply

I'm running everything thru the mobo HDMI to my Sony Bravia W Series 46" LCD.

First I bought an EVGA Geforce 8600GT but the drivers would not work because it was conflicting with the onboard VGA. I tried disabling it but the 8600GT still wouldn't work, code 43, incompatible driver with standard VGA. When I tried disabling the 8600GT I would get a code 10 error for the VGA....?

I took the 8600GT out and deinstalled the drivers. Now I'm trying to order a new video card. I shouldn't have bought the 8600GT in the first place because the mobo intergrated card is a Radeon HD3200 crossfirex ready.

I need help deciding what options I have. Is it possible to install two Radeon HD3470 cards and have a triple crossfire setup with the intergrated HD 3200? or would a HD 3870 crossfired with the mobo intergrated HD 3200 be possible and better? or is there a better solution? Also, do I need any aftermarket cooling?

Thanks for taking the time to help solve my fustrations :grin:
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Welcome to tsf. Yes buying that 8600 was a mistake. So to answer all your question quickly

1. The integrated graphics cannot be crossfired
2. You wouldnt want to anyways because they suck
3. The radeon 3470's also suck even in crossfire
4. 3870 would be best
5. To use a 3870 you need a better powersupply

Are you using the powersupply the case came with? This is a problem as the freebee case powersupplies are very low quality and are usually thrown in the cases to move them off the shelves. You WILL need a quality power supply for a higher end card. Let me know your budget and we can start shopping.
emosun thanks for the reply! Yes, I'm using the Antec 430watt power supply. My budget is unlimited but I would like to keep things as efficient and quiet as possible. Should a ~$180 video be good enough? If I change my power supply will that effect any of my other components? (hotter or cooler or not as efficient?) How much power does the HD 3870 require? Should I get two and crossfire them or should I be fine with just one?

I heard these cards are huge and take up two slots. Since I have a micro ATX mobo, these cards might block all my SATA ports that are on the mobo (poor design). Anyone know for sure? My mobo is a Asus M3A78-EMH HDMI.

I read up on the intergrated HD3200 on the mobo that I have and ATI's website about crossfirex and it does say that I can crossfire my intergrated HD3200 with a HD 3470 card... only the HD3470 I think. But if the 3470 is crap then that's a no go... I just thought a HD 3200 crossfired with a HD 3470 might be just as good as a single HD 3870 but I guess not.

If I get a HD 3870 do I need aftermarket cooling or an overclocked model? Is there a specific type I should get? Would the 512MB one be good enough?

Also, I'm running vista 32 if that helps any. I'm feeling that I might have made a mistake with buying this mobo as well if the intergrated video card is crap, upgraded graphics block the sata ports...:sigh:
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1. Changeing the psu will only benifit the pc.
2. Ill help you find a psu after I find out a bit more.
3. 3870's are availible in single slot setups.
4. Forget the 3470 , it will take four or five of them to equal a 3870.

Ok first , when I look up your board , it only has one pci-e slot

Second , if you have unlimited funds you could look at a "3870 x2". There 400$ monsters that can eat up any game. But a regular 3870 will do just fine also.
See now... when you say 3870 x2 will eat up any game you're tempting the hell outta me:grin: $400 isn't that bad if it's the best that I can do with my mobo and other equipment. You are correct tho, I only have 1 pci-e on my mobo... so that means only 1 card right? or is there some kinda adapter:4-dontkno If I can only install 1 3870 that'll be better than what I have now so that's cool. As for the power supply, I can buy one locally. I just need to know the specs and what to look for in a power supply... the do's and don'ts thanks again!
Theres no adapter
A 3870 x2 is actually two 3870's crossfired on one card. Yeah...

You should really purchase a psu online as you really won't find a quality unit at any local shop. Especially if you go for a 3870 x2. Heres some chocies.

First the 3870 x2

And the psu's you would need for it. Definitely needs to be a quality 750w

Or the regular 3870

And psu's for that. 600w or higher
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Thanks emosun! I'ma try the 3870 x2 with 750w thermatake option and hopefully I won't have any fitting problems. I really appreciate your help. I'll post my results in a week or two when I receive my products. One more question... will everything be fine with the processor I have now? Hopefully I won't have to upgrade that...
Yea It'll be fine. Excellent the video card and psu your getting is far better then what most people on this site have. Definitely will get better graphics then a ps3 or xbox 360.
thanks again emosun! I just ordered a diamond 3870 x2 from new egg along with that thermatake 750watt.
Very cool , I envy your new parts. Let us know how it goes.
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