TechSpot

Motherboard SLI/Crossfire support

By princeton
Feb 6, 2010
  1. Hi,

    So I'm looking at a new motherboard. It will be using an intel core i5-750 processor. I also have a gtx 260. I found a motherboard on newegg that has Crossfire support. Does that mean it will also support SLI? Here is the link.
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130246

    Any help would be appreciated. Also if it isnt suggestions for a 100-200 dollar mobo with SLI support would be appreciated but It needs to run the core i5-750 as well.
     
  2. Flannelwarrior

    Flannelwarrior TS Rookie Posts: 149

    I've been wondering the same thing myself. I have an MSI mobo which I know supports Crossfire, but my video card is Nvidia.
     
  3. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 1,716

    Well hopefully someone can give us both an answer to this question then.
     
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,967   +738

    The MSI board does not support SLI but obviously does support Crossfire.

    The cheapest SLI + Crossfire board by MSI is the P55-GD65 ($165)
    If you need an mATX form factor then the EVGA P55 ($104.99 after rebate)
    Gigabyte P55M-UD4 ($159.99) and EVGA 121-LF-E652-KR LGA 1156 ($134.99 after rebate)
    Are all good alternatives

    @Flannelwarrior
    You can use an nVidia card on a Crossfire only board-you just cant run two or more nVidia cards in SLI configuration. You can however run two nVidia cards if they are not linked in SLI ( if you wanted to use one card as your main graphics card and a second one as a PhysX card)
     
  5. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    +1 DBZ.

    The MSI GD65 is a very good board for it's price. It has tons of features and is said to be a good overclocker.
     
  6. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 1,716

    Speaking of overclocking does anyone know a good guide for cpu overclocking? I'm a total noob to it and would like a good walkthrough. Anyway thanks for your suggestions guys. Also if I get the MSI board. Is OC genie at all decent or is it just a stupid gimmick. Because OC isn't my strong point and if it will give any preformance boost at all ill stick with it.
     
  7. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    OC Genie, I'm not sure how helpful that will be. It's always best to manually key in values into the BIOS during overclocking.

    Read this for some information on overclocking the i5 750. Also take a look at this article.

    Post here in the Overclocking, Cooling and Modding section for any assistance on OCing once you get your CPU.
     
  8. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 1,716

    FULL EDIT: All of this post original copy deleted and changed

    What kind of power supply would I need for a setup like this?

    Intel Core i5-750
    6GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 Ram
    2 GTX 260 @ 680core 1466 shader and 2500 effective memory
    MSI P55-GD65 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Intel Motherboard

    I have a 700w OCZ gameXstream but I doubt it will cut it.
     
  9. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    The OCZ 700W might just cut it. However, something like the Corsair 850TX would be a better option.

    An interesting equipment has been mentioned in this thread. Take a look at it.
     
  10. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,967   +738

  11. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 1,716

    So how would that work exactly? Would I have it and the 700w I already have in my case at the same time?
     
     
  12. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

  13. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 1,716

    Wow dude thats awesome. Thanks man. Also in theory would an intel core 2 duo E7500 @ 2.93GHZ bottleneck a GTX 260 sli?
     
  14. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    Theoretically it very well might. I suggest that you OC that processor of yours.
     
  15. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 1,716

    I was hoping I could get some ideas on what would be stable on it as I can't overclock.. whatever I'll buy an i5 or i7.
     
  16. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,967   +738

    Yes. Depending upon the game.
    The CPU could still bottleneck those cards at 3.6+ GHz.
    The best course of action with SLI is to keep a number of profiles loaded in the BIOS and depending upon the game (or if using a CPU dependant app) apply the profile to suit.
    Many, for instance that will run at a 80-100 fps aren't going to benefit from anything more- especially if you are using a 60Hz monitor. More games will show dependancy upon frame buffer (memory bus width- in your case 448 bit) than CPU core speed.
    Most apps (including games) don't benefit markedly from clockspeeds past 3.6.

    A graphic illustration of the unpredictability of OC'ing and gaming here
    http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/lynnfield/9.html
    (+ the two pages that follow)
    and here
     
  17. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 1,716

  18. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,967   +738

    It's a good board. There's not much difference between it and the NF79 (790i Ultra) model, which I have some experience with.
    If you can source an EVGA 123-YW-E175-A1 (750i SLI FTW) it would likely be cheaper, more stable and offer comparable performance. This board is the only 750i board I would recommend. Likewise if you can pick up an EVGA 132-YW-E179-A1 FTW at a reasonable price then this is hands-down the best SLI LGA775 board ever made. It's basically a 790i Ultra with digital PWM power phases.
    EVGA are the only company offering GOOD ongoing support for LGA775 SLI boards. Either of the three boards I've mentioned or the one you have linked to are good boards. Probably not cost effective, but if you're staying with LGA775 for a while and want SLI then you won't get better.
    Steer clear of the Striker II Extreme/NSE and MSI P7N2- no good can come from owning one in my experience.
     
  19. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 1,716

    Ok. Im looking at the EVGA socket LGA 1156 motherboards and I've found one that seems well priced and has good

    These are the two. One is $20 more so something must be abit better but I can't figure out what it is. Also im thinking LGA 1156 because that socket wont be outdated for a while(I don't see the point in LGA 1366 its hardly adopted by anyone) and in time I could put a core i7 in this.
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188056

    Any thoughts? Looks pretty good to me. I would probably pair it with a core i7-860(no overclocks) and 4GB DDR3 ram. That leavs room to SLI when the GT300 cards release. Also when do you think the core i7-860 would be completely obsolete? Like would it last until 2011-2012 and still be mid end? Also what does it mean that when you use SLI each pci-e goes to x8,x8? Does that mean the speeds are reduced severely? Another thing. Will it be compatible with my OCZ gamexstream? Someone complained on newegg about PSU compatability with his ATX2.1
     
  20. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,967   +738

    There's no real performance penalty for running SLI (or Crossfire) in x8,x8 mode. Very few cards (HD 5970, GTX295 being the exceptions) have the ability to saturate the bandwidth afforded by PCIe x8.
    If you're planning on SLI'ing two GTX 480 or 470 cards I suggest you start praying for a lottery win.
    The EVGA board is good, and looks better if you believe you'll ever get your rebate. I would personally look at a degree of futureproofing by looking at either:
    Asus P7P55D-E Pro ($200 + S/H)
    Gigabyte P55A-UD4P ($200 + S/H)
    Both offer native USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb support which could come in handy. Running your OS from a SATA 6Gb harddrive such as this or (especially) this is by far the biggest performance boost you can give a system.
     
  21. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 1,716


    After some issues where I replaced an ASUS mobo 4 times I will never buy an asus motherboard again. And since I don't plan on going with a SSD I think I'll go with the EVGA board. Another feature I like about the eVGA one is that it can support LGA 775 heatsinks. Since the i5 default heatsink sucks i'll use my core 2 duo one until I buy an aftermarkey when I get all this said and done.
     
  22. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 1,716

    OK wait!

    GTX 480? Did they seriously decide to skip GTX 300 and go to GTX 400 in terms of gpu names?
     
  23. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,967   +738

    The 300 series is now exclusively for DX10/10.1 cards, with DX11 cards belonging to the 400 series to both differentiate between DirectX versions and architectures as well as putting some distance between the re-brands/low spec cards and the GPGPU (Fermi) cards.
     
  24. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 1,716

    I wonder if in fermi they'll put some decent anti aliasing. Like ATI cards get a very small performance drop with x2 or x4 AA unlike nvidia.
     
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