Video card upgrade - what to buy?

By Gavin_Capacitor
Nov 6, 2007
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  1. Ok, so I want to upgrade my videocard(s). Normally this wouldn't be a problem but I'm low on expansion slots and with all the stuff coming out I could use some advice.
    Current specs:
    cpu:amd fx-62
    ram: 4gb OCZ 900mhz ddr2
    mobo: asus crosshair SLI 590
    HDD's: 5x500GB in raid 5 array - 1x 500GB system disk
    soundcard: creative Xtreme gamer Xfi
    Videocards: XFX 8400GS (its a placeholder) and
    Radeon 7000 (to drive extra monitors - I had some old CRT's laying around)

    Now ive got a pretty (~1000$, but I want to get an AMD quad core later) flexible budget, but the expansion slots are a problem.

    my mobo has these slots, in this order:
    --------TOP---------
    PCI slot
    PCIe x16 slot
    PCIe x4 slot
    PCI slot
    PCIe x16 slot
    PCI slot
    ------BOTTOM-------
    and the cards I currently have are:
    Radeon 7000 (PCI)
    Geforce 8400 GS (PCIe x16 - Single slot cooler)
    creative X-fi Xtreme gamer (PCI)
    Highpoint RocketRaid2220 (PCI)
    Also, I want to get another Rocketraid 2220 at some point.

    And if things weren't complicated enough:
    I want to keep my extra monitors - that mean IF i go sli, I need an ATI card to drive my extra monitors. If I get one card (for my main monitor) I could use my 8400GS to run the extra monitors.

    I am considering SLI 8800GT's, but these dont have DX10.1 or SM 4.1 support, I know ATI's cards coming out soon do, but I am unclear on how big a deal this is.

    SO there you have it. Possibly one of the most complicated upgrade decisions I have had to make.

    PS: I am willing to get a PCIe 1x ATI videocard for my extra monitors (~100$ on newegg). I may also be willing to go crossfire if there is a good reason to.

    I know this is really long and complicated and if your still with me and know whats going on - Thank you - I need the advice.
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,749   +156

    I would start by getting a motherboard configured more like you need it to be. You really do need a better video card. There are many good PCI or PCI-e cards out there
  3. Gavin_Capacitor

    Gavin_Capacitor Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 81

    I have an asus crosshair motherboard. This is not the problem, the problem is the number of expansion slots (7 isnt enough!). Are there motherboards with more (prefferably ~10)?
  4. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,623

    SLI will not support the ATI option for more than one card, and then it is not SLI.
  5. Gavin_Capacitor

    Gavin_Capacitor Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 81

    When I said willing to go crossfire, I meant get a new motherboard as well.
  6. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,623

    ok I understand now, thanks
  7. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,282   +24

    You could try using a backplane or a midplane.
  8. Gavin_Capacitor

    Gavin_Capacitor Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 81

    I looked them up on wikipedia, and it seems like they are for servers. Are there any that work with standard ATX cases. Even if it was just a ribbon cable that plugged into a PCI slot (and allowing me to use a dual slot cooler without loosing any PCI slots and a rack to mount the cards somewhere else in my case). Thanks for the suggestion, I will try to look more into this!
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