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bottle necking my video cards


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#1
wanz2lrnmr

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I am somewhat illiterate as to computers and their outcome ,but here is my problem. I just invested into two 3850 video cards , and have put them in a crossfire configuration. NOW i just read that some motherboards that have two PCI express slots that say they are X16 are sometimes not wired for x16 on the second slot . I will list my build (this is my first attempted ever) ,,, Raidmax Scorpio ATX-868 case .( it came with a 420 Watt PSU, I replaced it with a 630 Rosewill Hybrid 2RX ) ,,,Gigabyte GA-MA78G-DS3HP 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard,,,AMD Athalon 64x2 5000 Brisbane 2.6GHz 2X512KB L2cache,,,Zalman CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 ball CPU cooler,,,G.Skill HK 4GB (2x2GB) 240-pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 Dual channel kit Memory,,, Two- Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM 8MB cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard drives,,,Asus 22xDVD+R 8X DVD burner,,, Theater650 Pro TV tuner card,,, TWO-Sapphire 100248L Radeon HD 3850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP ready Crossfire video cards. I have also another DVD-rom player , and a Floppy disc drive ,and card reader also installed, with another 80mm fan for intake on the front and two 80mm fans on the back for exaust... I dont know if I did the right thing by purchasing the TWO video cards and setting them in crossfire configuration. I dont want to start bottle necking performance from the second card with the first , as I am somewhat computer illiterate and this being my first build ever. Is there anything I can do to improve this setup as to make it a low-end gaming computer as well as a good performing one?? Thank you very much for any and all help in this ahead of time . All is very deeply appreciated . Thanks again ahead of time..!!
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#2
Ferrari

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Is this your board? Click Here If so, then it has two pci-e x16 2.0 slots with crossfire support and you are fine.

Let me know

I dont know if I did the right thing by purchasing the TWO video cards and setting them in crossfire configuration.


Yes and No, let me explain. Depending on your budget and how extreme of graphics games you play, you are better buying a higher end card and just having one, than if you buy a lower end card and have 2. If you are looking to get the most out of your motherboards crossfire support then what I would do is buy 1 card in this range(some equal or barely go over the cost of the cards you have now,)

Radeon 4870s on Newegg Click there $140 for one

And then save up to buy a matching one at a later date, then you will be doing awesome!

Or you can keep what you have now(maybe you cannot return your items) which I believe is this card or similar to it

Radeon 3850 $65 for one, $130 for two.

and run your crossfire configuration and you will still be happy, it just wont be the BEST you can do. However, the BEST requires more money.


Here is a great guide to the best video cards for the money. HERE Be sure to read the various sections of under $100 or between $90 and $150 etc. And keep in mind what I said about buying 1 higher end and saving up later and all.
Let me know if you have any questions.

Edited by Ferrari, 24 March 2009 - 11:24 AM.

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#3
wanz2lrnmr

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Ferrari , Thanks for the response ... Yes that is my mother board , but , I looked at the spec.'s and it says I have 2 x16 PCI slots. But I read alittle further into the spec.s and it says that one is wired at x16 , the other is wired at x4. But yes it is the same exact board. I have ran over my thirty day reurn ,but I think it'll be ok for now. I just didnt want to cause any performance issues just starting out with a new build ( my first time ) and a new computer . Money wouldn't be an issue if it wasn't so new of products, I just hate the idea of returning or rebuying unless there was going to be big issues I couldn't live with ... I am very appreciative for your time and information which I found to be quite informative . I only wish I'd have researched alittle further . Please ,let me know if you read the same about the spec.'s on this board as I did . As I said it is a GIGABYTE GA-MA78G-DS3HP AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD motherboard ; and the Expansion slots does say PCI Express 2.0, it reads beside of that 1x PCI Express x16 slot running at x16 (PCI EX16_1) then beside that it reads 1x PCI Express x16 slot 1xPCI Express x16 slot running at x4 (PCI Ex4_1). If I am right, that means that one slot is true x16 ,the other being x4 is of lesser value. That's what I was referring to . the one slot being true x16 the other being X4 ,I was concerned that I would get , "So to speak" , a bottle necking of performance from the second card ...I will save up and take your advice on my next purchase for a better mid level card though the next time. I do alot of purchasing from newegg but will also check out the site you gave me . I am just glad someone reached out to me before I made anymore mistakes.. Thank you very much once again . I am wanz2lrnmr@yahoo.com which is my E~mail if you find anything I may be able to use from this experience.. I don't do alot of gaming ,I just wanted a computer that if I asked it to do something ,I wanted it to be able to do it and not flicker about it. !! I am coming from a 17" crt monitor thats running 256mg of ram ,with no video card ,and an antique OS , Windows ME. Just to give alittle idea of where I am and where I want to be . I have learn't everything on my own and this is the first time i have asked for assitance.. Thank you again :::
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#4
Ferrari

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Gigabytes Website, Your motherboard. Click on that.

If you look at gigabytes website of your motherboard, it specifically says it has 2 PCI E x16 2.0 slots. I would think they would have the correct information. You should be set to go then.

Also, several other sites that I found here, Click HERE say similar information, but isn't as reliable as Gigabytes website.

And if you don't do a lot of gaming, then you have more than enough graphics power for yourself, and it will be nice for when you do get on a game now and then, I'm sure you will be happy.

And to comment on the computer you are coming from, YES, you will very pleased with the things you have purchased. If you ever have problems putting it together or after you get it all going, just post a new topic on here and someone will help you out. There are some really good techs here.

Good Luck and let me know if you have any more questions.
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#5
Ferrari

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Please read post before this one,

Do you have this system together and working? Because on further review of the specs you listed, I think you may have the wrong type of RAM. Is this your RAM? Click It is the same specs at least. This is DDR2 800 and Gigabytes Website says your board takes DDR2 1066 which a bunch of kinds are listed HERE G. Skill 1066 DDR2

Everything else seems to be good, I don't have much experience on AMD Processors, so I will take your word for it. Let me know if you need me to do some research if you are unsure.

Let me know.
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#6
wanz2lrnmr

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Thanks again for quickness in response. I have the complete reading of the mother board's spec.'s, and yes I know it says two x16 PCI slots but I have been also confirmed by a representative that it is as it says, One is x16 and runs x16, the other is x16 ,BUT runs at x4, so I guess I am correct as to they are listed as 2 x16 PCI slots, BUT, only one is running x16 and the other is running at x4...That came straight from the horses' mouth them selves. As far as the right memory ,, uhhh ,, yes , there isnt any such thing as a certain brand name to use as far as that would go , but, I am running G.Skill 4GB (2 X 2GB) 240-pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2800 (PC2 6400) dual channel kit desktop memory..This is a break down of what I installed and have so far: Raidmax Scorpio ATX case (( it came with a 420watt PSU that I found to have one dead rail ) replaced the PSU with a RoseWill LED 630watt PSU (replaced the back fans with two RoseWill 80mm led fans and placed one of the back fans removed from the back to the front of the case)::Gigabyte GA-MA78G-DS3HP mother board;; AMD Athalon 64X2 5000 Bisbane 2.6GHz 2x512 L2 cache Socket AM2 65W Dual core processor;; Zalman CNPS 9700 LED 110mm 2 ball CPU cooler ;; G. Skill HK 4GB ( 2x2GB) 240-PIN DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC 6400) Dual Channel Kit desktop memory;; 2- WesternDigital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM 8MB cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard drive's ;;Asus 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-RC 48X CD-ROM @Mb Cache SATA 22X DVD Burner ;; A Plain 22X DVD CD rom (for reading and uploading ) ;; 2- Sapphire 100248L Radeon HD 3850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2>o X16 HDCP Ready CrossFire video cards ( in cross fire configuration. )1-Theater 650 Pro TV Tuner card.;; One floppy disc drive and :: one 56 all in one card reader;; The hard drives are in RAID-0 configuration;; and I partitioned the hard drives and put XP Media Center on one partition ,, then put VISTA PRO on the other partition, just so I could have the best of both worlds' . I know it's alot of eye candy with the lights and the case , but, like I said, this is the first I have ever built and I never knew anyone in my town to have anything quite so extrodinary as what I put together . I live in a small town where most still use dial-up. I use Road Runner. Thanks again and I hope I did alright as to my first build for both light gaming and home theater PC. I haven't tried to over clock it as I think I will be just sufice with it at stock speeds for now, and don't want to prematurely put the extra stress on it yet. Thank YOU and Wish all :) well ... Learning experience indeed !!!
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#7
Ferrari

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If you had a representative tell you that, then there must be something that I'm missing. It is hard to do online, ya know? Anyway,

I haven't tried to over clock it as I think I will be just sufice with it at stock speeds for now, and don't want to prematurely put the extra stress on it yet.


Exactly. No need to go overclocking if you aren't a serious gamer or don't have a need for it. It will just shorten the lifespan of your processor.

Good Luck, sounds like you have done a great job with your first build. Remember, we are always here if ya need us. If you are interested, take a look at my build in progress, HERE I will have XP Pro, maybe 64bit and then Windows 7 as my main Operating System. (supposed to come out in August/Soon)
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#8
wanz2lrnmr

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Picture_006.jpg Looks like you too have been busy . I didnt realize that there was soo much to just picking out what a person wanted to install , then to install it all . After you get done with that then to get it all to run as a perfectly executed song is quite a feat .. Thanks for sharing , This is a photo of the guts of mine so far . I just hope after I get it together that all will work in unity.. See attatchments. Thanks again for sharing and the knowledge. I hope I can someday be helpful , I am going for Servicing and diagnostics in computers, then off for a masters' in computer science..HOPING TO at least ... LOL Have a great day today and a better one tomorrow !! THANKS ALL !!! and to Computer Shopper for the great site ...

Edited by wanz2lrnmr, 25 March 2009 - 06:33 AM.

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#9
wanz2lrnmr

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I have it up and running... It seems to be ((to me)) astonishing !!! I came from the days of dinos to the 21st century. Everything is working well . now I am going to put it thru the paces of bench marks and a sort of stress test as to find out what it is I will be running.Thanks again Ferrari for the help and thanks to Geeks to Go 's web-site. I know if I ever need help again ,I will certainly come here to ask .. Your site made my understanding alot easier.. Thanks Again .. Ciao' :)
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#10
Ferrari

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As it seems you probably already know, researching the problem or how to do something is THE KEY. Good job and congrats!!!

Here is a tool you can read up on. It is for testing your RAM(memory).

http://www.memtest.org/

Also, here is a link to our How to Guides and Tutorials Section Lots of goodies in there.

Especially this one, (more for once you have used the computer for a little while, cleans it up a bit)

Take a look at this article by Artellos. What makes your machine slow? The recommendations can really improve speed and performance.

And, Preventing Malware and Safe Computing

Edited by Ferrari, 26 March 2009 - 05:44 AM.

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#11
wanz2lrnmr

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Thank you much !! I have sent your site more business also , hope you all don't mind the masses. Everything I found here was informative , helpful , and very polite people make it as good as it can be for an unknowing . Thanks again for a great site , Stay well , in both health and being informed..
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#12
Ferrari

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Thanks, for the comments, I love this site too.

Though it sounds like you will be busy with school, Geeks2Go is also a Malware Training School. They call it Geek U. It is where you get to learn how to remove Malware(viruses) from users computers. Malware Removal is hard, and learning it can be time consuming but the best part about this school is that you move at your own pace. I'm currently enrolled.

If you are interested, click on My Controls towards the top of this page and then look in the left panel. There should by something like "Apply to Geek U" where you can read about it some.

Again, congrats on your build and I wish you luck in all your endeavors.
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#13
wanz2lrnmr

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Wow , thanks again Ferrari . Again you've helped considerably. I can always use more information on my travels... Much thanks !! Have a good day today , and a better one tomorrow !! :)
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