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1 GPU or 3?


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#1
WhydoIask?

WhydoIask?

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I'm building a gaming rig over the summer, and the motherboard I'm buying (ASUS Crosshair 5,) has a 3-way GPU feature, either 3 ATI or 3 NVidia cards. My question is: do I spend $200 on a medium-high end card, or spend $300-$400 on 3 mediocre cards? The higher end card I'm looking at is the HD Radeon 6870, with a gig of dedicated RAM, for about $200. Is there a cheaper card that I can combine 3 of to get better performance?

Thanks for your time.
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#2
phillpower2

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Hi WhydoIask?

A good video card needs to be complimented by other components to avoid bottlenecks, what CPU and Ram are you considering?
Another major consideration is the PSU which must be able to provide enough clean and stable power for all components, single video cards can be power hungry on their own so adding a second or indeed a further two and you will be looking at needing an extremely powerful PSU.

What size and how many screens will you be using with your new set-up?

Answer the above for us and we will have a better idea of what to suggest.

NB: The size of your case should also be considered as in how much room do or will you require!
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#3
WhydoIask?

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I've thought this computer through carefully. It's going to have an 8-core AMD FX 3.6GHz processor, 8GB of 1333 MHz RAM, and a 750W PSU (I have no problem changing the PSU.) I plan on using only one 20" screen, but maybe a second equally sized one, if I can find one. And finally, the case I found has more than enough room for 3 GPU's, and (I believe,) enough ventilation built in. I'm fairly certain that the bottleneck would be the GPU(s,) if anything.

My friend was reading over my shoulder and mentioned that not a lot of games support multiple GPU's. Should I be worried if the oldest game I have on my PC is GTA San Andreas (Then skip ahead to Mass Effect 2, 3, and Battlefield 3?)
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#4
phillpower2

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Thanks for the additional info :thumbsup:
A single good card will do you, see what you think http://www.tigerdire...1863&CatId=7005

The brand of your PSU is equally as important as the output, your PSU should have a minimum 80% efficiency output rating, provide more than the minimum power required by the video card and preferably be of the Antec, Corsair or Seasonic brand.
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#5
WhydoIask?

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Thanks for the info. The GPU you found is a little better than the one I found, but mine's about $70 cheaper. The PSU is actually only 700w, made by OCZ, which is "up to" %86 efficient.
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#6
phillpower2

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The video card is ok but I wouldn`t go for that particular PSU see http://www.10stripe....d/psu/brand.php for PSUs to trust and PSUs to avoid, a better more reliable PSU http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817371044
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#7
WhydoIask?

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That's helpful, thanks. I should use Newegg more often.
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#8
NKGuy

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The video card is ok but I wouldn`t go for that particular PSU see http://www.10stripe....d/psu/brand.php for PSUs to trust and PSUs to avoid, a better more reliable PSU http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817371044

I think its a bit unfair to say there are PSU you can trust and avoid. Any Antec PSU can arrive at your house and be DOA. If your really going to label them then you should further the search and go by manufacturers.
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#9
phillpower2

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The video card is ok but I wouldn`t go for that particular PSU see http://www.10stripe....d/psu/brand.php for PSUs to trust and PSUs to avoid, a better more reliable PSU http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817371044

I think its a bit unfair to say there are PSU you can trust and avoid. Any Antec PSU can arrive at your house and be DOA. If your really going to label them then you should further the search and go by manufacturers.


1: Not unfair at all - it is basic guidance, the PSU is the engine that powers the machine and if you put a poor quality or under powered PSU in your system when it goes bang ( not if ) it has the potential to take out the whole system.

2: That is correct as nothing is infallible, the PSU at the link was purely an example of what is available, it provides a more than adequate output and is available for a good price at the moment.

3: From my post #4;

and preferably be of the Antec, Corsair or Seasonic brand.

Please check my research at the following two links which I also use in addition to 10 Stripe;
http://forum.pcmech....ide-inside.html
http://www.realhardt...vos/Page541.htm

NB: FWIW Corsair is my preferred brand of PSU and the TX650 would be what I would suggest if I was asked http://www.newegg.co...ht-_-17-139-020 however the Antec brand is recognised as one of proven quality and reliability, meets the OPs requirements and is less expensive than the Corsair.
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