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Windows 7: Questions about ATI Crossfire setups. Intergrated + addon cards?

31 Oct 2010   #1
kdogg

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Questions about ATI Crossfire setups. Intergrated + addon cards?

I really don't game too much but Medal of Honor and the upcoming COD Black Ops caught my attention.

Unfortunately, my PC... Is um, well... A dinosaur. Home built PC, running on a Socket939 ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe, single core AMD 64 3200 with 3GB of DDR.

For a video card I've got an ATI Radeon HD 3970 X2 which while ever so slightly dated is still somewhat relevant.

Anyway I had a little spare cash sitting in PayPal so I headed over to Newegg.com and picked up the following (mostly because it was specials they were running):

Asus M4A88TD-M/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX motherboard.

Newegg.com - ASUS M4A88TD-M/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

And then I also picked up a AMD Athlon II X2 245 Regor 2.9GHz Socket AM3 CPU (was cheap) and 6GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer 6GB (2GBx3) DDR3 1600 Ram.

Now the CPU and the RAM I really don't have any questions about, CPU's are CPU's and for the most parts, RAM is RAM. I don't O/C so I just picked some decent spec'ed mid-grade ram from a reputable company and called it good.

My questions are more about the motherboard. It comes with an ATI Radeon 4250 HD video card integrated but it's also a CFX board and it says you can add in another ATI card for Crossfire GFX.

Can I use my old 3970 HD X2? It's already a dual GPU card. Would the two even be backwards compatible with each other or would one slow the other down? Hell, can you even utilize a standard HD with a HD X2 card?

Would I be better off to sell my 3970 HD X2 and pick up another 4250 HD or maybe disable the on-board 4250 HD and get a better dual GPU card? If the 4250 HD and the 3970 HD X2 will play nice together, I'm sure it's more card then I will need for a long time, I'm currently playing MOH on max detail on the 3970 HD X2, I'm just getting some CPU lag and slow ass load times due to my dated CPU.

I'm currently running my PC with two monitors. A 24 inch LCD (DVI) and a 46 inch Samsung LED LCD (HDMI). I run an extended desktop because for the life of me I can NOT get it to clone displays. I head this is a common complaint for ATI video cards though. I wish you could clone though, my two displays are not near each other. It's a pain in the ass to start a movie on the desktop and have to slide it over to the big screen when I can't see them both at the same time. I don't get why ATI has never addressed this issue.

Anyone ever figure out a way to do that properly?

OH! One last thing!

I plan to go from Windows 7 x86 on my current rig to Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on this setup, obviously, due to the amount of ram. With my current ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe I've never been able to install Windows of any version without slip-streaming in ULI raid drivers from Nvidia and SATA drivers from SIL. Windows Vista, 7 etc, simply wouldn't see my RAID'ed Western Digital Raptors or my SATA DVD drive unless I did.

Should I plan on having this issues with this new board and Windows 7 x64 too? Am I going to have to track down a bunch of controller drivers and install them via USB mem card during my Windows 7 install or maybe slip-stream them ahead of time like on my old PC?

Just looking for some pointers. Preparing for my new computer, parts will be here Monday.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Oct 2010   #2
stormy13
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

No you cannot Crossfire your 3870 x2 with the onboard, that only works with the low end 3450/4350 cards. One thing having an AMD card with an AMD motherboard with onboard graphics is to run up to 4 monitors in what is called SurroundView, 2 on the card and 2 on the onboard.

As for cloning the monitor with the TV, are they both the same resolution? Clone mode only works when both displays are the same resolution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2010   #3
kdogg

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

OK... Well, until I figure out a new GFX solution, and hell, I might not even need one for the games I want to play right now, should I disable the on-board 4250 HD and just use my 3970 HD X2 or use the on-board?

Judging by the detail of MOH right now on my current setup, my 3970 HD X2 isn't really my main issue, my out of date CPU/Mobo/Ram was so either way this is going to be a hell of an upgrade for me no matter what I do.

I haven't looked at new cards in a while either. When I got the 3970 HD X2, it was pretty much top of the line. That was actually an upgrade for my ATI X1900 I was running on my current PC.

OH! And no, my desktop LCD and my TV are not the same resolution at all. Thats pretty stupid they never offered a solution for that. I know it worked on Nvidia cards. Hell, when I started asking about this issue back when I first got my 3970 HD X2, people were like oh man if you wanted to do "Clones" displays with two different resolutions, you shoulda got an Nvidia card.

Actually, is there any reason I can't? I've always gotten ATI cards because my motherboards were always ATI based (Crossfires) or something. Might be time to move to an Nvidia card if ATI is never going to "fix" that flaw, er I mean "feature", cough.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Questions about ATI Crossfire setups. Intergrated + addon cards?




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