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Old 06-27-2010, 04:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default SLI for PhysX / Folding?

I recently discovered how to rip blu-ray movies from their discs to a hard drive, and would like to do a relatively inexpensive upgrade to speed up the transcoding process - takes forever and a half. Was looking at these parts:

Either: AMD Phenom II 945 or AMD Phenom II 940 Black Edition
MSI 870A-G54 Motherboard
2x2gb Memory

I'd go with Intel, but the AMD processor + motherboard is cheaper than the least expensive I7 processor, and only slightly more than a i5 dual core. Which would probably be better at overclocking, the 945 or 940BE? I've had good luck with overclocking my current processor (desktop in signature), and figure I could get a lot of extra performance out of it with a little work.

The only thing I'm really concerned about is that the motherboard only supports Crossfire. I was just wondering: if I ever wanted to use a second nVidia card for PhysX processing, or get a second one for running Folding@Home, would they need to be in SLI, or would this motherboard work alright?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: SLI for PhysX / Folding?

i should make this into a sig lol, since this small issue has come up a few times now and i don't like sounding like a broken record

you need to drop the x4 940 as a choice all together because it is an am2+ cpu. am2/am2+ cpus cannot work in am3 mobos.

so that would leave the x4 945, which is fine, but if you're really interested in OCing, it might be worth your while to spend $20 more on the x4 955 black edition since it's got an unlocked multiplier.

and yes, you would still be able to use that mobo if you run 2 nvidia cards not in sli.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: SLI for PhysX / Folding?

You can run 2 cards in it, AND they wouldn't have to be in sli config.

Same with Physix, though you need hacked drivers if you ran ati and nvidia...

The p55 runs xfire and sli.

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Old 06-27-2010, 10:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: SLI for PhysX / Folding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muffin Man View Post
you need to drop the x4 940 as a choice all together because it is an am2+ cpu. am2/am2+ cpus cannot work in am3 mobos.

so that would leave the x4 945, which is fine, but if you're really interested in OCing, it might be worth your while to spend $20 more on the x4 955 black edition since it's got an unlocked multiplier.

and yes, you would still be able to use that mobo if you run 2 nvidia cards not in sli.
Oh my, thanks for letting me know! I was looking at some AM2+ chips that would fit in my AM2 motherboard (unfortunately practically none are supported), and since they were compatible I thought they'd work the other way too. You just saved me a good $120 :P

How much of a difference would the unlocked multiplier make? I mean, I have a locked multiplier Athlon X2 4000+ that I've gotten from 2.1ghz to 2.8ghz without much issue - how high do you think I could take the 955?


Quote:
Originally Posted by patonb
You can run 2 cards in it, AND they wouldn't have to be in sli config.

Same with Physix, though you need hacked drivers if you ran ati and nvidia...

The p55 runs xfire and sli.
Alright - I never really plan on running two graphics cards for games, but was considering putting in an older card sometime (or keeping my current card in there) for just processing stuff. Glad to know that'll work - thanks!
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: SLI for PhysX / Folding?

You may not want two graphics cards for games now, but you probably will wish you had SLi down the road when you have two cards and are lagging in new games. I'd find a motherboard with SLi/Crossfire support if possible, if not then buy an ATi card as your next graphics upgrade. With ATi being a strong choice there's no huge advantage for nVidia after Folding@Home gets its OpenCL upgrade.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: SLI for PhysX / Folding?

I always heard that SLI doesn't produce that massive of a performance upgrade, although I could be mistaken. Also, I'm probably sticking with my 9800GT for as long as possible. In the future, it would make more sense to delegate it to folding/physics and just buy a new card - not like the Phenom II processors are the fastest out there, unfortunately.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: SLI for PhysX / Folding?

As for Physx, not a whole lot of games actually use it. Dedicating one card to a feature that is used in a small percentage of games seems questionable, but then again you can fold away on it while gaming on a newer card.
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