Motherboard Selection Help Please

Which motherboard would be better? I'm planning on crossfiring 2 7870's and I will be using a AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition.


Graphics Card :


Asus SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 :


Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0 :


If you're planning on crossfiring from the start then you'l want to look into getting a more powerful CPU. The 965 is great but only for single cards as it doesnt have the oomph to power two monsters. Either motherboard will run crossfire setup just fine (both have two 16x slots) so if you go with the cheaper one then you can get more budget alloted for your CPU. Look at getting either a FX6300 or 8120 (if you plan on having a beast cooling setup) with the extra allocated to your CPU instead. In fact, newegg has a deal right now that sells the 8150 WITH a super thick AIO liquid cooler for only like 10 bucks more than the normal 8150. A cooler like that (all made by Astek anyway) retails for around $70 so you're getting a damn good value for your money. People may bash the bulldozer but it still is no slouch and overclocks quite well if youve got hte cooling (which this provides). The things are powerful and put a lot of heat out just like a muscle car. Everyone loves muscle cars.

I would recommend getting a 7970 or 7950 instead. A single GPU will always be better for reliability than a CrossFire or SLI setup. You eliminate micro-stuttering and get more VRAM per GPU with the 79xx series. (Micro-stuttering is a result of CrossfireX/SLI). The XFX 7950, with a mail-in rebate from Newegg, is $289 (here). If you are going to crossfire, get 2 of those. Otherwise, get a 7970 and murder everything.

Im planning on getting one 7870 as of now and then eventually later getting another one most likely.

A 7970 is only 5-7% faster per clock than a 7950 but is far more expensive than a 7950. They both clock to around the same level (unless we consider flagship 500+ cards) so the 7950 has more value for the money.

Both are great boards. Really comes down if you are looking for some of the additional benefits that the TUF board offers ( advanced thermal monitoring and 5 year warranty and a few other points ). 

In regards to overall reliaiblity, stability and overclocking they are both based off the same code base so there is not going to be a difference in this respect. I would note that while you will see solid scaling of 2 7870 cards pwntarts does make a good point that your CPU will be a bottleneck in acheviing the maximum performance. Additionally the consideration of picking a better performing single GPU is a good recommendation although it must be balanced in what are you actually playing and at what resolution as these two factors should be the biggest influences for what GPU you are considering.

Board wise though either one is a great option.

Hope this helps. Please enjoy the rest of your day.