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The motherboard died on a gaming laptop belonging to a friend of mine, and I am rebuilding it as a desktop as a favor for him.

According to the specs from alienware's website and several reviews online, the graphics cards are two AMD ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 GPUs in a crossfire configuration.

When I pulled the GPUs, I was a little confused; the interface was clearly not a standard PCIe interface, about 3 1/4" wide with a single space between pins roughly in the middle of the pins (whereas the PCI cards I've dealt with have had their gap significantly to one side). I did some research on legacy ports and newer PCI interfaces, but nothing Looks right from what I've seen.

In selecting a motherboard I obviously should be looking for one with crossfire support, but what interface do I need for the cards?

Here is a picture of a card with the same interface:

http://www.amd.com/PublishingImages/Public/Photograph_ProductShots/HighResolutionJPEG/47948A_AMD_AMR_HD5700_HD5600_MXMBoard_Flat.jpg

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I'm guessing you're faced with an MXM module, which is kinda sort of the standard for replaceable laptop graphics cards. There are adaptors between MXM III and PCIe but they seem expensive enough that buying a new GPU looks like a better option.

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  • Thank you very much for your response. MXM Does appear to be correct bus. The GPUs, although several years old, were top-of-the-line when they came out, so it may make sense to spend $100+ on an adapter (I'd have to look at some benchmarks to be sure). However, I cant find a single vendor of used or new MXM adapters. If you know of any I would be very grateful for a link, otherwise thank you again for your help! – 808st8ofmind Sep 1 '14 at 0:17
  • Didn't have much luck there, outside that 'they exist'. – Journeyman Geek Sep 1 '14 at 0:32

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