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AMD Radeon HD 7950 - Can I Run These Parts Together?

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April 27, 2013 6:15:10 PM

Here is the GPU I want to upgrade to:

http://www.microcenter.com/product/403013/R7950_TF_3GD5...

Here is the CPU I want to upgrade to:

http://www.microcenter.com/product/401795/FX_8350_4GHz_...

Here is my motherboard:

http://www.microcenter.com/product/375772/GA-970A-UD3_S...

My PSU is Antec Basiq 500W 80+.

Will my motherboard and PSU be able to handle these parts together?

Another thing: I heard that AMD GPUs tend to have driver issues with certain or many games. Are these claims true? I really want to try out an AMD GPU, but if it will give me too much trouble, I'll go with the NVIDIA Geforce GTX 660 Ti.

Edit: The Micro Center link for the GPU says 225W PSU requirement, but other places say 500W or higher. What is the official psu requirement for this AMD chip? Is it that MSI made the card more power efficient? I'm confused on this matter.

Edit 2: Ok, so this is my current CPU:

http://www.microcenter.com/product/382798/Phenom_II_X6_...

How much difference would the FX 8350 make, in terms of games?
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April 27, 2013 6:21:51 PM

Yeah 500 is minimum for a 7950. The cpu is 125 watt.
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April 27, 2013 6:33:24 PM

In general, a 500+ watt PSU handles any CPU + one GPU easily

I have a 600w that powers a good CPU and GPU plus three hard drives and lots of fans.
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April 27, 2013 7:57:54 PM

splinter007 said:
In general, a 500+ watt PSU handles any CPU + one GPU easily

I have a 600w that powers a good CPU and GPU plus three hard drives and lots of fans.


never mind 100W is a big difference, he doesn't have a 500W PSU. He has a lower end PSU, rated 430W on the 12V, and a high power high end CPU and GPU. Those two alone pull 350W. Just going off the label this would not be a.good idea.

Test show it can actually put out all 430W plus full load on the 5 and 3.3. So it might squeak by if there is NO overclocking. But I wouldn't do it.

www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Antec-Basiq-BP500U-Powe...

OP a 500W PSU is the minimum AMD recommend but those.are.never accurate. 225W is what the GPU actually draws.

This raises a whole nother problem. Its an old PSU design with two 18A rails. that's 216W each. If the GPU and the 75W pcie power were on the same rail (very unlikely) its out of spec. If the CPU, motherboard and 75W from the PCIe are on the same rail (very likely, 200W plus board power, hardrives etc) its also out of spec. There's no way this could ever be balanced to stay under the current limitations of the 12V rails.

A good brand PSU with.a single high current rail rated for at least 45A would be much better. Who wants to ruin good expensive hardware for lack of a $60 PSU

Edit: the PSU also only has 1 6 pin GPU connector, further evidence against it. You'd have to use molex adapters, Just not a good idea to do this. If it was designed for it would have 2
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April 27, 2013 8:07:01 PM

goldensun87 said:
Another thing: I heard that AMD GPUs tend to have driver issues with certain or many games. Are these claims true? I really want to try out an AMD GPU, but if it will give me too much trouble, I'll go with the NVIDIA Geforce GTX 660 Ti.


AMD GPU's are every bit as good as Nvidia. AMD/ATI solved there driver problems years ago there are no more problems with AMD GPU's than there are with Nvidia GPU's. A 7950 would be a better GPU than a 660ti.
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April 27, 2013 8:17:59 PM

bryonhowley said:
goldensun87 said:
Another thing: I heard that AMD GPUs tend to have driver issues with certain or many games. Are these claims true? I really want to try out an AMD GPU, but if it will give me too much trouble, I'll go with the NVIDIA Geforce GTX 660 Ti.


AMD GPU's are every bit as good as Nvidia. AMD/ATI solved there driver problems years ago there are no more problems with AMD GPU's than there are with Nvidia GPU's. A 7950 would be a better GPU than a 660ti.


That's not really accurate right now. AMD has the recent frame variance issue. They've already fixed a lot of it, but a 660Ti does draw less power, is usually smoother, and AMD does still need to work on the issue. Its not a bad driver as much as an issue that was never properly addressed by the drivers, that they are now addressing.

I'd still get AMD. Plus free games. Ive never had an issue with mine. They dont have incompatible game issues. But they do have a recent, semi-serious, ongoing issue, that they need to work on (and actively are) improving.
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April 27, 2013 8:22:39 PM

Ok, so the minimum for the 660 Ti is 450W, which should make it safe to run with the FX 8350 and my 500W PSU, right? See, I would gladly buy a higher power psu, but these days, nothing in the 600W+ range seem to have the fan facing to the rear of the case. I'm using the Cooler Master Storm Enforcer, which installs the psu at the bottom of the case. My current gpu's fan is facing downward (GTX 550 Ti), so I'd rather my psu blow its steam directly out.

So, the way I see it, these seem to be my options:

- Get the HD 7950 and keep my current cpu, so I do not push my psu's limits.
- Get the GTX 660 Ti and the new cpu.

Which of these two would you guys suggest?
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April 27, 2013 8:35:33 PM

Get this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... instead.
Save $10 after rebate, it has the Boost clock at 925Mhz, faster than the MSI.

Your PSU is sufficient.

AMD cards have no driver issues. They just have bad microstutter and a lot of runt/dropped frames when you put two AMD cards in Crossfire configuration. If you are going to add another similar card to dual GPU in the future, I suggest getting an Nvidia card instead.

The minimum suggested PSU by AMD is 500W, after taking into consideration the possibility of crappy PSUs. Your Antec 500W is rated 80+ it should not be bad at all.

If you are going to use a HD 7950 you will probably encounter CPU bottlenecks with the Phenom II. It is a six core processor at 2.7Ghz.
The FX 8350 is far superior, with eight cores at 4Ghz. I suggest getting the FX instead.
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April 27, 2013 8:38:58 PM

goldensun87 said:
Ok, so the minimum for the 660 Ti is 450W, which should make it safe to run with the FX 8350 and my 500W PSU, right? See, I would gladly buy a higher power psu, but these days, nothing in the 600W+ range seem to have the fan facing to the rear of the case. I'm using the Cooler Master Storm Enforcer, which installs the psu at the bottom of the case. My current gpu's fan is facing downward (GTX 550 Ti), so I'd rather my psu blow its steam directly out.

So, the way I see it, these seem to be my options:

- Get the HD 7950 and keep my current cpu, so I do not push my psu's limits.
- Get the GTX 660 Ti and the new cpu.

Which of these two would you guys suggest?


The PSU thing isn't an issue. Old style PSUs used an exhaust fan on the back. Modern designs use an intake on the bottom. This is so they can use a larger, slower, quieter fan. They are designed to push Air through the PSU not pull it out, and in your case are meant to be facing down to pull cold air from underneath and exhaust out the back. You can face them up and have them pull air from inside the case if needed(the other way is better if possible though), but they still exhaust out the back.

Your current CPU will bottleneck both GPUs with its clocks so low. The 660Ti is rated for 150W. They still slapped 2 6 pin on it which wasn't technically necessary but with power that low using an adapter is fine.

In short every PSU still runs air the same way as yours and you can use.any of them, but if you don't want to upgrade the PSU the 660ti is a much better option. If you want the AMD games they'd cover the PSU though, but the 660Ti does have metro last light. (2033 was HORRIBLE though. So. Meg)
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April 27, 2013 8:43:56 PM

huilun02 said:
Get this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... instead.
Save $10 after rebate, it has the Boost clock at 925Mhz, faster than the MSI.

Your PSU is sufficient.

AMD cards have no driver issues. They just have bad microstutter and a lot of runt/dropped frames when you put two AMD cards in Crossfire configuration. If you are going to add another similar card to dual GPU in the future, I suggest getting an Nvidia card instead.

The minimum suggested PSU by AMD is 500W, after taking into consideration the possibility of crappy PSUs. Your Antec 500W is rated 80+ it should not be bad at all.

If you are going to use a HD 7950 you will probably encounter CPU bottlenecks with the Phenom II. It is a six core processor at 2.7Ghz.
The FX 8350 is far superior, with eight cores at 4Ghz. I suggest getting the FX instead.


His PSU might get by. The rails are a seriously issue, as it being a 430W PSU with limited protection and not enough power connectors. Everyone know running a PSU at max load is a horrible idea and 80 plus doesn't mean quality protection. When JUST the CPU and GPU leave only 80W for the rest of the,system, and there is no way to run inside the rail limits its a BAD idea.
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April 27, 2013 8:55:58 PM


That's not really accurate right now. AMD has the recent frame variance issue. said:

That's not really accurate right now. AMD has the recent frame variance issue.


This is pretty much only in crossfire.
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April 27, 2013 9:02:47 PM

smeezekitty said:

That's not really accurate right now. AMD has the recent frame variance issue. [/msgquoted said:


This is pretty much only in crossfire.]
That's not really accurate right now. AMD has the recent frame variance issue.


This is pretty much only in crossfire.


No, its not. It was discovered the end of 2012, in a noncrossfire 7950 vs 660Ti test. Its not years old. Its a recent issue. AMD quickly fixed it for a handful of games in dx9, and is still working on it for dx10/11 in general, and on specific games. Its WORSE in crossfire but it applies to single cards just as.much. And is the recent issue he's probably heard about.

The basic issue is AMD never looked at it till 2013. They are actively dealing with it, and I said if still get AMD. But it is in no way a crossfire only issue. The whole argument for FCAT was.based around single GPU testing and is why frame variance is being added to single card reviews. We've ALWAYS known crossfire and SLI had microstutter. A huge part of why crossfire is so MUCH worse is that the individual GPUs stutter on their own.
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April 27, 2013 9:11:02 PM

unksol said:
bryonhowley said:
goldensun87 said:
Another thing: I heard that AMD GPUs tend to have driver issues with certain or many games. Are these claims true? I really want to try out an AMD GPU, but if it will give me too much trouble, I'll go with the NVIDIA Geforce GTX 660 Ti.


AMD GPU's are every bit as good as Nvidia. AMD/ATI solved there driver problems years ago there are no more problems with AMD GPU's than there are with Nvidia GPU's. A 7950 would be a better GPU than a 660ti.


That's not really accurate right now. AMD has the recent frame variance issue. They've already fixed a lot of it, but a 660Ti does draw less power, is usually smoother, and AMD does still need to work on the issue. Its not a bad driver as much as an issue that was never properly addressed by the drivers, that they are now addressing.

I'd still get AMD. Plus free games. Ive never had an issue with mine. They dont have incompatible game issues. But they do have a recent, semi-serious, ongoing issue, that they need to work on (and actively are) improving.


Well I have three rigs a FX-8120 with a Crossfire Sapphire HD 7950 a FX-8350 with a Crossfire Sapphire HD 7970 and a i5 3570K with a SLI Gigabyte GTX 670 and can tell with the 300 plus games I own that all three rigs can handle all of my games 1080p and for the games that support them 5760x1080 max/ultra settings with no stutter or lag and no crashes so for me I have no driver issues what so ever. I have just been back with Nvidia GPU's with the GTX 670 SLI and that was only because at the time there were no 79xx drivers out for OS X 10.8.2 on my Hackintosh so Nvidia was the only choose at the time. And none of my AMD/ATI rigs have any micro-stutter in Crossfire at all none.

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April 27, 2013 9:19:29 PM

That's all well and good, and I'd get AMD too. Not everyone notices it anyway. He asked what the issues were. I told him what the recent issue that everyone is talking about is, that AMD themselves has said its a issue on single cards that they take seriously, and that they are fixing it. I dint know why everyone gets all up in arms about telling the basic facts with no bias
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April 28, 2013 12:30:00 AM

unksol, thank you for the info on new psu designs. Although I don't like having to spend extra money, if my current cpu will bottleneck the new gpu, then it looks like I'll be buying a new psu. Which means I will be getting the FX 8350 cpu. That only leaves the gpu.

What exactly is this frame variance issue? How much does it show while playing a game? While not playing a game? Also, it seems I should add that I will never do a multi-gpu setup. Only single-gpu for me lol.

So, will this be a good choice for the psu?

http://www.microcenter.com/product/383861/High_Current_...

Also, some of you might get a chuckle out of the intro of this review.

http://www.hitechlegion.com/reviews/power-supplies/1694...
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April 28, 2013 12:37:37 AM

Quote:

What exactly is this frame variance issue?

Its where the frame times change drastically from frame to frame.
It is very prevalent in crossfire. Even with high framerates it will look unsmooth.
Quote:

How much does it show while playing a game?

Jerkiness and laggy responses even with high framerates.
Quote:

While not playing a game?
Non issue in 2d mode.
Quote:

Also, it seems I should add that I will never do a multi-gpu setup. Only single-gpu for me lol.

Then don't be concerned with it.
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April 28, 2013 4:32:46 PM

Well, that's the dealbreaker for me. Nvidia it is. I have no doubt that the performance of AMD GPUs rivals Nvidia's but I'd rather not invest so much money in potentially defective hardware. Just one more thing: does the PSU I chose above have all the specs I will need? In particular, I'm still not clear on those voltage rails.

Edit: What exactly is the difference between PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 2.0? Is it similar to USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, where 3.0 devices can still work on 2.0 ports?
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April 28, 2013 5:35:58 PM

PCE-E is mostly forward and backwards compatible. There could be a bit of a performance hit by running a newer PCI-E card in an older slot but it won't be very significant.

Also the PSU looks fine.
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April 28, 2013 7:07:29 PM

smeezekitty said:
PCE-E is mostly forward and backwards compatible. There could be a bit of a performance hit by running a newer PCI-E card in an older slot but it won't be very significant.

Also the PSU looks fine.


So, it's pretty much like using a USB 3.0 device on a 2.0 port. I've seen my 3.0 external HDD lag while running it on a 2.0 port. Excellent, that wraps this up. Now, which response should I choose as best answer? xD
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