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Radeon HD 7950 questions.

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July 1, 2013 3:16:05 AM

Hello all. I recently purchased a 7950. This one to be exact http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....

I am very happy with it so far but I do have a few questions.

First of let me start by saying that I've been playing the games that came with the card and it runs them very well with most settings turned all the way up.

The few graphical options that lower my fps in these games are...

1, Shadows
2, Anti-Aliasing above FXAA.
3, Tressfx for Lara's hair in Tomb Raider.

So my question is... Is it the card that can't handle these settings or could it be my CPU? I have an i7 920 2.6ghz.
I've heard that the shadows are lowering my fps because of my CPU.

I'm considering overclocking my CPU and maybe the card also. I'm pretty much clueless when it comes to overclocking but I've been told that as far as the card goes it's safe as long as I don't mess with the voltage. Catalyst Control Center has AMD overdrive where I can increase stuff on the card. If I decide to OC the card should I use CCC to do it or a different program.

I could also use some info on overclocking my CPU if anyone is familiar with the ordeal.

Two weeks after I got the 7950 Nvidia released the 700 series cards and this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... sapphire 7970 dropped to $329.00 only $30.00 more than what I payed for my 7950. I kinda wanted to send back the 7950 and get the 7970 or maybe even a gtx 770 but I already downloaded the free games so if I sent it back newegg would deduct like $170.00 :( 

At any rate I'm still happy with the 7950 and I've read that it's almost on par with a 7970 and can be overclocked very well.

I play on a 24 inch monitor at 1080p I think it is. Also, I bought new RAM Gskill 8gigs 1600mhz to replace my old 6 gigs, 1 gig sticks with 533 mhz.

Sorry for the wall of text, just trying to soak up as much info as I can :)  Thanks

More about : radeon 7950 questions

July 1, 2013 3:57:37 AM

Pavel Pokidaylo said:
Hello all. I recently purchased a 7950. This one to be exact http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....

I am very happy with it so far but I do have a few questions.

First of let me start by saying that I've been playing the games that came with the card and it runs them very well with most settings turned all the way up.

The few graphical options that lower my fps in these games are...

1, Shadows
2, Anti-Aliasing above FXAA.
3, Tressfx for Lara's hair in Tomb Raider.

So my question is... Is it the card that can't handle these settings or could it be my CPU? I have an i7 920 2.6ghz.
I've heard that the shadows are lowering my fps because of my CPU.

I'm considering overclocking my CPU and maybe the card also. I'm pretty much clueless when it comes to overclocking but I've been told that as far as the card goes it's safe as long as I don't mess with the voltage. Catalyst Control Center has AMD overdrive where I can increase stuff on the card. If I decide to OC the card should I use CCC to do it or a different program.

I could also use some info on overclocking my CPU if anyone is familiar with the ordeal.

Two weeks after I got the 7950 Nvidia released the 700 series cards and this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... sapphire 7970 dropped to $329.00 only $30.00 more than what I payed for my 7950. I kinda wanted to send back the 7950 and get the 7970 or maybe even a gtx 770 but I already downloaded the free games so if I sent it back newegg would deduct like $170.00 :( 

At any rate I'm still happy with the 7950 and I've read that it's almost on par with a 7970 and can be overclocked very well.

I play on a 24 inch monitor at 1080p I think it is. Also, I bought new RAM Gskill 8gigs 1600mhz to replace my old 6 gigs, 1 gig sticks with 533 mhz.

Sorry for the wall of text, just trying to soak up as much info as I can :)  Thanks


It's not your CPU. Unfortunately, it's the GPU. 7950 is not powerful enough to handle more Anti-Aliasing or any other eye candies (TressFX Lara Hair and etc.) If I were you, just overclock the CPU and try to save a lil bit of cash and crossfire those beasts. Before, I play using 1 GTX 770 and it can't handle those eye candies too, so I saved some cash and get another 770 and SLI it then BOOM, Maxed out all the eye candies no problem.
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July 1, 2013 4:12:56 AM

The tone of your post and the questions raised makes me think you are new to PC gaming because all the points you raise are well known ways to lower a systems overall framerate.
Others include: Depth of field, motion blur, sun rays, using PhysX without an Nvidia card, very high detail settings and high settings for fog/smoke.
Overclocking the CPU will help, depending on game it may help quite a bit, but before beginning do some research, and get a better CPU cooler, overclocking makes the parts work harder and generate more heat, stock coolers cannot cope with the extra load.
You are correct on the voltage issue, it's by far and away the fastest way to fry a component, especially when you're starting out and learning.
Most here use MSI Afterburner for overclocking: It has no limits and you can alter the fan profile (how fast it spins at certain temperatures) to keep the temperatures down without the card becoming loud.
Sadly, prices do that.
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July 1, 2013 3:04:19 PM

Thanks for replies guys. As far as the CPU goes I was told it would help with Shadows only. As far as the other eye candy goes, I figured it was the card. The 3 settings I listed are the ones that cause the most frame loss for me but there are others like post processing, tessellation, high precision. Those lower the fps but not as much as the first 3.

I have an Alienware Aurora and it has liquid cooling for the CPU. I think that should be good for OC'ing shouldn't it?
Also my card came voltage locked. It's a boost card so it's already OC'd a little but how much would I gain from OC'ing it more?
I've read that an overclocked 7950 could be almost as fast as a gtx 770? And John couldn't turn up those eye candies on his 770.
At any rate, If I can OC the card without damaging it at all I would do it. I hear it's free performance.

Coozie- I'm not new to PC gaming but I am new to having a decent graphics card and I've never overclocked anything before. My previous cards were HD 5770 and 6770.
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July 1, 2013 3:07:10 PM

Funny thing... My card went up to $329.00 on newegg and the same 7970 (well without the flex edition) is the same price.
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July 2, 2013 12:04:44 AM

Pavel Pokidaylo said:
Funny thing... My card went up to $329.00 on newegg and the same 7970 (well without the flex edition) is the same price.


Actually, 7950 OC is the same performance as GTX 760. 770 competes with 7970 Ghz but 770 is 15-25% faster. Don't overclock the card. Just save some money and get another 7950 to crossfire it. As for the CPU, it's still a beast. Just overclock it to at least 3.3-3.5Ghz and you're all set. Anyway what's the name of your liquid cpu cooler? And just a friendly suggestion, get a custom build next time and not those stuff from alienware, you have more freedom on what parts you want to buy and use.

Check this out on how to overclock your CPU: http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/rmp_i7_920_overclocking
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July 2, 2013 2:55:15 AM

@ Pavel Pokidaylo: O.K., I was nearly right ;) .
You could probably squeeze a bit more out of the card but with it already factory overclocked I'd say Johnvonmacz is right: Do n't, the performance gains will be small but it will become a good deal noisier and if it's anything like my 7950 that's the last thing you'll want to increase.
The Alienware cases are usually pretty big so there should be no problems getting an improved cooler to facilitate a decent CPU overclock and that gen of Intel CPUs tended to be good overclockers.
One point to check: Remove the side panel so you can see the back of the motherboard tray, if there's a hole in the metal so you can see the CPU fitting a new cooler should be fairly simple, if the metal is solid you'll probably have to remove the motherboard.
As a 7950 user all I can say is that those settings do the same for me, it's just a matter of balancing the visuals for each game, to suit your own visual acuity and tastes.
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July 2, 2013 3:46:58 AM

Hello again Coozie and thanks for reply. I thought the water cooling should be enough for overclocking the cpu?
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July 2, 2013 4:20:53 AM

Yep, might be a bit expensive, though.
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July 2, 2013 4:23:36 AM

Sorry I meant I have water cooling in this Alienware.
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July 2, 2013 6:42:59 AM

Hey john sorry didn't notice your post there. I actually tired increasing the core clock and memory clock of the card through CCC and when I increased it to about 1150mhz I think I saw a 5fps gain? not much at all. When I maxed it out at 1200 it kind of froze for a minute or two, I was worried thought I broke the card but after I closed Tomb Raider it let me use CCC again and I reverted it back to default. I think it's fine now.

I've read different things about the 7950 vs 760 performance. Some say the 7950 is faster others say the 760 is faster... I may be wrong but I think the 760,7950, 670, 7970 and 770 are all pretty close.

I'm not sure what CPU cooler I have all I know is that its liquid but I can check to see. Before I bought this Alienware I checked to see how much it would cost to put the same rig together and it was $1100.00. I payed $1300.00 for the Alienware so I guess I paid $200.00 for the case. I like it though it looks cool and I have not have any issues with it and did not need to pay anyone to put it together. But I probably would have more of a selection if I ordered the parts.

I'm going to take a look at that guide now thanks :) 
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July 2, 2013 7:37:17 AM

By the way this is interesting. I can run Crysis 3 with all the settings on max except shadows and get a constant 50-60fps but in Tomb Raider I've had to turn down a few things. First it was the Tressfx, the shampoo was really killing my fps during the cinematics where the camera would zoom in on laras hair. I turned down the shadows and now I've had to turn down the level of detail from Ultra to Normal because I was dipping into the mid-high 40s when looking at a big picture with lots of detail.
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July 2, 2013 7:37:46 AM

Also about the Crossifre thing. I've heard it can be very problematic. Any input on that? Thanks
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July 2, 2013 7:41:40 AM

lol now I've turned the shampoo back on and with level of detail set to normal I'm still at 60fps. I guess I gotta pick my poison for now untill I OC the CPU and/or Crossfire.
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July 2, 2013 2:40:00 PM

Pavel Pokidaylo said:
lol now I've turned the shampoo back on and with level of detail set to normal I'm still at 60fps. I guess I gotta pick my poison for now untill I OC the CPU and/or Crossfire.


Crossfire is not that complicated if you follow the proper installation of the drivers.
Anyway for now, just try to balance the settings in games from what you think your GPU can handle without sacrificing to much on the visuals, for example, what you did in tomb raider, turning on the TressFX and changing the level of detail to normal makes your gameplay much smoother without sacrificing to much on the visuals. :) 
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July 2, 2013 4:28:30 PM

Yep. Right now I don't have the money for a second 7950 and couldn't really justify buying another one right now anyway. I thought I'd be able to play any game on max settings with this card and I almost can I mean Crysis 3 all settings on very high except shadows and I think thats the CPU. I guess Tomb Raider is more taxing than Crysis... who knew?
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