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Alienware Aurora 7950 Crossfire question.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 5, 2013 5:35:17 PM

Hi. I'm not sure if two of these cards will fit in my aurora because one card takes up 2 slots. I can move one card to the bottom slot and then put the other on the top slot that would be the only way but I don't know if it would even work or if they would be far enough apart. Any ideas?Thanks
July 5, 2013 6:16:06 PM

Find out the length of the cards you are planning to get, then measure the distance inside your case from expansion slot cover to the first obstruction the card would come to... i.e. drive cage, HDD, etc.

Sometimes the 3rd PCIe X16 slot is not a full x16 (or even x8) bandwidth. Installing the card in that slot would degrade performance. Check your MB to see what the bandwidth of the PCIe x16 slots are.
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July 5, 2013 11:16:20 PM

Hey thanks for the reply. I think I have only 2 slots to begin with and one card is already in. It's good length wise I'm just not sure about width though for adding another card.
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July 6, 2013 9:02:57 AM

If both slots are PCIex16, they are designed to accept 2 x 2-bay wide cards side by side. What MB do you have, and what HD 7950(s) are you looking at?
If the cards are in adjacent slots, there may be limited air flow to the #1 card, but usually that isn't a problem if the case has good airflow.
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July 6, 2013 9:13:00 AM

If you already know the length is fine and your PSU has the capacity (and 4 x PCIe power cables), you should be physically fine for installing the cards. The top card is usually the only one that operates during normal 2D activity. The 2nd card will only come into play during heavy 3D work like gaming. If the top card gets a little too warm during gaming, you can always add extra air cooling in the case.
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July 6, 2013 9:18:40 AM

Hmm right now just the one card gets to about 70 degrees while playing metro last light. That's at stock. If I raise the Core clock to 1100 and power to 20% it gets to about 75-76. Also I was going to ask about the power cables. I think I have only two :(  not sure what I can do about that. Is there a cable I could buy that would convert my two into four? I can only see the 2 cables that are in my card right now. The old cards only used one of them so they probably didn't feel the need to put in four cables.

Also the PSU is 875 watts and the case is an Alienware Aurora case with a big exhaust thing or w.e its called that sucks out the hot air. Hope it's enough.
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July 6, 2013 9:22:11 AM

Also can I not put one of the newer CPUs on this motherboard? The page I linked shows only those first gen i7s supported.
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July 6, 2013 9:28:30 AM

Usually, a PSU that is only equipped with 2 x PCIe power cables is not designed to supply enough power for a pair of cards that each require 2 cables. You better check the make/model of the PSU in your pre-built PC before adding a 2nd large card like that. The +12V amperage and wattage are what you need to be concerned with.

Each HD 7950 is a 200W (TDP) card. That relates to 16.7A on the +12V rail for each card.
http://www.hwcompare.com/11426/radeon-hd-7950/
Without sufficient power, the PSU will not be able to keep up with the demand and probably shut down or restart on you during demanding periods.
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July 6, 2013 9:34:13 AM

Hmm let me see if I can find the make/model of the PSU and thanks for all the help man it is much appreciated.
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July 6, 2013 11:58:23 AM

I'm not sure about the OEMs and the PSUs they put in their machines. They have a habit of using whichever vendor they get the best contract with at the time. But if you have an 875W PSU with 4 power cables, you are probably OK. Since you'll have to dig them out of their hiding spot eventually if you are going to add a 2nd card, might as well do it before you order the card... to be sure.

The CPU you can use is dependent upon the socket the MB has, as well as chipset, BIOS, etc. If that board in the link is like yours, you have an LGA 1366 socket. The only processors it will support are:

Intel Core i7 (9xx series)
Intel Xeon (35xx, 36xx,
55xx, 56xx series)
Intel Celeron P1053

Newer (and older) Intel processors are out of the question with that board. Which i7 CPU do you have?
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July 6, 2013 12:03:47 PM

I have the i7 920. It's only 2.6ghz and I think that it's a bit slow and bottlenecking my card sometimes. For example I can run Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider on max settings except shadows. I have to turn down shadows and I was told shadows rely on the CPU. I want to overclock the CPU first but if that didn't help it would be nice to have the option of buying a newer CPU open to me but I guess with this motherboard it's out of the question. Just can't seem to keep up with the times =/

About the PSU having 4 power cables... I'm not sure that it does I will check again now. Last I looked there was another cable inside there but It was only a single one and not sure if it's even the same.
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July 6, 2013 12:22:21 PM

Yeah, the i7-920 is about the equivalent of the faster Phenom II X4s when it comes to gaming: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...
No slouch, but would probably hold back 2 x HD 7950s a bit. You'd still see an improvement in graphics that are card related. But like you say, anything requiring CPU processing won't change. But HT is usually a benefit with modern games, and that processor has 8 threads/4 cores. Here is some info on your CPU: http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Core_i7/Intel-Core%20i7-9...

You can always try ebay for one of the faster 1st gen i7/1366 CPUs.

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July 6, 2013 12:26:37 PM

Btw, if that processor has the stock cooler and hasn't been ever removed since day 1, it might be time to clean/replace the thermal paste between processor and cooler. That stuff dries out after awhile and loses some of its heat transfer ability. Especially if it has been run hot a lot. As you can see from the link I sent, 68C is about as hot as you want to let it get. It will start throttling down after that and probably is doing that for you now. That will make it even less powerful.
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July 6, 2013 12:31:43 PM

It's liquid cooled. I'm not sure about the temperature. The thermal thing says 33 C
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July 6, 2013 12:40:59 PM

At this point my only option really is to OC the CPU. Otherwise I'm looking at buying a new motherboard and CPU and putting it all together which I don't want to do lol.
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July 6, 2013 12:49:46 PM

Pavel Pokidaylo said:
It's liquid cooled. I'm not sure about the temperature. The thermal thing says 33 C


My bad on the temp comment. I just scrolled back up and saw it was the card that reached mid 70C's, not the CPU. That is an OK temp for a gfx card. And 33C at idle for the CPU is fine also. But what really matters is the CPU's temp when stressed.
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July 6, 2013 2:35:35 PM

so I have this program called Alien fusion. It basically tells me the temperatures of the different sensors in the computer among other things. There are 3 sensors and at idle they were all at 17 degrees. After playing Metro for about 20 minutes 2 of the sensors went up to 30 degrees.
I'm assuming atleast one of those sensors is the CPU?
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July 6, 2013 2:44:50 PM

I don't know anything about that software temp pgm or what you are reading. But 30C in the midst of heavy gaming is way too low. I would suspect its accuracy. Try Real Temp.
http://www.techpowerup.com/realtemp/

If it shows the same temps for CPU, there is something wrong with the sensor. Or you have one hell of a good cooler.
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July 6, 2013 2:59:02 PM

ok thanks will try that now. you've been a great big help man thank you :) 
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July 6, 2013 3:15:54 PM

Ok I downloaded and it's showing minimum about 58 and max 65.
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Best solution

July 6, 2013 7:45:51 PM

If that is with the processor maxed out, that looks about right. I would try to lower those temps a bit more. maybe better air flow. But it is in the safe range.
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July 6, 2013 9:13:31 PM

Thanks a lot for all the help man and this is a sweet program :) 
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July 6, 2013 9:13:31 PM

Thanks a lot for all the help man and this is a sweet program :) 
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July 6, 2013 9:19:47 PM

Also I think a lot more heat is circulating in the case because of the card. It has that big heatsink on it.
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July 6, 2013 9:44:55 PM

Yeah, a gfx card is a real furnace, especially big ones. A card's shroud design used to be such that the fan intook air at the fan, blew it across the heat sync, and exhausted it out the back. But now with open shrouds, the air just goes anywhere after cooling the heat sync... including back into the case.
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July 7, 2013 7:10:15 AM

Yep. I think the reference ones still do that. Maybe I should have gotten a reference. I'm fairly certain that I need to OC the CPU but I don't know how the temperature will be if I do that as it's pretty high already.
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July 7, 2013 8:32:23 AM

So a few days ago I overclocked my card. I raised the Core to 1100 and RAM to max and Power to 20% and I noticed the card was heating up when I saw it hit 83 degrees I set it back to default and asked whats up on here. two people basically told me that maxing the ram like that is like suicide and also not needed. So I raised just the Core and power but the card was still heating up. It wasn't going over 80 but it was at 79. At default the card was at 70. The back of my PC is close to the wall so I figured moving it away from the wall might help and it did. The heat was hitting the wall and I guess some of it was getting back into the case. Now with the PC about 10 inches from the wall the card is only getting to 74 degrees 3-4 degrees above default. I noticed my CPU is starting to heat up though I think. That thermal paste you spoke of earlier, does that apply to CPUs that are liquid cooled?
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July 7, 2013 10:51:09 AM

You learned all good points about eliminating heat associated with your card and the PC in general. If your PC is on the floor, be sure it is not sitting in the nap/pile of the carpeting. Set it on a flat board if it has to sit on the floor. Keep the PC clean, inside especially. Dust can make the temps really rise. A can of compressed air gently blown around components will usually do the job. But do it from a distance so as not to loosen any components from the MB, card, etc. with the force of the blast.

Yes, any heat sync surface contacting the CPU's heat spreader surface must have thermal paste. It fills in the microscopic metal pores with highly conductive (thermal) compound, thus increasing the transfer rate of heat from CPU to heat sync. This is one of the best: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I like to use a cleaner and a purifier before applying a small dab of thermal paste in the middle of the CPU and let the cooler spread the stuff itself naturally.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 7, 2013 11:25:32 AM

When I got the new card I use an air can to clean out the dust. There was not much dust in it except on mesh of the thing that sucks the hot air out. I try not to get too close with the spray. I wouldn't mess with the thermal paste stuff myself but I will see about getting someone to do it for me. Only things I know how to install/remove are the GPUs and RAM modules lol
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