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7950 Crossfire not showing any performance gain over single 7950 in games! please help!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 23, 2013 11:02:02 AM

Hi. I just got another 7950 for Crossfire and I'm hardly seeing any kind of performance gain from it. The only game I saw nearly double the fps in was Tomb Raider. FarCry 3, Metro LL, Hitman, Crysis 3. All these games didn't get any type of performance boost at all.

Adding a second card should have nearly doubled my performance in atleast some of these games.

Here is a link to my 3dmark11 results. http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/7051563

The Graphics score seems good but the physics score and combined score look terrible. With just one 7950 activated I got a graphics score of 8000. With 2 cards it was over 14000. I'm assuming that's good? But what does the low physics/combined score mean for me? Is my CPU too slow?

My rig- Alienware Aurora
MS-7591 Motherboard x58 chipset
i7 920@ 2.67ghz but I'm pretty sure it came factory overclocked to 3500. That's what CPU-Z is showing me.
8gig Gskill 1600 xmp RAM. I know xmp don't work with my old CPU and it's better to have triple channel with it, I have Dual-channel.
PSU- 87W Dell multi-GPU approved.

I was monitoring the GPU usage during the games and they were both reaching 100% so I don't understand what's happening.

When I had the one card in I was getting ok FPS I guess. I mean most games I would have to tinker with settings and dial down 1 or 2 to stay around 60fps. Even then I would dip a lot lower sometimes.
But I still felt that something was holding the card back. Now adding a second card gave me practically no boost in fps at all in any game besides Tomb Raider.

My 3dmark11 Graphics score nearly doubled from adding the second 7950. But my Physics/combined score low. What does this mean? Please help.
August 23, 2013 11:20:26 AM

Hi. I do know the physics test is for the CPU. I'm on the 3dmark website right now and it looks like my CPU is about where an i7 920 should be. But is it too slow? The combined score is very lower as well which makes me think the CPU is slowing me down.

I am running 13.8 beta. I downloaded the driver the day it was released although I didn't have a second 7950 for crossfire at the time.
I'm playing on 1080p resolution.
I know that my FPS didn't increase in Metro LL, Crysis 3, Hitman-Absolution. I saw maybe a 5-10fps boost in FarCry3 but nothing big. Tomb Raider looked like it nearly doubled in performance though.

Metro LL- Garden level- on one 7950 I was getting 21 fps with max settings on and 4XSSAA. I added the second card, turned on crossfire, went to the same place and got the same exact fps.
Crysis 3- Same story as Metro LL
Hitman-Absolution... same thing
FarCry 3- I may have seen a small boost but I doubt it.
Tomb Raider- one 7950- max settings and 4XSSAA I was around 25 FPS. With Crossfire I was nearly at 60fps. This is the only game that seemed to get the full or close to full benefit of the crossfire setup.

I believe my driver install should be clean. I've only had AMD GPUs in this computer. It came with a 5770 which I later replaced with a 6770 I got for free. Finally the 7950 replaced the 6770 about 2 months ago. I was told to just pop it in and CCC would do everything that was needed including get rid of old driver. I downloaded latest drivers from AMD a number of times. Doesn't it remove old drivers when you get a new one? I'm not sure anyway and don't know how to check to see if there are any old drivers hanging about.
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August 23, 2013 11:32:49 AM

Ok I will try that. I have 2 more questions.
1, I'm using only one Crossfire Bridge. Is that ok? I tried putting in the second one the shroud of the bottom card prevents it. pretty dumb.
2, Do you think a new CPU like an i5 4670k would make a big difference?
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August 23, 2013 12:14:20 PM

Ok I just followed every step of that guide. Good guide by the way thanks :) 

Just finished downloading the 13.8 beta driver from AMD.com
going to install it now.
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August 23, 2013 12:18:16 PM

Hey after I deleted all the AMD/ATI stuff like the guide said and restarted the computer it wasn't in safe mode or w.e like I remember it would be after uninstalling video drivers. Desktop was still at the same resolution it seems. I went to device manager and display adapter and clicked on my card and clicked properties to see if there is a driver and there is. Does it install some kind of driver automatically?
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August 23, 2013 1:31:55 PM

Ok I put in the second card again for crossfire. Before I did that I tried both cards seperately on Hitman and with max settings and 4XAA I was getting 35-55 fps in this area. going to try it now with crossfire.
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August 23, 2013 1:52:40 PM

Yea it's still the same. I'm seeing the same fps with 2 cards as I did with 1 card. The GPU usage fluctuates but both reach 100% at points. =/
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August 23, 2013 2:59:44 PM

Tomb Raider is the only game that it seems to be working for. The GPU usage is at 100% for both and it stays at 100% for much longer than in the other games. I can play the game with max settings and 4XSSAA at 45fps and if I turn shadows from Ultra to Normal its close to 60fps. With one card these settings would have me at 25fps.

But why is it only Tomb Raider that's seeing this benefit from Crossfire? =/
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August 23, 2013 3:32:47 PM

Well I found another game that Crossfire is working in. Bioshock Infinite. I'm getting ridiculous FPS in this game with the fps limiter off. Anywhere from 80-160fps around there. So two games that it's working for so far...
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August 23, 2013 4:28:41 PM

Ah so it should always be above 90%. It shouldn't flucuate like it does for me. It even fluctuates like this with one card.

I played Tomb Raider for a little bit with max settings and both cards were at 100% usage and I was getting near 60fps even with 4XSSAA.
I had to turn down the shadows from Ultra to normal because with shadows at Ultra I was at 40fps. So I gained 20fps from lowering the shadows but didn't notice any difference in visual quality really.

Anyway... a good deal of the games I've been playing don't have the GPU usage at 100% and I play the most graphically intensive games.
Someone told me that it's normal for the usage to fluctuate like that. But I don't think that is correct. I mean it may fluctuate if I'm already at my monitors refresh rate and the GPU doesn't need to work any harder but I don't really play too many games like that.

Honestly the only game I've been able to play with max settings and never see the FPS dip from 60 was Dead Space 3.
Witcher 2- Although I had good fps for most of the game, a lot of times it would dip into the 40s and even 30s. This happened most when there was a lot of AI on the screen.

I play Star Wars old republic MMO and I get horrible FPS in this game during combat. Going from a 6770 to a 7950 made no difference at all in this game.

I also feel like I am seriously being bottlenecked by this CPU but so many people on here say that the i7 920 is still good.

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August 23, 2013 4:30:19 PM

Think reinstalling windows could fix this?
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August 23, 2013 4:32:35 PM

And what about my 3dmark11 score? Doesn't that show the problem? I mean I got 14000 on the graphics test but only 5000 on the Physics test.
Does this mean that my GPU would be severely limited by my CPU? I need to try and put these 2 cards into another computer with a new CPU and play the same games and see the results.
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August 23, 2013 6:38:34 PM

Ok then that means I have a massive bottleneck. Lots of people on here say that the i7 920 is still a good CPU and shouldn't bottleneck at all especially with an overclock. Obviously it isn't. My i7 920 is at 3500mhz according to CPU-z. And I see well below 90% usage in many games. Two 7950s are supposed to give Titan-class performance.

I've been told that this CPU works best with triple-channel memory. I have Dual-Channel. Do you think that's really effecting my performance?

Also I have never reinstalled windows on this computer since I got it. Think doing this would help at all?
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August 23, 2013 8:48:13 PM

Yesterday's thread - http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1777060/question...

Hi Pavel - Referencing yesterday's thread, I still think your physics score is abnormally low. Yesterday, I personally ran 3dMark11 on a i7-920 clocked at 3.5ghz and got a score of 7676. Browsing through other 3dMark11 scores shows stock-clocked i7-920 rigs getting over 6000. Honestly, I'm not sure what's up with your rig. I wouldn't think that running dual-channel ram would make that much difference.

I've played SW:TOR with an i7-920 and single 6970 perfectly well. There should be no reason that game shouldn't play better when you upgraded a 6770 to a 7950. The i7-920 especially at 3.5ghz wouldn't be that much of a bottleneck. Something isn't right.

In yesterday's thread you asked about what physics score a new cpu would get. Tom's benched the i7-4770k (stock clocked) and got a physics score of 9377: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-4770k-haswe...

The physics score is completely separate from the graphics score. They don't necessarily need to be close to each other. The scores are useful to compare to similar systems to make sure your system is performing where it is expected. Like I said - I think your physics score is abnormally low for a i7-920 @3.5ghz since I got a 7676 with the same chip. Also, your issue with SW:TOR sounds very strange. I would check your OC and memory settings in the BIOS, check for viruses and all that, and maybe reinstall windows. You can also run a more comprehensive group of benchmarks like SisSoft Sandra to try and track down your issue. Anyway, good luck!
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August 23, 2013 8:56:11 PM

Hey thanks for the reply again man. I honestly don't know if the CPU is overclocked to 3.5. I never overclocked it but maybe they did it at Alienware.
CPU-Z shows 3500mhz for core clock. I guess this means that it is oveclocked. Here I have the info from CPU-z about my CPU.

CPU-Z version 1.66.0.x64

Processors
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number of processors 1
Number of threads 8

APICs
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Processor 0
-- Core 0
-- Thread 0 0
-- Thread 1 1
-- Core 1
-- Thread 0 2
-- Thread 1 3
-- Core 2
-- Thread 0 4
-- Thread 1 5
-- Core 3
-- Thread 0 6
-- Thread 1 7

Timers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Perf timer 3.137 MHz
Sys timer 1.000 KHz


Processors Information
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Processor 1 ID = 0
Number of cores 4 (max 8)
Number of threads 8 (max 16)
Name Intel Core i7
Codename Nehalem
Specification Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz
Package
CPUID 6.A.5
Extended CPUID 6.1A
Core Stepping D0
Technology 45 nm
Core Speed 3212.0 MHz
Stock frequency 2666 MHz
Instructions sets MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, EM64T, VT-x
L1 Data cache 4 x 32 KBytes, 8-way set associative, 64-byte line size
L1 Instruction cache 4 x 32 KBytes, 4-way set associative, 64-byte line size
L2 cache 4 x 256 KBytes, 8-way set associative, 64-byte line size
L3 cache 8 MBytes, 16-way set associative, 64-byte line size
FID/VID Control yes


Turbo Mode not supported
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August 23, 2013 9:10:19 PM

A few more things. About my low physics score I was sifting through some posts and found one of my old ones with a link to a 3dmark11 result I had and the physic score was 6k. Probably ran that test in July or June so not that long ago.

SWTOR- I get really low fps when I'm in combat and there are a lot of people around and casting spells and such. namely warzones and 16man Ops.
We can be standing around not doing anything and ill be at or near 60 fps but as soon as combat starts my fps drops to like 15-20, sometimes even lower. Changing the graphics settings makes next to no difference. I'll get the same low fps with all settings on low as on max.

I don't understand why Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite are the only games that I saw any real performance boost.
I think I should have seen way higher fps in my other games. Crysis 3, FarCry3, Witcher 2, Hitman, Metro LL and more.
I'm also not seeing the GPU usage at 90% constantly. In fact in a number of games it will be a lot lower than 90% for a long time. This was prevelant in Witcher 2.

Most people on here firmly believe that the i7 920 should not bottleneck a card at all. Some say getting a new CPU will give you much better performance. I'm willing to buy a new CPU but only if I will actually finally get the FPS I've been looking for. I'll need a new motherboard also and probably a new case since this Alienware case isn't that great for Crossfire. I'd shell out for all that stuff if it meant I'll be at or near 60fps with max settings and atleast some form of good AA in all games. I want to be at 60 fps constantly and I'd settle for ocassional dips int othe 50s but I hate anything below that.

maybe I do need to reinstall windows. I've never done it on this computer. I would have done it already if not for the fact that I'd have to re-download all these damned games :) 

Not sure what memory settings you mean in the bios but I will check it out.

And thanks for all the help guys. I really appreciate it.
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August 23, 2013 9:13:21 PM

CPU-z should be correct. How are your temps? CoreTemp, RealTemp, SpeedFan, HWMonitor (all free) will report CPU temps. You want to see the maximum core temps when the cpu is under load. Run the torture test in prime95 (free downloadable program) while monitoring temps to get a maximum core temp. Also can you screenshot the 'cpu' tab and the 'memory' tab in CPU-z while under load and post it?
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August 23, 2013 9:21:47 PM

I have realtemp. It's usually in the 60s under load but I have seen some of the cores in the low 70s. Let me see if I can download that prime95 program and do the CPU-z SS.
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August 23, 2013 9:26:24 PM

Hmm in the mainboard tab in CPU-z under Graphic Interface it says Version- PCI-Express , Link width-X16 , max.supported x16

Does it mean that it's PCIe 1.0 because it does not say 2.0 there?

I looked up my motherboard online and it showed that it had 2X 2.0 ports.
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August 23, 2013 9:33:30 PM

Pavel Pokidaylo said:
Does it mean that it's PCIe 1.0 because it does not say 2.0 there?

No, it's perfectly normal. You have two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots each running a full 16 PCIe2.0 lanes. GPU-z is a very handy program for GPU monitoring and info. To me, your problem doesn't appear to be with the GPUs, it seems to be with the CPU/RAM. Let's make sure your cpu temps are reasonable under load.
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August 23, 2013 9:40:56 PM

Ok just ran the prime95 test. The max temps are as follows 71/69/71/69. I believe the highest I've seen it was 74 during gaming. My CPU is liquid cooled but the GPU I have is a sapphire one with 2 fans so I think it expends hot air into the case.
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August 23, 2013 9:43:21 PM

I downloaded CCcleaner and cleaned the registry of like 200 things just now. I also have some things that startup with windows like steam, CCC, Thermal Controller, but these things shouldn't really cause problems. Atleast I don't think
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August 23, 2013 9:45:56 PM

Those temps are good. And yes, of course when those gpus are going, the temps will be higher, but those are low enough that you're fine. Did you manage to get a shot of the tabs?
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August 23, 2013 9:48:37 PM

Not yet. Actually I'm not sure how to do that :)  should I take a pic of it with my webcam?
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August 23, 2013 9:53:06 PM

Heres something else that might be important. In task manager there is a box titled Physical memory (MB) in it there are 4 things.
Total- 8182
Cached- 4089
Available- 5511
Free- 1484

This is right now with no game on. But when I'm playing SWTOR for example, sometimes I see Free-0 or near 0. The cached and available are normally around 4000/4000
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August 23, 2013 9:53:08 PM

Heres something else that might be important. In task manager there is a box titled Physical memory (MB) in it there are 4 things.
Total- 8182
Cached- 4089
Available- 5511
Free- 1484

This is right now with no game on. But when I'm playing SWTOR for example, sometimes I see Free-0 or near 0. The cached and available are normally around 4000/4000

Not sure what it means that there is 0 free memory
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August 23, 2013 9:55:31 PM

However you like, I haven't figured out how to embed a SS on this site. Or just manually post the values from the memory tab, idk : )
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August 23, 2013 9:58:26 PM

Pavel Pokidaylo said:
Heres something else that might be important. In task manager there is a box titled Physical memory (MB) in it there are 4 things.
Total- 8182
Cached- 4089
Available- 5511
Free- 1484

This is right now with no game on. But when I'm playing SWTOR for example, sometimes I see Free-0 or near 0. The cached and available are normally around 4000/4000

Not sure what it means that there is 0 free memory


Well that sounds like it would be a problem : )
Go to the processes tab and find out what processes are sucking up all your ram - your used ram is way high for an 'idle' system. What are you running?
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August 23, 2013 10:03:28 PM

So I just went into a warzone in star wars because its hte only game that I can just press the windows button and go to the desktop while the game is still in the backround if that makes sense. Anyway nothing really changes in those tabs. THe CPU tab and Memory tab everything pretty much stayed the same except for a couple of things fluctuating in the decimals. What do you need to know from these two tabs? I can tell you '

I'm running 8gig Gskill 1600 ram. Dual channel
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August 23, 2013 10:03:29 PM

So I just went into a warzone in star wars because its hte only game that I can just press the windows button and go to the desktop while the game is still in the backround if that makes sense. Anyway nothing really changes in those tabs. THe CPU tab and Memory tab everything pretty much stayed the same except for a couple of things fluctuating in the decimals. What do you need to know from these two tabs? I can tell you '

I'm running 8gig Gskill 1600 ram. Dual channel
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August 23, 2013 10:07:07 PM

So in the processes tab at the bottom it says... 93 processes running, 8% cpu usage, Physical Memory 32%.
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August 23, 2013 10:11:21 PM

Go back to task manager - go to the "Processes" tab and sort the processes by "memory" descending. Your system is using too much ram, there's something munching up ram. 1.5gb free with 8gb total is not normal for an idling system. Find out through the processes tab what programs are eating up all that ram.

Initial theory: Games that are memory hungry (over 1.5gb) are running out of ram because of something eating up your ram only leaving around 1.5gb free. Seeing 0 free or near 0 while running SW:TOR is VERY likely your problem. Games using less than that aren't affected which is why some games are running great. It's a theory anyway.
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August 23, 2013 10:16:21 PM

So each page of google chrome takes up a lot :)  Just now when I closed all chrome pages and no game running I was at

4000
6000
2000
As for what's taking up the memory... svchost.exe 179,000k, Chrome.exe 32 151,744k , Chrome.exe 32 77k and then it goes down the list with things taking under 50k ....

msmpeng.exe
chrome
steam
explorer
svchost
thermalcontroller
dwm.exe
webcakedes
alienwarealien

you get the point lol a bunch of things

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August 23, 2013 10:20:13 PM

Right now I'm in swtor and the free memory went from 2000 to 500 just logging into star wars and standing around on fleet by myself. but the box with the memory gauge shows only 3.83gb being used. and also there is over 4000 available.

Was the same in combat in wz.
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August 24, 2013 6:19:26 PM

Hello again. I've got an update on the situation. I brought both my 7950s to the computer store and we put them on a motherboard with an i5 3430. I think that's what the CPU was, I know for sure it was below a 3570. We played I played FarCry 3 with all settings on max and 4XMSAA and it ran very well. With V-sync off, I was at 70fps most of the time. Sometimes it would dip into the 50s or high 40s but I think that's to be expected with that game and maybe Crossfire. At any rate, I was really happy to see that my cards could such great FPS with those settings. I didn't overclock them but if I did I'd get even better performance. Also the temps of the cards were great. We had the motherboard out on a piece of foam and we put a small fan on top of the cards. The top card was around 75 degrees and the bottom card around 65.

We also ran the 3dmark11 benchmark and the CPU scored a little over 7000 on the physics test. Your i7 920 scored better. I'm not sure what's up with my CPU.

Here's what I'm thinking of doing. I want to get a new Case, Motherboard, CPU, and some good fans to put in.

For the CPU I'm looking at the i5-4670k. Do you think it would be a better idea to go for an i7? Also would I get the same result from a cheaper CPU?
Like I said the CPU we used was less than the 3570.

Motherboard- I want a full sized motherboard with good spacing between the PCIe slots.

Case- A good full sized tower that will have good airflow and room for mounting fans and all that.

Fans- I hear noctua is good... probably 120MM.

I would like to spend as least as possible but I still want quality stuff.

Suggestions please :)  thanks
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