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Issue with under performing Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 18, 2014 8:01:00 PM

Hello,

I recently purchased a Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB from a friend of mine as an upgrade from my EVGA GeForce GTX 650 ti. I also purchased additional RAM and a new PSU to compensate for the increase in my GPU.

My build right now is:
AMD Phenom ii x4 965
ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 mobo
Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB
8 GB DDR3 RAM @ 1600
Cooler Master i600, 600W PSU

After installing, I noticed that several of my games were actually taking a hit in FPS, and I noticed some slight "stuttering" in some games. So I double checked to make sure all old drivers were removed using Device Manager, CCleaner AND Driver Sweeper, and reinstalled the newest AMD Drivers for my card. Even after that, I still had issues.

I went as far as to do a clean install of Windows 7, and am still having an issue with my card. My housemate used the card in his rig, and he noticed that it works VERY well for him.

I'm at a complete loss as to what could be my issue. Please help guys
February 18, 2014 8:12:40 PM

Well one of the problems is that you didn't really upgrade, you kinda side-graded. In most modern DX11 titles, the cards are about on par with each other, with the 6950 really only winning out in older DX9 and 10 titles, especially with anti-aliasing turned up. As for the stuttering you mention, I'm not too sure about what may be causing that, have you tried monitoring your temperatures/voltage/utilization with a monitoring utility like MSI Afterburner? Could be any number of issues causing that stuttering.
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February 18, 2014 10:33:50 PM

I honestly had thought it would be more of an upgrade. The 650 I had was just a 1GB card, and it wasn't the "boost" model, and most websites and opinions I sought confirmed this had about "2x" the power. But I suppose I could have just overestimated this card, especially at its age now.

I haven't tried that utility yet, I've alt+tabbed to check temps on occasion and everything seems very solid. I'll try running a benchmark and monitoring both temps and voltage the whole time. Thanks for the suggestion.
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February 18, 2014 10:59:18 PM

Link any site that confirms a ""2x" the power" that a 6950 would have over a 650 ti. I'm sorry but as doubletake said, you really just sidegraded.
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February 19, 2014 8:30:51 AM

GPU Boss

HW Compare

These are just quick comparisons I ran. Like I said, I don't have the 2GB model 650, so there is an almost immediate difference between the cards.

I honestly am fairly new to building gaming PCs, so I may just not know what stats to look at to compare the two. I admitted above I may have overestimated this cards performance compared to the 650.

If they really are just comparable cards, then I really would just like to know how to smooth out its performance, as I mentioned there is a prominent stutter in almost all games and benchmarks on the 6950. I'd like to know if there is anything I can do to reduce/remove that from happening.

Thanks for the feedback guys.
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February 19, 2014 6:52:27 PM

You have to learn to ignore sites like HW compare. They are functionally useless unless you only compare cards from the same company (Nvidia or AMD), and usually from the same generation. Their architectures are completely different and do not perform identically for a given quantity of a resource (shader units, texture units, ROPs, memory bandwidth, pixel/texture throughput, etc), as evidenced by the fact that the 6950 is nowhere near twice as fast in gaming, despite having twice as much of everything compared to the 650 Ti.

As for the stuttering issue, you still haven't reported any actual values for your temps/voltages/utilization % to see how you're running. You've admitted to being somewhat of a novice, so instead of saying that everything looks solid to you, help us help you by providing more info to see if your results are in fact "solid".
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February 19, 2014 8:53:00 PM

Thanks for the info, I had the opportunity to nab that card cheap, and was just overconfident it was gonna be a nice step up for me. Lesson learned, and I shall be saving up for a newer, more powerful card soon. Any suggestions on a card that would hold a noticable improvement from the 650 and not break my bank (roughly $300-400)?

As for numbers: CPU idles at 31 degrees Celsius, stable at 9.75V
GPU idles at 31 Degrees as well, and holds at 9V
Under load using the Heaven Benchmark, CPU holds at 40 degrees, 1.375V
GPU at 99% Usage, holding at 50 degrees and is staying at 1.1V

Sorry for the delay, I was busy today. I sincerely appreciate your help and info on those comparisons. Hopefully we can clear up the stutter, if not, it's ok. I can continue to use the 650 til I get a new card.
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February 20, 2014 4:43:57 PM

Ok, those results look good, although you may want to check your decimal places. Your CPU/GPU at 9V wouldn't be running your games, it'd be melting your motherboard :V

Since your GPU seems to be fine as far as proper utilization and load voltage, you might want to try to narrow down specific titles that give you this issue since you mentioned it was only in some titles. Load up the titles that have this issue, and monitor your GPU and CPU utilization at the same time. One thing though, you need to specify what the issue is, i.e., is the stuttering you mention continuous stutter, or is it occasional and makes the screen output freeze and skip forward? If it's the second kind, then you might want to check to see if CPU usage spikes and GPU usage drops. This might indicate that something isn't loading properly, which could point to an issue with the drive the games are installed on. The reason I suspect this might be your issue is because you mentioned that it only happens in some games, and it continues to happen after a fresh install of Windows. Some games will be more sensitive to drive problems than others, mainly the ones that do a lot of object/texture streaming, such as pretty much all Unreal Engine games and several other kinds.

Let me know what you find out.
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