2900 XT performance question

Hi guys,

This is my first post, and won't be my last. But I was impressed by some of the benchmarks and reviews on the new 2900 XT, so I bought one. I used to have an XFX 7950 GT extreme edition and it was a great card. I am a big CSS fan and I know that the ATI cards do better than Nvidia ones on CSS. Well I popped it in last night, played for a little while, and determined three things.

1. The average fps was only 6 more than th 7950
2. It did seem to run smoother
3. It looked better also

So there is my dilemna, I will not return the card because of the last two reasons, but am I expecting to much when I expect it to get more fps than my friends 8800 GTS? I did buy that actual ATI brand and I downloaded the drivers straight from the internet.

Help and thanks
28 answers Last reply
More about 2900 performance question
  1. What is your cpu? Your psu?
  2. Amd FX-55 socket 939

    PSU Ultra ATX 550 watt
  3. Your psu only has 17 amps and 18 amps on each of the two 12 volt rails. VERY weak. This may be the problem. Even if it isnt, which I think it is, itll underpower your system, and youll be having problems. How old is this psu? If its new, then itll last a bit, if its older, youre going to need to replace it asp.
  4. The 8800GTS and the 2900XT are similar in terms of performance.
  5. What should I look for in a PSU, and which ones do you recommend? I am kindof on a budget, so I can't spend alot.
  6. Yes I know, but the 2900 should do better than the 8800 in css, and the 8800 should do better in say....BF2
  7. Ultra makes good PSUs too. What is the model of your PSU exactly? If you do want a new PSU, look for one with both 8pin and 6pin PCI-Express connectors.
  8. To really see the difference, push the 2900 XT to a higher resolution than you used with the 7950 GT, or use higher levels of AA/AF
  9. I used them both opn 1600x1200 res, both all AA and AF so......and my monitor will not go any higher.
  10. I am in a similar situation. I have the same PSU, and I think at max load it is not enough. I was wondering what you all think of the new graphics card dedicated PSUs. Here are the two I found:


    I was wondering if the 250 (300 max) would be enough. Since only part of the power for the 2900XT comes through the PCI-E power connectors (part comes through the MB), shouldn't 250W be enough? And plus, that cost is a third of what a good 600W-700W PSU costs.
  11. The only ultra I found with 550 watt was the Ultra X2. IF that is the one you have, it has 34 12volt amps. The HD2900XT under load uses ~14amps. Your PSU should be perfectly fine.
  12. Dirty_Harry2 said:
    I used them both opn 1600x1200 res, both all AA and AF so......and my monitor will not go any higher.

    The 2900 XT should handle higher levels of AA and AF in the catalyst drivers. Turn 'em on!
  13. Well you didn't exactly did the right thing i mean you could have waited until winter for the new graphic card generations.
  14. OK, I just double checked the specs on this psu, and once again I see 17 amp on 1 rail, 18 amps on the other. Look here http://www.ultraproducts.com/product_details.php?cPath=52&pPath=407&prod uctID=407 Thats nowhere near the recommended and low for even a 1900XTX. The 2900 draws some serious power. The reason for the 8 pin is that itll deliver another 75 watts to the gpu, meaning that it could use up to 225 watts or 18 amps on its own. Thats cutting it awfully close IMO
  15. @Jay
    No offense jay, but I don't know how you are saying what you are saying. He has a total of 35 amps COMBINED on the 12 volt rail. If it's a split 12 volt rail you combine the amps. I am running an 8800 GTS 640MB overclocked no less on a 500 watt Ultra PSU with 18 amps on one rail and 16 on the other for a total of 34 amps and it is running perfectly fine. I don't understand why you are not combining the amps like you should be, and if you do he has more than enough. Very few PSUs actually only have one 12 volt rail with all the amps running on it, as the standard is to usually do a max of 18 amps on any one rail. Hence why we have the multiple rails so that graphics cards and such can draw more amps than the standard 18. Single rail power supplies are rare and expensive and what he has is more than enough. I always shake my head when I read performance post after post and most people tend to blame the PSU right off the bat. I doubt the problem is his PSU.

    He keeps comparing his computer to his friend's. Do we have his friend's specs? No we don't, so there are a million reasons why his friend could be running css better. From processor, as his FX-55 is no Core 2 Duo if that is what his friend actually has, to even the resolutions they are playing on. Even more so could be the fact that from the start the 2900's drivers for HL2 and etc haven't been great yet. Yes ATI is typically better in these games, but at the same time as you yourself have said Jay, the 2XXX series drivers are new and immature, they need time.

    Lastly, if he is on par with his friend's GTS or a couple frames below, he is probably right on track given the current drivers, which do have problems with HL2 and I would assume as an extension CSS. Let's not try to get him to spend more money when we are not even sure that a PSU is the problem.
  16. murphy, I completely agree except, combining the amps on each 12v "rail" is not how you get total amps... just FYI.

    Jay, to get the total 12 volt amps, you dived the total 12 volt watts by 12. The max amps on each rail really doesn't have much to do with the total 12 amps. Ultra says 408watts worth of 12v, which is ~34 amps.

    The HD2900XT uses ~165watts at FULL LOAD! which is about 14 amps of power. His PSU should have ZERO trouble running his system

    Other than mediocre efficiency and lack of Active PFC(I didn't see it) his PSU is fine. You Ultra haters.
  17. My friend is running a 5200 dual core, but, honestly....I dont care that much about beating his system, its the fact that I am not doing really any better that the 7950 GT that I had.

    BTW TSIMonster, what is Acitve PFC?
  18. Also though, my FX-55 does beat his 5200 in the CPU test on 3d Mark06 and I didn't think you could utilize dual core technology in games yet.
  19. Active Power Factor Correction

    What is PFC?

    Power Factor Correction (PFC)

    Power Factor Correction (PFC) allows power distribution to operate at its maximum efficiency. There are two types of PFC, Active PFC and Passive PFC. All of our power supplies are either Active PFC Power Supplies or Passive PFC Power Supplies.

    Active PFC

    The preferable type of PFC is Active Power Factor Correction (Active PFC) since it provides more efficient power frequency. Because Active PFC uses a circuit to correct power factor, Active PFC is able to generate a theoretical power factor of over 95%. Active Power Factor Correction also markedly diminishes total harmonics, automatically corrects for AC input voltage, and is capable of a full range of input voltage. Since Active PFC is the more complex method of Power Factor Correction, it is more expensive to produce an Active PFC power supply.

    Passive PFC

    The most common type of PFC is Passive Power Factor Correction (Passive PFC). Passive PFC uses a capacitive filter at the AC input to correct poor power factor. Passive PFC may be affected when environmental vibration occurs. Passive PFC requires that the AC input voltage be set manually. Passive PFC also does not use the full energy potential of the AC line.
  20. @TSI
    Oops, my bad, well I was right that he was wrong but wasn't quite right myself. Still, as I said, his PSU is more than enough. (P.S. combining the two amperages is simpler and I know you are right, but it gives you a relatively close idea of the total amps without division, as my total was only 1 amp off. My major point was that he had plenty of amps.)

    @Dirty Harry
    Please note that you do not need a new power supply. I am also not trying to say your computer is bad, far from it, it's a very nice rig. My point is that comparing two computers is inherently a faulty idea unless everything is exactly the same except for the component you are testing, and even then there will prob be differences. I am a Statistics major, so I have to take this stuff seriously. There are some games that take advantage of dual core already, such as Supreme Commander and Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, but in HL2 I don't think it actually does.

    In regards to how it runs the game, well, you went from a card that runs DX9 very well to the card you have now. I am sorry but the card you upgraded from was no slouch. In all honesty you can't really expect too much. CSS will only run so well, and at a point you won't see a difference anymore. I just upgraded from a x1950 XT 256MB to a 8800 GTS 640MB OC edition and to be honest, I really didn't see a massive difference. Certain games such as STALKER and Oblivion run quite a bit better, though I can't be sure if that is not simply from the increase in onboard memory. Company of Heroes actually runs a little bit slower in fps, though it does seem smoother. I expected this as Company of Heroes traditionally runs much better on ATI. If you want to see a difference between you and your friend test that game and I wouldn't be surprised if you beat him by 20 fps or so. Again, the drivers are still immature and the 2900 has had some problems, such as rendering, with HL2: Lost Coast, so maybe the drivers haven't been fully optimized for the Source engine yet. Still, you had a damn good card before, so don't expect miracles.

    Out of my own curiosity, what AA level do you use?
  21. Sorry for jumping in here guys but i am running an 8800gts 320mb and this is my power supply

    http://www.racksurf.co.uk/p/329035/winpower-700-watt-2448-xeon-ready.h tml

    I cant find anywhere how many amps on the 12volt rail it has (i need 28 apparently)

    Can someone help me out here as i am really confused, thanks in advance
  22. Nice you hijack a thread and in the wrong forums!
  23. Question, I haven't installed them yet, but what are the ATI overdrive drivers?

    I was told that they wont work without the 4 pin connector on the graphics card, and i only have 2 3 pins, and it says to plug those both in. AGGH, I have never been so confused with a new graphics card, I have gone through 6 of them too. :pfff:
  24. I'm going to echo the sentiment that the upgrade in your video card solution was not a very big upgrade, and you probably could have/should have waited for new cards, but it's your money and if the hd 2900xt makes you happy then all is good.
  25. Dirty_Harry2 said:
    Question, I haven't installed them yet, but what are the ATI overdrive drivers?

    I was told that they wont work without the 4 pin connector on the graphics card, and i only have 2 3 pins, and it says to plug those both in. AGGH, I have never been so confused with a new graphics card, I have gone through 6 of them too. :pfff:

    you don't install it, it is in the catalyst control center. It is only enabled when you have all the pins connected. Not a really big deal as if you want to oc you can just use atitool or some other oc util. Honestly I believe that atitool and others oc more efficiently than the overdrive built into the drivers. overdrive is just "easier".
  26. Yep. Overdrive is MUCH easier and limits your overclock to a "safe" level.

    For it or generally ANY overclock on the 2900xt though you cant use 2x 6pin PCI-E connectors you need a TRUE 8pin PCI-E one.

    Reason is that it needs the extra voltage.
  27. Hatman said:
    Yep. Overdrive is MUCH easier and limits your overclock to a "safe" level.

    For it or generally ANY overclock on the 2900xt though you cant use 2x 6pin PCI-E connectors you need a TRUE 8pin PCI-E one.

    Reason is that it needs the extra voltage.

    This is one review that disagrees with what you are saying. http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTM1OSw4LCxoZW50aHVzaWFzdA==

    In our evaluation we found that using the 8-pin connector did not provide any difference in the maximum stable overclock we achieved with both video cards. The overclock you see above, 835 MHz core and 945 MHz memory (1.89 GHz) was achieved using the standard 2x3 6-pin connectors. This overclock was the same for both video cards.
  28. Yeah I don't understand why Hatman keeps harping on this as he's quite confused even though having it explained more than once. Maybe it's the GX2 on the brain.

    Only Overdrive is limited; and it's not 'safe' levels, it mathematically pre-determined levels, which may or may not be safer than those using ATiTool's artifact tester. they're usually far from the max, but you just don't know since it's predetermined and not artifacted tested on that card like a good overclocker does. Anyone not knowing how to do safe OC test and then back down shouldn't really be OC'ing in the first place.

    And [H] while doing an ok job of explining the Overdrive issue in the opening, you don't need a '3RD party app' any more than Coolbits is for nV. If you use AMD's GPU Clock Tool, it's from AMD thus '1st party' and OCs the card with just the 6+6 config just fine.
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