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Catalyst 8.7 breaks crossfire

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 1, 2008 1:39:34 AM

Hey everyone.
Was wondering if there is something you can suggest i try or a possible explanation. I recently picked up 2 Visiontek Radeon HD 4870's and am trying to run them in crossfire.
I got them installed fine on a MSI P35 Neo2 motherboard, everything booted great, had no troubles with the included 8.6 catalyst drivers. Detected both cards, enabled crossfire, thought everything was great. Any game i ran had horrible horrible performance, unplayable at the same settings that the single card ran fine. A lot of screen flickering and font scaling problems. I tried hellgate london, WoW, Age of Conan, Quake Wars, and UT 3. Absolutely atrocious the way they ran.
So fine, i thought i'd upgrade to 8.7. As i was installing, it said there was a problem with the second card and its being disabled, and no matter what i do it won't start the second card. In the device manager it says "Windows has stopped this device cause it has reported problems. (Code 43)"

Perhaps this is a defective card? but i don't know why it would say everything is fine under 8.6 (besides the horrible performance.)

Not sure what info you need from me, but i am running Vista Ultimate 64 with a Quad Core Q6600 and 8GB of RAM.

Any direction would be appreciated.
August 1, 2008 3:46:54 PM

Have you already tried completely uninstalling everything ATI related then reinstalling all drivers?
August 1, 2008 5:31:03 PM

Something very similar happened to me. I was running two 8800gts G92's when the second one failed. I couldn't figure out what was happening but the computer was doing exactly what you just outlined.

How I finally diagnosed the issue was swapping the two video cards separately. So put the second 4870 in the first PCI-E slot and see if you can boot normally. My second 8800GTS when swapped allowed my computer to boot but the monitor wouldnt get a signal. Maybe you have the same issue.
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August 3, 2008 8:11:03 AM


Vista 64 thats your problem. Its not a gaming os , install xp or vista 32bit.
August 4, 2008 6:28:46 PM

slashzapper said:
Vista 64 thats your problem. Its not a gaming os , install xp or vista 32bit.


Vista 64 is great for gaming. I run Vista 64 with two 4850's pushing 3 monitors then crossfire for when I want to game. Haven't had a single problem that I would relate to Vista 64. Its much better than XP 64 and already has much more extensive drivers support. This combined with being able to utilize upwards of 3 gigs of ram (unlike the 32 bit os limit) make it a great OS for gaming. Vista 64 actually makes it a great time for home consumers to leave a 32 bit environment behind and make the leap to 64 bit as so far it has proven to be very compatible with alot of current 32 bit software and with the release of SP1 Vista is a very stable operating system.
August 4, 2008 6:33:52 PM

i've seen a lot of these treads, ATI really needs to fix xfire
August 4, 2008 9:21:00 PM

I had the exact same problem. I uninstalled my drivers and it fixed it. however I am still getting worse performance in crossfire (1280X1024 very high no AA) than with one card. Crossfire gets about 27 fps. One card gets about 30 fps. Its pretty frustrating
August 5, 2008 2:16:40 PM

8.7 is doing something similiar to lots of single card users as well, I think its a case of sit back and wait for a less buggy driver. 8.6 was mostly fine for single card use here but since 8.7 it seems to be causing major issues. For single card users the driver is stopping responding and being restarted a lot.
August 5, 2008 4:00:57 PM

firc_ops_gordo said:
Have you tried catalyst 8.8 beta ? The reports are it's supposed to increase crossfire performance (although you hear the same thing with every ati driver release it seems).

http://www.ati-forum.de/general/news/743-kurzer-review-...


http://www.ati-forum.de/general/news/742-catalyst-8-8-b...



:lol:  can't help but laugh. Two weeks ago it was "Try the 8.7 beta drivers". Now the 8.7's are out and its "Try the 8.8 beta drivers". ATI has a ways to go with drivers before these cards hit there full potential, not much anyone can do but be paitent and hope they get there.
August 5, 2008 4:14:58 PM

AdioKIP said:
:lol:  can't help but laugh. Two weeks ago it was "Try the 8.7 beta drivers". Now the 8.7's are out and its "Try the 8.8 beta drivers". ATI has a ways to go with drivers before these cards hit there full potential, not much anyone can do but be paitent and hope they get there.


This is one of the reasons Ive never believed the line "it will be a killer when they fix the drivers" I buy cards on current performance with current drivers the single card 4870 on 8.6 drivers warrants its price. Ive never brought a card banking on magic drivers coming out that will change performance wildly.
August 5, 2008 6:28:28 PM

dtq said:
This is one of the reasons Ive never believed the line "it will be a killer when they fix the drivers" I buy cards on current performance with current drivers the single card 4870 on 8.6 drivers warrants its price. Ive never brought a card banking on magic drivers coming out that will change performance wildly.


I definitely agree with you on this. Bought my 2x4850's because when it was time to upgrade back in June they hands down had the best performance for the price....and that was with the 8.6 drivers. I considered a 4870 but I needed two cards since I run 3 monitors and with the benchmarks at the time showing that two 4850's could easily out do the most expensive single cards from nvidia or ati the choice was easy. So far I can't complain at all, I can play every game pretty much maxed out BUT crysis. Even when buying the cards though I still wasn't crazy enough to daydream about crysis on all maxed settings with aa on. While I'm sure the drivers will improve over time, I'm not expecting them to turn my 4850's into the perfect graphics cards.
August 6, 2008 8:03:27 PM

I tried completely uninstalling and resinstalling the drivers, and any ATI drivers i could find, the whole thing just got more and more confusing. The problem with the detecting of the second card came and went randomly, but always the poor performance... However, having said that, I think i found my problem. It was/is my power supply.

I have an OCZ 650W SLI certified power supply (which shouldn't really make any difference if its xfire), but it only has 2 of the 6 pin PCIe power connectors. I had them both plugged into one card and then used the included PCIe power adapters that turned them into regular (molex are they called?) connectors.

Those main power connectors were at the end of their respective cables and had other devices plugged into them too (hard drives, fans, DVD drives) and maybe the card just couldn't draw enough power through them.

I took the 6 pin PCIe connectors and plugged one into each card, then the second connector on the cards i just used the adapters. Everything seems to be working fine now. i have noticed a definite improvement in framerate on crossfire than i had with 1 card. These things eat anti aliasing for breakfast at high resolution (2560x1600)

I would be interested in seeing how much power is being drawn now since i'm still a bit worried that it still not providing enough power to the cards.
I am going to be updating both my case and power supply in the coming months so i will know for sure after that. But i made the change about 4 days ago and so far its been rock solid, although the cards run insanely hot.
August 6, 2008 9:53:20 PM

riccochet said:
I tried completely uninstalling and resinstalling the drivers, and any ATI drivers i could find, the whole thing just got more and more confusing. The problem with the detecting of the second card came and went randomly, but always the poor performance... However, having said that, I think i found my problem. It was/is my power supply.

I have an OCZ 650W SLI certified power supply (which shouldn't really make any difference if its xfire), but it only has 2 of the 6 pin PCIe power connectors. I had them both plugged into one card and then used the included PCIe power adapters that turned them into regular (molex are they called?) connectors.

Those main power connectors were at the end of their respective cables and had other devices plugged into them too (hard drives, fans, DVD drives) and maybe the card just couldn't draw enough power through them.

I took the 6 pin PCIe connectors and plugged one into each card, then the second connector on the cards i just used the adapters. Everything seems to be working fine now. i have noticed a definite improvement in framerate on crossfire than i had with 1 card. These things eat anti aliasing for breakfast at high resolution (2560x1600)

I would be interested in seeing how much power is being drawn now since i'm still a bit worried that it still not providing enough power to the cards.
I am going to be updating both my case and power supply in the coming months so i will know for sure after that. But i made the change about 4 days ago and so far its been rock solid, although the cards run insanely hot.


If your cards are running hot then it sounds like you haven't done the fan fix. Search the forums / web for the HD48xx series fan fix. The drivers ATI released with the cards have the fan set at 10%. This usually has the cards idling around 80 degrees and when loaded they will pass 100. By editing a CCC profile file you can ramp up the fans. I keep mine on 30% for regular use and my cards now idle around 60 degrees. I ramp up the fans to 60% when crossfire gaming and my cards dont seem to exceed the 80's. 8.7 didnt address this issue but hopefully ATI will in the near future.
August 7, 2008 2:18:18 AM

Excellent advice, thanks.
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