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4850X2 and the saga of the Single GPU

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 23, 2009 3:29:26 AM

Kinda like a Hardy Boys mystery... with a can of Frustration Sauce thrown in for good measure...

So my first post shall be a story question... Just because. :pt1cable: 

I had a dual 8800GTX setup running on an XFX 780i motherboard and Q9450 cpu.

Decided I wanted to go to a single card solution I could upgrade later. The prices on the ATI cards bang-for-buck looked good even though I hadn't owned one since the 9800XT was the king of the hill.

Now I know that the nforce boards don't do crossfire, but I figured the X2 cards were a single card... the crossfire was internal to them... and I hadn't seen anything that would indicate they couldn't work on that motherboard. So a 2 gig 4850X2 was in my future... 249.99 on newegg (and have since dropped to 219. :fou:  )

I went to install it in my case and holy CRAP those cards are large. Approximately 3/4 inch TOO long for my Thermaltake Shark case. Sigh... So, with the intent of testing it and buying a new case, I bent the crap out of my case and managed to squeeze it in.

The machine powered up fine and the card worked. Well. Kinda. It booted up into windows fine. But crashed constantly in games after a few minutes.

I figured it MIGHT be power. So I run over to my "source" and pick up an Antec P190 case with 1200 watts of power (dual PSU - 650 for video/mobo and 550 for everything else). Transplant everything into that case (the X2 fits with probably 5 inches to spare) and power it up again. Everything works fine now. Well. Kinda. ARGH!

I had no crossfire tab in the CCC. Well ok. Not 100% unexpected since it's an nforce board. SO...

I run to the local stealer and grab me an ASUS P5E Deluxe (x48 based) and perform yet another teardown and rebuild. I power up the system and uh oh... cpu running at 87c. Crap. Damn stock cpu fan and heatsink. I try to reseat it and one of the corner posts just literally falls off...

I run to the local stealer AGAIN and grab me a thermaltake heatsink and fan. Ok. Now it's running at a rather nice 38c.

I rebuild my array and reinstall Windows 7 RC1. No joy in ATI Town. No crossfire tab and my Vantage score sitting around 7500 marks. I open a ticket with Sapphire. (This was saturday).

I flash the bios to the latest version... Reinstall Windows Vista Ultimate (x64)... Try various drivers... Nothing. Still no crossfire tab in the CCC. GPU-Z reports no crossfire. Vantage says I'm not running linked display adapters. Right clicking on the ATI icon in the task tray DOES show two 4850s though so I'm pretty sure it's not dead.

I've searched and searched and have found numerous people that have had this issue with X2 cards, but have not yet found a reason for it, or a solution... So. I turn here. Has ANYBODY seen this phenomenon before? Or more importantly, been able to remedy it?

More about : 4850x2 saga single gpu

June 23, 2009 4:48:11 AM

Hmm, while I have no experiance with it, I do know that the 4850X2 is a Sapphire special and unsupported by ATI.

You may need to use special (read: old) drivers from Sapphire.
June 23, 2009 5:29:48 AM

Well, that's alot of information for everybody to digest. Too bad the answer is a little bit shorter: THERE IS NO CROSSFIRE TAB FOR DUAL GPU CARDS.

The 4870X2 does not have one, why would the 4850x2 have one ? Although it is true your gpu's are running in crossfire, there is no option to select it in the CCC panel. If you go to your device manager in windows control panel, you will notice that both of your GPU cores are in fact detected and working fine (so long as your drivers are properly installed). When you add a second CARD, such as when I added a 48701GB to pair with my 4870X2, THEN you will be give a crossfire option.
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June 23, 2009 12:53:22 PM

1955812,1,443292 said:
Kinda like a Hardy Boys mystery... with a can of Frustration Sauce thrown in for good measure...

So my first post shall be a story question... Just because. :pt1cable: 

I had a dual 8800GTX setup running on an XFX 780i motherboard and Q9450 cpu.

Decided I wanted to go to a single card solution I could upgrade later. The prices on the ATI cards bang-for-buck looked good

Let me get this straight. You ended up buying the graphics card, a new case with 2 PSUs, a mother bd. and a CPU cooler? You my friend have more money than sense :) 

Geez you coulda just brought back the 4850X2 and picked up a GTX 295 and saved money!
June 23, 2009 2:50:06 PM

I have gotten a response from Sapphire now that states that the crossfire tab not showing is abnormal.

Could someone saying that there should be no crossfire tab (I have heard both sides of that story) show me their sources for this information? I just have heard so many conflicting results in this regard that I no longer know what to believe.

June 23, 2009 5:50:44 PM

I had a Sapphire 4850x2 until about a week ago and there IS a Crossfire tab in CCC. Unfortunately i don't have the card anymore so I'm not able to provide a screenshot but I am 100% positive on this as I went in the Crossfire tab to disable it to do some benchmark comparison between Crossifre enabled or disabled. And yes the 4850x2 is supported by ATI, just look at the supported products in the Catalyst release notes.
June 23, 2009 7:02:02 PM

listen folks, i have both a Sapphire 4870 1GB and a Sapphire 4850 512 MB card in a crossfire setup and there was no crossfire tab until i rebooted AFTER i set the catalyst AI to standard, hope this helps... AI needs to be enabled and set to standard, then reboot, see if the tab arrives...

... and yes, you can crossfire a 4850 to a 4870, it's just that the 4870 will scale down to the 4850 settings...
June 23, 2009 7:12:55 PM

Everybody take a step back and relax, the easiest way of finding out if there is an issue here is for the OP to run futuremark and find out if his GPU score are accurate with other 4850X2 setups. Whether the crossfire tab is there or not, if your card performs fine then Don't Worry about it!
June 23, 2009 7:28:56 PM

Quote:
Hmm, I find that odd that the 4850's would have a crossfire section but the 4870's wouldn't.


For some reason (something about sapphire being on drugs i imagine) most (perhaps all, i have not checked) 4850x2's come with 4 DVI ports. To enable this pointless feature crossfire msut be disabled. So the bios on the 4850x2 is slightly different from the 4870x2 as it permits the user to disable crossfire and use 4 displays if they wish. At least that is what it does when it is working. To teh computer teh 4850x2 will show up like 2 4850's, unlike the 4870x2 where it is always using both cores but only really uses the optimizations for the second if CAT AI is on.
June 23, 2009 8:26:46 PM

Quote:
My source is the fact that i use a 4870x2 card and know that there is no tab since the crossfire is inbuilt unlike a normal crossfire setup, where it is entirely optional.


Not trying to call you out. Just trying to understand. :D 

As stated there is no crossfire tab, if you want crossfire, enable catalyst A.I and set to advanced. said:
As stated there is no crossfire tab, if you want crossfire, enable catalyst A.I and set to advanced.


I have never tried AI on advanced. I will try that when I get home tonight.
June 23, 2009 8:31:29 PM

Annisman said:
Everybody take a step back and relax, the easiest way of finding out if there is an issue here is for the OP to run futuremark and find out if his GPU score are accurate with other 4850X2 setups. Whether the crossfire tab is there or not, if your card performs fine then Don't Worry about it!



Also a bit of an issue. I have done just that and I see other people running 4850x2 getting 7500-8500 3dmarks (in vantage), but I also see people running 4850x2 and getting 11000-12000 marks.

SAPPHIRE tells me they get nearly 10000 marks.

On orb, the ones I see getting 11000+ say that they are running linked display adapters. Those around 8000 say that they are NOT running linked display adapters.

So basically it's all over the place and results are varied enough on both sides that I cannot determine which is the truth and which isn't.
June 24, 2009 2:19:44 AM

If this helps, here's my experience with x2 cards from ATI.

I have a 4870x2. When I first configured it, using the CD to install the drivers, I was getting very low Vantage scores and 12-15 fps in Crysis. I updated the drivers, same issue. So then I downloaded the latest display driver only (no CCC). I uninstalled all the current ATI drivers and software (using Driver Cleaner Pro) and then installed the new display driver only. For fan control, I used Expert Tool ATI. Then I ran Furmark and got great results, and it confirmed I had two GPUs active.

So then I go back to install CCC 9.6. That's done. Now I run furmark and get terrible scores and it tells me that I only have one active GPU. I also am missing the crossfire tab on my CCC.

So, maybe try uninstalling everything and then installing just the display drivers and not CCC.

I'm calling Sapphire tomorrow. Good luck.
June 24, 2009 2:24:27 AM

mortonww said:
If this helps, here's my experience with x2 cards from ATI.

I have a 4870x2. When I first configured it, using the CD to install the drivers, I was getting very low Vantage scores and 12-15 fps in Crysis. I updated the drivers, same issue. So then I downloaded the latest display driver only (no CCC). I uninstalled all the current ATI drivers and software (using Driver Cleaner Pro) and then installed the new display driver only. For fan control, I used Expert Tool ATI. Then I ran Furmark and got great results, and it confirmed I had two GPUs active.

So then I go back to install CCC 9.6. That's done. Now I run furmark and get terrible scores and it tells me that I only have one active GPU. I also am missing the crossfire tab on my CCC.

So, maybe try uninstalling everything and then installing just the display drivers and not CCC.

I'm calling Sapphire tomorrow. Good luck.


The 4870x2 shouldn't have the crossfire tab. Whether it uses the second GPU is determined by the optimization in CAT AI. The 4850x2 has the crossfire tab as it is designed to be used with 4dvi as well.
June 24, 2009 2:36:12 AM

Mine only uses one GPU no matter what the setting is in CCC. Cat. A.I. standard - 1 GPU, advanced - 1 GPU. This is with full screen and verified by furmark results that say "active GPUs: 1"
June 24, 2009 4:49:16 AM

daedalus685 said:
The 4870x2 shouldn't have the crossfire tab. Whether it uses the second GPU is determined by the optimization in CAT AI. The 4850x2 has the crossfire tab as it is designed to be used with 4dvi as well.


I've heard from far too many people and even seen a screenshot or two of an X2 card with crossfire tab in CCC. Not to mention that even Sapphire's tech support says that it is not normal to not see the crossfire tab. I gotta believe that it should have it. I have also tried Cat AI in every configuration possible without any change.

I have also ran across a thread on ATI's site that states it's a video card bios issue and that you have to flash the bios to get this to work. I don't know if I am going to attempt this as there are two different versions of this card and if you flash the wrong one you brick it.

Here is the thread for future reference. It almost seems definitive from the people that have done it. But I won't say that it is... just that circumstantial facts tend to lean heavily in it's favor.

http://forums.amd.com/game/messageview.cfm?catid=262&th...
June 24, 2009 5:32:43 AM

As the owner of a 4870x2 that works flawlessly, I can guarantee you that a 4870x2 should not show the crossfire tab.
June 26, 2009 8:03:52 PM

RMA through newegg... Should have another one monday or tuesday. We'll see if that goes any better.

Furmark and Vantage comparisons with single 8800GTX confirm the 4850 was only using one gpu.
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