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I7 / 4870x2 crossfire underperforming - Benchmark update

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 5, 2009 6:11:33 PM

EDIT: PCMark scores in post below.

My friend and I built him a new system this past spring. It was supposed to be a monster that would destroy anything we threw at it. Instead, we have a machine that just under performs.

Pertinent system specs

Core i7 940
EVGA E758-A1 X58
6 Gigs DDR3 1333 (Patriot)
Two Diamond Radeon 4870x2 2GB in crossfire
300 GB VelociRaptor
COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 1000W
Soundblaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer
2560 x 1600 monitor
Win 7 RC 64 / Vista Business SP1 64

Performance testing has been by feel. No actual FPS measurements. However, we've had my system sitting next to it in the same room (which his rig should destroy) and run the same games side by side. My system is clearly running more efficiently.

My Rig:

Phenom II x4 940
DFI LP DK 790FXB-M2RSH
6 Gigs DDR2 800
Nvidia 8800 GTX
300 GB VelociRaptor
Corsair 620HX
Soundblaster Audigy
1920 x 1200 monitor
Win 7 RC 64.

Our testing has mostly been with TF2, Portal, Half-Life 2, Assassin's Creed, Left 4 Dead and Bioshock all through Steam. We attempt to run all games with max settings.

Both systems have all critical updates applied (in both OS environments for his)

We've tested every Catalyst driver from 8.7 to the 9.10 We updated his mobo BIOS at every release since we built it.

TF2 runs well, but on his system has noticeable frame hangs from time to time.

Portal is just choppy all around. Particularly on the level with the fire pit. Frame rates will drop to less than 1 in the fire room.

Half-Life 2 just doesn't run as smoothly as on my system.

Assassin's Creed, L4D and Bioshock are similar. OK performance, but less than what my AMD rig gets with the 8800 GTX. Noticeable hangs in frames from time to time like with TF2.

For L4D, some settings have to be toned down to maintain good performance. Portal runs OK with several lowered settings, except for any level with fire effects. Then it is nearly unplayable.

We've toggled Catalyst A.I., V-sync... all the usual suspects, but to no avail. The individual 4870x2s run fine individually, though we still see issues with Portal, the crossfire set-up is a worse environment. I tested one of the cards in my system and it ran perfectly. (Couldn't try crossfire due to the PSU limit)

What are we missing? Every thread I've found on the web with similar issues are under different environments, and their solutions (if they have one) haven't worked for us.

------

EDIT: Had my roommate run 3DMark Vantage

This is what we got:

3DMark Score
P21655
CPU Score
18700
Graphics Score
22860

Jane Nash: 62.29 FPS
New Calico: 71.8 FPS

AI Test: 2625.14 Operations/s
Physics Test: 23.84 Operations/s

Physics test made the system crawl as we watched.

Appears that the test was done at 1280 x 1024. Didn't see how we could change it. (Trial version of 3DMark limitation?)

We're both new to benchmarking. Building and tweaking I understand, but I've never bothered with the numbers before. But this issue is over 6 months old now. Drivers, BIOS... nothing seems to improve the issue. Getting desperate.

Any ideas?
November 5, 2009 6:26:17 PM

Something is seriously, horribly wrong if portal is stuttering on an i7/4870x2 quadfire system. I have a similar setup, and it runs every source engine game at >150fps, even with full AA/AF at 1920x1200.

What kind of 3dmark scores are you getting? Are you sure CF is working (though even a single 4870 should run faster than that)?
November 5, 2009 6:30:24 PM

We haven't run any benchmarking software yet. The performance is way to off for numbers to even matter at this point.

As far as CF working, I know all 4 GPUs are recognized by Catalyst and are showing as linked.
Related resources
November 6, 2009 3:10:05 AM

Updated first post with new benchmark info.
November 6, 2009 3:55:42 AM

Just finished the PCMark test... it looks terrible.

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PCMarkSuite
8151 PCMarks

Processor
Intel Core i7-940 (2.93GHz)
Graphics card
Diamond Viper ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 - graphics adapter - 2 GPUs - Radeon HD 4870 X2 - 2 GB
Memory 6144 MB
Operating system Windows 7 Beta
System type 64-bit
Motherboard manufacturer EVGA
Motherboard model 132-BL-E758
Memory 6144 MB
Module 1 2047 MB
Module 2 2047 MB
Module 3 2047 MB

Processor information

Processor
Intel Core i7-940 (2.93GHz)
Physical / logical processors 1 / 8
1 / 8
Multicore 4 Processor Cores
4 Processor Cores
FSB 133 MHz
172 MHz

Display information
Graphics card
Graphics card vendor ATI Technologies
Graphics memory 1024 MB
Core clock 18 MHz
Memory clock 9 MHz
Driver name ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2
Driver version 8.661.0.0
Driver status WHQL - Not FM Approved
Linked display adapters Yes

Benchmark settings
Program Version
PCMark Vantage Revision 0 Hotfix 1
Resolution
2560x1600

Main test results

PCMarkSuite - 8151.0 PCMarks

PCMark Memories 1
CPU image manipulation
8.9 MB/s

HDD - importing pictures to Windows Photo Gallery
42.28 MB/s

PCMark Memories 2
Video transcoding - VC-1 to WMV9
5.88 MB/s

PCMark TV and Movies 1
Video transcoding - VC-1 to VC-1
1.52 MB/s

Video playback - VC-1 HD DVD with SD commentary
29.79 FPS

PCMark TV and Movies 2
HDD - Windows Media Center
60.19 MB/s

Video playback - VC-1 HD DVD with HD content
29.81 FPS

PCMark Gaming 1
Data decompression
1599.43 MB/s

GPU gaming
37.93 FPS

PCMark Gaming 2
CPU gaming
33356.54 Operations/s

HDD - gaming
15.23 MB/s

PCMark Music 1
Web page rendering - music shop
29.33 Pages/s

Audio transcoding - MP3 to WMA
1.07 MB/s

HDD - adding music to Windows Media Player
5.99 MB/s

PCMark Music 2
Audio transcoding - WAV to WMA lossless
20.18 MB/s

PCMark Communications 1
Data encryption - CNG AES CBC
5.57 MB/s

Data compression
2.04 MB/s

Windows Mail - copying
20.54 Operations/s
November 6, 2009 3:57:31 AM

WTFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!??!?!?!?! I know people who max out FPS on Steam/Valve games with a 4670. I don't understand how a quadfire 4870x2 can't max it. Especially since my crappy Intel laptop GPU gets 30fps min on Portal.
November 6, 2009 3:58:24 AM

Sorry 2x Post, did you add the crossfire bridge?
November 6, 2009 5:16:14 AM

aznshinobi said:
Sorry 2x Post, did you add the crossfire bridge?


Yep. Swapped 'em out too. No luck.
November 6, 2009 5:55:30 AM

Now that's odd...
That 3dmark score, while it does sound a bit low, is indicative of a system that should have no trouble at all playing something like portal. I honestly don't have a clue.
November 6, 2009 11:37:11 AM

have you checked temps on the cpus

you may want to run furmark to load the cards and see what the temps are
November 6, 2009 2:21:08 PM

DO NOT run furmark. It can damage the cards.
November 6, 2009 4:19:44 PM

It seems so mysterious.....a previous thread here in this forum exerted the same problem with quadfire setup and i7 950.....what about other games????...crysis, RE5....
November 6, 2009 4:30:39 PM

that is so weird...... there has to be some issue with the cards? have you tried contacting the video card supplier and letting them know of the scores? this is just too weird.
November 9, 2009 5:15:18 AM

Haven't gone to the manufacture.

6 months out from purchase, I doubt they'll be all that interested. I may have my roommate give a try.

Aside from that, any other thoughts on what we should try?

Anyone very familiar with the mobo? Maybe a setting we've missed?
February 20, 2010 3:57:17 PM

I just bought one 4870 x2 and it was running terribly. Had to reinstall W7 64 and still was bad, so contacted manufacturer and he told me my motherboard drivers were out of date. Can't update them because I am running a DELL XPS 410 which is 4 years old. No new drivers. Installed Vista 32 bit, wouldn't even play COD MW2. Had to reinstall W7 64 and now it runs fine. Little lag at highest resolution maxed, but I do have an e6600 system with ddr2 800mhz ram.
Anonymous
August 16, 2010 8:16:06 PM

I am running intel i7 940 with 4870 X2 in crossfire also. I am using Vista 64. It does horrible on all the benchmarks. I too have made sure all my drivers are up to date and they are. Just picked up the 10.7 version update and my GPU performance DROPPED 25% with consistent runs on several benchmarks. This is extremely upsetting that my laptop that is 5 years older is outperforming my relatively new desktop...just plain f'd up! I called and talked to ATI/AMD they seemed clueless as to any indication.
August 19, 2010 12:27:14 AM

Fail topic revive...
!