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New to Crossfire X, any Help?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 3, 2010 5:28:55 AM

Hello - avid Tom's reader and respect its readers and forum users.
I have gotten help in the past with a laptop and a malfunctioning motherboard.

I am working towards upgrading and my current system with a new 10,000 rpm hard drive and a 2nd ati 4870 1gb ddr5 video card.

SPECS:
motherboard: Gigabyte X48-DQ6
cpu: Conroe 3.0 @ 3.36
ram: OCZ pc2-9600 4x1gb @ 1197 5-5-5-5-15
psu: Corsair 1000watt sli/crossfire compatible
video: 2 x sapphire 4870 1gb ddt5
audio: onboard
case: thermaltake armor + 8 fans, slot fans, etc..
monitor: samsung 24" 1920 x 1200 @ 60hz
hdd: 1 x raptor 10,000, 1 x 500gb seagate 7,200, 1 x 1.5tb WD book
+floppy +2 x liteon dvds +g5 +g15

I have never crossfired, and ATI doesn't have any written instructions on their site, neither does sapphire.

Do I just power down with 1st video card in and current 10.2 catalyst driver.
Unplug power.
Add 2nd power cable for new video card to PSU.
Add 2nd ati 4870 in 2nd pci-e x16 slot.
Plug in power to video card from PSU.
Attach crossfire bridge.
Plug in computer.
Fire up.
Open ati catalyst 10.2 and enable crossfire?

Is it that easy, or:
-do I need to do a fresh install of Windows with both video cards
-uninstall ati completely, pop in both video cards, install ati catalyst driver new?

Thanks for your help.

Also, I am currently running my hdd in AHCI mode and it runs through the RAID driver, which has resulted in very fast read times (and load times in MP games).
Will my 10,000 rpm rapter like AHCI mode?
I don't want to raid 0 or raid 1 it, as my mobo has chewed HDDs in the past.
What mode should I run it in, AHCI, RAID, or IDE???

thanks again!

(p.s. and as soon as the quad core lga 775 drops out of the 330.00 range, I can finish the upgrade!)

More about : crossfire

March 3, 2010 2:20:54 PM

You are over thinking this.

I did:
uninstall old driver, install new driver (10.2), make sure that works first.
Power off, install new card, install bridge, install power, power on.
In most cases the system picks up the new card and driver, and in others it may ask for you to install the driver again.
In the CCC app, make sure Crossfire is checked on the last tab (which doesnt show up until you have a second card)

AHCI is the right mode if you are not RAIDing. Yes your 10k rpm will like it..
March 4, 2010 12:49:29 AM

Thank you!

I am going to rebuild everything tomorrow, including fresh O/S install.
Windows Updates and restarts alone will take like 8 hours, its crazy how long it can take to get it fully up to date (o/s, anti-virus, drivers). Reboot times really start to add up.

Thanks for the AHCI advice, this mobo has destroyed two seagate drives in RAID. I think its the mobo itself, I have read problems with it. AHCI has been suprisingly fast, as I load first in every TF2 server on every MP map, which is crazy on a 7200 rpm HDD over 3 years old (the PC2-9600 ram is blazing fast!!!).

I will close this thread as soon as it works.

If I run into any BSOD or deaths, I will post back.
I''m hoping I won't, since most of the crossfire issues inevitably end up with PSU issues.

I have a corsair 1000w and a backup Silverstone PSU just in case.
Related resources
March 4, 2010 8:06:54 PM

QUICK QUESTION before install!!:

I have my current single HD 4870 1gb ddr5 OC'd to 820 and 1100 clocks respectively, it runs cool and never BSODs at these settings (which is amazing really).

I think I should turn off the OC prior to installing the 2nd card, but can I try and overclock once the 2nd card installs correctly and runs?

Can you still overclock 2 video cards, or is this a deal breaker.

I heard that the worlds fastest card runs at 850 and 1200 clocks, I'm pretty proud that I can more than stably run my old 4870 at 820 and 1100 and dont want to lose it....
March 4, 2010 8:24:37 PM

You might want to downclock until you get them both up and running, but you can most definitely OC both cards together once you get them both in and running in xfire.
March 4, 2010 8:47:03 PM

No problem man. Enjoy;-)
March 10, 2010 6:23:12 AM

Ran into problems!@@!

I did a complete uninstall of ATI, then rebooted, then did a registry clean and folder elimination.

Once complete, I installed the new card, a Sapphire Vapor-X 4870 1gb ddr5, supposed matching specs as my current Sapphire 4870 1gb ddr5 (non vapor-x).

After power up, things looked normal for new card install. I installed catalyst 10.2, most recent driver, and rebooted. Again, things looked normal, the card was lit up and fan seemed to be spinning.

I checked the catalyst center to see what was going on.
Noticed 3 things.

1-hot on idle. 70c idling!
2-fan was on auto, yet was on 25%
3-OC specs were UNDER my original 4870 (non-vapor-x)!!!

So, I tried to enable manual fan control from 24-100% - no effect on the fan.
Auto was bricked and stuck at 25%.
I uninstalled and reinstalled 10.2 with a clean uninstall.
Same results, fan stuck at 25%.
Next, I installed 10.1, and even 9.12 just to try - same results.

Also, why would my old 4870 (a 1st gen production sapphire 4870) spec out at overclockable to 850/1200 and my new higher end model, the vapor-x spec out at 790/1100???

I run my current 4870 (non vapor-x) at 820 and 1100, these clock speeds aren't even physically able to set on the new card, the highest it can hit is 790 and 1100.
I'm disappointed of course.

I guess I have to RMA the new card for the bricked fan, but thats not going to change the OC clock numbers. Let down.

Anyone see this 25% fan speed error before??
March 10, 2010 9:56:46 PM

I had a problem where I couldn't control anything on my second card like you, but recently everything's been coming up correctly. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but I was messing around with the 3D settings a lot prior to it.
March 11, 2010 2:55:52 PM

Not sure what to say on that one... I guess I would go out and download the 10.3 beta drivers just to see if they make a difference.

As far as the overclock limits difference, that would be a bios difference I believe. I know my XFX 5750 has different minimum settings from my Eng. Sample 5750, and I think the BIOS is what dictates that.
March 16, 2010 11:26:33 PM

Waiting on the RMA.

Just to be clear, the new card installed by ITSELF (not in crossfire) still could not control the fan manually and the AUTO didn't seem to control it either - as temps on idle were at 66c.

The fan wasn't broken, but just would not spin over 25%, without being in crossfire mode.
!