Sapphire HD 6950 failing


I've just recently purchased a Sapphire HD 6590 graphics adapter, but I've decreased a lot in framerate while gaming after I upgraded. I used to have an ATI Radeon 3870, so it's a big step up, but for some reason, my FPS is a lot lower than it used to be. I've uninstalled my previous drivers before I installed this one, so all procedures should've been done properly. I've also smashed a pack of Hob-nobs that was sitting on my desk in anger. While it didn't yield any results, it was immensely satisfying.

I'm speculating if there might be any sort of conflict between my processor and the card. The processor is fairly old, but it could keep up before I upgraded the graphics adapter. Now it's just one big show of low framerate and tearing.

My hardware is as following:

- Sapphire HD 6950 graphics card
- Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6550 2333 MHz
- 2x Corsair TWIN2X 6400C4 DDR2, 2048MB CL4 (4 bricks)

Games used for testing are:

- Fallout New Vegas
- World of Warcraft
- Call of Duty Black Ops

All games yielded poor results.

Does anyone know something I don't? Would be most appreciated.
28 answers Last reply
More about sapphire 6950 failing
  1. What's your PSU look like. Maybe not enough power for that new card.
  2. Also, your subject and body say two different cards. Did you get a 6590 or a 6950? Seeing how the 6590 doesn't exist, either you bought some fake Chinese stuff or you really got a 6950 :D
  3. Your E6550 is holding you back.
    If you are getting tearing on screen, this is because you need to enable vsync in-game. This is actually a symptom of high framerates! Tearing occurs when the gfx card is putting out more than 60fps as your monitor can only display 60 a second. (60hz)
    If your motherboard allows, and you have sufficient cpu cooling then overclock your CPU up to 3ghz and that should help. However you will still be limited in some games due to having a dual core, some games want a quad - I've heard WoW likes quads although I've never played it.
  4. To Pallimud:

    It's a HD 6950. Was a typo. PSU should be fine, can do much more than I need, so I doubt that's the problem... :)

    To MMclachlan:

    Got vsync enabled.. And the framerates are far from high, got a pretty lousy result from 3dmark11 (P1794 3DMarks at the last test), with a peak low at Physics, where I had around 2 fps. World of Warcraft should probably not be too demanding that way, its technology is mostly based on standards from 2005, with a few very minor improvements.

    Still, it can't really be the processor alone either, as the game (WoW) ran fine last night with the same one and a vastly inferior 3d adapter, so it must either be some conflict, or some REALLY obvious installation routine that I didn't know of... Kinda hoping for the latter. Gonna have a look at the overclocking thing, though... I better ready another pack of Hob-nobs. :)
  5. Your low clocked dual core processor is the bottleneck. It's holding back your 6950 a lot.
  6. The physics part of 3d mark is CPU based so you know that's where there's an issue. Also, 2gb of RAM is pretty low these days. At least doubling it should help.
  7. I've got 2x 2gb ram, so 4 gig in total :)

    But thanks for all the input, everyone, I'll replace that dual core as soon as I can :)
  8. Try and find a q9450 on ebay or something, then overclock it to 3ghz+ Unless you're doing a new build.
  9. cherox said:
    I've got 2x 2gb ram, so 4 gig in total :)

    But thanks for all the input, everyone, I'll replace that dual core as soon as I can :)

    Ah ok, wasn't sure from the way it was listed.

    Replacing it can be a little pricey, depending how you want to do it. If you're not using a Dell/HP/Gateway etc you should be able to overclock through the BIOS. Therefore a significantly cheaper option is to buy a decent heat sink and try to get 3-3.5ghz out of your dual core and see if that helps. If not, possible a new platform is in order.
  10. To back up a bit,
    you're saying your frames dropped from when you had the 3870 installed?

    I think everyone's right that your processor is holding you back, but you shouldn't be getting LESS frames with a new graphics card

    that does sound like a driver issue though.

    I would try repeating the driver uninstall/install process if you can.
    And perhaps a dumb question, but you downloaded the latest drivers from the AMD site?

    also can you get gpu temps?
    If it's overheating for whatever reason it could cause your low framerates
  11. Overclock or upgrade that is the two choices that you are facing. You can try to upgrade the cpu but it isn't going to be cheap unless you shop on the second hand market.
  12. Hi!

    Bol0: Yep, frame rates drops significantly, and I haven't found any plausible reason why they do. The temperature is well below the dangerzone, so that's unlikely to be the cause. CPU's are both around 74 degrees C and the graphics card is at 79.

    I'm also puzzled why I actually LOST rate. If it had stalled and stayed the same, it would've been a lot less surprising, but the FPS loss is very visible.. What used to be sluggish is now unplayable, and it goes for every game tried so far.

    I've downloaded the drivers from, but I'm pretty sure it would be the same drivers as from AMD.. I can have a look, though, at this point, anything's worth trying. :)
  13. yea, I strongly recommend using the ATI/AMD drivers rather than the sapphire one's.

    Try that out, let me know how it goes
  14. Those 3dmark11 results seem rather low, even for an E6550. I had a P4700, although I do have an i7. It's at P5300 with the flashed bios. P1790 doesn't seem right, even with a CPU bottleneck.

    If you could, download GPU-Z and check the bus interface. Please post result.

    Also, check the clocks while you are running the benchmark. You can check the sensor log on GPU-Z after the test is done. Post what you see.
  15. Just tried it.. Seemed to be a marginal improvement in FPS, but the graphics also seems to black out under stress now, just to reappear when the strenuous animations are over, for some odd reason.
  16. cherox said:
    Just tried it.. Seemed to be a marginal improvement in FPS, but the graphics also seems to black out under stress now, just to reappear when the strenuous animations are over, for some odd reason.

    That almost sounds more like a PSU problem. The new 6950's will power down when they don't get enough juice.

    What is your PSU?
  17. Also, one last thing. Does this problem always occur, or sometimes?

    I've found using Internet explorer and viewing a video will cause my clocks to freeze at half GPU speed until I close the page with it on. It seems unlikely if this is always an issue.
  18. Quote:
    Just tried it.. Seemed to be a marginal improvement in FPS, but the graphics also seems to black out under stress now, just to reappear when the strenuous animations are over, for some odd reason.

    Sorry, this was for B0LO above. Tried the new drivers, and that's when the computer started blacking out during stress. :)


    This is what GPU-Z said. I haven't got to play long enough to tell if the problem is constant or occasional, but it seems to be more or less constant so far. I can test it some more.

    My PSU is a Silver Power PSU, 600W, 120mm fan.
  19. I can't tell what the peek clocks are. You might need to move your mouse over the high clock periods so I can see. That or just tell me what it says when you mouse over.
  20. I noticed during that log that the GPU load is nearly 0 the entire time.
  21. Yeah.. GPU load is also at 0 even with a 3d application running. I've got a new theory, though.. It seems like those blackouts might - MIGHT - be due to blur effects, as they seem to occur whenever blurring is used. Also, it happens all the time, not only on peaks, after 5 mins of (painful) playtesting.

    All apologies for being so inadequate in these matters, but where would the high clock periods be viewed? I mostly get tooltips when I mouse over anything, "This shows (subject)", etc...
  22. Where is shows the red bar next to GPU Core Clock. Move your mouse over it, and it'll show the peeks clocks during that period. Notice where it shows the GPU Load, it shows almost no load for the entire time currently. What were you doing during that log?
  23. Ah! Max seems to be 250.0

    I played Fallout New Vegas during this test. :)
  24. Move your mouse over the thick parts of the log. By the look of the post you gave, it was at it's 2d setting when it shows 250 mhz. It should read higher at the peak points.
  25. Did a heavy stress test with Black Ops... The playing was probably more tormenting than the treatment my character got.

    Still, GPU is low. Detailed peaks are as follows:

    GPU Core Clock: 800.0
    GPU Memory Clock: 1250.0
    GPU Temperature: 62.0
    Fan Speed: @ 30
    GPU Load: @ 11%
    Fan Speed: @ 1515
    GPU Temp 1: 63.0
    GPU Temp 2: 71.5
    GPU Temp 3: 69.5
    VDDC: 1.100v
  26. Just a thought - have you checked your motherboard manufacturer's website for BIOS updates? If not have a look and see if any of the updates mention updating compatability with new gfx cards - I remember having to flash a board once when I got a 8800GT a couple of years ago.
  27. Blistering barnacles! That actually increased my 3dmark score with around 500 points, so thanks for that one! Also seemed to have caused some other minor issues with the sound, but I'll deal with those later.

    Thanks, matey! :)
  28. Hi Cherox

    I've had this card now for a coupla weeks, and have the same issues as you :fou:

    The GPU-Z report is exactly the same as yours, except for the driver, which in my case is the latest. I have a 800W Hyper PSU, but even so, I also get the black screen every so often, usually, but not necessarily, in a frantic game, tsk. Sometimes just visiting a normal web site will cause a blackout (and no, I don't mean a left-handed site...)

    I've uninstalled/re-installed ATI drivers several times, to no avail. Plus, I have an issue with the Catalyst Control Center, which refuses to work whatever I do. I just get the CCC has stopped working message.

    May I ask what increased your 3Dmark score? And have you found any other interesting nuggets of info? There seem to be quite a few people around the 'net who are having these probs...

    Cheers in advance!
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