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6870 crossfire with q6600 worth it?

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January 16, 2011 11:26:50 AM

I figured I'd make a post about this since I'm out of ideas. First my specs:

q6600 oc'd to 3.5ghz

corsair hx 750 power supply

8ghz of ddr2 gskill @800mhz

asus p5e x38 mobo

two HDD both western digital 7200 rpm

XFX 6870 crossfire

When they first came out I had an older card. So I picked 1 6870 up and it worked great I was impressed with how well it ran. When I heard about how well it was supposed to run with crossfire I picked up another since my mobo is able to use crossfire and both of my pci-e slots run at x16 so I thought it would be worth it. In benchmarks I've done such as heaven or AVP the framerate is pretty much double and everything is very smooth a definte improvement but when I test them out on bfbc2 which is what I have been playing a lot of lately it seems like 1 card actually ran it better.

Now I understand that with crossfire setups you are supposed to get microstutter? I'm not really sure exactly what it means as this gets thrown around a lot but I was under the impression that it was a noticeable stutter in between frames that made everything look really choppy. I don't have anything like that.

What originally occurred that I noticed was when I would run bfbc2 the frames would be double and the gameplay would be somewhat smooth except when I turn ingame it would be like I was turning with a constant rate of about 25-30 fps not a super big problem but it definitely affects game play. Now it seems like when I run it that with 1 card I'm getting higher frames and when I put AA and AF on 8X through CCC and texture filtering on high quality, the single card runs smoother and gives me better frames. I've heard people say this is a negative point of two gpus over one but it seems to vary as well.

The things I've done to try to isolate the problem was I tried each card solo in both of my pci-e for days and they both ran great not a problem although I noticed a slight hint of one running a little smoother ingame than the other, other than that was fine.

I've tried pretty much every driver under the sun. Currently just stuck with 10.12 but I went back to 10.11 and the bit of slow response time I was getting when I would turn ingame almost 100% went away. It worked out great and I was planning on just leaving those drivers but about every 10minutes the computer freezes. So I went back to 10.12 with the lower performance. I don't know if it could be the drivers. Or if maybe my q6600 has something to do with it? Is running crossfire going to put a heavier strain on your cpu? I know that bfbc2 is very cpu intensive game and maybe me running two gpus strains it to the point where it puts it over the edge and maybe its only making 20% use of the 2nd card or having to slow down altogether. Just speculation I really have no idea at this point. Figured I'd ask more enlightened individuals XD

Anyways I think that's enough wall of text. I appreciate any help or even just info anyone could throw my way. Thanks again.

a c 214 U Graphics card
January 16, 2011 2:51:58 PM

Do u have money to spend on a new CPU&Mobo?
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January 16, 2011 6:56:09 PM

purple stank said:
Do u have money to spend on a new CPU&Mobo?



Yeah but I wanted to make sure that's the problem. Would rather not spend more money on upgrading especially after buying the two cards but if its necessary I guess I'll have to. You think it is severely bottlenecking the cards?
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 16, 2011 7:03:15 PM

I did think it was fast enough @3.5ghz but the first quad core's are getting kinda old.I guess it's possible not to cause to much of a bottleneck if you can get your current prossesor to around 4ghz or 4.3ghz somewhere between there.

Those cards would benifit greatly from haveing a new Sandy Bridge i5 or i7.Or even the first gen i5 or i7's.
Personally i would go with a Sandy Bridge i7.That would defnitly unleash the power of crossfired 6870's.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 16, 2011 7:04:35 PM

Also i thought i might add that BFBC2 is very CPU intensive and GPU intensive.It max's out my Phenom ii x4 965 @3.8ghz everytime i play it.

EDIT:Forgot you already mentioned that,but anyway for refernce my phenom is faster than your q6600 and i am running a sinlge 6870.So yah it sound best to upgrade the CPU or O.C. it.
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January 16, 2011 7:07:00 PM

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you need to seriously overclock that chip to even come close to pushing those cards...
I recommend either upping the processor or get lesser cards..



How high are we talking 4ghz? I'm on air so I doubt I could push it higher. My cpu still runs fairly warm but my northbridge gets really hot doubt it would go any higher. Would the q6600 at 3.5 still not be high enough even for 1 6870? I don't understand how it runs 1 great at higher settings but not two
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 16, 2011 7:12:10 PM

What type of heatsink do you have now?
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January 16, 2011 7:12:16 PM

purple stank said:
Also i thought i might add that BFBC2 is very CPU intensive and GPU intensive.It max's out my Phenom ii x4 965 @3.8ghz everytime i play it.

EDIT:Forgot you already mentioned that,but anyway for refernce my phenom is faster than your q6600 and i am running a sinlge 6870.So yah it sound best to upgrade the CPU or O.C. it.



Ahhh. I was thinking about if I had to upgrade maybe getting a black edition I just wasn't sure how much performance I was going to get out of it. I just really dont want to spend a bunch of money for a new cpu to just get maybe a 5 10% increase but you make a good point. It is fairly old so maybe it is time to upgrade.
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January 16, 2011 7:15:37 PM

purple stank said:
What type of heatsink do you have now?



I got a AC freezer 7 pro 92mm. Runs pretty cool even under load it usually sits at 38-40c trouble is my northbridge gets really hot.
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a b U Graphics card
January 16, 2011 7:28:15 PM

Yup definitely need more cpu power. I noticed a big difference going from a q6600 @ 3.2ghz to a i7 930 with my GTX 470 in BFBC2. And that's just one gpu, it got better still when i overclocked the i7 to 4.011ghz.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 16, 2011 7:51:04 PM

What type of case do you have?
Maybe you need better airflow to cool off your NB.

Yah i would have to agree,going with an i7 is the best soultion.But the Sandy Bridge i7's look even better.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 16, 2011 7:55:14 PM

The prices still haven't gone done yet since the Sandy Bridge CPU's were released,their practialy the same.So if you do go for a CPU upgrade get the Sandy Bridge they seem to be around $30 more.

Sandy Bridge i7k
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sandy Bridge i7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Regular i7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Make sure you get a K version because it's an unlocked multipler for easier O.Cing.Thats why that version costs $30 more than a regular Sand Bridge i7.
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January 16, 2011 8:11:17 PM

purple stank said:
What type of case do you have?
Maybe you need better airflow to cool off your NB.

Yah i would have to agree,going with an i7 is the best soultion.But the Sandy Bridge i7's look even better.



I got a nzxt zero case with 7 120mm fans it cools well. I know that the 775 socket usually runs hot when overclocking.

Having one of those sandy bridge i7s would be nice but it seems it would be too pricey for me.
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January 16, 2011 8:13:36 PM

Quote:
save some money and possible bottleneck and get a GTX560 which comes out next week.
or get the GTX460 now..


I already have two video cards and the 6870 runs fine its just with crossfire it seems like the performance is diminished. What do you mean save possible bottleneck isn't my bottleneck my cpu?
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 16, 2011 8:47:10 PM

I guess you were right then,you are near the maximum your CPU can O.C.

Best option would be to save up some money for an i5 and a new mobo.
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January 16, 2011 9:57:06 PM

purple stank said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$100 cheaper than an i7 but it is still expensive.Plus you have to buy a new mobo too.


I looked up the reviews for both the ones you mentioned and it seems they both work really well.

Are there any new cpus coming out later this year besides the sandy bridge that just came out? Would hate to get one only to have new ones released.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 16, 2011 10:34:57 PM

Bulldozer's are expected to come out sometime in Quarter 2 of this year.Might be wise to wait and see what happens.Price's could drop for the Sandy Bridge.
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January 17, 2011 6:13:01 PM

purple stank said:
Bulldozer's are expected to come out sometime in Quarter 2 of this year.Might be wise to wait and see what happens.Price's could drop for the Sandy Bridge.



Yeah that's a good idea. Not going to rush into anything but I'm sure I'll end up upgrading I mean it's about time for an upgrade anyways. I'll definitely be keeping 1 6870 I am just torn on whether or not to send back the 2nd seeing how on this current setup 1 runs better than 2. I would hate to upgrade mobo cpu and ram to then find out it's the exact same in the new setup.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 17, 2011 6:16:45 PM

Well for either the Sandy Bridge and bulldozer you will have to get a new mobo anyway so don't purchase one now.
Although i don't have a CF setup,my 6870 is acting strange lately.Since the 68xx series is still kinda new i would guess it's driver related to why you are experinceing that problem as am i.Must wait for new drivers to improve performance and fix these little glithes.
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January 17, 2011 7:06:12 PM

purple stank said:
Well for either the Sandy Bridge and bulldozer you will have to get a new mobo anyway so don't purchase one now.
Although i don't have a CF setup,my 6870 is acting strange lately.Since the 68xx series is still kinda new i would guess it's driver related to why you are experinceing that problem as am i.Must wait for new drivers to improve performance and fix these little glithes.



You think I should just hang on to both 6870s?
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a c 171 U Graphics card
January 17, 2011 8:13:29 PM

this stuttering may be hard drive related. cant load textures to the gfx cards in time. i assume your running a 64 bit OS to make use of that 8gb ram. MAybe try making a 4gb ram drive with half of that memory and set your swap fle on it. Toms recently did an article about this and it can speed up load times and reduce in game stuttering.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 17, 2011 8:20:33 PM

Yes i would still hang on to them,they are still great cards for the money.I'm sure by the time you go to rebuild your PC they should have suffient drivers/patches to improve performance.
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a b U Graphics card
January 17, 2011 9:00:44 PM

purple stank said:
Also i thought i might add that BFBC2 is very CPU intensive and GPU intensive.It max's out my Phenom ii x4 965 @3.8ghz everytime i play it.

EDIT:Forgot you already mentioned that,but anyway for refernce my phenom is faster than your q6600 and i am running a sinlge 6870.So yah it sound best to upgrade the CPU or O.C. it.


Take a peak at this old Tom's review of the Phenom II X4's when they came out. This was the 940BE (3Ghz) vs Q6600 (2.4Ghz).
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-940,2114-...

They were DARN CLOSE in their game benchmarks. Granted you 3.8Ghz 965 IS indeed faster than his Q6600 (especially at stock), but the C2Q's were still faster if tested at the same clock speeds in many cases.

That being said, I saw a substantial difference in GPU performance when I went from a Q6600 @ 3.2Ghz to my 4Ghz i5-750. That was using a pair of GTX 260's! So yes, a new CPU would be a good idea for Crossfire 6870's. :) 
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 17, 2011 9:12:26 PM

thats what i said...
perferibly intel's i5's or i7's.They seem to be the best buy right now.Hopefully Bulldozer will close the gap between intel's core series.Seems that intel is still the CPU to get.

EDIT:D O you think they will make DDR2 boards for the new bulldozer's and sandy bridge?
That way he could salvage his ram...
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January 17, 2011 9:27:07 PM

iam2thecrowe said:
this stuttering may be hard drive related. cant load textures to the gfx cards in time. i assume your running a 64 bit OS to make use of that 8gb ram. MAybe try making a 4gb ram drive with half of that memory and set your swap fle on it. Toms recently did an article about this and it can speed up load times and reduce in game stuttering.



Yeah I'm running 64bit Vista. I have two HDDs. OS is on C drive and my games are all on D drive could that have something to do with it?

As for what you said I'm not even sure how to do any of that. Does it have something to do with the paging file?
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January 17, 2011 9:31:45 PM

jerreece said:
Take a peak at this old Tom's review of the Phenom II X4's when they came out. This was the 940BE (3Ghz) vs Q6600 (2.4Ghz).
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-940,2114-...

They were DARN CLOSE in their game benchmarks. Granted you 3.8Ghz 965 IS indeed faster than his Q6600 (especially at stock), but the C2Q's were still faster if tested at the same clock speeds in many cases.

That being said, I saw a substantial difference in GPU performance when I went from a Q6600 @ 3.2Ghz to my 4Ghz i5-750. That was using a pair of GTX 260's! So yes, a new CPU would be a good idea for Crossfire 6870's. :) 



Yeah I noticed he said his BE maxed at on BFBC2 my q6600 @ 3.5 doesn't well it will get to like 80% on all cores I believe. That's why I wasn't sure if my cpu was holding back my cards. Regardless I still don't understand how 1 of my cards give me better results than 2 in crossfire.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 17, 2011 11:57:09 PM

Like i said before it might be driver related.I forgot to say i've seen people before in the situation where only 1 card was actually working.
So now it's moved from CPU not being powerful enough to driver or hardrive related error.
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a c 171 U Graphics card
January 18, 2011 12:09:46 AM

id say its not CPU related, sounds like a crossfire issue or game issue or something. Try other games and see if you get the same problems. an e6600 at 3.5ghz is still pretty fast and should play anything you can throw at it at good fps. You may get more fps with a newer i7 or something, but doubt it will be causing the problem you have. try updating the game to latest patch, motherboard to latest bios, video card bios, motherboard drivers etc. make sure both pcie slots are running at 16x. try to re-seat the crossfire bridge, or in some cases running 2 bridges has reported in better stability.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 18, 2011 12:42:58 AM

I'm going to say it's a driver issue.When i switched from a 5570 to a 6870 in SC2 i am getting lower* fps now with the 6870 then i was with the 5570.And that makes no sense at all.I think it's just because it's such a new card that not everything is perfected yet.Each computer is different and will react differntly to the drivers.
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January 18, 2011 10:24:07 PM

iam2thecrowe said:
id say its not CPU related, sounds like a crossfire issue or game issue or something. Try other games and see if you get the same problems. an e6600 at 3.5ghz is still pretty fast and should play anything you can throw at it at good fps. You may get more fps with a newer i7 or something, but doubt it will be causing the problem you have. try updating the game to latest patch, motherboard to latest bios, video card bios, motherboard drivers etc. make sure both pcie slots are running at 16x. try to re-seat the crossfire bridge, or in some cases running 2 bridges has reported in better stability.


I don't understand what you mean by run two bridges each card only has a slot for crossfire so 1 bridge fills both the slots up. Is it different for certain video cards?
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a b U Graphics card
January 18, 2011 10:32:08 PM

scatmanwfm said:
I don't understand what you mean by run two bridges each card only has a slot for crossfire so 1 bridge fills both the slots up. Is it different for certain video cards?


Some video cards that support 3way or 4way SLI/Crossfire do have more than one bridge connection on them. For example, my GTX 470's each have 2 connectors so I could in theory run them in 3 or 4way SLI.

But, many cards only have one connector on them so they cannot be anything more than 2way Crossfire/SLI.
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January 18, 2011 10:42:38 PM

jerreece said:
Some video cards that support 3way or 4way SLI/Crossfire do have more than one bridge connection on them. For example, my GTX 470's each have 2 connectors so I could in theory run them in 3 or 4way SLI.

But, many cards only have one connector on them so they cannot be anything more than 2way Crossfire/SLI.



Ah got ya. Figured it'd be something like that.
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January 26, 2011 5:50:46 AM

Best answer selected by scatmanwfm.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
January 26, 2011 11:51:20 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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