Last night I installed a Gigabyte Radeon HD 5850 to my system which already includes the Sapphire Tech Radeon HD 5850. Here is the procedure I took:
1. Updated to AMD Driver 11.2
2. Turned system off and unplugged
3. Installed second card, applied both bridges
4. Turned system on, computer recognized the 2nd card.
5. Turned off and unplugged, installed power cords to the 2nd card, turned on
6. Enabled crossfire under CCC
Everything seemed OK; I set the GPU 2 to run slightly faster core speed per recommendations to try and limit the microstutter concerns. I ran Heaven Benchmark and saw a serious improvement in score over the single card, and just watching the benchmark run it looked much better and smoother with no stuttering or flickering. I then ran 3dmark 11 and went from ~4200 to ~7100 which was a nice bump.
Then I fired up Star Trek Online and there was constant flickering that was never there before with the single card. I tried other games, too, including Civ IV, Dragon Age and all showed the same problem, regardless of how low I set the settings or resolution. I don't understand why benchmarks would run smooth but the games would be so abhorrent.
For reference I have an 850 watt power supply 80 plus, so I'm fairly sure that's not the problem.
From reading around I gathered I need to ensure my Catalyst Application Profile is current, but I assumed that having 11.2 installed would already have that file included. Is that not right?
I have seen another 10+ things to try to make it 'OK' but would like to ask the Forum if anyone else has experienced similar issues and resolved them and what they did.
I installed 1, then 2, then 3 5850s in my system. In order for everything to work as expected, you have to uninstall ('express uninstall' through catalyst install manager) and re-install the drivers with each new card. Even when I swapped PCIe slots with my HIS and Gigabyte card when I had only two, I had to re-install the drivers. When I added my second Gigabyte card (3 5850s total, 1xHIS+2xGigabyte), I had to uninstall and re-install the drivers. Try it.
Depending on the game, you'll see some amount of flickering going on, though. Later releases of the drivers cleared up issues with NBA2k11, but increased flickering in BFBC2 and Medal of Honor, but only on my crossfire setups. It seems AMD will correct one issue and introduce another with each driver release; again my issues only existed on the crossfire setups. One thing you shouldn't see though is persistent constant flicker. Re-installing the drivers will probably take care of this issue for you.
Also, the Catalyst Application profiles don't include past profiles. Look for those related to the games you play and install them. I basically installed all available. If you look in your add/remove programs or uninstall a program under Control Panel -> Programs, you'll see each of the profiles as installed applications.
Not to sound completely stupid, but each card I add I will need to reinstall the drivers? So with one card installed, I will reinstall the drivers, install the second, and then reinstall again? Do I install the bridges before or after installing drivers the second time?
I expected some flickering at times, but this is contant, like 5-10 flicks per second like a strobe light is going off.
Reading some of your other posts, I am really becoming disillusioned with AMD, but I've set my path for the near future; can't really afford to jump ship with the cards I've bought.
I'll try what you recommend and report back this evening. Thank you!
I'm just going by my own experience. You don't sound stupid at all. This is not something you'd expect to have to do when installing additional cards.
My experience leads me to conclude you have to re-install the drivers with every video card addition or video card hardware configuration change (swapping slots).
Install the crossfire interconnect bridge prior to uninstalling and re-installing the drivers. Make sure you choose the 'Express Uninstall' option through the Catalyst Installation Manager. Some people also find it necessary to use Driver Sweeper to remove leftover driver components. The process I'd perform when re-installing:
1) Programs->Uninstall a program
2) Double-click on Catalyst Install Manager
3) Choose 'Express Uninstall' and OK with defaults through the uninstallation
4) Reboot when prompted
5) Run Driver Sweeper (free download from Phyxion.com: http://phyxion.net/item/driver-sweeper.html)
6) Check the 'ATI Drivers' Box and click 'Clean'
7) Reboot when prompted
8) Install AMD Catalyst and drivers using the express option and defaults
I had this process down to a 5-minute operation. I would suggest you download the Driver Sweeper software first as well as the latest AMD Catalyst software and drivers to have them ready when needed (and so you don't have to stare at the giant fonts for too long after you uninstall the drivers).
Again, I have 4 other PCs in my house all using single AMD cards. The installs work on those without a hitch. I also get no flicker with only one card in anything, though the framerates are significantly lower with only one card. The cards are highly capable, though I think the AMD driver team is focused on the majority of their customers which are single-card users. This makes good business sense, though it leaves the real enthusiasts in the cold. It seems the crossfire driver optimizations always come a lot later.
I'm using 11.2 but not too happy with them because now it crashes if I try to overclock. I didn't try with 11.1, but IIRC 10.12 were working fine for me. But other than the OC issue I haven't really noticed any difference.
Performed driver installation per ubercake's guide and it seemed to help slightly with Star Trek Online, but Dragon Age still has the choppy frames. Neither game is playable at this time with both cards enabled.
Upon closer inspection, Star Trek Online suffers what I've read called 'mircostutter' and I have tried changing each in-game and CCC setting to see if it goes away and the only thing that worked was disabling Catalyst A.I. (I think that's what it is called). The problem with this is that disabling the A.I. seems to cause one of my 5850's to go to zero activity, and my benchmark scores are exactly as if I am only running one card, so I don't think this is really a 'fix'. This also works in Dragon Age, but again it's as if I'm running only one card.
Any other ideas I should try first? I've already confirmed both cards are OK individually, the next thing I was going to try was forcing 3D triple buffering via a program (saw this on another forum).
Another possibly related issues is that with AMD GPU clock tool I cannot set the clock rates on both cards, CCC Overdrive doesn't work at all for clock rates, and MSI Afterburner only works with 'unofficial overclocking' set to '1'. Should I uninstall the clock tool and Afterburner and reinstall the drivers?
Catalyst AI is required for CF to function. Disabling it is meerly an easy way to turn off CF. It sounds to me like those games just don't like CF. You know it's working fine because your 3DMark score went up so much. The issue comes down to specific games not liking it.
Triple Buffering, IMO, should always be on when you have Vsync on (AFAIK it only affects Vsync). The only reason to disable it is if your FPS drops a huge amount, usually due to not enough VRAM. But this won't happen often with a 1gb card.
I'm not sure of the name, but I'll look when I get home.
CCC has the opengl triple buffering, I think.
I'm an Engineer and I do things with an as methodical approach as possible and I appreciate all the suggestions made thus far. Unfortunately I'm not a computer engineer, so my knoweldge in this area is sorely lacking, but am open to learn all the time...
What I don't understand is that certain sites I've seen have DAO listed as a benchmark with 5850 in CF, but maybe using a different driver.
I got more things to try tonight, I'll let you know how it goes.
Last night I uninstalled AMD drivers, MSI Afterburner, and AMD GPU Clock Tool, booted into Safe Mode and sweeped AMD and NVIDIA files, and then reinstalled 10.12. To my amazement everything worked great, including DAO and Star Trek Online.
The only problem I'm still having is that I can't get MSI Afterburner to work with my setup, and GPU gets stuck at UVD settings, but AMD GPU clock tool allows me to change the first GPU, and CCC allows me to change the second...