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Radeon 4x 6950 driver crossfire

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 21, 2011 7:59:33 PM

Hello,
I am trying to use 4 XFX radeon 6950 cards with crossfire. 3 works fine, 4 give an error "Unable to initialize display driver wrapper". Tried driver updates etc. and does not seem to help.

Any ideas what could help with the 4th card, or does this card just not work with 4 cards?
June 21, 2011 8:19:17 PM

want to give us your specs? it could be there isn't power being delivered to the cards
June 22, 2011 12:19:58 AM

I have 1000W power supply. And in fact I have an additional 650W power supply. I have done my math, so power is not going to be a problem.

I run windows 7, and the problem might have come about after windows update, but I'm not sure if that's the case.

This error comes up if I try to open MSI afterburner or Sapphire Trixx.
With 4th card plugged in, I can't turn up the fans in the cards. I managed to turn up only one. All cards end up heating a lot as a result.

Other specs: 2 core AMD processor. 2 gigs memory. 250GB hd..
any specific specs you think would help?
Related resources
June 22, 2011 1:27:04 AM

this is what you listed as your specs:

{{{{Other specs: 2 core AMD processor. 2 gigs memory. 250GB hd..
any specific specs you think would help?}}}}} and presumably 4 6950s lololol this is hilarious

this is your specs and you are seriously trying to run quadfire 6950s are you kidding me, list your full system specs including your monitors resolution, there is no way your rig even makes full use of even one of those cards
June 22, 2011 1:27:53 AM

what do you mean you have an 1000w and a 650w your using two power supplies!?!? what make and model psus are you using?
June 22, 2011 4:15:24 AM

Man, you just loaded a Ferrari engine onto a tricycle.

you should do more research before spending $1000 on video cards.
June 22, 2011 5:10:41 AM

^ that sums it up well. when will people learn, 4 way crossfire is always a problem. Poor scaling, overheating, power draw are all things this setup has against it. As others have said, you have a POS cpu and not enough ram to make even a single 6950 run to its full potential, let alone 4 of them
June 22, 2011 5:12:14 AM

Hello, thank you all for your answers.

The combination of equipment works great for the purpose I am using it, so let's focus on my question.

I was hoping to get more answers toward resolving the problem I am having: Error "unable to initialize the display wrapper" when I plug the 4th card with crossfire.

About PSUs:
I currently have
COOLMAX RM-1000B 1000W ATX 12V v2.2/ EPS12V v2.91 SLI / CrossFire Ready Active PFC and Compatible with Core i3/i5/i7 ...

Plus Thermaltake TR2-600W. First PSU does not have connectors for all 4 cards. This PSU is powering the 3rd card. I have another 700W PSU to power the 4th card.

I will be replacing the above PSUs with COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RSA00-80GAD3-US 1000W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.92 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready. It has all the connections necessary.

I have calculated that the power is sufficient for all the equipment. This should not be a problem.

My question is: Has anyone successfully run 4 radeon 6950 cards in one machine? I have seen others have trouble with this combination. 3 are fine, but 4 gives errors. I have heard that someone has been successful in running 4 of these cards.

I suspect that either these cards are restricted to 3 (bios/hardware) or there is a driver/ software problem. Any ideas?

Please comment only if you have ideas on how to resolve the error: "unable to initialize the display wrapper" when I plug the 4th card with crossfire.

Thanks!

AD
June 22, 2011 5:16:17 AM

Quick comment: memory or CPU has not been a problem. I run 3 cards without problems. A friend runs 4 different cards of same performance in similar setup without a problem.

I understand that the CPU+memory setup may raise eyebrows, but that's not the issue.

My only problem is the error: "unable to initialize the display wrapper".

Ideas how to resolve it? uninstalling and installing drivers didn't help.
June 22, 2011 5:19:53 AM

One more answer on the screen resolution: 1024x768. Very simple set up. I'm not using this for gaming or 3d graphics.
I'm using this set up for a project that uses the GPUs for mathematics.
Maybe this explains why I have a ferrari engine in tricycle. :) 

Anyways, ideas on the "unable to initialize the display wrapper" error message?

Thanks! - AD
June 22, 2011 5:22:11 AM

what godforsaken applications are you using that require 4 radeon 6950`s but only 2 GB of RAM and some old cheap dual-core?
June 22, 2011 5:31:33 AM

it could be that 'bitcoin mining' thing that's been happening recently
June 22, 2011 5:53:29 AM

Its probably because your motherboard doesnt support Fourway crossfire. if youre running a crap cpu and hardly any ram what so ever, how do you expect your motherboard to be fully capable of having atleast 4 8x pcie lanes?

at that resolution youd need one card.

you say its not for gaming but for mathematical computations... with 2gb of ram and a old beat up AMD cpu how do you ever expect to even come close to giving even ONE card the amount of information it needs to be fully tested??

so basically you have 4-8gb of video ram but 2gb of system ram, how does that equate to good business to you?

if you have that much video ram you should be looking to either atleast equal that or double that in system ram so you know you can provide the correct amount of information and data to ALL of your cards.

basically you have a Ferrari engine on a Unicycle that has a flat tire. how far do you think your gonna make it?

even a sandy bridge i3 would provide those cards with ALOT more bandwidth and information then that amd dual core crap. You should really consider upgrading to a machine that will actually provide all four cards with enough information to utilize them all.

Also for you not answering what your specs are ( no motherboard mentioning ) and not telling us what programs you plan to use, its hard to help you.

From your specs of "dual core amd and 2gb of ram" its safe to say youre trying to use one of your 6950's on a pcie x1 or x4 lane which will not provide it with enough bandwidth to run properly.

saying since you have enough power to run four cards and it should work is just like someone saying they have enough hard drive space so XXX game should work, its moronic. you leave out everything that makes a computer work and focus on one part. kind of like saying "well my car has enough gas, it should work!" '

if you expect any more help you need to give us a detailed specification list of

MOTHERBOARD
CPU
RAM
DESIRED PROGRAMS

June 22, 2011 6:26:41 AM

Thanks for the replies.

Specs:

MOTHERBOARD:
MSI 890FXA-GD70 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
This mother board supports 4 x PCIe x16 and I know this MB can run 4 Radeon 5850 cards ok.

CPU
AMD Athlon II X2 260 Regor 3.2GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX260OCGMBOX

RAM
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-8500CL7D-2GBNQ
with 3 cards in and SW running, I'm using only 812 MB. If more memory was required, I'd add more.

DESIRED PROGRAMS
I want to be able to run
MSI afterburner for clocking, fans and monitoring temperature. Error at startup if 4 cards. ok with 3 cards.
Sapphire Trixx would be ok but it gives the same error at startup with 4 cards.
I'm running open source programs guiminer and poclbm which are for mining.

Please do let me know what specs would help to diagnose. I have installed number of hotfixes and done all windows 7 updates. Could W7 updates be a problem here?

Current set up runs great with 3 cards - although I have consciously chosen crappy CPU and little memory. I just made a mistake choosing 6950 instead of 5850 (it was out of stock). I've seen latter work ok in similar setup.

My question still is whether anyone has successfully run 4 xfx radeon 6950 cards in one machine. The error I get is related to drivers - I understood from other forums.

Any experience with these cards or ideas whether this could be a driver problem?
If this error appears for other reasons than drivers, that would also be a good to know.

Ideas?
June 22, 2011 6:47:20 AM

Thanks for that information!

AMD drivers are terrible. i havent updated in months because everytime i do they break my crossfire and i get atleast 40fps then i normally would.

Which brings me to my next question, do you reinstall drivers when you add and take out cards? I've always noticed that if i took one card out or added a card id have to reinstall the drivers.
June 22, 2011 6:57:05 AM

Thanks harrybojangles!
That's a good question.

I had all 4 cards plugged in last time I uninstalled and installed the drivers. Still no help.
I tried to remove all cards and run first 1, then 2 and then 3 cards with the same drivers. Only when I added the 4th card this error came up.

Whenever I change the card configuration I need to enable the crossfire from CCC and reboot. But that's a small pain compared to not being able to start MSI afterburner or being able to control the fans.

Maybe there is an older version of the drivers I should try installing instead?
June 22, 2011 7:11:41 AM

you should not need to run the cards in crossfire at all if your not using it for 3d games.
June 22, 2011 7:25:21 AM

Your welcome!

Hmm.. for reference i am xfiring 2 sapphire 4870's 512mb and the driver version i use is 10.5. (most recent driver is 11.6, correct me if im wrong/ june's version didnt release yet[11 is the year and 6 is the month if you didnt know. so mine was may 2010 drivers])

What driver are you running? Have you tried the drivers on the xfx cd?

have you checked the xfx site for anything special regarding your setup?

also if this setup is ideal for guiminer and poclbm then perhaps on those programs forums there is a solution or their own driver version for it to work or maybe even make the 3 cards more efficient at their computations making the fourth card unecessary.

Worst case scenario, youll have a 6950 to sell.
June 22, 2011 7:55:51 AM

iam2thecrowe said:
you should not need to run the cards in crossfire at all if your not using it for 3d games.


Thanks for the comment. I need to have either crossfire or monitors/dummy vga plugs to keep the cards alive. Otherwise they shut down and are not available for the software.
June 22, 2011 8:20:25 AM

harrybojangles said:
Your welcome!

Hmm.. for reference i am xfiring 2 sapphire 4870's 512mb and the driver version i use is 10.5. (most recent driver is 11.6, correct me if im wrong/ june's version didnt release yet[11 is the year and 6 is the month if you didnt know. so mine was may 2010 drivers])

What driver are you running? Have you tried the drivers on the xfx cd?

have you checked the xfx site for anything special regarding your setup?

also if this setup is ideal for guiminer and poclbm then perhaps on those programs forums there is a solution or their own driver version for it to work or maybe even make the 3 cards more efficient at their computations making the fourth card unecessary.

Worst case scenario, youll have a 6950 to sell.


Thanks for these ideas.

I submitted a ticket at XFXforce.com support. We'll see what they say. I didn't find anything on their web site, but I'll browse some more.

I used the latest drivers on the web site, but I'll try the ones on the CD. good idea.

I have a thread in a mining forum open, but I'm not getting a solution yet. Software is run for each card, so results grow every time a new card is added. I haven't run into special versions of drivers, although that's a good idea.

I'm fully prepared to return one of the cards (still within return policy) but I first want to explore the possibility that I'm just missing an update or something like that.
June 22, 2011 1:28:15 PM

lol what a joke OP your cpu is crap, upgrade it
June 22, 2011 5:29:22 PM

Do you think the CPU is causing the error?
I don't think so. I've seen similar configuration run fine for my purpose with more crappy CPU and same amount of memory. I'm monitoring CPU and memory usage and that's not the cause of this error.

My question for you is: do you know what causes "unable to initiate display driver"?
And how to fix it. It appears only if I have 4 cards.

It does not seem to be hardware problem (unless these cards have hardware restriction).

It seems to be a driver or software problem.

Any experience or ideas?
June 22, 2011 5:50:18 PM

arrowdynamic said:
Thanks for the comment. I need to have either crossfire or monitors/dummy vga plugs to keep the cards alive. Otherwise they shut down and are not available for the software.


There is an idea. Maybe you don't need to use crossfire if your software doesn't require it. Dummy plugs are real easy to make, and you usually get a DVI to VGA adapter with the new cards. Check this out for making a dummy plug, it takes about $1.00 of resistors per dummy to make.

http://www.overclock.net/graphics-cards-general/633137-...

It amazes me how many people keep coming back to say you don't need that power with a single monitor. Don't people read?
June 22, 2011 6:00:18 PM

^yeah the OP is mining
June 23, 2011 4:44:24 AM

bystander said:
There is an idea. Maybe you don't need to use crossfire if your software doesn't require it. Dummy plugs are real easy to make, and you usually get a DVI to VGA adapter with the new cards. Check this out for making a dummy plug, it takes about $1.00 of resistors per dummy to make.

http://www.overclock.net/graphics-cards-general/633137-...

It amazes me how many people keep coming back to say you don't need that power with a single monitor. Don't people read?


Thanks for the link. I haven't tried, but I've heard others using dummy plugs. They will work as you said.
I am thinking of trying out the dummy VGA plugs. It might help with the 4 cards error.
I still suspect that this error is still a built-in problem with these cards - or needs some special tricks that not many know about.
I'll keep experimenting.
Let me know if there are other ideas how to get around the "unable to initiate the display wrapper error" when using 4x6950.
Anonymous
June 23, 2011 8:23:31 PM

harrybojangles said:
basically you have a Ferrari engine on a Unicycle that has a flat tire. how far do you think your gonna make it?


Actually he's got a rig capable of tacking highly parallel problems and he's using it to do so. If you would stop looking at this from the perspective of video games, you would see he's actually doing it correctly.
June 24, 2011 4:40:10 AM

wow, at first I thought this mining thing was a giant ponzi/pyramid scheme. Now I think its a brilliant marketing campaign by AMD. One guy has like 30 5xxx GPUs in his basement all mining lol
June 24, 2011 4:10:26 PM

Is there a reason you went with AMD GPUs over nVidia GPUs with CUDA?
June 24, 2011 8:04:39 PM

ittesi259 said:
Is there a reason you went with AMD GPUs over nVidia GPUs with CUDA?


This is a good question. Equation was very simple. I checked the performance and found the best deal considering the performance and price (including rebate). I didn't find nVidia GPUs with equal performance for the same price. It was hard to find suitable cards because most of them are out of stock.

I'm happy with these cards, except for not being able to run 4 cards at the same time and they heat a lot.
I set up my rig to run 3 cards. They are spaced so the air can flow and cooling with fans works better.
I still haven't found a good answer (even from XFX) on why 4 cards of this particular type refuse to work in one computer.
Most of other rigs, I've seen only 3 of 6950 run in one mother board. But I have heard that someone got 4 cards working - and I had them running for a moment without error as well.

So, it remains a mystery what the error "unable to initiate display wrapper" is. What it causes when 4 cards are in. - and obviously I haven't found a fix for that.

If there's someone who knows something about this error, please post it. I've pretty much given up on figuring out this error. If the answer surfaces, great! If not, at least I have an awesome 3 card rig running doing exactly what I want it to do.

Thanks all for your comments.

Cheers!
AD
June 24, 2011 8:07:12 PM

Have you investigated in a bios update for your motherboard? Perhaps the problem is there.
June 28, 2011 8:20:48 PM

bystander said:
Have you investigated in a bios update for your motherboard? Perhaps the problem is there.

Thanks for this idea. It's a possibility. I am starting to believe that it's just these cards and their drivers that don't support 4 x6950.
Linux supports 8 GPUs, it might be a solution. I might try it out later on, but now it would take too much time. Besides these have a heating problem when I have 4 of them together. They are too close to each other on the MB and the heatsinks on these cards are not very effective.
But thank you for the idea. I might explore it.
July 6, 2011 10:32:34 AM

^Pictures please...
January 23, 2012 3:01:13 AM

I'm just gonna say this you're issue is obvious the Athlon is obviously bottle-necking you're CPU lol... the cpu u currently have would bottleneck 2 6790's also you're ram is low im pretty sure this is a cpu problem because you're cpu just can't handle the all the 6950s i dont even think it could handle one.. and yes u say it works with 3 video cards but thats to a point eventually u will get random blue screens... NEW cpu!!!!!!!
NOTHING TO DO WITH drivers lol i had the Phenom II B60 4 core processor and my 6850 crossfire was suffering and i have a 850W psu... 4x6950 will definitely bottle-neck you're CPU consider asking a friend for a decent 4 core mine was crap.. or ask for a 6core and see if it stops
January 23, 2012 7:36:56 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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