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Crossfire 5850 5870 Woes

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 5, 2011 12:54:54 AM

Hello! First some background:

About 1 year ago I purchased the following parts to build my PC:
Case COOLER MASTER Storm Sniper SGC-6000-KXN1-GP Black Steel, ABS Plastic, Mesh bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
CPU Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601920
CPU Cooler COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler Intel Core i7 compatible
PSU OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
Memory OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK
GPU 1 DIAMOND 5850PE51G Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
GPU 2 SAPPHIRE 100281-3SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
Primary Drive OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Secondary Drive Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Addon 1 Nippon Labs Delux 3.5" Internal All In One Card Reader/Writer with USB2.0 & eSATA Ports Model ICR-BB
Addon 2 Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
Addon 3 LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
Extra Fan (Bottom) Rosewill RFA-120-WL 120mm 4 White LEDs LED Case Fan

To be specific, I initially purchased the 5850 card, and decided to buy a second video card, the 5870, when it went on sale a few months later. I thought that I could use it as my main card, crossfire it with the 5850 for games that supported it, and use it on it's own for games that didn't support crossfire.

I recently purchased the Witcher 2 from the Steam Summer sales, and to my disappointment, the "auto detect" options placed me at medium spec. I tried bumping up the settings to high spec, but there were noticeable frame rate issues.

I decided it must be a problem with my graphics cards, so I wiped the drivers, reinstalled the latest drivers, and still had no luck. I then downloaded the unlocked bios for both the 5850 and 5870, flashed the BIOS and tried to over clock the 5850 a bit to be on par with the 5870. This caused huge stability issues, the computer would just freeze while on the desktop, so I reset the clock settings to stock and ref lashed the original bios to the GPUs.

I then tried to overclock my CPU by following this guide

I was able to over clock my CPU to 3.8ghz using a BCLK of 200, a multiplier of 19, and an effective memory rate of 1600mhz. After testing for about an hour using Intel Burn Test, the system appeared to be stable (When I had tried earlier with 4.0ghz, the burn test caused BSOD's).

I saved the configuration to one of my available BIOS slots, and reverted to the optimized settings to try working on my GPU issues.

I then went back to my GPU testing with FurMark, with 1920x1080 resolution and 0x msaa, the stability test didn't crash my computer, however my cards did reach about 90c-95c. I then tried with 2x msaa, which caused the computer to restart itself about 10 seconds into the test.

I tried each card individually, while they were in individually, neither of them crashed on even the most rigorous FurMark stability tests. I then tried putting both cards in (5870 on top, 5850 on the bottom) without cross firing them. I noticed that while the system was stable, the active GPU (5870) was getting extremely hot (90c-95c), which I believe is because the 5850 directly below it was, in effect, suffocating it.

My intuition tells me that while the heat could be an issue, it appears that the stability issues are more likely being caused by the amount of electricity that these cards, when used rigorously in combination, is too much for my computer to handle.

Is there any way I can test this assumption? Is there any way I can fix it? Has anyone else had this issue before?

Below are some images of my configuration:

http://imgur.com/xPu8i&ojg9d&Vde1e&y58xG&nhUa0&7BBFm&tJVZW
(Note: this is an image gallery with many images, click the numbers above to toggle through them.)

I've tried switching the cards around when in crossfire, I've tried rolling back to the 10.5 version of the software, I've tried updating to the latest 11.6 version of the software, I've tried using different crossfire bridges, I've tried using them together, and one at a time on both crossfire busses, etc. I've noticed that FurMark causes my computer to restart after the cards reach about 85 degrees celsius, which is usually 10-15 seconds into the stability test.


PS: Sorry for the text wall, this might have been WAY too much information, but from everything I've googled from people having remotely similar issues, the number one problem is that the op doesn't provide enough info.
July 5, 2011 1:02:08 AM

I might be wrong on this one but I thought you need that same series of card to properly crossfire cards. You know 2 5850s verses 1 5850 and a 5870.
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July 5, 2011 1:09:16 AM

I'm fairly certain that by same series it means any of the 5800 cards, including 5830, 5850, 5870, and 5890.

Edit:

I ran OCCT and GPUTest, both which seemed to work without problem (I only let them run for about 10 minutes each). Now I'm running FurMark with 0x MSAA, and it's been running find for 5 minutes, although at 95 degrees celsius. It appears to be an issue when only when I enable MSAA, anyone know why that would be? Does my motherboard not have enough throughput for 2-8x MSAA??

Edit 2: I stopped the stability test after about 5 minutes, the temperature got to about 95 degrees celsius, but other than that there weren't any crashes. I saved the temperature xml, the log file, and a screenshot for the MXAA x0 test. I then turned on 2x MSAA and started the test. About 2 seconds after starting the test, my computer crashed..

MSAA 0x
Log: http://pastebin.com/FUcRqQWh
Temperature XML: http://pastebin.com/Z9c5yZC3
Screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/wuQTt.jpg

Video of the issue:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjYfYpedvTI&hd=1
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July 5, 2011 3:32:28 AM

there are a few cards that run that hot with full load even just single cards. AA would strain the cards a bit and might cause extra heat. and im pretty sure as a safety measure your mobo would shut it down because of the heat. kind of going out on a limb here tbh lol. maybe make sure your side fan and front fan is blowing cool air to the the cards and the back is exhausting and top exhausting if you have one. might help but not sure. also buy really high cooling fans. theyre loud but it helped me a great deal.
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July 5, 2011 9:46:45 AM

Hrm Well, I just completely disassembled my PC, and reassembled it (Been meaning to do that for a long time anyways since the first time around I really didn't pay attention to wire management). Anyways, I discovered one of my fans (The bottom fan) was on it's low setting, so I cranked it up. I also used ATI Overdrive and put the fan speed at 100% manual, and started FurMark 1920x1080 with 0x MSAA with the Benchmark profile (60s). About 50 seconds in, my computer crashed. I'm not sure what the problem is :cry: 
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July 5, 2011 1:26:19 PM

You are mistaken, without specialist software you cannot mix GPU's in crossfire as far as I am aware. You need the drivers to balance the loading across the two. I can't remember the name offhand but there is a company that makes special drivers that will do this. You can even cross Nvidia and AMD cards with it.

I am sure toms did a review at some point so search for it here somewhere.

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July 5, 2011 5:14:20 PM

What about this chart on amd.com's website? http://game.amd.com/us-en/content/images/crossfirex/CF_...

Isn't it showing that a 5850 and a 5870 can be used in combination with a ribbon connector? Also, I downclocked my 5870 to match my 5850's clocks, but the 8x MSAA FurMark stability test still crashed my computer.

If this is correct, and you absolutely need two identical GPU's, then I'll probably end up buying another 5850 and selling my 5870, or vice versa.
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July 5, 2011 5:53:00 PM

travis134 said:
What about this chart on amd.com's website? http://game.amd.com/us-en/content/images/crossfirex/CF_...

Isn't it showing that a 5850 and a 5870 can be used in combination with a ribbon connector? Also, I downclocked my 5870 to match my 5850's clocks, but the 8x MSAA FurMark stability test still crashed my computer.

If this is correct, and you absolutely need two identical GPU's, then I'll probably end up buying another 5850 and selling my 5870, or vice versa.

These two articles show that you can run Mixed CrossFire with Radeon 5800 Cards :

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1107/1/

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/xfx58705850/

What is the make and model of your power supply unit?
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July 5, 2011 6:04:48 PM

The complete list of components in my PC are listed inthe first post, PSU OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V /EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
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July 5, 2011 7:32:22 PM

travis134 said:
The complete list of components in my PC are listed inthe first post, PSU OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V /EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply

What does the label affixed to the power supply unit show for the 12V Output Distribution List? I've seen different distribution lists depending on when the power supply was manufactured which is an indication that OCZ's customers have encountered a power distribution issue most likely while running graphics cards with high power draw.

Are you using Molex to PCI-E power adapter cables?

A Radeon HD 5870 running FurMark draws 212 Watts (17.7 Amps) from the +12 Volt rail.

A Radeon HD 5850 running FurMark draws 150Watts (12.5 Amps) from the +12 Volt rail.
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July 5, 2011 8:29:47 PM

I can't tell you what the label affixed to the PSU says at the moment, because I'm at work, however I can tell you that I am using two Molex 4pin-6pin adapter for the 5870 (the PSU only has two PCI-E power adapters), here's a picture of what it looks like http://i.imgur.com/Mugoh.jpg

While searching for an image of this, I noticed most of these adapters require two Molex connections for one PCI-E power adapter; mine only need one, is that the culprit? Do the 1 Molex -> 1 PCI-E power adapters not supply as much power as the 2 Molex -> 1PCI-E power adapters?

Thanks, I'll try to post the information on the PSU's label when I get home.

Edit: I also checked online for people with a seimilar setup and found this: http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?p=15887...

It's suggested that rather than having one card powered purely by a Molex adapter, you should have one molex adapter going to each card and one PSU PCI-E power adapter going to each card. Is this a good solution, or should I just purchase a new PSU that has four PCI-E power adapters?
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July 6, 2011 2:40:12 AM

travis134 said:
Here are the labels from the side of my PSU, as requested:
http://i.imgur.com/JI5DH.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/i6B9d.jpg

It looks like you have the revised version which is good.

The original 12V Output Distribution List looked like this
12V1 - CPU1
12V2 - CPU2
12V3 - M/B accessory
12V4 - PCI-E1/E2

How do you have the hardwired PCI-E connectors connected to the graphics cards? Do you have PCI-E1 connected to the HD 5870 graphics card and PCI-E2 connected to the HD 5850 graphics card? If you don't you should change it so that it is.

How do you have the Molex to PC-E adapters connected to the graphics cards? There should be one to each graphics card. Both of them should not be connected to one graphics card.
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July 6, 2011 5:10:21 AM

So I just staggered the PCI-E Power adapters, so there is now 1x PSU and 1x Molex Adapted PCI-E going to each, then I noticed that I forgot to plug in one of my USB headers that controlled the USB ports on the front of my computer. I plugged it in and started my computer, and to my horror, it wouldn't get past the Gigabyte logo screen. I read online that this is typically caused by either a short, or the motherboard not recieving enough power. I unplugged the USB header and the computer worked again just fine. I swapped the USB header (Front usb's) with another USB header (Memory card front panel), and the computer worked fine. I plugged them both in the opposite ports, and the computer wouldn't boot.

I think my PSU might not be able to handle the load I'm putting on it. It seems that when I staggered the PCI-E power adapters, the motherboard had to feed more power to each card individually through the 16x rails, or I don't know...

Anyways, does that sound like it's a power supply capacity issue?

I'm considering buying a 900w or higher power supply tomorrow.

What do you think?
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Best solution

July 7, 2011 3:36:25 AM

travis134 said:
So I just staggered the PCI-E Power adapters, so there is now 1x PSU and 1x Molex Adapted PCI-E going to each, then I noticed that I forgot to plug in one of my USB headers that controlled the USB ports on the front of my computer. I plugged it in and started my computer, and to my horror, it wouldn't get past the Gigabyte logo screen. I read online that this is typically caused by either a short, or the motherboard not recieving enough power. I unplugged the USB header and the computer worked again just fine. I swapped the USB header (Front usb's) with another USB header (Memory card front panel), and the computer worked fine. I plugged them both in the opposite ports, and the computer wouldn't boot.

I think my PSU might not be able to handle the load I'm putting on it. It seems that when I staggered the PCI-E power adapters, the motherboard had to feed more power to each card individually through the 16x rails, or I don't know...

Anyways, does that sound like it's a power supply capacity issue?

I'm considering buying a 900w or higher power supply tomorrow.

What do you think?

Yes.

Just make sure the power supply has a minimum 800 Watts or greater with a minimum +12 Volt continuous current rating of 56 Amps or greater and with at least four 6-pin PCI-E Supplementary Power Connectors.
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July 7, 2011 4:04:52 AM

I bought a "Kill A Watt" meter, turns out that on a decent load (most games on high specs) my computer hovers at around 670 watts, in the FurMark test it jumps up to 700 watts, in some cases I saw it jump up to 702-705 watts, after which artifacts began to appear, and then my computer crashed.

It appears this mystery is solved, I'll need to buy a new PSU!

Thank you for all of your assistance :) 
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July 7, 2011 4:04:58 AM

Best answer selected by travis134.
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