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Will this config run 2x HD 6970 in crossfire?

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July 25, 2011 12:30:01 AM

Hi guys,

I'm planning to upgrade my current GPU to a Sapphire HD 6970 2GB x2 crossfire config. (I like AMD now so please don't advice me to try the GTX 5xx series.) I will also replace the stock cooling with Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus on both the cards. I need to know a few things before I order the cards. I have given all the details I could about my current config so that my current WATT usage can be calculated more accurately.

Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 @ 3.20GHz (Stock Clock)
Zalman CNPS9700 LED CPU Cooler
Gigabyte X48T-DQ6 Board
Gigabyte ODIN GT 800W PSU
XFX GTX260 XXX Edition GPU with Arctic Cooling Xtreme Accelero GTX Pro
8GB (2GB x4) RAM Corsair Dominator DDR3 @1333Mhz (Stock Clock)
4 x 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 32MB HDD
1x WD Velociraptor 300GB HDD
Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion (PCI Express 1x)
GGC-H20L LG Blu-ray Drive
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
GigaByte 3D Aurora 570 Black ATX Case
Samsung BX2450 (@ 1920 x 1080)

Things I already know:
1. Here you can see 2 x HD 6970 running on an Antec 750W PSU with the CPU @ 5Ghz. I personally found it weird.
2. A Sapphire HD 6970 2GB fits perfectly into my case. So there shouldn't be any case problems.
3. The X48 Chipset allows Dual 16x PCI-E lanes, so crossfire should be at its max. This is how the board looks like (Just incase).

Things I want to know:

1. Will MY 800W PSU be enough for the crossfire on default clocks?
2. Will 2 of them (with Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus) fit and be able to breathe on my mobo?
3. Will MY 800W PSU be enough for the crossfire overclocked?
4. What problems will I encounter with this setup (if at all any)?
5. What will be the performance gain over my current GTX260?

No, I'm not going to be using multiple displays. I'm just preparing for Battlefield 3 :) 
a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2011 1:32:09 AM

I would oc you cpu you have an Extreme chip go ahead and bump the multiplier.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
July 25, 2011 1:55:03 AM

1. Your PSU will work fine with that setup.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Gigabyte/Odin_GT_800...

2. One thing to note is that when you use the Xtreme Plus cooler it turns a 2 slot card into a 3 slot card.Although on your mobo their is suffient enough space to use it,it would be a tight fit.

3. With a test setup used (which use's more watts than your system) the totaly system power draw for a 6970 crossfire is right around 600watts so you should be able to O.C. without any problems.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1488/18/

4. Granted your CPU is an Extreme edition it is still a dual core,this setup your getting really requires a fast quad core to not get a bottleneck.I would suggest that you O.C. your CPU to about 4ghz to less the bottleneck.

5. If you are talking about a single GTX260 then the 6970 crossfire is about 10 times,maybe more,as powerful.

Since BF3 will utilize 4 cores(maybe more) you are really going to bottleneck the performance of the 6970 crossfire running it with a dual core.Even so you should still be able to max out everything and run int the high 60's FPS wise.I would strongly recomend O.C.ing if you can.
July 25, 2011 1:58:47 AM

My QX9770 is a Quad Core.
a c 214 U Graphics card
July 25, 2011 2:47:28 AM

O.I'm sorry.I went looking for the QX9770 but all I found was dual cores.I kinda figured it was because it had a Q.Anyway even though it's a Extreme quad core you are still going to have a bottleneck because it's outdated.As I said before O.C.ing to 4ghz should help minmize the bottleneck.
July 25, 2011 4:18:16 AM

Yes, Im pretty sure there is nothing like a bottleneck with my config and neither are 2 6970's overkill. Overkill would be 3x 6970's or 2x 6990's

If the 2 6970s's will take around 600W, QX9770 might take another 130-150W more, then I get nothing left for the other components. I don't really know how does calculating all the different components power draw work that's why I had asked this.
July 25, 2011 4:34:06 AM

brandondiep said:
A simple google would help you, http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp


Ive tried it before, its not accurate. With 2 x 6970's it says:

Minimum PSU Wattage: 873 W.
Recommended PSU Wattage: 923W.

The youtube guy was running it on 750W easily thats why I am confused. Someone has to be in this forum with accurate information.
a c 214 U Graphics card
July 25, 2011 4:39:06 AM

No your reading it wrong.600 watts is for the Total System Power draw,thats everything inclusing all the HDD's etc.

A 6970 crossfire by itself is around 400 watts.

It's not that BF3 is going to max out his hardware it's just that in any CPU demanding game his aging quad core is going to bottleneck the 6970 crossfire.Of course your still going to get over 60fps with everything maxed but it could be much higher with a better CPU.

Also if you haven't already bought the 6970's I would reccomend you get the 6950's instead.Theirs only a 20-40fps increase with a 6970 crossfire over the 6950 crossfire which isn't a huge deal and not worth spending the extra money in my opinion.Also theirs about a 50watt increase when going from a 6950 to a 6970.In total thats 100 watts extra for only 20 FPS,not to mention the extra $100.
July 25, 2011 4:39:41 AM

nytmode said:
Ive tried it before, its not accurate. With 2 x 6970's it says:

Minimum PSU Wattage: 873 W.
Recommended PSU Wattage: 923W.

The youtube guy was running it on 750W easily thats why I am confused. Someone has to be in this forum with accurate information.


Never hurts to be safe, and maybe it is accounting for those companies that overrate their PSU's?
a c 214 U Graphics card
July 25, 2011 4:45:13 AM

^ Thats exactly true.

AMD and Nvidia always overrate the actual PSU requirements to make sure the card gets enough power because of those companies that overrate their products.
July 25, 2011 4:48:58 AM

purple stank said:
No your reading it wrong.600 watts is for the Total System Power draw,thats everything inclusing all the HDD's etc.

A 6970 crossfire by itself is around 400 watts.

It's not that BF3 is going to max out his hardware it's just that in any CPU demanding game his aging quad core is going to bottleneck the 6970 crossfire.Of course your still going to get over 60fps with everything maxed but it could be much higher with a better CPU.

Also if you haven't already bought the 6970's I would reccomend you get the 6950's instead.Theirs only a 20-40fps increase with a 6970 crossfire over the 6950 crossfire which isn't a huge deal and not worth spending the extra money in my opinion.Also theirs about a 50watt increase when going from a 6950 to a 6970.In total thats 100 watts extra for only 20 FPS,not to mention the extra $100.


Do you think playing on a SSD will increase the FPS further more somehow? And 20-40fps is a lot of increase in my opinion so I dont mind the $100 but I do mind the 100W! :( 
July 25, 2011 5:21:18 AM

Seems like money is not a problem for him so the 6970's would be good. SSD would speed up load times, such as the maps and stuff. I do not know how you got 873 Watts, unless you have 15 fans.
July 25, 2011 6:45:32 AM

brandondiep said:
Seems like money is not a problem for him so the 6970's would be good. SSD would speed up load times, such as the maps and stuff. I do not know how you got 873 Watts, unless you have 15 fans.


Try the same config on that page and see what you get. I'm getting 873W minimum with this:

1x Physical CPU QX9770
1x High-end desktop board
4x DDR3 Sticks
2x HD6970
4x Regular SATA HDDs
1x High RPM SATA HDD
1x Blu-Ray Internal
1x Sound Blaster w/ Front Bay
1x Fan Controller
1x Front Bay Card Reader
3x High Perf Fans 80mm
20% Capacitor Aging (Its almost 3 years old)
a c 214 U Graphics card
July 25, 2011 7:09:33 AM

Well look at this way.If your already getting over 60FPS with a 6950 crossfire why would you want to have the extra FPS?Say your getting 100 FPS with a 6950 crossfire,exactly why would want 40FPS more if it's not going to make a difference?

Use Antec's PSU calculator.

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp


EDIT:A thought just occured to me,if you have the money to spend why don't you just buy a new PSU? Instead of worrying about whether your current PSU will or will not support it.I'm sure you don't mind spending the extra $100 for a new PSU that ill be fully capable of powering this and more if need be.
July 25, 2011 7:34:40 AM

purple stank said:
Well look at this way.If your already getting over 60FPS with a 6950 crossfire why would you want to have the extra FPS?Say your getting 100 FPS with a 6950 crossfire,exactly why would want 40FPS more if it's not going to make a difference?

Use Antec's PSU calculator.

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp


EDIT:A thought just occured to me,if you have the money to spend why don't you just buy a new PSU? Instead of worrying about whether your current PSU will or will not support it.I'm sure you don't mind spending the extra $100 for a new PSU that ill be fully capable of powering this and more if need be.


I was using this calculator only, if you read above, brandondiep had suggested it earlier. And its not like if I have the money to spend, why don't I upgrade to a Core i7 2600K? I only said I don't mind the extra $100 (or extra £50 where I am). 40FPS difference is a lot of difference, I am pretty sure it is noticeable!
July 25, 2011 10:52:21 AM

Anything over 60 fps is pretty much useless. Yeah the extra frames can help but they stress your card and use more power just to see a high number
July 25, 2011 1:37:07 PM

Hmm... I have the Accelero Twin Turbo on one of my 6870 in xfire, and it's a pretty close fit as they take up more than 2 slots. My other 6870 is a XFX black edition, and I've tried both configurations with the slot placement. When I had the the accel card in the main pci-e slot, there was verrrrrrrry little room between it and the back of my xfx one, and the temps went up quite a bit because of that. I have the xfx in the main slot now and the accel one on the lower pci-e slot, and there's about an inch breathing room between the two cards, and temps are significantly lower. I also have 2 Scythe Flex fans blowing in from the side panel as well.

My advice to you, if you're using both accel coolers, it might still be hot if there are no room for airflow between the two cards. I would pick up a MSI 6970 Twin Frozr version as one of the cards, so there will be space between the two.

One more thing, I know you didn't ask about it, but I would rather upgrade the CPU/mobo than get a 2nd 6970. Reason being is I had the same platform as you did, and upgrading to the i5 2500k saw over 100% increase in FPS.

I had a Q9450 at 3.4ghz with my xfire 6870. In BFBC2, I was running around 45-90 fps.. with 45 being in heavy action and average being around 55 or so. Playable, yes, would i settle for it as a hardcore gamer?? Hell no. When I switched platform to the p67 with the i5 2500k, I saw my fps jump to up 110-200. I average about 120-130 fps with every settings max at 1680x1050. People say you don't notice any fps over 60, but I believe this is untrue. Personally, I would say say the range of 80-90 fps gives you a more smoother gaming experience, and anything above that is not noticeable.

Besides, the Yorkfields still sell for quite a bit on ebay. I was able to sell my Q9450 for 130$, and i saw some getting 150$. If anything I would try to sell your chip and using that money towards a new platform.
a c 214 U Graphics card
July 25, 2011 8:58:03 PM

^ Thats what I was saying.I'm having a hard time beliving that your Core 2 Quad Extreeme isn't going to bottleneck a 6970/6950 crossfire.
July 25, 2011 9:09:50 PM

your pc is good inoug for gaming you dont need crossfire you can play bf3 easy on max with you system
July 27, 2011 3:44:06 AM

Well in that case (bottlenecking) I will have to upgrade but its too late to upgrade to a P67 or Z68 now. Plus there aren't any mobos with dual x16's and a lot of space between the slots.

I'll wait for the X79 and then Sandy Bridge-E it out. I have decided to get the 6970's and use them in xfire without the accelero fan upgrade for now and use them on stock clocks.

I'll upgrade to accelero fans with the new system in Dec-Jan 2012 now. This way I can actually benchmark and compare both systems (QX9770 to i7-3960X).
July 27, 2011 3:54:58 AM

Few fps difference between 8x and 16x and those sb-e are more expensive than the sb. Thought you said money was a problem. The i7-3960x will be replacing the 990x and you know how much the 990x is.
July 27, 2011 4:50:50 AM

I never said money is a problem. I bought my QX9770 for £800 itself when I was released so I can invest the same amount again (specially if you are upgrading after 3-4years).

And I have read that 8x 16x slots matter on high-end cards like the 6970/6990's and 580/590's.
a c 214 U Graphics card
July 27, 2011 7:10:07 PM

Actually their is no difference what so ever between the i5 2500k and the 990x when it comes to playing games.They perform the exact same making it just a huge expensive trophey.

No their is hardly any difference.About 5FPS loss at maximum bettwen x8 and x16 slots.
July 27, 2011 8:00:16 PM

Ok so I have figured out these things by your help guys:

1. Dual 16x or Dual 8x doesn't matter because the difference is hardly noticeable.
2. My QX9770 is going to be a bottleneck for the crossfire so its better to upgrade.
3. 2x HD6970 with Accelero Fans will be a tight fit on my X48T-DQ6 and not really recommendable.

So if it all I have to "temporarily upgrade" till the X79 releases,

1. Should I go with a P67 or a Z68?
2. Should I get the Asus Sabertooth or the Gigabyte UD7 for max performance.
a c 214 U Graphics card
July 27, 2011 8:03:54 PM

You know if you go with the MSI Twin Frozr's they have just as good cooling as the Artic Cooling Heatsinks but they only take up 2 slots.

I can't give you any advice twards the mobo's cause I don't know Intel mobos but I would suggest getting a single 6970 and upgrading to a 2500k or 2600k.Until you have enough money for the other 6970 etc.
July 27, 2011 8:22:00 PM

and what would be the highest chipset and processor available with AMD at the moment? (which will not be a bottleneck)
a c 214 U Graphics card
July 27, 2011 8:40:26 PM

I would say out of the box a processor that won't bottleneck the 6970 crossfire would be the Phenom ii x4 980.The only reason I say that is because out of the box it operates at 3.7ghz.Really the Phenom ii processors are just the same technology as the core 2 extereme but they operate at higher speeds.Thats really all you need to do with your current processor.It you get it to a higher speed it won't bottleneck.But honestly the Phenom ii's are aging just as the Core 2 series.

I would suggest trying to O.C. your current proccessor first.
July 28, 2011 12:15:31 AM

Wow, even if you get bottlenecked by your cpu you are still maxing out Bf 3. Why waste so much money for nothing. I would just keep your current cpu, get one or two 6970 (maxing it out with one anyways). Wait for the x79 and then you can add another card if you are unhappy with your maxed graphics.
July 29, 2011 3:18:17 AM

Okay so I got the two 6970's and now the crossfire isn't working. Both the cards are exactly the same Sapphire Radeon cards. When I start the PC with both of them in crossfire, windows does not recognize any AMD device installed. I get the normal 1280 x 1024 desktop which GPU-Z only showing one 6970 correctly. When I select the other 6970, GPU-Z freezes or shows weird readings.

Troubleshooting steps that Ive taken:

1. Tested the cards individually, both of them work single.
2. Tested both of the PCI-E x16 slots. Both the cards work in both slots individually.
3. Tested different 8 and 6-pin power connectors coming from the PSU.
3. Tried single crossfire cable, double crossfire cable, swapping the cables and directions, same result.
4. Tried Catalyst 11.2 - 11.8 (preview drivers), none of them recognize the cards installed when in crossfire.
5. Tried removing the X-Fi Sound card from the PCI Express slot, in case it was interfering. Same result.
6. Tried using different HDMI and VGA cables, same result.

I probably think it is the 800W PSU. Its inadequate because of the 5 drives that I have. Please help!!
a b U Graphics card
July 29, 2011 3:22:22 AM

just use one drive and see if the problem persists, gigabyte isnt exactly the best psu manufacturer either, get a new psu
July 29, 2011 5:03:39 AM

The drives are in raid so I cant really use only 1 and the Velociraptor is not the boot drive so can't use that either. I guess I will have use single 6970 for now and wait for a new PSU till that time. Thanks everyone for all the help. Really appreciated :) 
a b U Graphics card
July 29, 2011 5:18:47 AM

yeah most likely a psu issue in my opinion after reading through the thread again, good luck
a c 216 U Graphics card
July 29, 2011 5:51:22 AM

aznguy0028 said:
I had a Q9450 at 3.4ghz with my xfire 6870. In BFBC2, I was running around 45-90 fps.. with 45 being in heavy action and average being around 55 or so. Playable, yes, would i settle for it as a hardcore gamer?? Hell no. When I switched platform to the p67 with the i5 2500k, I saw my fps jump to up 110-200. I average about 120-130 fps with every settings max at 1680x1050. People say you don't notice any fps over 60, but I believe this is untrue. Personally, I would say say the range of 80-90 fps gives you a more smoother gaming experience, and anything above that is not noticeable.


It's not about what is noticeable, it's about hardware limitations.

What hz is your 1680x1050 monitor? If it's 60hz, like most are, there is zero difference between 60 and 10000 FPS in smoothness. The reason is that your monitor only updates the image on it's screen 60 times per second regardless of how many frames your system generates, which is what the hz tells us. The only thing having more than 60 fps increases is screen tearing.

However, if you do have a 120hz monitor, then you can see improvements up to 120 FPS.
a b U Graphics card
July 29, 2011 5:54:45 AM

^ yeah that comment made no sense in the context of the OPs 60hz monitor, I have a 955 that is oc'ed and I get 60+ in practically every game I play so there goes that argument out the window, for now you dont need a 2500k to game and I can't imagine that a 2500k at stock is pulling much more fps than a 955 at 4.2ghz and I'd like to see a comparison
a c 271 U Graphics card
October 22, 2011 5:48:17 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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