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Rather simple questions involving Crossfire

My first, and probably simplest question to answer for those with experience in multi GPU systems, is how one verifies that crossfire is "working". Both my cards are listed in the ATI catalyst software, but I don't recall if it specifically says that they're functioning "properly" in crossfire.

For the next question here are some of my relevant hardware specifications that might help:

Silverstone Raven II case
Intel Sandy Bridge 2500k ( not oc'ed yet )
x2 Sapphire toxic 6950's
8 gig DDR3
120 gig SSD
750W Seasonic PSU

First, I was slightly disappointed in my attainable settings for Skyrim. I can run most of the Ultra settings, but found I have to drop down to middle range distances and high quality shadows to get extremely smooth framerates. Is this about what is expected for my system or can I squeeze a little bit more out with further system optimization.

In terms of general performance, how much of an improvement for most graphically demanding applications will I achieve if I slide one more 6950 in for 3x crossfire ( which is supported by my motherboard)? If I do this, would I have to upgrade my power supply to something more robust?

Temperatures don't seem to be a problem. Embarrassingly, after reading an article here on air cooling, I decided to double check to make sure I oriented my CPU fan properly. Sure enough, I had foolishly installed the fan such that it moved air against the general flow of air in the case. Fixing this, I should have even fewer problems with cooling, hopefully.
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More about rather simple questions involving crossfire
  1. there aren't any CFX profiles for skyrim yet... so essentially you're not getting a benefit from CFX in it... I think the updated CFX profiles are supposed to be out this week so keep an eye on the AMD website...

    oh snap just checked new drivers out today http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/radeon_win7-64.aspx

    it however doesn't look like they added a CAP for skyrim yet... but BF3 is in there... that should make some people happy
  2. Doesn't hurt to have the latest upgrades. Can I get that through the catalyst interface or should I go to the web site and download something directly?
  3. you can auto d/l through catalyst, but I always go and download manually... maybe I'm a nut... make sure you go grab the CAP from the site as well cause that gives you the crossfire profiles
  4. Best answer
    As far as your first question goes, you can d/l a gpu monitoring program like MSI afterburner and check to see if both gpus temps go up in gaming. That'll at least give you some assurances that both gpus are at least being used. Then you can compare the difference in framerates between a single solution and a xfired solution to determine if the cards are working "properly" (ie framerates go up significantly).

    From what I've read, skyrim is cpu dependant, so on top of the xfire profiles not being available for your set-up, your stock 2500k speeds might be gimping your framerates a bit. Maybe try OCing it to see if performance is gained.

    As far as tri-xfiring, I've read in the past that the cost vs benefits are not justified for the performance gained. If you've got the $ I supposed you could give it a shot. I'm at work right now and can't post specific links and it's been awhile since I've read up on anything other than dual card solutions but I'm sure you could find stuff online about the performance.
  5. Best answer selected by grignard.
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