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Need help with 6870 100% all time in games

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 21, 2012 9:57:19 PM

Hello, there all, this is my first time asking anything like this, but I just brought a new gaming and server rig for testing and playing and my 6870 is being terrible.

Right so my comp spec is:
MOBO: Intel DP67BG
Processor: Intel I7 2600k 3.4gz
Ram: Corsair vengence 16gb 1600mhz
Graphics: ATI Radeon 6870 (Saphire I believe)
Cpu cooler: Corsair H80
OS:Windows 7 Ultimate
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-850HX Professional Series 850W
HDD: 1 7200 rpm HDD with barely anything on it reformatted it last night.

Things I have tried thus far:
Updated Bios
Ran constant windows updates
Have updated catalyst to 11.12 the most recent one

So far I dont have many high end games to test it with as steam is still DLing them but Dirt 3 is just 100%ing all the time. I am concerned about it. Sometimes it stutters and others will run fine.

My temps are about as good as they can be:
IDLE:
cpu 32C
Voltage regulator: 27C
memory DIMM 27C
HD0 33C
GPU 45C
PSH 43C (no idea what this is im guessing its graphics card thing)
Core0 32c
core1 31c
core2 30c

This is with fan speeds on silent.

Under stress (while running dirt 3)
Cpu goes up to 41C (thats with the CPU cooler at medium)
GPU goes to 64-5 (after 20 mins mins of game play it seemed to level there)

I am at a loss of what to do.
Earlier it was lagging bad on "Orcs must die!" but then I quit game run windows update and it was happy at 20% mark.

I am just really confused, can anyone help?

More about : 6870 100 time games

January 21, 2012 10:13:28 PM

Every graphic card needs to be capable of achieving 100% in games to deliver the most performance possible, and GPU is not like an CPU. Any workload given to the GPU would probably make it run at 100%. If an graphic card isn't running at 100% in games, then throw it in the garbage, it is an useless one.
So I wouldn't worry about a graphic card running at 100% while given work (even if it is really a small work)...

What resolution and at what settings are you playing your games? It is normal that an 6870 cannot run everything at ULTRA and beyond 1600x1200...

Also, an GPU that idles at 45C is OK.

Hope it helps! :) 
January 21, 2012 10:19:58 PM

Oh ok its just like on Orcs must die it ran at 20-25% cause thats all it needed. I am running 2 19" screens both DVI from the card at 1400*900 res but the game is only one 1.

If I remeber rightly in dirt 3 I have it set to 1400*900 res with 4x MAA thing and vsync turned off.

Its just weird upgrading my computer after 2 years and it somewhat struggling to run games as it does lag skip every so often.

my old setup was AMD phemon 955 3.2 quad GTX285 2gb and 8gb ddr2 1333mhz ram. And would run any game on highest settings that I tried (temps were considrably higher though)

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January 21, 2012 10:26:30 PM

try running 3dmark11 and see your score compared to others.

studders could be cause by a number of things no idea what the problem you have currently is.
January 21, 2012 10:31:09 PM

An GTX285 has the same performance than the HD 6870, if you notice some lag in games, it may because it is DirectX 11 and you enabled too much Performance-eating features like "SuperSampling-AA", "Tessellation", "High-Quality Shadows" etc...

An GTX285 to an HD 6870 isn't really called an "Upgrade" since it only performs ~8% better...
January 21, 2012 10:34:17 PM

Ok I will try that, I think what bloc97 said is correct. I just eyefinitied my 2 displays and tried in that and it ran with little lag. and thats running bigger res if both screens i would imagine or atleast having to work harder (was horrible idea with 2 though :p  just getting 3dmark11 now
January 21, 2012 10:36:12 PM

bloc my upgrade was for processor and ram. I can only run 3 servers on old pc to test which really isnt enough. specially when things want like 4gb of ram to 1 run sometimes depending what ya have on the server...

Edit: Also was for 3 screen ability.
January 21, 2012 10:41:57 PM

2 Displays will cut your framerates to more than a half... Don't expect playing with eyefinity with an medium level card without lowering the resolution and settings.
January 21, 2012 10:47:41 PM

So ultimatly you think I should get like a 2gb 6970? If I sell both my GTX 285 (if I can) and the 6870 I could probably get the money for it, plus its payday in a few days ^_^

EDIT: Azukay, how would i find out how much GPU ram the game is using?
January 21, 2012 10:48:38 PM

It would be a nice upgrade and I think you'd be happier with it with the setup you are currently running.
January 21, 2012 10:54:38 PM

oki doke, I wonder if amazon would accept it if I returned the card...I doubt it >_<

Erm what about CrossfireX'ing it? would that be better?
January 21, 2012 10:59:00 PM

An single more powerful card usually beats two less powerful cards in crossfire in terms of stability, power consumption and performance. So buying an 6970 would be good. (Or you can buy an 6950 and unlock it into an 6970 with an succes rate of ~97%)
January 21, 2012 11:07:02 PM

Ok.
Thank you everyone :) 
V-sync was the genuine answer to why it was 100%. It went from 100% to 30% usage. I never knew GPU's worked that way so thats great to know.

As for the 6970 I think either, when i get annoyed at this enough, or when I have the money to spend ill just buy one then (OR 2) xD Gonna see if I can sell card to a friend who is building a cheaper pc soon. :) 

When I get my 3rd (and maybe 4th) screen if the card can actually do 4 at once ive not really heard of quad monitors from the 1 card then ill all but deffinitly look at the upgrade. I wish the GTX 590's were cheaper :( 

Thanks again all of you :) 
January 21, 2012 11:07:07 PM

if you do buy a 6950 to unlock make sure you buy one thats unlockable.
January 21, 2012 11:15:37 PM

I would have made sure but I'd prefer to keep it safe. Im not to great when it comes to things like that. >_<
!