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2 x Radeon HD 5850 vs 1 x GTX 570

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March 5, 2012 6:19:22 PM

So, here's my quandary:

I'm currently running 2 x Radeon HD 5850s in CrossFire. My beef isn't so much that I can't run everything at the ultra-high detail levels. I turn a few settings down to medium and I barely notice a difference.

It's the drivers. AMD's drivers for Win 7 64-bit are junk. There was a time where had to stick with older drivers for a half-dozen iterations because everytime I enable CrossFire in the control panel my machine would BSOD. Now, the latest two versions seem to have fixed that problem, but I was playing Assassin's Creed Revelations this morning, and BAM, BSOD. atikmdag.sys is the culprit once again.

BUT!

I'm pretty sure it's a big downgrade to go to a single GTX 570 (which is in my price range of $300-$400).

I just want some damn stability. My rig otherwise doesn't crash!

My question is, how big of a downgrade are we talking here?

More about : radeon 5850 gtx 570

a c 169 U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 6:54:26 PM

I kinda were in the same situation.I had a 5970(same performance of 2 5850s if not slower) and due to awful drivers,I decided to go with a single card solution.And I went with 580(kinda downgrade) but ever since,I've been so happy with it.I may get slightly less fps in some games,but at least,it's 100% stable.
So,although you'll lose some FPS,but it's not going to be huge.(unless you play on resolutions higher than 1080p)
March 5, 2012 7:02:27 PM

I play at 1920x1200, which is why I'm worried about the performance hit.
Related resources
March 5, 2012 7:06:36 PM

May i suggest to you te 6970, On newegg it is cheaper that the 570 and it has slightly better performance
a c 125 U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 7:08:28 PM

Driver issues hey? I must have horse shoes up my butt, rarely have issues here.

Anyway of course it will be a pretty big step down. And the 7850/70 are getting released right away, and the 7870 is on average faster than even a 580 at only $350.

Plus Kepler should be getting a release (at least a paper release) mid March.

So, basically, just hold your horses a little longer.
March 5, 2012 7:14:09 PM

wolfram23 said:
Driver issues hey? I must have horse shoes up my butt, rarely have issues here.

Anyway of course it will be a pretty big step down. And the 7850/70 are getting released right away, and the 7870 is on average faster than even a 580 at only $350.

Plus Kepler should be getting a release (at least a paper release) mid March.

So, basically, just hold your horses a little longer.



This morning WAS my first crash on the ATI drivers since November 2011. It's just... annoying. And I know the AMD cards are a better value, dollar for dollar. BUT THE GOD DAMNED DRIVERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
March 5, 2012 8:08:34 PM

I have a cybergame cafe that employs 24 client PCs at a same specs and 2 Servers PC at slightly better memory. My spec are pretty much the same as OP's spec as shown on your CPUZ signature. All of my client PCs uses Win7 64bit Home. None of them suffers any crash since I build them. And it's been 3 years since. Heck, I never got into a case which should requires re-installing OS, or even drivers unless for updates. All of them.

The reason for this is that I do a weekly maintenance for each that involving updates, disk checking, dust cleaning, and occasionally benchmark them all over and compare them with previous result and see for any improvements or any stutter since the last result. And each PC has notes for such. For what I've been seeing, with each updates I do, it does improved.

So, I find that you had a driver problems is somewhat bizarre.

Can you convince me that you actually do your maintenance on your PC properly?

Edit: I forgot to mention my CF was 2x5850 Sapphire Extreme Edition on servers only...on clients, I only use a single of it. Still the same story though. No problem to date.

And I use i5 520 on all PCs.
March 5, 2012 9:02:49 PM

rush21hit said:
I have a cybergame cafe that employs 24 client PCs at a same specs and 2 Servers PC at slightly better memory. My spec are pretty much the same as OP's spec as shown on your CPUZ signature. All of my client PCs uses Win7 64bit Home. None of them suffers any crash since I build them. And it's been 3 years since. Heck, I never got into a case which should requires re-installing OS, or even drivers unless for updates. All of them.

The reason for this is that I do a weekly maintenance for each that involving updates, disk checking, dust cleaning, and occasionally benchmark them all over and compare them with previous result and see for any improvements or any stutter since the last result. And each PC has notes for such. For what I've been seeing, with each updates I do, it does improved.

So, I find that you had a driver problems is somewhat bizarre.

Can you convince me that you actually do your maintenance on your PC properly?

Edit: I forgot to mention my CF was 2x5850 Sapphire Extreme Edition on servers only...on clients, I only use a single of it. Still the same story though. No problem to date.

And I use i5 520 on all PCs.


I install all Windows Updates and AMD/ATi driver updates as they become available. I hope you're not suggesting that dust in the case would cause a BSOD that I am 100% certain is related to the ATi drivers. It's a software problem I will post my minidump files if you're not convinced. Running chkdsk is unnecessary on a SSD (which is where my OS and drivers are installed). I'm glad you've had such success with your cyber cafe! But the shoddiness of the ATi drivers when running CrossFire is well-documented. This has nothing to do with "routine maintenance."
a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 9:31:29 PM

That error is not caused by your video card or video card drivers. It's a very common error and it happens with Nvidia cards as well, except its "nvlddmkm has stopped responding and has successfully recovered"


Read more about Display Driver ATIKMDAG Stopped Responding and Has Recovered Fix by Repair Your PC Now

There are hundreds of forums dedicated to this one problem back to 2008. No one has a clear fix.

http://www.repairyourpcnow.com/resources/atikmdag-has-s...

You can try some suggested things:

ATI:
http://www.atikmdag.com/
http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/737-27116Rad...

Nvidia:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4kqo777iZo
http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9905...
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=106841

I've had the problem myself with 1 Nivida and 2 ATI cards. Most of the time it either went away on it's own or a fresh Windows install fixed it. I haven't had it in about 8 months now.

If AMD crossifire drivers were so shoddy, why would Tom's continue to constantly recommend crossfire AMD cards in the "best video cards for the money section"? Why do they never mention those problems in crossfire articles?
a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 9:46:54 PM

I wouldn't neccesarilly hold my horses on getting a new single gpu solution, waiting for the next big thing is a fools game, cuz there is always something better right around the corner. I say go with the this model 570 if you want to upgrade right away, it's the very best, and great overclocking features and potential, bringing it to a GTX 580 level performance.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 125 U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 9:52:53 PM

ismaeljrp said:
I wouldn't neccesarilly hold my horses on getting a new single gpu solution, waiting for the next big thing is a fools game, cuz there is always something better right around the corner. I say go with the this model 570 if you want to upgrade right away, it's the very best, and great overclocking features and potential, bringing it to a GTX 580 level performance.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Um... I know what you mean, truely. Waiting for Ivy Bridge right now would be a bit silly as SB is really effing fast and we don't know exactly when IB will be out.

But with GPUs right now it's different. 7850 and 7870 are already reviewed and hitting shelves in the next week or two... That $350 GTX 570 performs worse than the similarly priced 7870 by a fair margin and it's drawing a lot more power.



On top of that, mid March we'll be hearing about Kepler and finding out (hopefully) if it's getting released soon or not.

Either way, a 570 would be a downgrade from dual 5850s or at the very best a side grade depending on clocks. My 5850s at 870/1200 perform generally better than a stock 580.
a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 10:11:03 PM

wolfram23 said:
Um... I know what you mean, truely. Waiting for Ivy Bridge right now would be a bit silly as SB is really effing fast and we don't know exactly when IB will be out.

But with GPUs right now it's different. 7850 and 7870 are already reviewed and hitting shelves in the next week or two... That $350 GTX 570 performs worse than the similarly priced 7870 by a fair margin and it's drawing a lot more power.

http://media.bestofmicro.com/P/E/328802/original/Avg%20Game%20Perf.png

On top of that, mid March we'll be hearing about Kepler and finding out (hopefully) if it's getting released soon or not.

Either way, a 570 would be a downgrade from dual 5850s or at the very best a side grade depending on clocks. My 5850s at 870/1200 perform generally better than a stock 580.



Definately, It's a tricky thing. I would definately wait...I'm not desperate ( waiting for an MSI 7870 btw :) . But, if he can't wait at all, then yeah, I would recommend that MSI 570 which is about 7% faster than the refererance one in that same chart, plus with huge Overclocking ability, which brings it at least 15% faster than stock. Which makes go head to head with the 7870, but ultimately loses because of power draw. Not to mention, when a really high quality 7870 releases, I think ir will be AMD's trump card , just like the 4890 was vs. gtx 275 back in the day. yess I am very excited jeje.

If he can wait, like me, and like you suggest, than ohh yess, get the 7870!!
a c 125 U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 11:07:16 PM

Yeah, not sure if you've seen this:


7870 OC's like a boss!
March 6, 2012 2:13:11 AM

pure_drivel said:
I install all Windows Updates and AMD/ATi driver updates as they become available. I hope you're not suggesting that dust in the case would cause a BSOD that I am 100% certain is related to the ATi drivers. It's a software problem I will post my minidump files if you're not convinced. Running chkdsk is unnecessary on a SSD (which is where my OS and drivers are installed). I'm glad you've had such success with your cyber cafe! But the shoddiness of the ATi drivers when running CrossFire is well-documented. This has nothing to do with "routine maintenance."


SSD huh? Well, I didn't use that...my specs are outdated for like 3 years ago. It's way too expensive either. So in the end, I have no plan on using one,yet. Though I know what it capable of...

About minimdump files, please, no need to do that. I trust you know exactly what you're doing. Because after some quick research with google myself I find lots of people having about the same issue as you. I consider myself lucky :p 

And I agree with most reply here, a single more powerful GPU, like say a 7870, should perform better. Heck, a 7850 maybe about on par with 5850 CF.

But, really, should you just wait on Kepler? If your need for gaming is somewhat dire than go for it, if not, just wait for some serious price drop on AMD's GPU lineup when that happen. Meanwhile, a single 5850 should be not much of a problem right? That if the CF setup persists to became an issue though.

And thank you for your support for my cybercafe. Quite a success on my hometown indeed :D 
March 6, 2012 9:56:21 AM

geekapproved said:
That error is not caused by your video card or video card drivers. It's a very common error and it happens with Nvidia cards as well, except its "nvlddmkm has stopped responding and has successfully recovered"
{snip}
I've had the problem myself with 1 Nivida and 2 ATI cards. Most of the time it either went away on it's own or a fresh Windows install fixed it. I haven't had it in about 8 months now.

If AMD crossifire drivers were so shoddy, why would Tom's continue to constantly recommend crossfire AMD cards in the "best video cards for the money section"? Why do they never mention those problems in crossfire articles?


Your post is helpful except for the bit where you say it's NOT caused by the video card drivers. It's a matter of fact that it's caused by the video card drivers, because that what it lists as the offending component in the crash dumps. BSODs are in most cases caused by a hardware or driver problem, and Windows dumps the full contents of the system memory so it can be analyzed. A program like NirSoft's BlueScreenView can be used to quickly identify the component and/or driver causing the issue - it floats right to the top, highlighted in red for your convenience. SO! I will accept that perhaps it's actually WINDOWS that's causing the problem, or the game I'm playing at the moment, but the drivers end up being the culprit, because whatever information or instruction the game or the OS passed to the ATi driver is what caused the unrecoverable FAIL. My original point was that I've had a lot more trouble with getting ATi drivers to run stable, especially in CrossFire mode, when compared to Nvidia solutions in the past; not that Nvidia drivers never crash.

Also, I've no doubt in the veracity of Tom's Hardware's findings when they recommend AMD cards for performance/value. But they rarely mention stability or the potential for crashes in any of their reviews. Keep in mind their test rigs are more than likely ALWAYS a brand new install of Windows, and not subject to the kind of gremlins that plague a system you use every day for stuff OTHER than testing hardware.

BUT! Considering the performance loss I'm looking at to switch to a single Nvidia card, I'll probably tough it out for now. Unless Mass Effect 3 crashes consistently. Because f@*k that.
March 6, 2012 9:59:57 AM

rush21hit said:
SSD huh? Well, I didn't use that...my specs are outdated for like 3 years ago. It's way too expensive either. So in the end, I have no plan on using one,yet. Though I know what it capable of...

About minimdump files, please, no need to do that. I trust you know exactly what you're doing. Because after some quick research with google myself I find lots of people having about the same issue as you. I consider myself lucky :p 

And I agree with most reply here, a single more powerful GPU, like say a 7870, should perform better. Heck, a 7850 maybe about on par with 5850 CF.

But, really, should you just wait on Kepler? If your need for gaming is somewhat dire than go for it, if not, just wait for some serious price drop on AMD's GPU lineup when that happen. Meanwhile, a single 5850 should be not much of a problem right? That if the CF setup persists to became an issue though.

And thank you for your support for my cybercafe. Quite a success on my hometown indeed :D 


PM me where your cybercafe is! If it's in the Tristate I'll try to stop by!

CF is the typical culprit, so your single-card setups aren't likely to be as prone to the problems I'm having. I'll probably just wait on Kepler, per the discussion in this thread.
March 6, 2012 11:25:46 AM

pure_drivel said:
PM me where your cybercafe is! If it's in the Tristate I'll try to stop by!

CF is the typical culprit, so your single-card setups aren't likely to be as prone to the problems I'm having. I'll probably just wait on Kepler, per the discussion in this thread.


Well the server ones does use CF setup, and still no problem to date. The reason for this is because they employs 2 large screen at 55" Aquos that is used whenever my customers ask for a tournament and the server is acting as a spectator and the large screen was meant for that entertainment. Thus, the reason I employs dual GPU.

The client PC themselves only employs a regular LCD 1366x768 since I don't have any more budget to spare...might upgrades them to a much more substantial screens, but since my clients not complaining about it, I guess I'm still fine. And I know a single 5850 is a bit overkill for such resolution, I do it for the sake of investment too :D 

But then again, maybe because the games I play not exactly taxing too much performance somewhat, since online game titles was made to be able to run on any hardware possible.

I'm not even at the same country as you, I'm from Indonesia :hello: 

Cheers :) 
March 6, 2012 1:22:06 PM

rush21hit said:
Well the server ones does use CF setup, and still no problem to date. The reason for this is because they employs 2 large screen at 55" Aquos that is used whenever my customers ask for a tournament and the server is acting as a spectator and the large screen was meant for that entertainment. Thus, the reason I employs dual GPU.

The client PC themselves only employs a regular LCD 1366x768 since I don't have any more budget to spare...might upgrades them to a much more substantial screens, but since my clients not complaining about it, I guess I'm still fine. And I know a single 5850 is a bit overkill for such resolution, I do it for the sake of investment too :D 

But then again, maybe because the games I play not exactly taxing too much performance somewhat, since online game titles was made to be able to run on any hardware possible.

I'm not even at the same country as you, I'm from Indonesia :hello: 

Cheers :) 


Gah! I didn't even realize that I was in the UK forums. Whoops!

Well, best of o' luck to you, sir.
a b U Graphics card
March 6, 2012 1:28:39 PM

pure_drivel said:
Your post is helpful except for the bit where you say it's NOT caused by the video card drivers. It's a matter of fact that it's caused by the video card drivers, because that what it lists as the offending component in the crash dumps. BSODs are in most cases caused by a hardware or driver problem, and Windows dumps the full contents of the system memory so it can be analyzed. A program like NirSoft's BlueScreenView can be used to quickly identify the component and/or driver causing the issue - it floats right to the top, highlighted in red for your convenience. SO! I will accept that perhaps it's actually WINDOWS that's causing the problem, or the game I'm playing at the moment, but the drivers end up being the culprit, because whatever information or instruction the game or the OS passed to the ATi driver is what caused the unrecoverable FAIL. My original point was that I've had a lot more trouble with getting ATi drivers to run stable, especially in CrossFire mode, when compared to Nvidia solutions in the past; not that Nvidia drivers never crash.

Also, I've no doubt in the veracity of Tom's Hardware's findings when they recommend AMD cards for performance/value. But they rarely mention stability or the potential for crashes in any of their reviews. Keep in mind their test rigs are more than likely ALWAYS a brand new install of Windows, and not subject to the kind of gremlins that plague a system you use every day for stuff OTHER than testing hardware.

BUT! Considering the performance loss I'm looking at to switch to a single Nvidia card, I'll probably tough it out for now. Unless Mass Effect 3 crashes consistently. Because f@*k that.



Ok but consider how could it be both Nvidia and ATI having same driver problem? Obviously it's something else that causes the driver to crash.
a c 125 U Graphics card
March 6, 2012 1:41:30 PM

Just a few troubleshooting ideas:

1) When updating drivers, did you do completely clean installs? This means uninstalling old drivers and CAP, then running Driver Sweeper, then rebooting and installing the new driver from scratch.

2) Have you tried a Windows repair install? Or a fresh install? Not a bad idea to do this once or twice a year, and usually it's pretty easy to restore backups.

3) Have you run stress tests to verify stability and temperatures?
March 6, 2012 2:30:14 PM

wolfram23 said:
Just a few troubleshooting ideas:

1) When updating drivers, did you do completely clean installs? This means uninstalling old drivers and CAP, then running Driver Sweeper, then rebooting and installing the new driver from scratch.

2) Have you tried a Windows repair install? Or a fresh install? Not a bad idea to do this once or twice a year, and usually it's pretty easy to restore backups.

3) Have you run stress tests to verify stability and temperatures?



1) I only user DriverCleaner in Safe Mode when I start persistently getting BSODs. You note that above I stated the BSOD I received on Monday morning was my first in almost four months. It was also while playing Assassin's Creed Revelations. I remember that while playing AC: Brotherhood I experienced similar trouble with BSODs. It may, in this case, be a problem with this specific game's coding as it interacts with the ATi driver. I know that Ubisoft code their games with Nvidia cards in mind, at least with regards to 3D capability. Although, I had similar problems with Deus Ex: HR, and that was "designed" to be played on ATi cards, so that may not be relevent. For example, I've played through Burnout: Paradise City, Skyrim, and Batman: Arkham City over the past few months without any BSODs. CTD, yes, but no BSODs.

2) I find it an absurd notion that you would reinstall Windows more than once a year, and even then, only as a measure of last resort if things just aren't working well across the board. My problem is limited to crashes caused by the ATi drivers. I'm not going to go to the trouble to spend half a day reinstalling Windows. That's time that could be spent gaming.

3) I have not overclocked either of my cards, and my processor is barely overclocked at all. I have, however, run temperature gauges, both at idle and at stress, and found nothing that would lead me to believe it's a heat problem.

The point I think you're missing is that it's absurd the recognized method for updating a driver for any piece of hardware so critical to the operation of my rig would require booting into Safe Mode and using a third-party uninstaller to actually clean out the installation. That smacks of a tremendous laziness on the part of the company writing the software in the first place. Is using DriverCleaner the standard practice for Nvidia users as well? It's no wonder PC Gaming is losing the numbers battle. I, by no means, believe PC Gaming is dead. I believe the effort is worth it in the end - a higher-fidelity experience and free online play are all the justification I need for all the rigamarole. But, the state of supporting desktop graphics cards has become a little absurd, I feel. And if switching to an Nvidia solution will improve stability in my system, and mean fewer BSODs when I'm right in the middle of playing, then that's what I want. Which is the matter on which I requested advice in the first place. =]
a b U Graphics card
March 6, 2012 3:05:18 PM

I re-install windows at least 3 times a year. If your not doing it at least once a year, well then don't expect your sytem to be fast and your drivers clean.

It doesn't matter what you do, or which brand card you buy, the problem persists for many. A fresh Windows install will almost certainly fix your problem.

If you read the guides and links I posted you'll see it's just as common with Nvidia cards. I had the problem with a 9800GT, 4850 and my current 5850 several times. It's not popped up in at least 8 months though, if it does, it'll be time for a fresh Windows install, not a new video card.
March 6, 2012 3:16:13 PM

-AC: Brotherhood
-Arkham City
-Burnout Paradise
-Skyrim

I'm taking notes of those game titles you mentioned, pure_drivel. And try those on my CF setup, and see if I suffers the same fate. No promise I can get them all though, my joint usually busy most of the time, I'll see what I can do. I know a couple of my friends own a copy for some.

For offline games, I only installed a DMC4 and Blazblue on Server :p 

Mostly for offlines, I like to play old arcade on winkawaks lol

And knowing that all of my CPUs is are weaker than yours, I suppose a slight different experience is to be expected...I still don't have the heart to OC even for at least one of them...they are my precious :( 
a c 125 U Graphics card
March 6, 2012 5:48:26 PM

Honestly, yes, it is silly to need to use Driver Sweeper for updates, but then you don't always need to. It's simply a way of removing a source of error. Typically you can just install over top, but maybe 2 or 3 times that ended up giving me problems so I now just do clean installs every time. Plus, you don't need to use safe mode. Just uninstall, don't restart - run Driver Sweeper, THEN restart and install new.

Depending on your usage, it's very possible that Windows is fubar'd on a yearly or faster basis. Who knows. It could be root keys getting cleaned that shouldn't be, stray files in your System folder doing weird things, malware, or any number of things. I think the install process could be a little faster, but sometimes it's necessary. I've had for sure 2 instances where the only solution was a Windows reinstall. One issue was Windows related - the system stability graph thing was messed up. Extremely minor issue, but nothing I tried fixed it until I reinstalled. The other thing was a blank screen right after the Windows logo. No idea what caused it but a fresh install got rid of it and that was that.

Just make a backup of your system first so you can restore your programs. A few might need reinstallations but you can cut that down quite a bit with backups.
March 7, 2012 10:21:51 AM

OK, so, I only got try 2 titles that you mentioned giving you headache over your CF 5850. Arkham City and Brotherhood. They're both illegal version lol, I hope it doesn't made any difference. Forgive me for that, since that's the nearest copy of the game I could get my hands on.

About Arkham City, I set the video settings to corner right, all of them. Then I notice some stutter here and there, some freeze frame even. This is understandable since I can't patch this since its illegal, and I'm in DX10 mode. Then I try to go DX9 mode. For some couple hours gameplay, well I got interrupted by the costumers along the way, I find no problem. I'm not going back to DX10 mode. My setup works fine. I didn't fraps them tho, so I dunno how much FPS I get, but it felt smooth on DX9. Good game, no I mean, good cinematics lol. Gameplay wise, it's still crap and the controls are confusing. Maybe I just need some time to get use to it, IDK.

Then the Brotherhood, after I finished my installation and start the game, I got a blank screen. Yup, a blank screen...as if nothing happens there. My rig still running but I don't really know what just happening, I tried alt+Tab, didn't work...then I force shutdown my PC by holding the rig's main power button for some moment. One thing for sure, the Brotherhood no longer available on my servers HDD. I don't care if its minor flaw, if it didn't work, I'll just leave it at that. Live goes on. My setup still works as usual. Thx God.

So, that's how it is...
a c 125 U Graphics card
March 7, 2012 2:56:18 PM

Actually I've heard people get a lot of issues with the Assassin's Creed games on PC. I've always just bought them on PS3.

Ubisoft is a pile of poo these days. Sadly... used to like a lot of their stuff.

(And it's not even the DRM, although "always on" DRM is absolutely retarded)
March 7, 2012 3:05:18 PM

wolfram23 said:
Actually I've heard people get a lot of issues with the Assassin's Creed games on PC. I've always just bought them on PS3.

Ubisoft is a pile of poo these days. Sadly... used to like a lot of their stuff.

(And it's not even the DRM, although "always on" DRM is absolutely retarded)


Yeah, you're probably right. It's just Ubisoft and their shitty QA for their PC ports.

/thread
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