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6950 crossfire - negative scaling in ALL games

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 5, 2012 5:50:05 PM

Hi.

I've had my two XFX Radeon 6950s for more than half a year now, and since I got them, I've never gotten crossfire to work. I've tried it again and again each time I downloaded new drivers, but eventually gave up and just used one of my cards.

Whenever I turn on crossfire, I get negative scaling, no matter the game. Some examples of games I've tried are Battlefield 3, Shogun 2 and Metro 2033. I'm using the latest drivers and application profiles.

When running the Shogun 2 benchmark, I get around 92 FPS when not using crossfire. When using crossfire, I get around 86 FPS.

I've tried running Furmark, and surprisingly, I get extremely good scaling there. My FPS is pretty much doubled, but I can't reproduce this any games.

I've tried disabling ULPS. I've also tried completely uninstalling anything related to AMD and then reinstalling. I've tried flashing to the latest BIOS version for my motherboard. I've made sure everything is connected correctly. No matter what I do, I can't seem to solve this problem, but it really sucks to just have my second GPU just sit there and do nothing...

An odd thing I noticed is that Speccy tells me that crossfire is disabled. According to the control center, it's enabled, and GPU-Z says the same thing.

Some specs:

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1090T
RAM: 8 GB DDR3
Motherboard: ASUS M4A78T-E
GPU: 2x XFX Radeon HD 6950 1GB
PSU: Antec TurePower 750W

So... does anyone have any ideas?
May 5, 2012 11:45:39 PM

cards are in blue and black pice slots,power is connected to both cards and bridge is installed,caps installed?
I know that board is x16/x8,but as far as i know that should still be ok.
With my current setup(6950's)I'm getting great scaling(BF3/fear3/BFBC2)esp in BF3.The only thing i can suggest is:
1-Uninstall ccc and profiles,shut down
2-remove second card,restart
3-install ccc 12.2,12.2 caps1(these seem to be the best drivers I've used with the 6950's).restart
4-shut down,install second card,retest.

edit*
2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (single x16 or dual x8)
May 6, 2012 1:10:16 PM

Earnie said:
cards are in blue and black pice slots,power is connected to both cards and bridge is installed,caps installed?
I know that board is x16/x8,but as far as i know that should still be ok.
With my current setup(6950's)I'm getting great scaling(BF3/fear3/BFBC2)esp in BF3.The only thing i can suggest is:
1-Uninstall ccc and profiles,shut down
2-remove second card,restart
3-install ccc 12.2,12.2 caps1(these seem to be the best drivers I've used with the 6950's).restart
4-shut down,install second card,retest.

edit*
2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (single x16 or dual x8)

Blue and black PCI-E slots = Yes.
Power connected = Yes, two PCI-E power connectors to both.
Bridge installed = Yes.
Caps installed = Yes.

I followed your intstructions, but sadly I get the same results. :( 
Related resources
May 6, 2012 1:26:44 PM

Have you tried Overclocking your CPU to 4.0 GHz? All AMD CPUs are not scaling properly with CF/SLI.
May 6, 2012 1:34:59 PM

I'm not sure I feel entirely comfortable overclocking that far, especially since I'm using the stock cooler. I tried overclocking to 4.0 GHz with AMD Overdrive, but my computer crashed immediately. I guess that's because I need to raise the voltage as well. I'm not too good at this overclocking stuff.
May 6, 2012 1:40:44 PM

Seems a bit odd to me that it would be a CPU bottleneck... isn't the 1090T one of the best AMD CPUs at the moment?

Anyway, as for a budget... right now, $0. But by the end of the month, I guess I could sacrifice $300-400 to get this fixed.
May 6, 2012 2:06:47 PM

I tried overclocking the first three cores to 3.9 GHz, and it made no difference in the Shogun 2 benchmark.
May 6, 2012 2:28:53 PM

Although it may be worth noting that the "current speed" doesn't seem to go above 3.2 GHz, it's just the "target speed" that's set to 3.9 GHz... so I guess I've done something wrong.
May 6, 2012 3:23:22 PM

I managed to reach 3.6 GHz on the first three cores by disabling the other three, but this actually reduced my FPS in the Shogun 2 benchmark from 88 to 80 :( 
May 6, 2012 3:25:44 PM

It's not a cpu bottleneck,my 6950's in crossfire with an 1100T run BF3 at 1920X1200,ultra,cards avg 90-100% usage as well as the cpu.I usually run the CPU at about 3.9 or 4.0Ghz.

Go into your BIOS,change the multiplyer to 19 and try that.
May 6, 2012 3:27:24 PM

I've set the multiplier to 18, anything above that causes either a BSOD or garbled screen on boot. And with the multiplier set at 18, I get reduced performance. Although I disabled the last three cores, but I don't see how that would have any effect, since Shogun 2 doesn't use more than two cores.
May 6, 2012 3:27:25 PM

Just to be sure, are you playing the games in fullscreen, or are you playing in Windowed mode?

In windowed mode, crossfire will not work.
May 6, 2012 3:27:29 PM

Yuusha said:
I managed to reach 3.6 GHz on the first three cores by disabling the other three, but this actually reduced my FPS in the Shogun 2 benchmark from 88 to 80 :( 



you dont want to disable any cores,just up the multiplyer.
May 6, 2012 3:28:45 PM

bystander said:
Just to be sure, are you playing the games in fullscreen, or are you playing in Windowed mode?

In windowed mode, crossfire will not work.


seems you have my back again,forgot about that.
May 6, 2012 3:30:22 PM

Yuusha said:
I've set the multiplier to 18, anything above that causes either a BSOD or garbled screen on boot. And with the multiplier set at 18, I get reduced performance. Although I disabled the last three cores, but I don't see how that would have any effect, since Shogun 2 doesn't use more than two cores.


just outta curiosity,what is the cpu score in the windows experiance index?
May 6, 2012 3:35:57 PM

If I don't disable any cores, I can't get the multiplier any higher than 16.5, which is just 3.3 GHz.

I'm not playing in windowed mode, that would be a sin :p 

The score I get in Windows Experience Index is 7.5
May 6, 2012 3:52:12 PM

Yuusha said:
If I don't disable any cores, I can't get the multiplier any higher than 16.5, which is just 3.3 GHz.

5


that alone is telling me that the cpu is probably dying,it just should not do that.I've had the 940,955,965,980,1090 and now the 1100T,they have all o/c'd with just the multiplyer easily.
May 6, 2012 4:03:03 PM

Dying? I've had it for one and a half year. During that time, I've never overclocked it (although I've tried, and always got this same result) and I've never had any major problems with my computer except for the fact that I can't get crossfire to work.

I tried keeping MSI Afterburner on while running the Shogun 2 benchmark. Both GPUs are at around 50% the whole time.
May 6, 2012 4:03:46 PM

Quote:
It is a bottleneck.
And BF3 will work on a pentium D....



I disagree!BF3 plays better with more cores.

all 6 cores of my 1100T are at 100% with crossfired 6950's at 90-100% in BF3,That tells me in this particular game,there is No bottleneck(With my current setup).


50% usage could be attributed to that game itself.
The only cpu I ever had to replace(warranty)was a 1090T,2 months old,thats why i asked about the WEI,Mine dropped to 3.5 one day.
May 6, 2012 4:08:35 PM

I also tried keeping track of CPU usage now, it also stays at 50%...
May 6, 2012 4:10:05 PM

Yuusha said:
I also tried keeping track of CPU usage now, it also stays at 50%...


this a good program for monitoring everything also.
http://openhardwaremonitor.org/
May 6, 2012 4:12:37 PM

Earnie said:
this a good program for monitoring everything also.
http://openhardwaremonitor.org/

I've taken a look at that before, but there doesn't seem to be a way to see CPU/GPU usage over time... only the current usage and min/max value. Am I missing something?
May 6, 2012 4:32:41 PM

I ran Shogun 2 and messed around with some graphical settings to stress it out a little. The game started stuttering like hell, and didn't stop even after I set the settings back to my old ones. Anyway, here's the max usage for all my cores and the GPUs from OHW:

Core #1: 87.7%
Core #2: 49.2%
Core #3: 70.8%
Core #4: 61.5%
Core #5: 53.8%
Core #6: 70.8%

GPU #1: 99.0%
GPU #2: 59.0%
May 6, 2012 4:38:48 PM

Alright, I guess I'm buying a new CPU, then... but I'm probably going for something a bit more powerful than the 2500k, since that's a very small upgrade from the 1090T. I'm considering the 2700k.
May 6, 2012 4:41:16 PM

Quote:
Huge bottleneck.


I would agree,If the cpu usage was 100% on all cores,But his cpu usage is only avg,what maybe 70%.
May 6, 2012 4:42:04 PM

Quote:
The 2500k is a huge upgrade from a 1090T........
There is nothing the 2700k can handle that the 2500k cannot.



now that I agree with ya on. :) 

Done some research on this as well.If I was gonna upgrade to either one,I would go with the 2500K and save a 100 bucks.
May 6, 2012 5:02:17 PM

Looking at the anandtech benchmarks, yeah, there seems to be a pretty huge difference between 1090T and 2500k. The difference between 2500k and 2600k is small, but noticeable, especially for things not gaming related. They sadly don't have benchmarks for 2700k.

I play some pretty CPU intensive games, though. Like Shogun 2 for example, which has battles with over 15 000 soldiers all at the same time. So are you sure the 2700k wouldn't be a worthwhile investment?
May 6, 2012 5:05:06 PM

Yeah, good point. I guess I could use the saved money to buy a better cooler instead and overclock that baby. :) 

Thanks a lot, I will report back here when I've gotten a new CPU and tell you if it fixed my problem. It's alright if it doesn't, an upgrade is an upgrade. :D 
May 6, 2012 5:09:35 PM

Oh, by the way... the motherboard you recommended (BIOSTAR TZ77XE3) doesn't seem to be available here in Sweden. Could you recommend another motherboard with an 1155 socket? If you want to verify that it's available in Sweden, go to http://www.prisjakt.nu/ and search for it in the box next to the word "Sök" and press enter.

Thanks.
May 6, 2012 5:10:00 PM

Ah, that one was available. Thanks.
July 17, 2012 11:31:09 PM

I seem to be having the same issue, iv uninstalled CCC and did a complete fresh install and updated to the latest 12.6, have the latest profiles and everything, but while playing SWTOR Im getting the same FPS as I do using only 1 card. Iv tried multiple profiles and settings, but all seems to be the same result.

Im playing in full screen mode with settings turned down even, and getting around 30 FPS in warzones. my CPU is an FX-6100 clocked at 4.2Ghz with 8GB DDR3 ram at 1600mz.

Im crossfireing 2 HD 6950's and expect to rip threw atleast 50 FPS during warzones...Im notice that one of my GPU's seems to be running at a stable 40% (which isnt good enough) but the other GPU seems to bounce the load around alot and not run stable like GPU1 it pings from 20% - 0% and all over the place..when I run Furmark both GPU's steady at 90+%.

It just doesnt make sense to me and im confused and lost for ideas :\
!