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7970 Crossfire Performance

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June 1, 2012 11:17:48 AM

Hi Forum,

I have my ASUS + MSI 7970 running at 1050 each in crossfire.

I'm using latest 12.4 drivers and 12.6 cap1 beta drivers (both from website).

I removed all drivers, reinstalled driver + cap, shutdown, inserted second 7970, rebooted and everything was working.

My CPU clocked at 3.7 and GPU usage in BF3 is approximately 60-70% each graphics card.

My FPS varies alot, ie. places like TV Station (top of the CT), Caspium Borders at point A looking down to D, my FPS is around 50 on ULTRA settings +MSAA 4.

Is this normal?

My CPU usage is close to 60-70% (8 threads) most of the time, CPU bottleneck?

I was just hoping for better minimum FPS.
a c 291 U Graphics card
June 1, 2012 11:21:12 AM

i7-950... Might be CPU, why don't you try clocking it a bit higher and check if FPS improves? Are you running anything in the background while gaming?
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June 1, 2012 11:22:09 AM

expensivecomputer said:
Hi Forum,

I have my ASUS + MSI 7970 running at 1050 each in crossfire.

I'm using latest 12.4 drivers and 12.6 cap1 beta drivers (both from website).

I removed all drivers, reinstalled driver + cap, shutdown, inserted second 7970, rebooted and everything was working.

My CPU clocked at 3.7 and GPU usage in BF3 is approximately 60-70% each graphics card.

My FPS varies alot, ie. places like TV Station (top of the CT), Caspium Borders at point A looking down to D, my FPS is around 50 on ULTRA settings +MSAA 4.

Is this normal?

My CPU usage is close to 60-70% (8 threads) most of the time, CPU bottleneck?

I was just hoping for better minimum FPS.





Also using the render.perfoverlay 1 in battlefield 3, the GPU line (green one) is alot higer than my CPU line.

CPU line is around 15-20 and GPU is at around 30-35.

I thought the GPU line should be at the bottom, being crossfire.
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Related resources
June 1, 2012 1:24:35 PM

i play at 1080p (lookin to go 120hz monitor).

I have't looked at 3dmark or unigine, any links to those things (i never use them).

I suppose my CPU is bottleneck, when i had it with HT off, all four cores were at 95-100%.

But i was just expecting my minimum FPS to be higher (it hasnt really changed from a single card perfomrance at the exact same spot = iv also run tests over 20 times) so i know its consistent.

But my FPS in general has increased, which is great, but yea just was expecting higher minimum fps in some spots.
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a c 231 U Graphics card
a b \ Driver
June 1, 2012 2:11:32 PM

Multi GPU support has typically been somehwahtof an Achilles Heel for AMD. Though vastly improved in recent years, we still see that out of the 11 games in the Guru3D test suite, the 7970 couldn't complete two of them.....this was expected to be resolved in future driver releases. As long as you stick w/ just 2 cards, you should be OK, tho expect to wait a while for CF fixes. Once working however, scaling is generally excellent.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7970-crossfire-...

Quote:
The past year if you have read up in our forums, AMD's Radeon team has been a step too slow with driver support. While there are monthly updates and hotfixes titles like Rage and Skyrim have been plagued by driver bugs, especially in Crossfire modes. It took AMD weeks to fix. When you drop 60 EUR on game you want to be able to play it on release day, period.

When we relate that to our test suite with CrossfireX in mind AMD did not return with a homerun either. We had some issues, COD MW2 had a negative scaling issue, Anno 1404 refused to scale properly below 1920x1200 (though that one might have been the one title severely CPU limited) and Dirt 2 showed massive graphics corruption. We inserted Anno 1404 but didn't even bother with the other two titles hence I did not include them in the benchmark session.

Obviously this topic is closely related towards the previous paragraph, but once Crossfire is properly supported, well it just doesn't disappoint. The games scale well with the new Tahiti GPU architecture. And depending on your monitor resolutions you'll see relative performance scaling go upwards with your monitor resolution. The modern GPU stringent titles scale anywhere from 1.6x towards a staggering 2x performance, and that's just impressive.
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June 1, 2012 2:50:32 PM

I am going with bottleneck too, a single card can churn out those FPS on a bit of a tweek.
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June 5, 2012 12:17:39 PM

BigMack70 said:
Dunno what your memory clock is, but I just ran my 7970s @ 1050/1400 and got this. I'm on the same driver setup as you (CCC 12.4 + CAP 12.6)

My takeaway from that:
-Your crossfire setup is working as it should (graphics subscores are very similar). This means you probably don't have any driver issues going on.
-Your Physics score is the difference in overall score, which is to be expected since I've got a stronger CPU.

My guess is that you're seeing a CPU bottleneck (although, that surprises me a lot... the 950 is a very good CPU). I'd try overclocking your CPU more and seeing if it helps at all in BF3. I'll benchmark some BF3 gameplay later on at some point and let you know my framerates/GPU usage/CPU usage for comparison.






Hi BigMack70,

My memory clock was stock at 1375. What did you get for your graphics score with 1050/1400. Hopefully i wasn't really much lower than yours in that regard.

I won't be able to overclock my CPU anymore, as the temperature will become an issue. On load in BF3 (if i turn settings down to obtain 100fps - for my 120hz gaming), it's temperatures consistently stay at around 62 degrees (maximum of like 69).

Can you test some points on battlefield 3 for me for comparisons sake at complete ultra settings + MSAAx4?
1. Caspium border -> spawn at A, and walk to the highest point of the hill closest to house structures at A, away from the lighthouse ** (and facing towards the map where the action is - ie. facing capture points C, D. On ultra settings etc i get about 60-65 (if i turn mesh down to medium i get like an extra 20 fps).

2. Sharqi Peninsula -> spawn at the TOP of TV Station point (G i think?) and face the battlefield (facing points A etc). I get around 50-55 fps at ultra settings. (turning mesh down to medium once again gives me like 15+ fps).

Those are the two main spots where i have consistently gotten the same results based on maxed ultra settings. Those are the points where i get low minimum fps. Generally my fps is good though.


I suppose crossfire doesn't really help minimum fps in some situations of the multiplayer maps?


Thanks for your help.
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June 6, 2012 2:37:02 AM

Hi BigMack70,

Thanks for your efforts. That is the correct point i was referring to. As i see from the picture your FPS was 61? so that helps alieviate my concerns that my cards are not performing right.

I'm assuming i'm at a bottleneck since when im using 4 cores only (not HT), my CPU usage would be 95-100 consistently. :( 

I'd make a substantial loss (well the performance wouldn't justify the cost) if i were to trade both my 7970 for 2 680. GTX 680 cheapest cost is $650 here. 7970 cheapest is $499 here. Unfortunate for me.

I see you have upped your voltage to 1.218. I use to clock mine to 1.25V at 1170 single card (MSI one at least, don't know what ASUS one is capable of).

However in crossfire i was a bit scared to increase the voltage due to my 850W PSU and heat. Not too sure how to do it entirely as well so i just left it at default voltage 1.174V (using MSI afterburner i'm assuming?)

I currently use CCC only.

Another question, if you may or may not know the answer to. My GPU-Z says both my cards are running at x16 at 2.0. So that means im running on x16/x16?

I've looked at newer motherboards and most of them change to x8/x8 once in crossfire/sli. Will i lose about 5% FPS performance going from x16/x16 to x8/x8 ? (This may contribute to me not upgrading my CPU at this point as the increase from new CPU may get counter balanced by the decrease from x16/x16 to x8/x8).

Thanks for your assistance.

Cheers.
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June 7, 2012 9:01:41 AM

i ran some more tests and i think i can confirm its CPU bottleneck.

I stood at different points of the map (ran a few trials), and when i increased my clock from 925 to 1130, there was absolutely zero increase in FPS.

I had GPU-Z and MSI afterburner on to ensure the new clocks were applied.

:(  Sad
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June 8, 2012 6:57:20 AM

BigMack70 said:
Bummer about the CPU bottleneck :( .

As to your question about crossfire/sli modes, I'd say that if you upgrade your CPU/mobo just make sure you upgrade to an Ivy Bridge CPU + decent Z77 motherboard. That should get you PCI-e 3.0 x8/x8 which is equivalent to PCI-e 2.0 x16/x16. You could always shell out for a super expensive Z77 board that has PCI-e 3.0 x16/x16, but nothing needs more bandwidth than PCI-e 2.0 x16/x16 right now.

Even PCI-e 2.0 x8/x8 won't result in too much performance loss (probably 1-2%):
http://tpucdn.com/reviews/Intel/Ivy_Bridge_PCI-Express_Scaling/images/perfrel_1920.gif




According to that graph it looks quite marginal.

1. In terms of motherboards i had my eye on this one:
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/45270-z77-extreme4

2. I had a look at the CPUs, i7-3770K and the 2600K/2700K.

i7-3770K = $400
i7-2600K/2700K = $330/$345.

Is the i7-3770K worth the extra $60 (perhaps long term perspective)? The last i remember reading about Ivy were they ran hotter, and were only about.. 2-5% faster clock for clock compared to Sandy Bridge.

However running hotter meant lower clock.

Do you think an Ivy would last long enough? (4 years, where after 2 years i'd upgrade my graphics cards to new generation).

Or perhaps i should just wait until next year and upgrade to another CPU.

I'll do some more research too.

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a c 143 U Graphics card
June 8, 2012 12:03:29 PM

Any of you get the same FPS while playing single player?
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June 21, 2012 9:32:47 AM

BigMack70 said:
Well, whether something will last "long enough" or not almost entirely depends on your expecations of what it will do. So, no real way to answer that question - I certainly don't expect to upgrade my 2600k until the next Intel 'tock' after Haswell (so, in 3-4 years).

But, you never know. The big wild card in the next few years for gaming is that the new console gen will be coming out, and we just don't know how far or how little that is going to help advance game technology.

Personally, I would get a 2600k for $330 and spend the extra $70 on an awesome CPU cooler, allowing an easy overclock. The 2600k is more overclocking friendly than the 3770k.

However, if you're not real interested in overclocking past 4.4 GHz (achievable on almost any decent aftermarket heatsink), get the 3770k - it overclocks great to a certain point, it just isn't going to go as high as the 2600k.

I'm using ASRock's z68 extreme7 board and I love it. It's basically the same as their z77 extreme4 except the z77 obviously has the newer chipset and is PCI-e 3.0 x8/x8 (rather than PCI-e 2.0 x16/x16). Definitely a good choice IMO. And I think ASRock has the best looking motherboards out there, though that's a matter of preference obviously :) 

:edit: Just to throw this out there: The only problem that it sounds like you're having is that you're getting ~55-60fps minimum framerates in battlefield 3. If it were me, I'd still consider that smooth gameplay and not worth an upgrade. I'd wait until I started seeing poor performance in multiple games due to a CPU bottleneck.


Hi,

been so busy at work, haven't been checking forums.

Yea i've decided to purchase a AsRock Z77 Extreme4 Motherboard
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/45270-z77-extreme4

and i7-2700K (since the ivy is like $60 more and runs hot).
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/43105-bx80623i72700...

but i'm having a problem regarding ram (i heard CL7 etc is good, as in it represents low timings?). Does 1333hz or 1600hz matter for gaming?
I was eyeing this one out:
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/40620-f3-10666cl7d-...

However they have the fin and i was wandering if that would be a problem for a NH DH14 cooler? Perhaps someone could assist me in picking some 8GB ram from the scorptec website. People on memory/motherboard forum aren't assisting me.

Cheers.

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a b U Graphics card
June 21, 2012 9:52:27 AM

Hi Dude,

I'm also experiencing some CPU bottlenecks with a single 7970 in games like BF3 and WoW. After reading this thread I think I will definitely be upgrading my 920 before I get a second 7970.

If you are going to upgrade at this point I would certainly get a CPU with HT. With the new generation of console expected to use more cores I would expect HT to become quite important in the near future.

2600k seems a great choice even with 3770k on the market.
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June 21, 2012 10:04:05 AM

joedjnpc said:
Hi Dude,

I'm also experiencing some CPU bottlenecks with a single 7970 in games like BF3 and WoW. After reading this thread I think I will definitely be upgrading my 920 before I get a second 7970.

If you are going to upgrade at this point I would certainly get a CPU with HT. With the new generation of console expected to use more cores I would expect HT to become quite important in the near future.

2600k seems a great choice even with 3770k on the market.



Yes Hyperthreading certainly is useful with the amount of GPU power i've got. When i turn it off, my FPS goes down with my current 7970 crossfire set up due to bottleneck.
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June 22, 2012 12:52:01 PM

Anyone else can help me make a selection? Much appreciated.
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June 22, 2012 2:33:32 PM

Hi Mack, the 2600k cost 335$ and the 2700k cost 339$, so i figured i'd get the 2700K.

Do you have any knowledge on the RAM selection?
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June 22, 2012 3:10:12 PM

Do i have to overclokc the RAM to reach the 1600hz? I mean i know with my current ram, it's default is 1000hz unless i turn on XMP .

I never made much sense when i read up about memory, so im not sure if what i wrote just made sense to you lol
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