I have had a Radeon HD 6870 for a couple of weeks now, and it does pretty much everything I need it to (for now), however after a recent attempt to crossfire it with a friend's 6850, it has been acting up. After we were done trying to crossfire (which did not go well, some games got worse frame-rates than before!!??), I re-installed catalyst, and assumed that would be it. However, now games that used to work just fine before the X-fire attempt work... well, weird.
Well, on most of the indie games that I played prior to the attempt (Super Meat Boy, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, etc...) would run at 1920x1080 maxed out @ 60fps, which is pretty typical performance. However, now they run at 60fps MOST of the time, but drop quite randomly to 30fps. Not only does it make it hard to play the games when your game timer just went down by 50%, but it also screws with me recording gameplay for youtube and such.
Any ideas what could be the issue? - I will re-install catalyst again and post results later.
I also took apart my gfx card recently to see if I could put a custom cooler on it (which I can), and may have accidentally rubbed off a little bit of thermal paste. However, my temperatures are not any worse, so I kind of doubt that is the issue.
Tried it, uninstalled, re-installed, still get frame drops at random. The weird thing is, in games like Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, the frame drops are NOT random. They happen consistently in very specific areas of the map. After restarting, frame drops continue happening in ONLY those areas. I thought maybe the vga gets overloaded with what it has to render, but then realized that certain areas run at proper fps, even though they have considerably more details and moving objects and stuff...
Also, after uninstalling and re-installing, MSI Afterburner says that my core clock is 450MHz and My MEM clock is 525MHz. This is completely wrong, as it SHOULD be 900MHz and 1050MHz. So effectively, my card is running at exactly half speed for some reason. Will moving the sliders to the correct position be enough, or should I try something else?
Also, after running Kombuster (which gave me lower fps than before the X-fire fiasco), MSI shows that my core clock was running at 775MHz and my MEM clock was @ 1050MHz under load. While these are still the wrong numbers, it's closer to what it should be. Why is MSI lying to me, telling me that my max clock speed is 450MHz, and why is my card underclocked?
Will try those. However, last night I set the clocks to the correct settings with Afterburner, and left it to run a 4 hour burn in with kombuster. I don't know if that would change anything, but it did. Insanely twisted shadow planet works just fine now. Still need to check my other games to see if I'm getting the correct fps, but I sure hope so!
Should I even bother with 12.6 if I find that it works fine as is?
So, all my games are running faster than they were when I started this topic, but they are still slower than they should be, if that makes any sense. I guess this speed boost is enough for some games like ITSP, but not for others like SMB...
I think I got it. Someone on Legend of Grimrock forums was talking about adaptive vsync, and how it forces your screen to multiples of 60. Apparently, if at any point the fps drops below 60, adaptive vsync forces it to the next multiple (30). While this is not an issue on high end cards (your 7850 for example), my 6870 is not really considered high end in today's market (it was considered mid range when it first came out, actually) so chances are, it is incapable of running SMB at 1080p with a 100% constant 60fps.
(should have mentioned this before, but when I say "running", I really mean running the game while recording with fraps @29.97 fps, full frame res. )
Oh, that's what was going on. Just lower settings if they are too high for your 6870. Yes, V-Sync hurts performance if your FPS doesn't stay above the refresh rate of the display that you use for gaming, which is generally 60Hz. If it drops below 60FPS with a 60Hz display, then it drops own to the greatest factor of 60 that your 6870 can maintain.
I think that there was also a bug with fraps, because if my framerate dropped below 40 while recording, fraps would force it to 30, even though it should have been able to recover from the temporary drop. anyways, thanks for all your help! I've got it all worked out now, and everything is great!