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Crossfire 7970s FPS Drops

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 15, 2012 7:51:38 AM

Hey Everyone,

I was unable to find a thread similar to my problems but if someone else is feel free to post below.

I'm getting very frustrated with my graphics cards. So I have two brand new Diamond Brand 7970s (please don't post about why you are using two of them I just want advice on how to fix this problem I have). In games such as BF3 I will be playing for about 5 min then my fps drops from 120 on maxed settings (90 or so in high ccombat situations) down to about 40-50 (anytimes).. which is and extreme drop and very noticeable. Whats weird about this is, if I minimize the game and go back into it, it goes back up to 120 but then again, back down to 40-50 in a few min. I have GPU-Z on one of my other monitors and it shows a drop in the load of my first graphics card. It goes from both being at 90% varying only about 1-2%, which I figure is normal, to my first card being at 30-50%, ranging, and my second at 95%+. I've noticed it in Arma 2 (DayZ mod) and other games. This occurred after updating the graphics drivers. I used driver sweeper and everything, did a re-install of the drivers and this started. I then did the same thing but the problem didn't fix the one that was brought up. I do believe that I could have misused the program and didn't clear everything so, if someone could also leave a brief walk through of that, that would be great.

I forgot to mention it does not happen when the first card is running by itself.

My Rig is brand new only about a month or two.
I Have:
2: Diamond HD 7970s (not overclocked at the moment and newest drivers from the amd website)
Intel I5-3570k overclocked to 4.5ghz (Water cooled)
Asus Mother Board: P8z77-v Pro
16 GB of Hyper x Ram
OSZ 1000w Power supply
128gb SSD (OS and most games on this)
500gb Mechanical Harddrive
Windows 7 64 bit

P.S. Guys Please do not comment on my rig unless I missed something important or its possible parts that are conflicting. I do not want to get into a over powered rig debate.
a c 117 U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 8:31:26 AM

Hi, welcome to the world of AMD graphics drivers.

First off, disable any monitoring and overclocking software that you have monitoring your GPUs. This includes GPU-Z, MSI Afterburner, Riva Tuner, etc... In certain cases these can actually impair the operation of the cards because they make constant requests to hardware mapped addresses and this can slow down the GPU considerably.

Second, what version of the Catalyst drivers are you using? You didn't mention. 12.4 works fairly well and while 12.6 is looking great it is still in beta and problems like this can creep up. Since you said latest from the website I am assuming that means 12.4. If you are, try using the 12.6 beta and see if it helps, I've heard nothing but good things about it. You should also have the 12.4 CAP profiles or 12.6 Beta CAP profiles. CAP profiles are notorious for not installing properly so you should use the AMD installation utility to express remove all AMD software drivers, then remove the CAP profiles, reboot, reinstall the drivers, then reinstall the CAP profiles, then reboot one more time. Sheesh.

You should also remove the overclock from your CPU and see if the problem persists. With the PCIe and memory controllers being onboard an overclock could be causing problems that you don't even know about. PCIe has internal error correction and feedback.

Check for a firmware update for both your Asus motherboard and for your graphics cards. Asus had to release a few firmware updates for their X79 lineup specifically to address issues with the Radeon 7000 series. There have also been firmware updates for the 7970s themselves to deal with GDDR5 compatibility issues.

Some games simply have periodic problems with 7000 series Crossfire. For example, in Crysis 2 I have to set the motion blur from low -> medium -> low or the rendering will bounce around between two cards in fullscreen and only scale properly when windowed.
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a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 9:09:56 AM

To be sure it's not a hardware problem test each card individually and in different PCIe slots, also if you have another Crossfire connector test that also.

A question for Pinhedd, have Gigabyte released updated firmware? I haven't updated any firmware since I got this card at launch. If you have a link that would be great.
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Related resources
June 15, 2012 10:07:27 PM

So I tried a new install of the drivers no success. when I get home from work ill uninstall fraps cause that's kinda when it started was around the time I downloaded that. ill also uninstall gpu-z and MSI afterburner. it that fails undo the overclock on my CPU. once this is done I have no idea what I should do. before ill make sure my motherboard is up to date on drivers but I mean what else can I do.

Both cards work on their own so its not the cards that are the problem . one thing I noticed was that it started after I put in new drives so if all else fails I put in the disk that they came with and use the older drivers because they did not cause this problem.

please let me if there is anything else I can try or use to test what might be causing the problem. thanks
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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 10:20:24 PM

BF3 in particular has an in game FPS monitor and GPU/CPU usage monitor. Head to the geforce guides for more. http://www.geforce.com/Optimize/Guides/battlefield-3-tw...

Anyway, this to me sounds like purely a driver issue. As mentioned you may want to try reverting the the previous driver. Also, do you use the latest (and only the latest) CAP?

Another thing, what AA setting do you use? You can probably get away with 4xMSAA in game, but make sure that your CCC settings are on "Use Application Settings" for everything with BF3. If you happen to be forcing SSAA or something, then you'll definitely see FPS issues.
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June 15, 2012 11:44:17 PM

Ok thx. where can u find the CCC settings and what is AA I'm not familiar of what that is at the top of my head. yeah I plan on reverting to older drivers see if that fixes it.
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a c 99 U Graphics card
June 16, 2012 1:21:42 AM

Anti-aliasing helps smooth objects, instead of looking pixelated or jagged. Ambient occlusion and high anti-aliasing will definitely lower some frames.
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June 16, 2012 2:53:10 AM

I noticed that my cards were getting up to 70 degrees Celsius from msi afterburner. I was wondering if this could be the cause. If this would be, Ive never seen my cards get this hot. If my cards would have noticed this and backed off im guessing this would be why. I have a water cooled cpu, plus 4 fans on my computer. I'm not able to separate my cards anymore due to motherboard slots and my power supply being in the way so. I was wondering how I should fix this if its the case.

I unistalled the monitoring software and it still did it, I then re-installed gpu-z to check other things and this is when i noticed that my first card in particular was getting very hot.

This too never happened before my other drivers so.. Could it still be helpful to roll back on my drivers in order to fix this problem.
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a c 99 U Graphics card
June 16, 2012 3:21:22 AM

It could be, you can also, let CCC automatically adjust the fan as the temps rise. Just tick the option for AMD Overdrive. But don't tick the option for Manual Fan.
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a c 117 U Graphics card
June 16, 2012 3:45:59 AM

noxxguy said:
I noticed that my cards were getting up to 70 degrees Celsius from msi afterburner. I was wondering if this could be the cause. If this would be, Ive never seen my cards get this hot. If my cards would have noticed this and backed off im guessing this would be why. I have a water cooled cpu, plus 4 fans on my computer. I'm not able to separate my cards anymore due to motherboard slots and my power supply being in the way so. I was wondering how I should fix this if its the case.

I unistalled the monitoring software and it still did it, I then re-installed gpu-z to check other things and this is when i noticed that my first card in particular was getting very hot.

This too never happened before my other drivers so.. Could it still be helpful to roll back on my drivers in order to fix this problem.


70C is certainly warm to us but to electronic devices its on par with a nice summer breeze. 70C is actually on the lower end of standard operating temperatures for most graphics cards
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