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CrossFireX Radeon 6950 2gb - Mixing brands and Microstutter

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
July 3, 2012 12:50:25 PM

I currently have a HIS Radeon 6950 2gb, purchased about 6-8 months ago. They no longer manufacture this particular model (MSI only makes the IceQ turbo OC'd card now I think), and it is really hard to find another of the older model at a decent price. It runs stock temps, I have not OC'd it manually.

I want to purchase an additional Radeon 6950 2gb, but I would have to get a different brand (probably XFX, as I've seen a number of them around Newegg).

Would having 2 different brand cards impact the likelihood of encountering microstutter? As it has to do with the difference between draw times of the cards, would having 2 different brand cards (even at the same clock speeds) be an issue?

Would like to hear from people who have had experience mixing and matching different brand cards.

I am aware that you can theoretically Crossfire different brands and even different models without issue, but I have also read that it is best to use 2 identical cards (which logically implies that NOT using 2 identical cards could potentially lead to issues).

Motherboard: ASRock 990FX Extreme3 AM3+ AMD 990FX (Will run cards at 16x/16x)

July 3, 2012 2:27:06 PM

try to look for the other 6950 but with the same specs as the first, exact specs would be even better.
if not then you can always use something like MSi Afterburner or similar program to control both cards separately and clock them the same speeds.

(you can try looking on Amazon and/or eBay for the exact model of the first 6950..)

no lead problems with identical GPU's and never even read a thread with someone having that issue, have heard of it before though yes.
x16/x16 - yes it (your motherboard) will/does run it.

one more thing:
micro-stuttering can also be minimal or eliminated with a strong enough processor + good overclock.
what do you have.?

I have looked for the exact model, and have found it but with a greatly inflated price. It would be easy enough to find another 6950 2gb card with stock speeds, but I have not read any forum posts with someone reporting firsthand mixing different brands of cards with positive/negative results (not that no one has ever done it, but no one has posted their results).

I have a Phenom II x6 1090t (3.2 / 3.6 turbo), stock speeds. Don't care much for OCing

Unsure what you mean by 'no lead problems' - could you please clarify?

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a b U Graphics card
July 3, 2012 2:49:26 PM

Ok, the BRAND of the card does not matter at all. The only thing you need to be concerned about is the core clock. Two cards running the same clock speed will run just fine together out of the box. You run into issues when you start mixing different clocks, but overclocking/underclocking can fix that problem easily, just as urban said, using MSI Afterburner or similar programs.

As for Microstuttering, with quality, mid-high end cards like the 6950 and a good processor like you have, you will not see an issue with microstuttering.
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July 3, 2012 2:58:49 PM

the lead problems, never-mind that I mis-read your question..
reporting different brands is a non-factor and often won't be mentioned because of the fact you have to set them at exact speeds anyways.
strong processor you have but should look into bumping the 'multi' a few times for a boost.
rest of specs, got SSD.?

My apologies, should have just done this from the start :) 

ASRock 990FX Extreme3 AM3+ AMD 990FX
Phenom II x6 1090t 3.2/3.6 turbo, Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2
HIS Radeon 6950 2gb, Accelero Xtreme II
3x4gb G.Skill Ripjaws, 1600
120gb Mushkin Enhanced SSD
1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3
HAF 912 case, 2x200mm, 1x140mm, 1x120mm

Of note, the primary reasons I want to CF on the GPU is to run the newest DX11 features - particularly the new tessellation features. They look great but I can't quite get the FPS with DX11. Crysis 2 Ultra settings with HD textures pack runs avg 45-50 FPS w/o DX11. When I turn on the DX11 features, it drops to avg about 20-25 FPS (unplayable in my books for a game that fast paced).
July 3, 2012 5:04:52 PM

makes total sense to me bro....
nice rig as well.. :) 

my thing is for you is that the 1090T is an unlocked processor.
so simply going into the BIOS and raising the multi (2) times only and having all settings on auto or where they are now.!!
will not be any detriment to your set-up and will have it running @ 3.6GHz and 4.0GHz turbo.
simple as that.
then if you haven't done so, set your RAM to specs (time) so it runs @ 1600MHz and not 1333MHz.
now your really set..

Hey thanks man :) 

As far as the OC goes, I just fried my old mobo (MSI 870-G45) about 2 days ago doing some OC work... I didn't think I was pushing voltages to any sort of crazy level, but it looks like the caps I blew weren't properly cooled anyways (cheaper board, etc). In it's credit, it did register my RAM at 1600 right off the bat which was nice. I might mess around with some OC again but I'm a little apprehensive now lol (and so is my wallet)

Thanks for all the help!
July 3, 2012 5:06:05 PM

Best answer selected by defever3.