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Another Crossfire Rage thread

Tags:
  • Graphics Cards
  • Crossfire
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics Cards
September 17, 2012 6:49:02 PM

Hi everyone,

I've read up on the subject of crossfire and the many issues that may occur, but no post has offered a solution to my CF issue. I hope your insights may shed some light on the matter, so here goes:

This is my setup:
Core i7 870 @ 3.65ghz HT on
8GB Kingston VR DDR3 @1333mhz
Gigabyte GA-P55-USB3 (x16x4)
2xOCZ Agility 3 in Raid0
2x MSI Cyclone HD6850 OC Edition (925/1100) CCC 12.8/CAP2

Al benchmarks show crossfire is operational and gain +70% in score with both cards enabled (despite having an x16x4 interface), however in just about every game, I get negative scaling. There's 2 games where I actually see an increase in performance: Two Worlds 2 (great scaling!) and Battlefield 3 (but the microstutter pretty much ruins that one). My most recent purchase, Guild Wars 2, loses about 35 fps with crossfire enabled, other players seem to be getting great scaling since the release of 12.8 CAP2.

What makes my CF issues bizarre: Whenever a game takes a performance hit with CF enabled (negative scaling) GPU-Z reports higher GPU usage on the second card than the first card (often a large difference, for instance GW2 reports GPU2: 100%, GPU1: 25%). Searching the net I haven't come across anyone who has had a bigger GPU usage on the slave card than on the master card, so I'm guessing something's wrong.

What I've tried so far:
-Replacing the crossfire bridge
-Re-installing/Rolling back drivers
-Remove second card, reinstall drivers, put slave card back in
-Disable ULPS
-Testing both cards seperately
-Praying (hah hah hah, no.)

I'm running out of ideas, anyone got any suggestions? Thanks In advance!

PS: Forgive my poor grammar, I'm from Belgium.

More about : crossfire rage thread

September 17, 2012 6:54:36 PM

My suggestion: sell both cards and buy the best single card you can with the resultant money.
a c 276 U Graphics card
September 17, 2012 7:10:20 PM

What resolution are you gaming at (i.e. 1920 x 1080)?
Related resources
September 17, 2012 7:35:30 PM

Forgot to mention, sorry. I'm playing on 1080p, yes.
September 17, 2012 7:38:43 PM

Crossfire is a nightmare - there's no point in trying to fiddle with crossfire 6850s to get them to run. Sell them both and get a 7870. A factory overclocked 7870 will give you pretty close to 2x the performance of a 6850.

If you haven't done these steps, I'd recommend trying it (if you don't like the idea of selling your cards):
http://www.overclock.net/t/988215/how-to-properly-unins...
a c 276 U Graphics card
September 17, 2012 7:49:08 PM

Are you overclocking anything (CPU, GPU (beyond the factory OC), or memory)? If so, revert to stock speeds on all and test again.
September 18, 2012 6:48:23 AM

@BigMack70: You make a valid point, this post is literally my last attempt at getting my CF setup to run properly. If this doesn't yield any results it's back to a single GPU.
@ColGeek: I've only recently cranked up the clocks on my GPU & CPU, running at stock speed doesn't make any difference.

Thank you both for your input.
a c 276 U Graphics card
September 18, 2012 1:01:15 PM

Seems from looking at other sites that GW2 has some issues, in particular, with Crossfire configurations and your problem seems to be fairly common.

Since you have already installed 12.8 and CAP 2 the only other thing you can do is make sure GW2 is fully up to date with any available patches.

A single, stronger GPU would certainly solve the CF dilemma.

Good luck!
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2012 1:03:27 PM

COLGeek said:


A single, stronger GPU would certainly solve the CF dilemma.

Good luck!


agreed +1 I had crossfire 6870s and they were crap imo...
September 18, 2012 3:53:27 PM

I guess there's no point in postponing the inevitable. Back to single GPU it is.
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2012 4:14:07 PM

Lower end cards are usually responsible for most of the issues people have with CFX. I had amazing performance and perfect scaling with 6970's and little to no microstuttering.
September 18, 2012 5:59:17 PM

All CF/SLI setups have microstutter. It's just a question of if you notice it or not.

And it's not just midrange cards... I've had so many games that either have had glitches or just flat out not worked with CF 7970s that I disable it more than I use it.
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2012 6:09:01 PM

I don't think all setups have Microstutter, TriFire and TriSLI both seem to have less issues with it. Also, I'm pretty sensitive to Microstutter, I've noticed it my old HD 4850 crossfire rig, my brothers 6870 CFX rig and my friends GTX 560 Ti SLI rig, as well as my GTX 460 SLI rig. But with my old 6970's I didn't notice it at all.
September 18, 2012 6:25:44 PM

Sidequestion: Is there a tool/registry hack to even out the GPU usage in CF? It seems to put all the load on my second card, the first just hangs around 30%.
Google didn't come up with any results.
a c 276 U Graphics card
September 18, 2012 6:30:55 PM

kevroman said:
Sidequestion: Is there a tool/registry hack to even out the GPU usage in CF? It seems to put all the load on my second card, the first just hangs around 30%.
Google didn't come up with any results.

Not that I am aware of.
September 18, 2012 6:50:19 PM

You have to look at frametimes to know if you have or don't have microstutter. The only site I've seen do this is techreport, and every dual GPU setup they have looked at has microstutter to one degree or another. Sometimes it's minimal, sometimes it is horrible, but it's ALWAYS present to some degree - it's inherent to the technology.

I have not seen any tri- or quad- GPU analysis on this, maybe it does go away with extra GPUs, but I don't think there's been any good analysis done on that recently.
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2012 7:02:47 PM

"The performance of three- and four-way CrossFire setups not only surprised us, but also managed to utterly convince us that micro-stuttering doesn't have to affect your multi-GPU configuration. For some reason, the third GPU almost always eliminates micro stuttering and has a less-pronounced effect on performance."

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...
September 18, 2012 7:06:51 PM

Yeah sorry I should have been more clear - I've seen that Toms article. By recently I meant 7xxx series and 6xx series analysis.

They are so different in 2-card configs (they're much better about microstutter than 6xxx series and 5xx series cards were) that I don't know how they are in triple card configs. Maybe they're even better, I dunno - don't think anyone has tested it.
a c 1131 U Graphics card
September 18, 2012 7:16:54 PM

Quote:
So over the years Multi-GPU support has improved quite a bit, AMD still isn't up-to snuff at the level of NVIDIA though, multi-GPU supports still literally and directly remains the Achilles heel of ATI's Catalyst drivers. For years now we have been requesting user-based multi-GPU profiles. See when a new game comes out, multi-GPU support will not be supported by the Catalyst driver. ATI will always need to update this through drivers or downloadable profiles. What ATI needs to do is to allow the end user to make custom profiles per game. A small tip, renaming your game-executable towards a game title that is supported can, not always but often, help out."
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/radeon_hd_6850_amp...
September 18, 2012 7:17:47 PM

guru3d doesn't look at frametimes
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2012 9:54:59 PM

with 6870s the microstuttering was Very noticeable,

with gtx 560tis in SLi the microstutter (for me) is not noticeable at all

that has been my experience at least
January 7, 2013 5:33:15 PM

Reviving an old thread.
Turns out the rumors saying there's no noticable difference between running a x4x16 or x8x8 multi-GPU setup are just plain wrong. At least when it comes to my personal experience.
I bought a new CPU, MoBo and Ram shortly after giving up on getting my old setup to run properly. Currently my setup looks as follows:

Core i7 3820 @ 4.5Ghz
Corsair H80i closed loop water cooler
Asus Sabertooth x79 (PCI-E x16x16x8)
8GB Corsair XMS 7-7-8-20 @ 1666Mhz
2xOCZ Agility 3 in Raid0
2xHD6850 Cyclone Power Edition

Upgrading my motherboard to a full bandwith x16x16 PCI-E beast unlocked the true potential of my 2 HD6850's. I can run anything maxed out without any hiccups, getting great scaling and beating a GTX580 is practically all tests.

So if you're getting unusual bad performance out of your x4x16 Crossfire setup, consider upgrading your motherboard to x8x8 or x16x16 capable one.