Hey guys, it's been a while since I haven't posted in forums, but I have some advice to ask.
Here are my specs.
Phenom 960T running at 3.2 (Using a thermaltake contact 29 cooler that blows to the top on a massive casefan)
I also pushed it to 3.8 with slight voltage increase, was stable but reverted back due to instability (most probably crossfire)
GA-990XA-UD3 AM3+ motherboard. It has 2x PCI-E, when both used I think it goes to 8x
Rest doesn't matter but I am quite proud of my Antec elevenhundred case, 256gig ADATA SSD, 500Gig WD Black and 2x1.5 Terra Green (1 sync to other)
I am happy with the overall performance of my PC running the cpu at around 3.2-3.4Ghz and using a single 5850
But as I have 2 5850's, I decided to crossfire (I used to farm bitcoins, reason why I have 2 of them)
The crossfire gave me practically 0 performance gain, if I didn't lose performance.
I run the latest ATI Drivers
I run the latest Mobo drivers.
Tested Battlefield3 and Red Orchestra 2
BF3 being the best benchmark, my CPU is bottlenecked at 100%
Overclocking the CPU makes a noticeable difference. 5 to 10 fps gain, overall much smoother.
I dropped the crossfire as I got a BSOD when trying to run a Company of Heroes game with 3 friends... so I Quickly removed overclock, removed the 2nd card... (COH had pixelated display in menu on full screen, I had to alt enter in windowed mode to get rid of pixels only to get bsod on maps start)
Questions for the gamers with better experience than me.
What do you recommend ?
1- Should I get the latest, fastest PileDriver chip ? (I know it's no I5 but I think it should outperform my phenom by a bit)
Would the fastest Piledriver balance my CPU bottleneck in Crossfire ?
2- Should I sell those 2 old 5850's and get myself a 660Ti or a 670 ? (I do consider getting the fastest piledriver sooner or later)
(I also always have preferred nvidia cards)
3- Can my power supply be causing video performance issues as I think a Phenom + 4 Harddrives + 2 5850's may pull close to it's limits.
Crossfire and SLI have issues and it looks like you have found one. I always recommend getting the fastest single card you can afford. It could have been a power issue, but it could also be a driver or cpu bottleneck. I would wait and see what the piledriver benches look like. Check to see what cards are best for the games you play and then choose AMD or Nvidia. I use both and have for some time. Each has things they are good at (besides games too-rendering, bit coin mining, folding@home).
5850 crossfire does NOT suck. You might have vram issues on BF3 and need to run on high not ultra, or when using lots of AA.
you already know you are.CPU bottle necked and need that overclock, but your PSU is horrible and probably causing the crashes. I wouldn't use it at all as you may damage something. Themaltake makes junk.