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I feel like I'm not getting the full effect of my crossfired cards?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 27, 2012 3:48:52 AM

I bought an Alienware aurora R4 off of eBay. It's video cards are 2 crossfired AMD Radeon HD 7950s, each card having 3GB of video ram. (supposedly)

When I play games, I feel like the cards aren't even crossfired at all. Yes I can run the games on ultra, but the performance is choppy. Even on the lowest settings the games can be quite choppy. I honestly can't tell a difference in framerate between low and ultra, its pretty much the same.
I have an HDMI to DVI-D connection, just one. I don't know much about crossfiring cards. Am I supposed to hook up both cards to my monitor or something?

I've always preferred Nvidia because I've heard good (better compared to amd) things about them, but I'm not sure if I should switch. For one, I can run the games on ultra with what I have, but the framerates vary even on low settings. Money is sort of an issue. I want a video card(s) that could run my games on ultra without the unexplainable framerate issues. If these cards have 3GBs of video ram and my games only need 1 to run on medium-high why am I getting this framerate problem?

The rest of my computer is fine. It has 8GB of ram (which I plan to add more in the future) as well as an i7 and liquid cooling.

Should I get a new card? I know the 7950s are kind of outdated (well, thats what hours of research has told me), so maybe I should just upgrade? If so, what kind of card could I upgrade to that has better performance but isn't incredibly expensive? I spent quite a lot on the computer so its not like I can just go out and buy a $600 video card. If thats the only option though, then I will probably stick with what I have or fork out more money.
Also, just to let you know, the computer has a 875 watt power supply.

Sorry if this topic is stupid, I'm kind of new to the PC gaming world. :p 
a c 114 U Graphics card
October 27, 2012 4:05:50 AM

What game and what cpu?

79XX cards are AMDs current gen cards. They should not be THAT bad(Better then my 5870 :)  ).

You do not need to connect both to the screen, they should have a connector from card to card inside the system.

Please ensure you are using the latest drivers as they have crossfire profiles for newer games. Some games will not even use crossfire either, but most of those run fine on one(Older).
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a b U Graphics card
October 27, 2012 4:06:08 AM

Lol I think you must have lots of things wrong for information. Firstly the 7950 is one of the fastest cards on the market (fourth best single GPU card) and it only came out earlier this year so no their not outdated.

What you're talking about almost seems like microstutter could be the issue (although normally that isn't an issue with a higher end card. I'd recommend running fraps for one and also try taking one card out and see if theirs still issues.

Memory doesn't mean anything unless you're playing across many frames and very high AA. With a single monitor you won't be able to max three GB of GDDR3 memory. It is mainly the GPU itself that controls the FPS. What is your current CPU? That could possibly be the limiting factor. You also never mentioned what games you were trying to run. You only hook the monitor up to the first GPU.

As for the AMD vs. Nvidia I'd argue for AMD being better but that's just me and I don't need a flame war over this. If your system does have 8 GB of DDR3 memory at the moment their is no logical reason to upgrade for gaming you won't use even that much.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
October 27, 2012 4:16:42 AM

What CPU do you have in that system? If you can't tell a difference between low and ultra settings, that usually means the CPU is holding things back.

Perhaps you can tell use the details of the system, including monitor(s). Also, download GPU-Z and make sure crossfire is enabled and the bus interface is correct.
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October 27, 2012 4:23:13 AM

The problem is just with Battlefield 3. My other games don't seem to have this issue, as I can max them out and I don't have any framerate drops at all. Skyrim kind of has the issue as well, but not nearly as bad. Battlefield 3's constant framerate dropping is really getting annoying, and its actually disrupting my gameplay. Skyrim is still playable.

I read somewhere that sometimes crossfiring cards can sometimes make performance worse than make it better. Could that be the case here?

I shouldn't be having this kind of framerate issues with a card that's apparently not outdated and has 3GB of video ram (on each card.) I even tried playing Battlefield 3 on the lowest settings, that did not fix my framerate issues. They stayed exactly the same.

My processor is an intel i7-3820 at 3.60GHz (quad core.)

@andrewcarr: I'm not going to flame you, I've just heard Nvidia cards tend to be faster. I guess it depends on the type of person you're talking to, lol.
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Best solution

a c 217 U Graphics card
October 27, 2012 4:25:14 AM

Have you downloaded the latest Crossfire Application Profiles? You get it on the same page as the drivers on AMD.com.
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October 27, 2012 4:46:10 AM

bystander said:
Have you downloaded the latest Crossfire Application Profiles? You get it on the same page as the drivers on AMD.com.


They were already installed, so I tried reinstalling them and it seems to have done the trick. I average a playable framerate both in fullscreen and windowed.

Thanks. :D 
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October 27, 2012 4:46:18 AM

Best answer selected by shreds97.
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