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7850 Crossfire Troubleshooting

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 26, 2013 4:58:15 PM

Hello User's of Tom's Hardware,

Not long ago I purchased a second Sapphire Radeon 7850 2GB (Non-OC) to crossfire with another same model on my system.
When ever I play Battlefield 3 or any fullscreen demanding games that require DirectX 11, my PC crashes with a black screen and audio stutter that requires me to hold the power button and turn it back on to restart.
Minecraft is fine however, since I doubt it's resource heavy on the GPU's.

The first thing I did was re-install Battlefield 3. Still crashed.

I thought it was the common realtek onboard driver problems, so I disabled it through BIOS. To no avail it crashed.
Still fussy about having no sound, I purchased a DX Xonar 5.1 audio card, pc still crashes either way.
Next I turned off ALL overclocks and set Ram timings to auto, still screen freezing and audio stutter.

Ran Memtest86, passed, no errors.
Ran Furmark for the 15 minute benchmark, no crash.
Ran all torture tests of Prime95, each test was 30 minutes, no crash/errors/illegal sumouts.
I re-seated my ram, and tried them in pairs with different combinations.
I swapped card slots.

Added a 30mm fan to NB
Added a 40mm fan to chipset

PC crashes in games anyways.

I tried the video cards in another system, they crash too. But playing with the Sapphire HD6770/Phenom 1090t black edition in that other system is fine with no crashing. Both computers are running on CCC 12.10.

Thinking it was a harddrive problem, I set my SSD to Native IDE instead of AHCI, crash, stutter.

Next I rolled back drivers, and each time I rolled back I used [And purchased!] Driver Fusion, Registry Ccleaner, and PC Cleanup with Bitdefender.
The drivers I tried were: 12.10, 12.8, 12.7 beta, and finally, 11.12.
Still, black screen, audio stutter, hard reset.

Next I seated the Sapphire 6770 into my computer, no crash.

Right now, I am currently playing with one card in one slot in my current system. Known as "Card 1" in Slot "A" [Mentioned in my Signature]
No crash in battlefield 3.


So the next step I'll do is a re-insertion of Card 1 on Slot A
I'll keep you guys informed frequently on my progress.


PC specs:
Case: Coolermaster 690II Advanced
Motherboard: GA-970a-D3 v1.4
PSU: NZXT 750w 80plus
CPU: AMD FX-6300 Vishera
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD7850 Crossfired
SSD [Win7-64bit]: Adata SX900 128gb
HDD: Momentus XT Hybrid 500gb
RAM: Corsair Vengeance CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B
Cooling:
H100 + reservoir mod.
Push/Pull config.

CPU Idle, 8-15 degrees celcius, 61 degrees max with 30 minute prime95
GPU Idle, 24-32 degrees celcius, 64 degrees max with furmark 15 minute benchmark
January 26, 2013 6:32:29 PM

Card 1 on Slot A is successful

Card 1 on Slot B ends up with a black screen and audio stutter.
This is 5 minutes into a game of Battlefield 3

Next I'll do Card 2 on Slot A
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2013 6:42:18 PM

Hi, have you monitored the temps at all? I used to have dual 7850's, and they could run a little warm.
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January 26, 2013 6:54:20 PM

Hello! It goes up to 54 degrees max when playing Battlefield 3.
Otherwise using Furmark brings it up to 61.
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January 26, 2013 6:56:26 PM

Alright I'm going to try using Card 2 on Slot B...

I have a bad feeling about this one, since Card 1 seemed to crash on this slot..

If Slot B works, then I'll attempt to add the other card in for crossfire.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
January 26, 2013 6:58:55 PM

the few people here on toms that have used crossfire 7850's seem to have had issues, and ended up being faster wth a single card. Dual cards gave stuttering and/or fps drops. It might sound like a silly question, but have you installed a crossfire bridge between the cards? Also, when you install drivers for crossfire, you need to clean install them, then enable crossfire in ccc, then reboot. a couple months ago I used to have 2 x 6850's and got sick of the performance issues related to crossfire, it was great when it worked, but that was not without a lot of tweaking with radeonpro, and some games it just didnt like. Single card is the way to go unless you have really high end cards.

edit: i just saw your motherboard specs:
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16) (Note 3)
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)

there's your problem. a 4x slot for the second slot. This will never work well with crossfire. not to mention the 4x slot probably shares resources with onboard components like sata or usb. 2 8x slots or 2 16x slots is what you want. Sell or return your second card or update your motherboard.
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January 26, 2013 7:11:31 PM

Wow! That could most likely be the answer iam2thecrowe!

You do mention the exact symptoms that I'm currently going through.
But yes I have installed a crossfire bridge.
Also when I uninstall drivers, I use the Catalyst Uninstall Manager, with the express remove all option. Reboot, clear drivers with Driver Fusion, reboot, install new drivers, and reboot.

I will really consider updating my motherboard. But for now I'll continue with the Slot B test just in case.

Also, I'll keep you informed on anything. Thanks :D 

Edit: I just checked my motherboard box, they seem to have 2 x16's

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...
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a c 172 U Graphics card
January 26, 2013 7:18:06 PM

yes but 1 16x slot is "running at 4x", click on the specs of that link you posted and scroll down to find this info. the slot itself is 16x, but only has 4 lanes connected to it.
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January 26, 2013 7:24:31 PM

Ahhh! Okay, okay, sorry for the doubts I had in you.
Alright I'll get the motherboard checked out, or maybe the GPU returned/sold.

I'll let you know sometime this month..

Edit: Battlefield 3 just crashed on the x4 slot :p 
I figured that Furmark probably didn't cause the crossfire to crash because games use other onboard components that cause it to crash.
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January 29, 2013 1:42:11 AM

Alright, feels good to upgrade to the Crosshair V Formula-Z.

Motherboard implemented into my case, furmark 15 minutes; success, 3d mark - extreme full experience; success, prime95 30 minutes per torture test. Everything was ready to go.

Battlefield 3 sweet 100fps... Aaand, black screen and audio buzzing.
I tried again, screen freeze and audio buzzing. Doesn't seem like a graphics problem now... Back to the drawing board, I'll search around the forum for a fix.

If the solution is to underclock, well then there's an issue because I like having the full extent of my hardware to be used
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January 29, 2013 11:30:20 AM

Tried with a pair of 1gb ram sticks. Crashed within 5 minutes with the black screen and buzzing... Darn. I'll try with a single graphics card when I get back.
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January 29, 2013 2:53:21 PM

Ok, monitored my temps using GPU-Z and CPU-Z.
I used a single 7850, exactly after 5 minutes my PC black screened and buzzing sounds.

Default clocks at 860mhz core, 1200mhz memory, 54 degrees celcius and 100% load before crashing. The Dynamic memory usage was 300mb for 20 seconds before the crash. Voltages at 0.75v bumped up to 1.138v ingame. Fan speed was only 38%.

Addition: CPU temps went up to 46 degrees before the crash, 3.511ghz, 80% load.
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a b U Graphics card
January 29, 2013 5:05:04 PM

Might be the actual cards then.
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January 29, 2013 5:18:05 PM

I just did 2 furmark tests all while prime95 was running for all of the 30 minutes.
Both CPU and GPU never went over 64 degrees...

Alright, I'll do a final test with a 6770.... If this doesn't work then they're the actual cards.

But I'm looking at your signature and I don't think you had a problem with your 7850's?
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January 29, 2013 5:55:25 PM

6770 30 minutes of play and no crash!
I'd rather play with no crashes with low settings than ultra and 5 minute crashes..
I'd mark this as solved but I really don't want to RMA my cards, I'll see if I can get in depth with this situation.
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January 29, 2013 7:59:51 PM

Best answer selected by andrewsn101.
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