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Sapphire 7870 XT Stuttering

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 17, 2013 10:52:06 PM

I just purchased a Sapphire 7870 XT http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I recently had a GTX 460, so I did the whole uninstall the Nvidia drivers thing; uninstall in windows, delete Nvidia folders everywhere, delete Nvidia folders in registry, driver sweeper in safe mode (because it was the only way I could get a few of the files left to delete) and then restart one last time to make sure everything was still gone.

Shut down and swapped for the new card, booted back up, verified no Nvidia anywhere, then installed Catalyst 13.1 downloaded directly from the AMD site.

I have only been playing Darksiders 2 recently and have been seeing some frame rate drops/ stuttering. It happens mostly when I am looking around and it will just lag for a second. Also, I will get a screen freeze and a grinding noise every now and then, seemed to be occuring when there was a nearby explosion.

Tried it out with Borderlands 2 and was getting more of the same. Nothing terrible, but its noticable and was not occuring with my 460.

I have been reading about these issues with the Tahiti cards and tried some fixes.

Downloaded Radeon Pro and use that to overclock to 1200 Core 1650 memory, which is still lower than a lot of people have been using around the web. I also enabled dynamic vsync as I saw this suggested to reduce some of the stuttering.

What I am trying to decide is whether or not to keep the card. Is this issue going to be solved any time soon? Is there another card I should get (preferably AMD now that I have those drivers and I like the free games)?

If anyone has some more things for me to try and/or can sum up what is causing this, that would be very helpful.

Thanks
February 18, 2013 8:22:54 PM

I also just picked up the same card from Newegg, I had to do an RMA on my first one (I kept having issues with my "Power Limiter" setting and random BSODs) on my new card I still have some issues with the "Power Limiter" as in I have to put it to +20% in order to reach the standard 975Mhz. Check those settings and make sure its good there. I just booted up Darksiders 2 and had no issues, on 1500Mhz Memory Clock (Can't get mine to go past 1500 and be stable) and 1100Mhz Core Clock. Borderlands 2 is also fine on my rig.

Take a look at the problem I was having before though, I posted on the Sapphire Forums, http://www.sapphireforum.com/showthread.php?30815-Probl...

Hope this helps you; The RMA didn't take long (you can have them send the new one out before they receive the old one), so it may be worth a try.
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February 18, 2013 10:09:22 PM

I havent been able to do all the tests that you have yet.

How would I go about adjusting the Power Limiter? Is it just putting 20% into the Power Field in Overdrive? I have tried using RadeonPro and that is nice because I can set profiles to load when I load my games. I used to use Afterburner with my old 460.

I guess I need to determine if my card is ok or not. Any thoughts on my other system components? I dont think I should be having any trouble with my other stuff (in signature), but who knows.

I am also going to try out the beta 13.2 tonight and see if that does anything.
Thanks for your help.
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February 18, 2013 11:49:58 PM

Yea I'm running the 13.2 Beta right now and haven't had many issues with it (I gained a bunch of FPS in Far Cry 3 with this latest version!). I'm running a little big newer components than you are, but I don't think it should make a huge difference, unless you are simply CPU Bottle-necked which I don't think you are (The easiest way to check is to look for your GPU usage and see if your getting less than 60fps with a small amount of GPU usage): Core i7 920, GA-X58A-UD3R, with 12GB DDR3. My monitor is kinda crappy, but it is 1920x1200 and this card hasn't had any issues with that. I do know that on Borderlands 2 if you don't have any kind of Hybrid Physx card and your running on high or medium Physx settings this can cause stuttering (sometimes under high Physx load I'll get some stuttering with my Hybrid Physx setup, mostly due to the limitations of Physx). I would suggest using something like MSI Afterburner and watch your clock speeds as you run, as well as your GPU usage and see if there are any noticeable spikes in usage or odd things going on or anything like that.

I just use the CCC Power Control setting and put it to +20% (sorry about that I thought it was called the Power Limiter setting haha, long day I guess xD)

Glad I could help :p  Hope you get your card working better!

Let me know if there is anything else you want to know :) 
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a c 173 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
February 19, 2013 12:06:38 AM

download the latest beta drivers. they help a lot of stuttering/frame latency issues. not 100% fix but better. Welcome to AMD drivers. That is why i switched to Nvidia.
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February 19, 2013 1:01:26 AM

Should I be deleting the previous AMD Drivers (13.1), then installing 13.2 with the install file or can I just install right over the top.

I have been an Nvidia guy ever since I started building computers, but that deal for the two free games on top of better performance/dollar in this series of cards had me switching. Hopefully I wont regret it...
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February 19, 2013 1:10:43 AM

No just install them on top it should work fine. You can do it either way really. If that doesn't work uninstall it then reinstall it.
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February 19, 2013 1:58:25 AM

I seem to be having much better luck with the beta drivers. I also followed what 13bgarli said and set my Power Tune Control to +20% in RadeonPro as well as mimicking your OC settings.

Hopefully this means AMD is working on improving the drivers for us. They should have some time to fine tune things now that the next gen cards arent coming out for a while.

Thanks for the help everyone, let me know if there is anything else I can do to improve my performance. Probably just patiently await better drivers.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
February 19, 2013 2:35:46 AM

something else to think about, is that different gpu architectures push your cpu a bit more, it could be your cpu not keeping up, its a fairly old architecture now.
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February 25, 2013 3:31:28 PM

13bgarli, you said your Borderlands 2 was fine. Mine seems to work fine until enemies enter the screen and then everything goes to hell. Frame rate is terrible. Walking around with no enemies around is perfect, but once something shows up, its terrible. Can you confirm this? I have seen some other posts around the internet about this. Running the latest 13.2 and using all the other things you suggested.
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February 25, 2013 8:52:24 PM

I can't say if it does work right now, as I don't have access to the computer until the weekend. When I was running 13.2 Beta 5 it was working fine, I was the new DLC and it worked great. I also went to the "Caustic Caverns" which is one of the more intensive scenes in the game and I never dropped below 45FPS. I would suggest trying a re-installation of the game perhaps (and deleting all the files in C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\my games\borderlands 2)? Like I said though, I'll try it this weekend again and see how it works.
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February 26, 2013 1:07:33 AM

I think after searching the internet, one of the issues is physx. With radeon cards, the workload for physx is relegated to the CPU, which could result in some of the issues I am seeing when multiple enemies show up.
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February 26, 2013 3:52:19 PM

So the Borderlands issue is definetely physx related. Had to perform a little workaround to get the physx lowered. I had it on high with my GTX 460, but apparently when you have a radeon card installed, the setting gets grayed out and you cant change it. Had to go into the willowengine.ini and set the setting to 0 (zero), which is low. After that, i was getting much better performance. Those of you with a little bit faster CPU's may not be taking the hit like I was, but that was definitely the problem.
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February 27, 2013 1:06:03 AM

Maybe that has something to do with the card being discounted and unsearchable on newegg.
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February 27, 2013 1:16:46 AM

13bgarli, already sold my 460, so thats a no go. Not a big deal for me anyway.

UCLA, I see its not on newegg anymore and amazon says they only have 2 more. Searching google hasnt turned up anything on this. Wonder what is up with that?
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February 27, 2013 1:24:08 AM

I made a thread about it but no one replied..it's strange.
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February 27, 2013 1:35:40 AM

Saw another response on another site saying perhaps the supply of those chips is gone and thats the end of it. Im sure someone will figure it out.
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February 27, 2013 1:39:47 AM

I might have to buy the powercolor 7870 myst then before they go out of stock if that is the reason the sapphire xt disappeared.
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March 1, 2013 8:59:54 PM

Well I'd suggest this card for sure :p  it gives a real good bang for your buck, and you get all those free games!
Just tried Resident Evil 6 benchmark at 1920x1200 and got an "S" rank too xD
Its a great card.
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March 11, 2013 1:16:48 AM

Best answer selected by billin30.
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