Need AMD Crossfire help!

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Graphics' started by Brianpilotdude, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. Brianpilotdude

    Brianpilotdude New Member

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    Hey Guys,

    I have 2 HIS Radeon HD6790 GPUs and I would like to run crossfire. The problem I am running into is my motherboard's (Asus Sabertooth X58) PCI Express slots are to close together and because of the cooling, the top card runs WAY to hot. My other problem is when I crossfire the cards, I can't hardly see an increase in performance. For instance, I use a GUIMINER bitcoin miner and when I use 1 card I get about 215.0 MH/s and when I crossfire the cards, this number hardly increases, when it should double according to the numbers.

    What I am here to ask is, for the cooling, how can I solve this? Is a new motherboard the way to go? If so, which one? I have noticed the a lack if X58 motherboards on the market and the ones that I find are either $100 and too cheap or pushing $400-$500. I can't figure it out..

    And what might I look into with optimizing my Crossfire performance?

    Thank you in advance
    Brian

    My Setup
    Antec 1200
    Intel Core i7 920 4.0GHz
    Asus Sabertooth X58
    Antec Kuhler 920
    HIS Radeon HD6790
    Kingwin 1000watt PSU
    HITACHI 750GB 7200RPM
    Corsair Vengance 8gb DDR3
    Creative Sound Blaster Fatal1ty Recon 3D
     
  2. GeneralHiningII

    GeneralHiningII Honorable Member

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    And that, my dear sir, is exactly why you never use AMD cards.

    Ok, jokes aside:

    There IS NO WAY you can solve the cooling problem, except to buy a new motherboard - I'll give you a list of possible options later on.


    Crossfire/SLI is using two or more graphics cards on the same motherboard.
    THIS DOES NOT MEAN IT DOUBLES THE POWER
    What Crossfire/SLI actually does is - it simply splits the load into the two different cards.

    Let me give you an example.

    Pretend you're rendering a picture - this picture is big, and it stresses your graphics card to, say, 90%.
    If you use two cards, however, the Crossfire/SLI setting will simply split the load; this means that each card is responsible for rendering half of the image (ie: each card now has 45% load instead of 90% load).

    TL;DR - Crossfire doesn't double the speed.


    Motherboards: the i7 920 uses the outdated LGA 1366 socket
    (May I add - the i7 920 is a rather outdated processor - using the two AMD 6790's in crossfire and that old processor on the same system, you're bound to run into a bottleneck, which is probably why the Crossfire isn't really increasing the speed)
    which is using the X58 chipset. This chipset is rather old as well, so don't expect to milk out too much extra speed from your graphics card.

    My advice - build a new computer. Your processor and motherboard are far to old to really let your graphics cards shine, so you can either bin the graphics cards and wait 'til later, or start from scratch again (figuratively speaking, keep your RAM, HDD and whatever).
     
  3. Brianpilotdude

    Brianpilotdude New Member

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    I am aware of how Crossfire works, my bad on saying it would "double" the power.

    ON the subject of a new mobo and processor, what might be a good route, without breaking the bank? I would like to get away from 1366, probably get up to 2011 and get going, but without bottlenecking. Ideas?

    Thanks
    Brian
     
  4. GeneralHiningII

    GeneralHiningII Honorable Member

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    the 2011 socket (the extreme i7 processors) would probably break your bank straight away - the 2011 processor I'd go for would be either the 3930K or 3960X, both of which are over $500. Besides, with those two graphic cards, an Ivy Bridge i5 would be good enough (in my opinion at least).

    What I suggest - instead of the 2011 socket, just upgrade to the LGA 1155 and get an i5 3570k; $250, which is half of the price of the processors I mentioned before.

    Then for the mobo (Z77 chipset), there are quite a few options:

    The MSI GD65 Z77 motherboard comes in a nice blue colour, and with enough space to house your cards without many problems. $169, and to be honest with you, their BIOS layout is pretty impressive.
    Newegg.com - MSI Z77A-GD65 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

    The AsRock (AsRock is a subisdiary of this Chinese company, which owns ASUS) Z77 Extreme4 motherboard has GOLDEN CAPACITATORS, so it does look very beast-y like when you put it with your cards. $140, not the motherboard I would choose, but I suppose that's only because I lean towards MSI/EVGA.
    Newegg.com - ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    The Gigabyte Z77X UD5H (UD stands for Ultra Durable) motherboard also comes in blue, and like the MSI board, the BIOS is also very interesting, especially for those with an eye for design. Although Gigabyte's boards from a few generations back (Z68 for example) were rather rushed and not as well crafted, you really can't say the same for this one. For about $180, it isn't too cheap, but it's results don't disappoint.
    Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    The ASUS P8Z77-V PRO motherboard also, yep you guessed it, comes in blue. The BIOS isn't as flashy as MSI or Gigabyte, but I guess it does compensate for that with the visual qualities of the motherboard. The heatsinks look like small cities (yeah, they actually do) so that's a +1 from me. The awesome thing about this as well is that it has BIOS flashback, so you can save your BIOS settings on to a USB and then revert to the last save if something goes wrong. This motherboard also comes with a WiFi receiver, so if your ethernet cable is too short, you can use the antenna and access the internet through WiFi. $200 though, so it may exceed your limits.
    Newegg.com - ASUS P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    Any of these motherboards would be pretty good, and if you add the prices up (~$160 + ~$250 = ~$410) it's still cheaper than one of the socket 2011 processors! So a very sweet deal all round! :)
     
  5. Brianpilotdude

    Brianpilotdude New Member

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    Good lord you opened the flood gates! Thank you for all of the info, should make my life a lot easier :)

    Thanks
    Brian
     
  6. GeneralHiningII

    GeneralHiningII Honorable Member

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    No worries mate, glad to help you out :)

    Also, some new information - since you're using the crossfire setup, it'd be better if you got a motherboard that "supports" dual graphics cards better.

    So - four new motherboards that will probably be better for you.

    Newegg.com - GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard
    The G1.Sniper 3 from Gigabyte has more space between the PCIe Slots, so the overall heat of your cards will be less than if you stuck them on to the boards I mention before. It comes in a nice green and black colour, but sadly the chipset heatsink no longer looks like the magazine from a gun. That detail aside, though, it supports SATA III (6GB/s transfer between motherboard and Hard Drive/SSD) and a host of USB 3.0 ports. Slightly more expensive though, at $269, but both the processor and this motherboard are just about the i7's price, and in the long run you'd probably be able to get more from this than from the motherboards I mentioned before.

    Newegg.com - ASRock Z77 Extreme9 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    This motherboard looks like, in just one word, beast. The heatsinks look like... I actually don't know what they look like, but they're gold and silver so that'd look pretty nice with a set of flashing RAM sticks (if you're planning on upgrading RAM - Corsair's Dominator Platinum or Crucial's Ballistix Tracers have nice lights). It is, however, rather expensive and shows up at $369. Really, though, if you have money to spend on two 6790's then you should be able to afford this. But, to each his own, I guess. It's your choice.

    Newegg.com - ECS Golden Z77H2-AX(1.0) LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    If you thought the AsRock Z77 Extreme9 was the best looker, well, you're wrong. This one has FRICKIN GOLDEN HEATSINKS, GOLDEN EVERYTHING. The heatsinks next to the socket give the processor a house that looks something like Superman's Fortress of Solitude. So much gold, so much gold, so much gold. There is one downside to this - the overall performance is not as good as the other two, so it's your choice - looks or power? It's also at $269 though, so this isn't a choice to rule out.

    Last of all...
    Newegg.com - EVGA Z77 FTW 151-IB-E699-KR LGA 1155 Intel Z77 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard
    EVGA's own Z77 SLI/Crossfire motherboard - the EVGA Z77 FTW. Although it doesn't have many flashy heatsinks next to the processor, it does have a fan on the chipset (which means slightly louder and more power consumption, but it probably looks better). Like all the motherboards I've shown you in this post, the PCIe slots are far enough from each other to allow adequate space for cooling your graphics cards. It also has, in my opinion, the best performance overall out of the 4. And, at $180, it's the small package that big things come in.


    These motherboards are all relatively expensive, but if you plan on keeping your computer for about 3 years without major upgrades, I can assure you that any choice wouldn't be a bad choice.
     
  7. Brianpilotdude

    Brianpilotdude New Member

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    I like the look of that last Evga board. I think that and the 3570k are going to be exactly what I do.

    Thanks for all the information!
     
  8. Brianpilotdude

    Brianpilotdude New Member

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    Sadly, my case (Antec 1200) wont take EATX mobos...
     
  9. Brianpilotdude

    Brianpilotdude New Member

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    Well actually it will fit, but it wont be perfect. With a tiny it of modding it will be alright :)
     
  10. GeneralHiningII

    GeneralHiningII Honorable Member

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    Word of advice - if the board won't fit without modding, you might run into some problems (source: friend's experience).

    An extra suggestion:
    The LCS (LiquiCoolingSys) for your CPU is rather old for such a new motherboard and processor (assuming you'll upgrade to the EVGA and 3570k). However, your graphics card was from ~2010 so... the i5 2500K is a cheaper and probably more suitable product:
    So really, seeing since you've got two already-power-hungry GPU's, the small bit of extra power from the processor probably won't make a difference.
    This is, of course, assuming you won't upgrade your graphics cards any time in the near future.
     
  11. Brianpilotdude

    Brianpilotdude New Member

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    A
    I have done some research on modding the 1200 for EATX and besides losing a little space for cable management (which I don't have a problem with) the motherboard seems to fit fine. I do plan at some point to upgrade to like an Obsidian 800D.

    On the topic of the processor, I think I might like getting the 3570k, because every time I have bought something for this system I went for the "save money" route, and I am eating my words at every corner
    I am very happy with my CPU cooler and I don't plan on upgrading, why would I? Under load it keeps my i7 very cool, and it already accepts 1155. Thoughts?

    I'm not sure how soon I might upgrade my cards. Obviously they're.not top end, but they're not slouches for sure, and I'm quite impressed with them.

    Another reason I'd go for a better processor in the long run is because I use programs that are power hungry (like auto cad, media editing etc) which I realize those are GPU hungry as well, but they pull a nice amount our of the processor.

    Thanks
    Brian
     
  12. GeneralHiningII

    GeneralHiningII Honorable Member

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    The 800D is MASSIVE. MASSIVE as in MASSIVE BIG HOLY***********************************RGWREIT@$T@G@$*%T$^#T$*@*(@$(&%T@$$&(% BIG.
    Here's a suggestion for a case - Corsair Carbide 500R. Looks like a boxed up stormtrooper, and if you add LED Fans such as "http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/wp-content/uploads/102g.jpg" it does look pretty sweet. All Corsair cases (post-2005) have the rubber grommets and holes for cable management so that won't be any problem.

    And it always happens to us. We say "Oh, I'll just go for a $1.5k computer, no worries" and we end up with a system that's past the 2000 mark. If you're using programs like AutoCAD, Media Editing (photoshop I suppose?) and the like, you'd do better off with the latest generation i7 processors instead of the i5.

    Plus if you don't overclock, for about 50 buck cheaper you can get the i7 3770 (without the "K").

    The two 6970's are relatively good cards (take that as a compliment, coming from someone who supports NVIDIA all the way and sits on AMD's face) but, as you said, not the best.


    Here are my recommendations:
    The only reason why I'm telling you to get the older i5 is because all the other parts of your system are just about 1 year old. There's no sense in putting a processor from march 2012 into a system made in march 2011.
    Your graphics cards were from 2010.
    Your cooler was from 2011.
    Your RAM (because you gave no specific version) was from 2011.
    so if you put in the 3570K and EVGA FTW into a 2011 system, you wouldn't be able to get the most out of your computer.

    That's all I'm willing to say. It's all down to your choice, but if it was me, I'd just get the new mobo, the i5 2500K and be happy for another year or so, then build a new one from scratch.
     
  13. Brianpilotdude

    Brianpilotdude New Member

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    Part of the reason I like the 800D is because I could fit my truck in it.

    I do get where you're coming from, but I don't want to downgrade.in my CPU. I want a small upgrade if possible and be able to use my cards. I don't want to have to buy a new processor for at least 18 months, and if that means getting one that's a little to good right now, that's fine with me. I like the idea of the 3570, is this going to out perform my 920? If not and my only options are to get a lesser CPU then I'm just going to buy a new X58 mobo and upgrade the whole system in the future. That's what works best for me.

    Thanks
    Brian
     
  14. Brianpilotdude

    Brianpilotdude New Member

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    And I do over clock, and I pull everything I can get out of the CPU.
     
  15. Brianpilotdude

    Brianpilotdude New Member

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    Just re-read your post about the newer i7 and that might be the way to go. Ugh, I can't make up my mind!
     
  16. Brianpilotdude

    Brianpilotdude New Member

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    Actually after all of this, looks like I might just sell my system, and build a new, better one.

    I will have my specs later.
     
  17. Brianpilotdude

    Brianpilotdude New Member

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    So I think i'm ready to build an up to date computer, and I think I have the parts I want. I'm not sure how you get the "dates" of when parts come out, so please let me know if pieces here are from drastically different years, I want the most out of my system :)

    Corsair 800D

    [h=1]Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000[/h]
    [h=1]EVGA Z77 FTW 151-IB-E699-KR LGA 1155 Intel Z77 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard[/h]
    [h=1]Thermaltake CLW0217 Water 2.0 Extreme/All-In-One Liquid Cooling System[/h]
    CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B

    Antec TPQ-1200 1200W Continuous Power with PowerCache Technology SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular ...

    EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1461-KR GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video ... (2 of these in SLI)

    Then my Hitachi 750 gig HDD I already have, DVD burner a couple cold cathodes and some extra fans.

    How does this look?

    Thanks
    Brian
     
  18. GeneralHiningII

    GeneralHiningII Honorable Member

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    Ok - where I'm coming from:

    With a computer builder's perspective, it makes no sense to upgrade an old computer with just one or two new parts. In your example, (in my opinion) it makes no sense in adding the 3570k (2012) into your system (which has parts going back into 2010).

    Now, with your new proposed build:
    When I look at it, it doesn't add up. Like what I just said in the previous paragraph, try and make a build with parts released around the same time.

    Points: (I'll give recommendations later in this post)
    First point: The EVGA Z77 FTW was designed for people with multiple GPU-configs. See the large space between the PCIe slots, and the massive chipset? That's all for the multi-GPU people. I'm not saying that it's a bad option, but I don't really think it'd be the best choice for your new system.

    Second Point: See how you got an i7 3770? AND the EVGA Z77 FTW? AND the 1200W Power Supply? Now look at your GPU. A GTX 560, not even the Titanium (Ti) version. The 560 was released about a year before the i7 3770. The 560 doesn't need 1200W of power, and with your current setup, 750W is more than enough.

    For the motherboard, it's all your choice. But to be really, really, really, really, really, really honest with you, it really doesn't suit your build. The Graphics Card is also outdated, and, frankly, the architecture of the 500 series (Fermi) is POUNDED TO DUST by the new Kepler Architecture, which is featured in the 600 series.

    Two suggestions:
    1: If you're dead set on using the GTX 560, then go ahead, but I'd change the motherboard for something cheaper such as the ASROCK z77 Extreme4 or a Gigabyte Z77 UD3H.
    2: You can, instead, swap the GPU for: (Newegg.com - MSI N660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card)
    The 660Ti uses the new Kepler architecture, and it's a decent price for such a good GPU. It comes with MSI Afterburner so Overclocking is as easy as winking. Then, if you really want, you can use the Z77 FTW, or, instead, you can go for
    this: (Newegg.com - ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard) which has armour plating, better cooling options and dust defenders and the like.
    For a PSU, swap the 1200 for a (Newegg.com - CORSAIR HX Series HX850 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply) 850W PSU.

    That's what I would do.
     
  19. Brianpilotdude

    Brianpilotdude New Member

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    Exactly why I asked. I don't know when these things came out. I will look into what you've showed me here.

    Thanks
    Brian
     
  20. GeneralHiningII

    GeneralHiningII Honorable Member

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