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Crossfire Conundrum

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Alright, so I have an issue. I currently have a 5970 with an EK block. I'm thinking of adding a 5870 in the second x16 slot for better performance in EyeFinity. However, on an Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z, space is limited and I wouldn't be able to keep my sound card due to the 5870 being a dual-slot. So here are my resolutions:

1. Place 5870 in top x16 slot. Place 5970 in bottom x16 slot with single slot bracket. Sound card stays in bottom slot.
2. Place 5970 in top x16 slot. Place 5870 in bottom x16 slot (if a single slot version can be found aside from EyeFinity 6 models, they're just too expensive). Sound card stays in bottom slot.
3. Remove sound card. This isn't really an option, so don't suggest it.

My main concern is the performance difference with the 5970 not being in the primary slot. Will there be a noticeable difference? 5 or 10FPS isn't a killer issue to me, but like 20+ would be concerning.


Side note: Is it worth adding the 5870?

Thanks!
     
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post #2 of 25
#1 seems like the only option?





As for adding a 5870, I dunno that's upto you and your goals. I'd probably watercool the 2nd card too.
Edited by tsm106 - 12/28/11 at 5:30pm
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post #3 of 25
i feel your pain... i made the mistake of buying the ST and my new mobo has no pci and now i have no sound card anymore.... i can offer you no solution but i wish you luck.
    
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post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsm106 View Post

#1 seems like the only option?
As for adding a 5870, I dunno that's upto you and your goals. I'd probably watercool the 2nd card too.

That's what I'm thinking, just concerned about the possible performance issues and whether its worth it.

I am certainly going to watercool it, there would be no point to do one just to have a wind tunnel on the second one, lol.
Quote:
Originally Posted by microman View Post

i feel your pain... i made the mistake of buying the ST and my new mobo has no pci and now i have no sound card anymore.... i can offer you no solution but i wish you luck.

Sorry to hear that. Sell/trade it for an STX? Thanks!
     
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post #5 of 25

Is is worth it? Yes. Have a look here; http://www.overclock.net/t/641815/oddball-trifire-5970-5850-benches

 

But do further research, you might have to lose the sound card because I have seen one member here having issue to maintain the x8 lanes with the PCIe2.0x4_1 populated. Or you might have disable USB controller, don't remember. The manual is not clear at all about this. I had this pict saved to show him the PCIe slots.

 

 

Capture.JPG


Edited by Ken1649 - 12/28/11 at 5:53pm
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post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken1649 View Post

Is is worth it? Yes. Have a look here; http://www.overclock.net/t/641815/oddball-trifire-5970-5850-benches

 

But do further research, you might have to lose the sound card because I have seen one member here having issue to maintain the x8 lanes with the PCIe2.0x4_1 populated. Or you might have disable USB controller, don't remember. The manual is not clear at all about this. I had this pict saved to show him the PCIe slots.

 

 

Capture.JPG


We meet again, lol. That thread is outrageous and might have just convinced me, but didn't quite solve my main issue of is there a significant performance change when using the 5970 in the second x16 slot? This is about a $250 investment, so I'd like to know things aren't gonna go to hell when I put this in, lol. My concerns:

1. 5970 performance thing.
2. Sound card populating the x4 issue you just informed me of frown.gif (if you mean the USB 3 controller, I don't have any problem doing that, won't use it anytime soon).
3. Power supply sufficient? Just read a thread where people were advising above 850W for 5970/58x0 tri-fire and I only have 750. Theoretically, I draw around 600 with TDP's + 100 for various other items (fans, pump, etc). Overclocking would of course change these, but by how much?

Nothing in this hobby is simple ever. Other than a free motherboard with CPU purchase at Microcenter, lol.
     
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post #7 of 25
Is what you mean is that the bottom slot will be at 8x, and the top one at 16x, so you're concerned about the 5970 being in the 8x slot and the 5870 in the 16x slot?

If so, I wouldn't worry too much about that ... I don't think you'll lose all that much in the way of FPS w/that configuration.

I will tell you though that at one point, I had Crossfire 5850's, and I liked them a lot, but there were just certain games where, in certain spots, I would get annoying FPS dips, which bugged me greatly. So I added a third 5850 for some Tri-Fire action, as I'd read many places that they gave a nice 40-45% fps boost.

But guess what? All that happened when I added the third card was that the GPU usage went down in the troublesome areas of these games, and the FPS barely budged upwards. This was with my current rig, aside from the GTX470's I have now.

Although I saw the advertised 45% improvement on something like Vantage Extreme mode, adding the 3rd card did NOT improve my gameplay experience one bit in any of the three games I wanted it to. I ended up returning the 3rd card a week later.

For the record, the troublesome games were Just Cause 2, Stalker CoP, and Metro ... all maxed out (or nearly maxed in the case of Metro) at 1920x1200.
    
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post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brettjv View Post

Is what you mean is that the bottom slot will be at 8x, and the top one at 16x, so you're concerned about the 5970 being in the 8x slot and the 5870 in the 16x slot?
If so, I wouldn't worry too much about that ... I don't think you'll lose all that much in the way of FPS w/that configuration.
I will tell you though that at one point, I had Crossfire 5850's, and I liked them a lot, but there were just certain games where, in certain spots, I would get annoying FPS dips, which bugged me greatly. So I added a third 5850 for some Tri-Fire action, as I'd read many places that they gave a nice 40-45% fps boost.
But guess what? All that happened when I added the third card was that the GPU usage went down in the troublesome areas of these games, and the FPS barely budged upwards. This was with my current rig, aside from the GTX470's I have now.
Although I saw the advertised 45% improvement on something like Vantage Extreme mode, adding the 3rd card did NOT improve my gameplay experience one bit in any of the three games I wanted it to. I ended up returning the 3rd card a week later.
For the record, the troublesome games were Just Cause 2, Stalker CoP, and Metro ... all maxed out (or nearly maxed in the case of Metro) at 1920x1200.

Well, actually they split to dual x8 slots when populated, but the main concern is whether the 5970 will lose performance when in the bottom slot where it would be at a lower priority.

See, I can understand the performance being about the same or even going down at 1080/1200P. However, this is EyeFinity so its going to utilize the extra horsepower, theoretically at least.

EDIT: Also, I only play BC2/BF3 pretty much so that's all I really want improvement in (BF3 mainly). Interesting that Metro didn't see a gain.
Edited by TheJesus - 12/28/11 at 6:26pm
     
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post #9 of 25

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJesus View Post


We meet again, lol. That thread is outrageous and might have just convinced me, but didn't quite solve my main issue of is there a significant performance change when using the 5970 in the second x16 slot? This is about a $250 investment, so I'd like to know things aren't gonna go to hell when I put this in, lol. My concerns:

1. 5970 performance thing.
2. Sound card populating the x4 issue you just informed me of frown.gif (if you mean the USB 3 controller, I don't have any problem doing that, won't use it anytime soon).
3. Power supply sufficient? Just read a thread where people were advising above 850W for 5970/58x0 tri-fire and I only have 750. Theoretically, I draw around 600 with TDP's + 100 for various other items (fans, pump, etc). Overclocking would of course change these, but by how much?

Nothing in this hobby is simple ever. Other than a free motherboard with CPU purchase at Microcenter, lol.


Yes, we meet again and I am glad we don't have to argue "active" over "passive" lol

 

Back on topic, from x16 to x8 is not a concern even for a dual-GPU 5970 will not be a ble to saturate it @x8.

 

My concern is, with all the PCIe slots populated, you will not be able to maintain x8/x8/x1. Let's not guessing here. Shoot Asus Tech a ticket for confirmation.

 

IIRC, one user having your identical boards had issues. I couldn't dig it out from more than 2,000 sub'd threads. This is the recent discussion with one user who has a board with more lanes. Have a look here; http://www.overclock.net/t/1171700/sapphire-trixx-says-pci-e-x4#post_15750675

 

 

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post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken1649 View Post




Yes, we meet again and I am glad we don't have to argue "active" over "passive" lol

Back on topic, from x16 to x8 is not a concern even for a dual-GPU 5970 will not be a ble to saturate it @x8.

My concern is, with all the PCIe slots populated, you will not be able to maintain x8/x8/x1. Let's not guessing here. Shoot Asus Tech a ticket for confirmation.

IIRC, one user having your identical boards had issues. I couldn't dig it out from more than 2,000 sub'd threads. This is the recent discussion with one user who has a board with more lanes. Have a look here; http://www.overclock.net/t/1171700/sapphire-trixx-says-pci-e-x4#post_15750675


We weren't really arguing about passive versus active since the adapter was already active, lol. Wasn't powered which apparently is an issue for my card.

That's what I've seen around the internet. The issue that I'm not sure is answerable without contacting AMD is if having the 5970 in the first slot will gain benefits simply because its in the higher priority slot. I'm seeing a few emails in my future *sigh*.

According to that thread he didn't really notice a big issue with performance. I feel like it should be able to maintain the lanes, but we'll see if Asus will respond within a year of my email.
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2600K @ 5.0 ASUS Maximus IV Extreme Sapphire/Powercolor 7950 CF G.Skill Ripjaws X 4x4GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
OCZ Vertex 3 60GB's RAID 0 VelociRaptor 300GB EK Maximus IV Block EK FC-7950 Block x2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK Supreme HF Block D5 w/ BP Dress-up Kit XSPC EX240 Black Ice SR1 360 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Primochill PrimoFlex 1/2" ID Black 14 NZXT Fans Windows 7 Professional x64 3x AOC 2436V 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate BF3 Edition Corsair HX1000 NZXT Switch 810 Black Razer Imperator BF3 Edition 
AudioAudio
Asus Xonar Essence STX Beyerdynamic DT770 250 Ohm 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z AMD Radeon HD 5970 G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Vertex 3 60GB RAID 0 VelociRaptor 300GB XSPC EX240 Rad Black Ice GT 92MM Rad 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Black Ice GT 120MM Rad EK Supreme HF CPU Block EK 5970 Block XSPC 450 Pump/Res Combo 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Professional x64 3x AOC 2436vw Razer Black Widow Ultimate BF3 Edition Rosewill 750W HIVE 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
NZXT Vulcan Razer Imperator BF3 Edition Razer Scarab BF3 Edition ASUS Xonar Essence STX 
Audio
Beyerdynamic DT770 250 Ohm 
  hide details  
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2600K @ 5.0 ASUS Maximus IV Extreme Sapphire/Powercolor 7950 CF G.Skill Ripjaws X 4x4GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
OCZ Vertex 3 60GB's RAID 0 VelociRaptor 300GB EK Maximus IV Block EK FC-7950 Block x2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK Supreme HF Block D5 w/ BP Dress-up Kit XSPC EX240 Black Ice SR1 360 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Primochill PrimoFlex 1/2" ID Black 14 NZXT Fans Windows 7 Professional x64 3x AOC 2436V 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate BF3 Edition Corsair HX1000 NZXT Switch 810 Black Razer Imperator BF3 Edition 
AudioAudio
Asus Xonar Essence STX Beyerdynamic DT770 250 Ohm 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z AMD Radeon HD 5970 G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Vertex 3 60GB RAID 0 VelociRaptor 300GB XSPC EX240 Rad Black Ice GT 92MM Rad 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Black Ice GT 120MM Rad EK Supreme HF CPU Block EK 5970 Block XSPC 450 Pump/Res Combo 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Professional x64 3x AOC 2436vw Razer Black Widow Ultimate BF3 Edition Rosewill 750W HIVE 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
NZXT Vulcan Razer Imperator BF3 Edition Razer Scarab BF3 Edition ASUS Xonar Essence STX 
Audio
Beyerdynamic DT770 250 Ohm 
  hide details  
Reply
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