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Drastically lower performance with Crossfire

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I recently purchased a second HD7850 to join my first one in Crossfire. I found it odd, however, when all of my games seemed to take a hit to their performance since the second one was added. I updated my drivers to 13.1, and then to the 13.3 beta, which did not improve anything. I installed the latest profiles today and still nothing has changed. I'm running a triple screen 5760x1080 setup, on which one card was able to handle Tomb Raider with High settings with about 25fps. Adding the second card however brought me down to 6-10fps, and the game is stretched across all three screens as if I were only running in 1920x1080.

Loading the game with Crossfire enabled takes around 1.5 minutes, while with it disabled things are loaded in about 10 seconds.

I tried running other games with the same setup, and got similar results. Borderlands 2 looked right and did not stretch, but the performance took a hit from the typical 30fps down to about 10. Same goes for SimCity and Metro 2033. GPU-Z shows that the default clock for the second card is 900MHz while the primary one is 950MHz. Could this be causing an issue? Here are screenshots: (crossfire is disabled)

Primary Card:


Secondary Card:


It also seems that the bandwidth of the second card is significantly lower than the primary, does that just mean that it's not in use at the moment?
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post #2 of 14
Have you disabled ulps?

Did you remove all previous drivers before installing the other versions?

Were those screen shots taken while you were in game?

Was crossfire enabled while testing?
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post #3 of 14
You have a bios mismatch and your cards are not set to the same speeds...

Either way something is goofy. Have you tried the second card buy itself to verify it is working normally?

Also what board are you running. I have a pair of 7950's and the buss speed is the same on both in or out of game.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ah I should have looked at the bios version there. I'll try updating them both, do a complete driver reinstall and disable ULPS and see how things work. Where would I find the proper BIOS version? Are all 7850 cards compatible with the same version or are there variations per manufacturer?

I'm running an ASUS M4A89GTD Pro motherboard.

The primary card is a different model so the factory overclock is different than the other. I tried using Afterburner to underclock it / overclock the other one to match it, but I can't find any way to control an individual card.

Also, the screenshots were taken out-of-game. Should I post some in-game shots as well?
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post #5 of 14
Is the crossfire bridge plugged in? I've forgotten to do it a number of times..
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
The crossfire bridge is indeed connected. I even tried reversing it just to see if it made a difference. rolleyes.gif

Here's are screenshots during gameplay:

Primary:


Secondary:
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post #7 of 14
It might just be a peeve of mine, but your BIOS versions are pretty far apart. I'd consider flashing the older board, even if that results in dropping it's base core clock from 950 to 900 MHz in the process. I've see some strange things in the past with SLI and Crossfire both, using dissimilar brands and BIOS versions. Are they the same part number board from MSI?

That 015.015.000.002.000000 is the very first release BIOS for a 7870. Get it up to 015.017.xxx.xxx.xxxxxx and see what happens.

Greg
Edited by hammong - 3/17/13 at 8:02pm
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your reply, hammong. I'm rather new to flashing BIOS versions, would I be safe to take the this:
http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/118520/MSI.HD7850.2048.120306.html
and flash it onto the card, or is there a specific one for each card model? The card with the older BIOS has printed on it "V273 - 1.0" while the other one says "V273 - 2.1". Should different PCB versions be a concern, or does one BIOS fit all?
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post #9 of 14
That's a delicate question. What you should do is run GPU-Z and look at the Device ID for the older board. If it matches the Device ID on the TechPowerUp BIOS download page, and has the same amount of VRAM, it should work just fine. If you see multiple BIOS versions on the list, and some have a lower core clock, you might want to start with the lowest one and work your way up.

*EDIT* Yeah I just looked at your GPU-Z screenshots. Both of your boards have the same Device ID, and it matches the TechPowerUp BIOS download page you linked. You SHOULD be able to proceed. Be 100% sure to BACK UP your existing BIOS version, and I'd pull your newer card out of the machine while you do the flashing, just to be sure you flash the right one. =)

BIOS releases are indeed specific for various models, brand, and versions of cards. Even within a single brand (say MSI) you might have 4 or 5 variants of a 7850 card, each with different RAM amounts and base clock speeds. The DEVICE ID is what identifies your particular board in GPU-Z, and provides the key to selecting the proper BIOS file to load. Loading the WRONG BIOS can result in a bricked card, so examine the DEVICE ID carefully before flashing.

Greg

p.s. Did I mention to BACK UP your existing BIOS before flashing? =)
Edited by hammong - 3/18/13 at 9:05pm
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
I apologize for the week-late response, I've been trying to fiddle with different methods of flashing BIOS versions to both my graphics cards, but I've had no luck. ATIflash keeps giving me the error "0fl01" saying that the write failed, regardless of whether I use the -f flag when flashing, and I unlocked the BIOS beforehand as well. I tried taking the BIOS from both cards and flashing them onto each other, and tried the BIOS from the link I had earlier on the older card, but nothing has worked, they've all returned the same error. I'm stuck, and I very much believe that the BIOS mismatch is the cause of my issues. If anybody knows of any way to fix this, it would be very much appreciated!
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