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Sapphire HD 6950 1GB CrossFire Scaling on Intel P67

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
6514d880db35de5a.jpg

Hi all, this is my HD 6950 CF review on P67.

Intel P55 as successor of mainstream CrossFire setup for mid budget user has ended and continue now with P67. We have to obey the rules of 8x + 8x PCI-E for CrossFire / Multi GPUs in its mainstream platform instead of 16x + 16x like what X58 could do. Intel seems continue the rules of it as P67 offers 8x + 8x PCI-E bandwidth however, I feel confidence to test with 8x + 8x dual only as the difference between 8x vs. 16x could only be noticed on very very high display resolution like 2560x1600 and higher by less than 5%, you might found in Google. In this short review, I did test sessions below:
  • CPU Clock affects on CrossFire setup, and
  • CrossFire performance scaling
I would like to say thanks to Sapphire for the video cards.

SAPPHIRE HD 6950 1GB
1083_20110124_8319_m.jpg
Output: 1 x Dual-Link DVI, 1 x HDMI 1.4a, 2 x Mini-DisplayPort, 1 x Single-Link DVI-D
GPU: 800 MHz Core Clock
Stream Processor: 1408 x Stream Processors
Memory: 1024 MB 256 -bit GDDR5 5000 MHz Effective
Here’s the product link from Sapphire web http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?leg=&psn=000101&pid=1083 and they have rich feature like
  • Advanced GDDR5 Memory Technology; GDDR5 memory provides twice the bandwidth per pin of GDDR3 memory, delivering more speed and higher bandwidth.
  • AMD Eyefinity; ATI Eyefinity technology maximises your field of view across up to three displays, fully engaging your peripheral vision. For gamers this puts you right IN the game and for other applications it helps to increase productivity by maximising your visual workspace so that you can see more windows simultaneously. ATI Eyefinity technology is also ideal for multimedia applications as it allows you to keep several ‘palettes’ or ‘panels’ open over a larger workspace whist you edit your images or videos
  • Dr.Mos; Highly integrated MOSFET components maximize power efficiency and thermal performance whilst keeping the physical footprint to a minimum
  • 40nm Process Technology; Cutting edge manufacturing process allows for efficient, high performance parts which use less power than their predecessors.
  • ATI Stream Technology; Accelerate the most demanding applications with ATI Stream technology and do more with your PC. ATI Stream Technology allows you to use the teraflops of compute power locked up in your graphics processer on tasks other than traditional graphics such as video encoding, at which the graphics processor is many, many times faster than using the CPU alone
  • ATI Avivo HD (DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray Playback); Watch the hottest Blu-ray movies or other HD content at full 1080p display resolution and beyond and enjoy a more feature rich experience with enhanced Unified Video Decoder(UVD)
  • ATI CrossFireX™ Multi-GPU Technology; Triple or Quadruple gaming power withATI CrossFireX™ Multi-GPU Technology.ATI CrossFireX technology supports up to four graphics cards to be used in a single system.
  • PCI-Express 2.0; The latest PCI-Express 2.0 specification doubles data throughput from 2.5Gbps to 5Gbps allowing you to exploit the full performance potential of your graphics card.
and many more, I couldn’t copy all to here and please kindly go to the product specification link I noted before.

BUNDLE PRODUCT
  • Sapphire HD 6950 1GB video card
  • CD Driver
  • User Manual
  • CrossFire Bridge
  • DVI to D-Sub analog converter
  • Mini DP to DP converter
  • HDMI 1.4a cable
  • 2 x 4-pin to 6 PCI-E power chord converter

GALLERY
thum_6514d880db36920b.jpg thum_6514d880db38c86d.jpg
thum_6514d880db3aeb4f.jpg thum_6514d881de471abc.jpg
thum_6514d880db3d1603.jpg thum_6514d880db3f3ccc.jpg
thum_6514d880db424093.jpg thum_6514d881de49800d.jpg
Sapphire designed of HD 6950 1GB were on their ego of color theme, sharpness, carbon sticker, and it looks beautiful! The video card looks sweet. The blue PCB was also done well there and it seems Sapphire made it with non-reference board layout as well with custom for cooling. The HD 6950 requires 2 x 6 PCI-E power chords and 4 x 6 PCI-E for CrossFire mode.

SYSTEM SETUP
Hardware
  • Sapphire HD 6950 1GB 2x
  • Intel Core i7 2600K
  • ASUS P8P67 Pro
  • GeIL Ultra PLUS 2x2GB PC12800 @ 2133MHz 7-10-7 1.625V
  • Cooler Master V6GT CPU Cooling
  • Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 600
  • G.Skill Phoenix Pro SSD (OS)
  • Western Digital Caviar Blue 2 x 500GB RAID-0 (Data and Games)
Software
  • Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit
  • AMD Catalyst 11.2 WHQL
  • GPU-Z
  • FurMark
  • Fraps
  • 3DMark 2006
  • 3DMark Vantage
  • 3DMark 11
  • Mafia 2
  • Lost Planet 2
  • Metro 2033
  • F1 2010
  • Dirt 2


CPU CLOCK SCALING ON CROSSFIRE
First test I ran the CrossFire’d system on stock clock Core i7 2600K 3400MHz with the Turbo on, but RAM I tweak to 2133 7-10-7-27 1T in order to maximize the memory bandwidth. I continue to second run with Core i7 2600K overclocked @ 5000MHz and RAM remain the same speed with first test was. In this session, we could note how big the differences between stock i7 2600K vs 5GHz in many 3D application both synthetic and real game. This is very important to note since I've seen many gamers afraid about CPU limiting their CrossFire GPU.

6514d880b9331f35.png
That 3DMark2006 result told to us of everything about the CPU clock. An very old synthetic dog in low 1280x1024 display with messy GPU scaling. We could easily increase the score number by tweak the CPU clock. I have to kick out the 2006 in my book as its bias to investigate the pure GPU raw performance. What about 3DMark Vantage and 11? The P mode form Vantage and 11 is still affected by the CPU clock scaling but not that much as 3DMark 2006.

6514d880b93457ae.png
In very intensive CPU game like Mafia 2, the CPU clock scaling affect on CrossFire performance climb upward.
*PhysX = off*

6514d880b9353e37.png
Core i7 2600K looks like dumb here just because the clock scaling doesn’t affect to frame rate at all.

6514d880b93624a8.png
I found very interesting result in F1 2010, game same as Dirt 2 that made with EGO Engine of Codemaster. The new F1 2010 loves the Sandy Bridge and P67 architecture.

Observation: We can enjoy CrossFire setup for gaming with stock CPU clock of Core i7 Sandy Bridge on P67 even without overclock it.
Edited by becco - 3/22/11 at 4:03am
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post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 
GPU CROSSFIRE SCALING
Second test is the comparison between single GPU vs. dual GPU on (dual) 8x P67 with Core i7 2600K @ 5000Mhz. Even though I noted before, its not necessary to overclock the Sandy Bridge for gaming with CF setup but I have choose the 5000MHz frequency to notice the performance differences by maximize the bandwidth. Here’s interesting scaling result below:
6514d880b9370b20.png

6514d880b937edb0.png

6514d880b938eb97.png

6514d880b939e1af.png

Observation: They’re scaling very good on P67 with existing WHQL driver Catalyst 11.2. I hope you ignore the weird 3DMark 2006 1280x1024 result as it doesn’t scale at there because of CPU limited the GPU.

SAPPHIRE HD6950 TEMPERATURE AND NOISE
IDLE
6514d880db33a7ed.jpg

FURMARK LOAD
6514d880db34dc89.jpg

Sapphire custom HD 6950 1GB in CF is cool with the idle of 44C (GPU #1) and 41C (GPU #2). I don’t use case at all when testing and my room ambient was 26 – 28C without air conditioner. The FurMark burn results 77C at maximum load. There’s also quieter fan speed in FurMark run I noted about 50dB record on my iPhone with decibel app.

SUMMARY
Its not necessary to overclock the new Intel Core i7 when gaming, expect for benchmarking. The system bandwidth and multi task capability is just enough to feed HD 6950 CrossFire in many stunning games.

AMD proof themselves in MultiGPU scaling with the Catalyst 11.x driver. I don’t feel micro stuttering at all on the games and apps I tested.

Thanks for read

__/becco\__
Edited by becco - 3/21/11 at 10:25pm
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post #3 of 16
Good stuff

Your M2033 score looks off, did you have DOF enabled?

[ATTACH]201392[/ATTACH]

Oh and you need to remove the external links from your sig.

Thanks
Edited by grunion - 3/21/11 at 10:06pm
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post #4 of 16
very nice review. +1rep
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by grunion;12821080 
Good stuff

Your M2033 score looks off, did you have DOF enabled?

Oh and you need to remove the external links from your sig.

Thanks
Yes, the DoF was ON
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post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by becco;12821105 
Yes, the DoF was ON

Thanks

Can you run it again with dof off, no one runs with dof enabled, it's at least a 30% perf hit.
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post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by grunion;12821119 
Thanks

Can you run it again with dof off, no one runs with dof enabled, it's at least a 30% perf hit.
Sure, but I'd like to wait the beast HD 6990 sample arrived and eager to do some comparisons with HD 6950 CF performance. I will share the result in this week bro, in planned.
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post #8 of 16
Why bother comparing 6950 1gb to 6990?
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post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsm106;12821308 
Why bother comparing 6950 1gb to 6990?
HD6950 CF, its not the single one.

I wanna see how high the new Antilles 6990 could fly over the dual Cayman Pro 6950 CF in regards of the new integrated CF 'engine' that Antilles had.
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post #10 of 16
Great Review Man!
CF scaling has improved a lot. It is good that users are getting more FPS for their money.

I still think the GTX 59O will bring the pain but we'll see Thursday (maybe)
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