Crossfire (only 1 card working fully, other isn't 15 to 40 percent)

Dec 26, 2018
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Hey guys like the thread title states I'm having some trouble with crossfire. This is my first crossfire setup so I'm completely new to this. I understand not all games work properly with it and all of that jazz Haha. But here's my problem.
When playin certain games my card will only utilize part of the second card. First card can be under 80 percent use at 80 degrees(normal for a 7970) and the second one runs cooler cause it's the newer 280x(but same internal makeup) and only runs at 15 to 40%. If I play gta v and turn back direct x to 10.1 it utilizes both cards up to around 80 percent each. But if I play far cry 5 it uses one in full and the other is always at around 15 to 40 percent. And I can tell when the other card gets up there in percents because it actually increases frames, but when it drops back down to 15 from 40 or so the frames drop again. I'm monitoring the usage in gpu z and AMD radon, when the card is in higher use the mhz jump to what they should be but when it's down at 15 the mhz are at like 500 instead of 1100. The cards are the same but they have different clock speeds. The 290x comes in at 1100mhz and 1500mem and the older 7970 comes in at 1050mhz and 1375mem. I've oc the old card to 1100mhz and 1450mem before so I know it can go higher. But I have both cards set to base clocks. Do I need to equal them out or something? The weird part also is that the main gpu is the one not working fully. The hd7970 is the one working properly and its seated in my second slot and the hdmi is plugged into the r9 280x that's only running at a tenth of what it should. I've only had this problem with far cry 5 and final fantasy XV but I then realized that even tho final fantasy has a profile on crossfire its not compatible Haha so weird. I see frame increases too which makes no sense. But it does the same thing and runs one card almost fully and the second one at a tenth or 15 to 40 percent. I've read that I should turn off turbo usb so I'm gonna try that today soon and see if it affects anything. I'm just confused. Both cards work and are connected and are showing use but one is just so much less with most games! Halp lol.

Specs (I'm aware my cpu sucks and is bottlencking a bit)
Cpu AMD a10 6800k 4.2ghz quad core
16gb ram ddr3
1x hd7970 msi twin frozr
1x r9 280x gigabyte oc edition
850w sea sonic psu
Asus f2a85-m mobo
 

Rogue Leader

Titan
Moderator
You have multiple problems.

First CPU bottleneck is dragging performance down.

Secondly while the 7970 and 280x are basically the same card, the faster card is dragged down to the slower one, so if your 7970 has a lower clock than the 280x it will get slowed to that.

The reality is with such a slow CPU but with GPU performance (in Crossfire) thats at a level of faster than a new RX 590 (probably even close to an RX Vega 56) you are going to get strange and inconsistent performance. Crossfire support is spotty to say the least. As long as your temps are good too, I would say this is how its going to work until you get a better CPU behind it.
 
Dec 26, 2018
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hey i appreciate the answer =). i figure the cpu was bottlenecking the fps in games. but odly enough it's only showing around 80 percent use on all four cores. is this maxed out? i thought they could reach 100 or 99 before maxing out. also in game while playing far cry i dont drop below 30 fps and am usually pulling around 37 to 47 fps with cpu usage at 80 and gpu is only at like 30 to 40 percent each. is this normal? and again is this an effect of the bottleneck from my cpu if there is one?
 
Dec 26, 2018
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oh and as for the cards, the older hd7970 is a oc twin frozr edition so it's almost at the same clock as the 280x. 7970 come stock at 1050 and 1375 and the 280x comes in at 1100 and 1500. i put both cards at 1100 and 1450. i've owned the 7970 for years and thats actually what i have it constantly oc'd to anyways haha. and they're both pulling the same ammount of usage now. but it's still very low at 30 to 40 percent. but i cant get over 60fps. is there something wrong with the card settings causing that or is it just the cpu like you mentioned. thanks again for all the help!
 

Rogue Leader

Titan
Moderator
I still think its the CPU. Your CPU may only be showing 80% usage, but that depends how threaded the game you are running is and what program you are measuring with. The game if it only uses 2 cores could be maxing them out yet only will show 50% usage, because 2 cores are 0.

I'm telling you, you just plain have WAY more GPU processing power than CPU, it will never run properly.
 
Dec 26, 2018
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rogue leader is absolutely correct. i had a crappy cpu because the 4 cores only had 4 virtual cores and some of them couldnt be used because they were dedicated to on board graphics processing. i've recently sourced a gaming pc for nearly free and using server parts. i now am getting 60 fps(drops to 53 at the lowest) in bfV with high settings in 1080p. the gpu is maxed out now and sometimes i get a frame drop to the high 40s when something really stressful on the gpu happens. heres my system specs now. i've also ruled out crossfire because this new setup has only 1 pcie slot and the more i read about crossfire the more i saw that it just usually causes more problems than anything.

specs for new server style gaming rig
seasonic 850w gold psu(from previous build)
2x Xeon X5675 cpu's at 3.4 ghz 6 and 12 cores (12 and 24 since there are 2 of them)
amd r9 280x 3gb
32gb ddr3 ram at 1066mhz(533 dram freq in cpuz)
asus z8na-d6c mobo

unfortuantely my mobo cant oc the processors tho. if it could i could get some serious power out of this thing. i know games only run 8 and 16 cores max and most just run 4 and 8. but it's nice to have all of the background programs running off the extra cores. and if i wanna stream or anything like that i can at full fps now because of the cpu power i can solely dedicate to the game and program =). i know this is derailed to the nines now haha but if you have any info on how to oc a board that doesnt allow it i'd be too grateful. i've heard of third party programs that will allow you to do it but i havent had a recommendation for a trustworthy one yet. thanks a ton for the info rogue leader!
 
Dec 26, 2018
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crossfire and sli both have to do with graphics cards. intel doesnt make a graphics card. they were going to but stopped doing so, and it's a pretty interesting read because they used the gpus they created for a super computer build! but sli is for nvidia and crossfire is for amd. i was running a crossfire setup but ran into major cpu bottlenecks as stated above. so i sourced out some parts and ended up with only using one gpu but 2 cpu's this time haha. it was nearly free so this is why i did this. and im seeing some serious power too. paired with the right card this system could run any title in 1440p on high or ultra. but i'd need a nvidia gtx 1080 or 1080ti for 1440p gaming. because as it stands now my gpu with 3gb is the new bottleneck =)
 

Rogue Leader

Titan
Moderator


No problem, glad it worked out.

As for OCing those processors I don't know much about that you should start a new post in the overclocking section specifically about that.
 

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