Is my GPU broken? (6970s in CrossFire)


Jul 18, 2014
I have two 6970 AMD cards running in CrossFire, and I've had a lot of problems. I've posted about all of these problems on many websites (some of them even on this website), and found no solutions for any of them.

First problem: Centered timings are always forced in non-native resolutions. I fixed this by reinstalling Windows and not installing the Catalyst drivers; however, when I tried putting my desktop resolution to a 4:3 resolution and maintaining the correct aspect ratio, this glitch returned. I have no idea how to fix it, as the option on my monitor (Asus VG248QE) to maintain aspect ratio is also grayed out. If I try to set it in Catalyst (which I ultimately decided to download after this problem resurfaced), it just automatically sets itself back to "Centered timings". I'd rather not have to reinstall Windows to fix this problem again, though. This ties in with my fourth problem, as well; I'm forced to play all games at my native resolution (1920x1080), which causes even more lag.

Second problem: In a Steam game called Left 4 Dead 2 (and although it's occasionally happened in other games, for example Rust, this is the main offender), occasionally my computer (or game) will crash. There are a few different ways this can happen. One of the most common is that the game will freeze on one frame and the sound will constantly "hiccup". This results in either having to reset the computer or restart the game. Occasionally, I can tab out of the game, then back in, but if I ever tab out of the game or close it after that, my computer hangs. When I initially tab out of the game, I can read a small notification from Catalyst saying that something has crashed; however, I can only ever catch a glimpse of this, so I don't know exactly what it says. However, even when I didn't have Catalyst installed, I still crashed this way.

The next way my computer can "crash" (or, rather, become unusable and force me to restart) is that the picture in the game will start shaking and be unaligned. When I finally close the game, my desktop will also be unaligned (that is, the left side of my screen might appear on the right side of my screen, and vice versa; it leads to a very awkward computing experience). Restarting my PC is the only way I've found to fix this problem.

When my computer crashes, however, so long as I reset my computer after the crash happened, I can go several weeks without another crash. However, if I reset my computer after a crash, then reset it again before another crash occurs, I'm almost guaranteed to experience another crash within 1 hour of opening the game again. Because of this, I usually keep my computer running at all times, just so I don't have to go through the daily experience of my computer crashing.

Third problem: In a Steam game called Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (and only in this game), when I first start playing a map, I will have around 60-100 fps, which is very sub-optimal. However, if I change a random graphics setting (for example, anti-aliasing or shadow quality), even if I'm making the graphics better, my framerate will boost up to 200+. I can revert the graphics change and my framerate remains this way. I haven't been able to find anyone else who has this same problem with the game, or anyone who knows how to fix it.

Fourth problem: General lag. Friends of mine insist that a GPU this powerful should be able to run most games on minimum graphics settings with 300 fps easily (for example, Left 4 Dead 2, a game where I usually get only 150-200 fps). However, in newer games (for example Nosgoth or Tribes: Ascend), I can often find myself getting framerates as low as 40, where my other friends who have even older and less powerful graphics cards and CPUs can get 100+. I don't know whether or not this is an actual problem, or that the 6970 isn't actually as good as people think it is.

So it comes down to the question: Is it likely that these problems cannot be fixed, and that I should just buy a new GPU? Are my GPUs just broken and/or not as powerful as I thought they were when I bought them?

The rest of my specs:
i7 2600k @ 4.3ghz (none of these problems are changed by running the CPU at stock speed, or a lower speed, or really any speed)
ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION motherboard
RAM: 1xG.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9S-4GBRL (Should I perhaps buy more? Could having only 4GB of RAM be the source of my problems? It doesn't seem likely, but I'd believe anything at this point.)