1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Is Crossfire (and ATI Drivers in general) That Bad?

Discussion in 'AMD / ATI' started by Jeffredo, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. Jeffredo

    Jeffredo

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    772 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    105
    I've been seriously considering buying a couple of mid-range (HD 5750 or HD 5770) cards and crossfiring them. Since my motherboard is a pretty good AM3 and supports Crossfire it seemed like a good investment. I've been doing my research and price shopping, narrowing it down to a couple choices. Then I started noticing "bitchin'" threads in other forums (Anandtech and Overclock.net in particularly) with people just going off on ATI for the quality of their drivers and (in their words) terrible Crossfire support and scaling. Is this true or just a case of a few disgruntled people?

    I have my money set aside and as soon as I get settle in my new house this week (yay!) I'm ordering. Or at least I was until I started noticing this trend. Should I not worry?
  2. Maelstrom

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Messages:
    534 (0.25/day)
    Thanks Received:
    159
    Location:
    VA/PA
    While I can't comment on crossfire (haven't had it since the 8.xx drivers) I haven't noticed anything bad with the drivers in a single card setup. Have read of some problems recently related to crossfire and drop in performance (think it dealt with BF:BC 2). Sry that I'm not of much help =/.
  3. TechPowerDown Guest

    i haven't heard much, but nVidia does have better quality video cards =/ i went ATi for price point
  4. b82rez New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Messages:
    134 (0.09/day)
    Thanks Received:
    18
    Location:
    Hobart, Australia
    There was an issue with a recent ATI driver which caused BSODS and other silly errors but ATI fixed this within a day or 2. I say go ahead and buy the cards! ;)
    Jeffredo says thanks.
  5. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    13,759 (4.54/day)
    Thanks Received:
    6,801
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Crossfire scaling is terrible, in such a way that I'd suggest spending the money on a single faster card than two mid-range cards. Because data is duplicated on both cards, even, power usage for two midrange cards would be greater than a single card that performs exactly the same.


    It's not that bad, stability-wise...I do have some long-standing issues with my 5870's, but at the same time, I expect ATi to release a killer driver for the entire 5-series some time soon, as this is what they have done in the past about 12 months after release of a new gen.

    But I've also never been confronted by such issues in ATi cards before...not too sure why either, other than some weird configuration compatibility issue...so I'm not entirely sure what to expect from ATi at this point.



    I will say, that most gamers using Win7 are using x64 with 5-series, so in the end, it could be some simple windows issue, and have nothing to do with Ati...
    Jeffredo says thanks.
  6. Jeffredo

    Jeffredo

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    772 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    105
    Hmm... Starting to think I should possibly hang on until November to see what the 6000 series refresh brings. The GTX 460 isn't quite strong enough to suit me (pretty close though) and the GTX 470 is a bit too warm for my liking. The HD 5850 is fine performance-wise, but it so close to the release of the new cards. I suppose my old 8800 GTX (oc'd as it is!) can carry me through until then. Gah! Four years out of that old card! Hard to believe. ;)

    Kind of disappointing about Crossfire though. From my research the two midrange Radeons would give me the performance level I was wanting withing my price range (especially the HD 5750 x 2).
  7. enaher

    enaher New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    417 (0.21/day)
    Thanks Received:
    83
    Quality? in what sense performance, build or overall?

    Well on single cards I've never had a single issue really, I remember a thread by mussels or erocker about scaling and only noticed it at that point. Recently everything seems to work just fine, video quality seems better on my HD5570 and integrated HD4250 than on my 9800GT and GTX275... that said, I don't really think CFX sucks I think SLi is simply a lot better comparing my 4830 in CF they scale like 43% and my brother's GTX 470 scale 85% or more on dragon age as an example, and it's simply easier to configure SLi, not that CF is hard it's just a little harder for noobs, Id simply suggest you get a 5850...
  8. HolyCow02

    HolyCow02 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,638 (0.73/day)
    Thanks Received:
    111
    Location:
    New York
    I have 2 4870 1GB's in crossfire and have seen absolutely no issues with them. I finished ME2 maxed out, Crysis:Warhead on High with no issues, and am playing SC2 with everything turned with smoothly. I don't know how the 5000 series is, but my 4870's are great
    Jeffredo says thanks.
  9. Dent1

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,089 (2.02/day)
    Thanks Received:
    884
    Scaling is terrible? That why the 5750/5770 CF is consistantly faster than the 5870 :)
    digibucc says thanks.
  10. digibucc

    digibucc

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    4,871 (2.58/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,468
    yeah... scaling is not 1:1 , but I wouldn't expect it to be. I think "terrible" is a very harsh description.

    I am now on my 3rd set of crossfire cards, currently 5850s. I love it. I now PLAN for crossfire when building a rig. it allows you to get uber performance, at a good price, with a fallback. If your card fails or dies you don't need to RMA or replace one very expensive card, but chances are one of two. this keeps you in business throughout the process.

    that's just as far as reliability. performance increase is readily noticeable. Especially for anything multi-monitor.

    long story short, I have not had issues with it in years and I own and play, literally, every single new big game that comes out. I often switch between XFire off and on, and it doesn't always make a GIGANTIC difference... but to be fair one 5850 can do 80% of what I want... so I will only notice so much performance increase short of Eyefinity.

    if you do two 5770 , etc - you will most definitely notice a modest increase in performance. plus it's just cool. ... no need to spend the money if ... there is no need. but if you have some cash and like technology, it's a good one to have fun with I think.
    Jeffredo says thanks.
  11. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    13,759 (4.54/day)
    Thanks Received:
    6,801
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Although many reviews reflect what you are saying, my own personal experience shows that this is not the case. So yes, that is my opinion.

    Let me say this...do you have these cards? If not, than i think your opinion is not valid.

    I ALWAYS speak from personal experience on these things, so yes, I do have 5770's.
  12. n-ster

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    8,858 (4.38/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,405
    Crossfire scaling isn't terrible at all and the "quality" of the ATi cards aren't lower than NV, don't spread rumors... Driver support from NV is better and SLI scaling is better, but most would agree that many of NV's cards don't offer price/performance
  13. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    13,759 (4.54/day)
    Thanks Received:
    6,801
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    LoL. you saw my RMA thread with XFX. Given the other issues that myself and others have with cypress-based cards, I WOULD say that quality is sub-par.

    Why are there multi-monitor issues, a year later, almost?

    Why is there still 2-D hardware cursor acceleration corruption?

    If it was driver alone, surely they would have fixed this ages ago...however, we know that ATI-s multi-mon is NOT software-based, but hardware-based, and as such, any issues that are left for multi-monitor issues are hardware-based. The hardware is flawed, clearly.

    I do not think Corssfire scaling is terrible, but yes, SLi scaling is much better.

    I have done extensive testing with crossfire scaling...most apps gain 50% performacne from the addition of the second card.

    Sli GTX480 is the only nV rig I have going right now, and it looks like 75-80% avg scaling there, which is far better than ATi.
  14. n-ster

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    8,858 (4.38/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,405
    Crossfire is 55-60% scaling,vs the 75-80% NV usually has, so there is a substantial difference indeed
    As long as you dont have eyeinfinity, multiple monitors, and dont OC the card, the drivers do fine

    2x gtx 460 looks sexy
  15. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    13,759 (4.54/day)
    Thanks Received:
    6,801
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Yes, you are very right there..I have very few issues when using my 3008WFP...still some odd texture corruption in a couple of apps, but that's minor.

    but so, why spend the cash on a second card, to only be able to use 1/2 of it? Seems to me that a single card would be better.

    But that's midrange...at the highend, for like me, as an eyefinity user, I have no choice, basically, but to run multiple cards, to get acceptable performance.


    That's the only time I think SLi/Crossfire are useful...when a single card just doesn't perform enough.


    I only got GTX480 Sli for multi-mon...I'll be spending the next several weeks playing with that, and then I'll be popping in nV threads too, to give my results.

    and yeah, GTX460 is pretty good, probably the best product currently this gen.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  16. douglatins

    douglatins

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,863 (1.27/day)
    Thanks Received:
    273
    Location:
    Brasil
    I would say get nvidia if you are not as tech savvy as most guys here.
  17. Solaris17

    Solaris17 Creator Solaris Utility DVD

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    17,068 (5.23/day)
    Thanks Received:
    3,502
    Location:
    Florida
    this xfire imo is broken
  18. Dent1

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,089 (2.02/day)
    Thanks Received:
    884
    The thread is not about if SLI is better than Crossfire.

    The thread is about whether Crossfire is bad or not - and it isnt.
    cadaveca and Jeffredo say thanks.
  19. Jeffredo

    Jeffredo

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    772 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    105
    Been building my own PCs since 2003, have hung AC Accelero coolers on my last three cards, flashed my X850 Pro Vivo to an XT (thanks dolf!), flashed a GTX 465 to a GTX 470 (then sent it back :laugh:). I'm probably able to debug driver/card foibles, but I don't know if I want to if I can avoid it. ;)
  20. n-ster

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    8,858 (4.38/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,405
    over 50% is usually considered OK, or good enouugh
  21. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    13,759 (4.54/day)
    Thanks Received:
    6,801
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta

    Broken how?


    You are very right, however, we need to have a basis for any judgement whether it's good or not. If you want to exclude sli, I've got the perfect example:

    2x5770, @ say, $200 a peice. $400 total.

    1x5850, @ say $300. Or even 5870 @ $400...

    The single cards give you most performance for your dollar, and unlike Crossfire, that performance is consistent across a variety of apps.



    I've been running Crossfire since X800's. In every form. That's why I post in these threads...I've played with every crossfire config possible over the years, and have watched it grown.


    As nster said, it's OK, single monitor, however, the whole bit about performance/dollar has me say Crossfire is not suited to mid-range cards. If you want to spend the extra cash, by all means, go ahead...you'll ahve few issues except for new titles, but ATI's change in thier driver that makes profiling a seperate <1MB download, means that those issues can be sorted very quickly.

    You also always have the option of app re-naming, as well.

    Crossfire isn't bad...but it could definately be better.

    I used to call myself Ati's #1 fanboy, so before you think I have anything against ATi, I'll put that out there. I do have nV cards as well...because sometimes my ATi cards don't live up to expectations. Favortism doesn't play any part in any comments I make...but I do make a point of being 100% honest, all the time.

    I have nothing to lose or gain here either. Crossfire is merely OK...and I doubt many people on these boards have as much experience with Crossfire as I do...I've literally got years of Crossfire experience under my belt.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
    Jeffredo says thanks.
  22. JATownes

    JATownes

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,824 (0.87/day)
    Thanks Received:
    433
    My pair of 4850 is still going strong and slice through most any game. A pair of 5770s is killer from what I understand, though I have not used them myself. Crossfire is a cheap upgrade for a dramatic performance increase. If you have one 5770, another will cost $150 or so, and bring 40-80% fps increase. Does anyone know another $150 upgrade that brings that type of performance increase. Crossfire can breathe new life into an older system. IMO, Crossfire (and SLI for that matter) is pure win, and the best bang for buck upgrade available.
  23. Delta6326

    Delta6326

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3,823 (1.69/day)
    Thanks Received:
    667
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    I see nothing wrong with my crossfire. my 2x 4850's get almost the same performance of 5850/5830
  24. Jeffredo

    Jeffredo

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    772 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    105
    This is what has me confused. From reviews that I've read and just the general anecdotal banter in forums I thought Crossfire scaling was better with the two mid range cards (HD 5750 and 5770) verses crossfiring two HD 5850s or HD 5870s. I can pick up two Sapphire Vapor-X HD 5770s for about $310 and again, from reviews I've read, they're between a GTX 470 and HD 5870 in performance. That seems like pretty good value.

    Another example, I can get two HD 5750s for about $260 and have similar performance to a single HD 5850.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  25. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    13,759 (4.54/day)
    Thanks Received:
    6,801
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    For me, it's all performance/dollar. Single cards do tend to give better power consumption than mated pairs, as I said earlier. That means that monthly power bills are lower, making the overall cost of the cards far, far cheaper.


    It does seem that 4-series high-end and 5-series mid range do scale very well...4-series does get 100% from second card in some scenarios. So it's possible that 5-series mid range will get that same boost as well, but that's only in some apps, and seemingly dependant on resolution. My use of 2560x1600 does, of course, affect things a bit. The 128-bit memory bus of the midrange cards does affect that.


    As technology, multi-gpu rendering is pretty cool, and that's a big part of why I have used it for so long...it's actually been many years that I haven't bought ATI cards in pairs...

    for $310, you should be able to get 5850. So you have to decide for yourself what is most appealing...I don't want to dissuade you from buying the cards, but I do want to make sure you are jumping into this with your eyes wide-open. I do not see scaling on my systems that many others say is there.
    Jeffredo says thanks.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)

Share This Page