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Making Crossfire Work and Optimization

Discussion in 'AMD / ATI' started by Dr. Spankenstein, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. Dr. Spankenstein New Member

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    This thread was created to serve multiple functions:

    • 1.)Create a “one-stop-shop” for all information/links/support for individuals having issues enabling Crossfire.
    • 2.)Outline the specific steps required to correctly install Crossfire hardware/software.
    • 3.)Provide documented proof that Crossfire does indeed work within Crysis (in XP & Vista).

    None of these discoveries can be claimed as my own. This is merely a compendium of information that has been widely available for some time. It seems (from the sheer number of people having issues enabling Crossfire) that these discoveries were either ignored as false information or were not implemented correctly by the user.

    What follows are the steps for receiving those extra frames for which you paid a premium. Ready? Let’s go!

    Starting with the basics, make sure that your motherboard is Crossfire capable. Check to see if your chipset drivers are up to date.
    Another consideration is the particular chipset you are running. This will determine the bandwidth (number of lanes) of your PCI-E slots.

    Common layouts are as follows:

    16x + 4x Example chipsets: 690 & 790, P935 & P35

    8x + 8x Example chipsets: 480X & 790GX, 975X

    16x + 16x Example chipsets: 580X & 790FX, X38 & X48

    With the exception of the newest chipsets that provide 16x + 16x PCI-e, it is has been shown that when you pair the latest generation of ATI cards with Intel chipsets that 8x + 8x is preferable to 16x + 4x. Example of 975X vs. P35 with 2900. The disparity in performance appears to grow when you move to the 3800 series.

    A current version of DirectX never hurts either.

    *Vista Users: UPDATE*

    I wanted this thread to be a resource, so I'm adding what seem to be essential Hotfixes for Crossfire.

    Two are available for download:

    KB940105-Pertains to Virtual Address space/Memory usages.

    KB936710-For Multi-GPU scenarios.

    The third is available only by submitting a "Request Form".

    KB945149-Addresses how the DMA (Direct Memory Acess) packet schedules work to the LDA (Linked Display Adapter).


    Plus check and see if you have Performance and Reliability updates KB938194 & KB938979




    On to the goods… the first point of reference was the ParkOz . This is my culmination of their findings. (Vista users can replace Steps 7 & 8 with a plain boot and power down. Vista will install the driver on the second card automatically.

    1.) Start by removing the drivers first with the ATI Uninstall Utility via the Add/Remove Programs of the Control Panel.
    2.) Then uninstall the current Display Adapter(s) via the Device Manager.
    3.) Power down and remove second card (if applicable).
    4.) Boot into “Safe Mode” and use Driver Cleaner Pro to remove misc. drivers & registry entries. Follow up by using “Search” in the “All Files and Folders” with “ATI” as the search criteria for “All or part of the file name”. This will help clear any stragglers.
    5.) Boot normally and install Catalyst flavor of choice.
    6.) Power down and install second card (do not install Crossfire bridge at this point!).
    7.) Boot and CANCEL out of Hadware Installation Wizard.
    8.) Find second card in Device Manager (the Display Adapter with the yellow triangle) and right-click to “Update driver”. Use specific location and browse to original Catalyst install folder. (Normally C:/ATI/SUPPORT/8. xxxxxxx.xxx/DRIVER/(select folder based on current OS). This should install the driver on second card.
    9.) Power down and install Crossfire bridge.
    10.) Copy the folder provided at the bottom of this post into your Crysis directory: Electronic Arts>Crytek>Crysis>Game and replace/overwrite everything.(Make a backup of your original, just in case!) It is just the entire "Config" folder from the Crysis SP Demo. Use you own copy if you feel more comfortable.
    11.) (Tech)Power up, open Catalyst Control Center to “Enable Crossfire” and ENJOY!

    11 easy steps to smooth gaming!







    Now for the results. All Benches were run at the same settings (High) on a patched retail version of Crysis. Crysis Hotfix drivers in XP and Catalyst 8.1 in Vista. Crysis Benchmark Tool by MadBoris.

    In XP:

    Single card & Crossfire@ 1280x1024, 1650x1080, 1980x1200


    [​IMG]


    Average increase in XP:
    34% @ 1280x1024
    41% @ 1650xz1080
    50% @ 1920x1200


    In Vista:
    DX9
    Single card @ 1280x1024, 1650x1080, 1980x1200


    [​IMG]



    DX10
    Single card @ 1280x1024, 1650x1080, 1980x1200


    [​IMG]


    Crossfire in DX10 & DX9@ 1280x1024, 1650x1080, 1980x1200


    [​IMG]


    Average increase in Vista:
    DX9
    46% @ 1280x1024
    49% @ 1650x1080
    55% @ 1920x1200

    DX10
    9% @ 1280x1024
    6% @ 1650x1080
    6% @ 1920x1200


    This worked out to an average increase of 41.6% in XP, 50% in Vista (DX9) and 7% (DX10)!


    What surprised me the most was the actual improvement in Vista DX9! There was an annoying amount of flickering in both DX9 and DX10 when running the benchmark in Vista that was attributed to Catalyst A.I.. Apparently the A.I. Is not very adept a approximating textures and LODs within Crysis. The good news is that, contrary to popular belief, I was able to disable Catalyst A.I. when running Vista and Crossfire still worked (and looked great to boot.) There is a performance hit that comes with this change.

    So when I hear that Crossfire doesn’t work in Crysis (Vista), in part they are right but there is no "magic" involed to get it up and running. It does seem that the DX10 path gives Crossfire the fits, but part of me wonders if it isn’t a DX10/ATI thing instead of a Crysis issue.

    The question has been raised about the 3870X2, my thought is that since the Crossfire is always enabled, this will not be solvable by the end-user. So everyone should band together and demand that ATI get Crossfire to work correctly!


    Now, go get your Crossfire on!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2008
  2. trog100 New Member

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    nicely done dude.. but u seem to be saying the crossfire crysis problem is down to not doing the ati driver install and crossfire enabling correctly..

    forgive me if i have missed something.. your article is very indepth and does take a wee bit of digesting..

    this is the recent 3870 x 2 review that kinda highlights the possible crysis/CF probelms.. for me..

    http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/ati-3870x2-review.ars/3

    there does seem to be a disparity between dx 9 and dx 10 settings quite clearly shown..

    now assuming the guy doing the testing has some vague idea of what he is doing.. things dont add up.. and he could not find a reasonable explanation for the strange results he got..

    out of curiosity has anyone tired renaming the executable.. ???

    u have crossfire working.. but there are many "experts" out there who dont have it working..

    i know for an abosolute fact it didnt work for me.. i only ran XP with DX 9 at medium/high settings and it was six weeks back.. things might to have changed.. or thngs have changed at least for some.. but quite clearly not for all..

    i cant put it down to not installing the cat drivers or enabling C/F properly.. if this was the case there would be crossfire problems elsewhere not simply in crysis..

    then we have wizzards own 3870 x 2 review which shows a small increase for the crossfire 3870 x 2 in crysis.. the small increase matches what would be seen from the higher 825 core clock of the x 2 card compared with the single cards 777 core clock.. it does show C/F isnt working in crysis..

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/HIS/HD_3870_X2/7.html

    i am still wondering.. ???

    trog
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2008
  3. Dr. Spankenstein New Member

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    This is exactly what I've been saying all along. It's all down to the installation! To owners dismay, it is not how it is documented by ATI. Heck, short of their little demonstration video, I don't really see any documentation by ATI of "How to correctly install Crossfire", they merely list the parts neccessary. Boo...hiss!

    I did comment at the end as to why I believe it won't work on the 3870X2. As far as I know, there is not way to disable the internal Crossfire connection in order to use the above instructions. Nor should owners of this card have to require this. I think ATI is dropping the ball on this one, BIG TIME!! Not just in regards to the 3870X2, but for Crossfire on this latest generation of cards (HD series).

    I am of the belief that Crossfire can be enabled in two ways (correctly and incorrectly), but the results of the incorrect method are dissappointing. That is why so many have become discouraged.

    Oh, you mean to bypass the "TWIWMTBP" bug?!?:p Don't know, maybe someone could try. I'm fried...

    Hopefully this thread can bring all the issues and solutions to light! Positive contribution is all it takes!
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2008
  4. trog100 New Member

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    i did install both my cards separately using the "windows" way.. i never had problems making C/F work.. it does work.. i must admit to not trying very hard to make it work in crysis.. back then it was simply excepted that it didnt work and i had no reason to think otherwise..

    now.. for reasons as yet still unknown.. drivers.. patch how its installed who knows.. its seem to "kinda" work..

    ati could have tweaked the vista dx 10 drivers and not the dx 9 ones for example..

    shame i dont have two cards any more it cuts me off from experimenting..

    trog
  5. Dr. Spankenstein New Member

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    They are still making them....;)

    I think everyone should expect this stuff to work "out-of-the-box"! Especially if they advertise these options as an advantage over other competitors!!

    As stated above, maybe if we all create an overwhelming pile of evidence some pressure can come to bear on ATI' sdriver team to remedy this situation, like PRONTO!!
  6. DanishDevil

    DanishDevil

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    They really should work out-of-the box. I'll have two 3870s on hand this weekend, so I'll see what I can do with your methods here Spankenstein. By the way, how the hell did you come up with Dr. Spankenstein? Sounds like a good porno name ;)
  7. trog100 New Member

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    nah i did my own evaluation and decided that everything all in crossfire wasnt for me..

    i bought a none crossfire board on this basis.. the abit pro ip35.. i did think about the 3870 x 2 when i made this decision.. C/F in one slot so to speak..

    i can only run 1680 x 1050 and at that resolution the one card does okay.. it uses less power and generates less heat.. i was (possibly still am) hoping the x 2 would prompt some better driver/games results.. it will probably be my next upgrade..

    not just yet thow..

    trog
  8. Lazzer408

    Lazzer408

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    Oh no you didn't! Spankenstein was a gay porno from the 70s! :roll:

    (Google)
  9. Dr. Spankenstein New Member

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    C'mon kiddies, can we stay focused here!?!:shadedshu

    Take that to "General Nonsense" and start you own thread: "WTF kinda name is XXXXXX?".

    It would be nice to keep this thread as a resource, mmmmkay?


    Now that I look, there doesn't seem to be much interest in this thread. Must be because everyone now believes that Crossfire DOESN'T work.:mad:
  10. simaomacaco New Member

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    where did u get the crysis benchmark tool? i am going to try again tomorrow and log what happens. I thk it works fr me.. just not very well in crysis.. but other games are betterr sure
  11. Dr. Spankenstein New Member

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    Whoops! Sorry!

    Here it is. :toast:

    Please post any questions/findings when you get them!
  12. DanishDevil

    DanishDevil

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    Thanks man. I'll see if I can get Crysis to work with a 3870 CF as well by following your instructions. Followed by some benchies.

    Speaking of the Crysis Benchmark Tool, what others should I use? I've got ATiTool, 3dMark06, and The Fur Benchmark. Is there one for CoD4 or Bioshock?

    Oops. Forgot Aquamark.
  13. Dr. Spankenstein New Member

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    *UPDATE*

    WAIT! I just realized I forgot an important step that was outlined in the ParkOz set-up.

    Install Crysis SP Demo.
    Backup the Folder of Crysis SP Demon\\Game\\Config.
    uninstall Demo.
    install the Retail Version of Crysis.
    Overwrite the backuped folder to the installed Dir.
    run ConSole window and Type r_MultiGPU and Press Enter key.
    0 means CrossFire off, 1 means on, 2 is auto

    I will upload the SP Demo config folder so noone has to re-download the demo. I just overwrote the file, I didn't have to do a fresh install before replacing the folder.

    The console part is just to check or manually activate CF in Crysis.

    Sorry all! This will make all the difference!!
  14. DanishDevil

    DanishDevil

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    Oh snap! I totally didn't even click that link before.

    How long does that process take exactly? It looks really difficult to read if you don't know Korean, and kinda turns me off to that process. Is there a better English walkthrough of that process or could you simplify it for me??? Pretty please??? :respect:
  15. Dr. Spankenstein New Member

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    It's the same as the first post, just finish with the step I updated and you should be good.

    From start to finish, like 15-20min. Well worth the effort.

    Unfortunately, I work until 11pm, so I won't be able to U/L the folder till later, sorry!
  16. trog100 New Member

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    ahhh now that is the secret i was expecting u to come up with.. the one the chinese dudes figured out..

    all a bit odd thow.. sounds like it might have worked in the demo but has been disabled in the real game.. a bit like fear.. better fps in the demo than the real game.. rename the executable and get the better fps back..

    trog
  17. Dr. Spankenstein New Member

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    yessssss, ancient chinese secret. (Anyone old enough to remember that Calgon Commercial?):laugh: (FWIW, Koreans actually! Love that kimchee, bul kogi, chop chae, kkaenip...YUM!)

    You said it! TWIWMTBP in action!!!

    Workarounds, workarounds....:banghead:
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  18. Dr. Spankenstein New Member

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    Critical steps and file updated!

    For those that had tried before, this will work now!
  19. simaomacaco New Member

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    Some preliminary results.. crossfire does seem to be giving a performance benefit especially (>55% improved) at the 1900x1200 resolution in DX9.

    Single card DX9
    Run #1- DX9 1280x1024 AA=No AA, 64 bit test, Quality: High ~~ Overall Average FPS: 31.415
    Run #2- DX9 1900x1200 AA=No AA, 64 bit test, Quality: High ~~ Overall Average FPS: 20.51
    Run #3- DX9 2560x1600 AA=No AA, 64 bit test, Quality: High ~~ Overall Average FPS: 11.87

    Crossfire enabled DX9
    Run #1- DX9 1280x1024 AA=No AA, 64 bit test, Quality: High ~~ Overall Average FPS: 39.1
    Run #2- DX9 1900x1200 AA=No AA, 64 bit test, Quality: High ~~ Overall Average FPS: 32.815
    Run #3- DX9 2560x1600 AA=No AA, 64 bit test, Quality: High ~~ Overall Average FPS: 16.415

    I am going to repeat the process in DX10 when i get a chance too. I might drop the 2560x1600 mode as this would just be a total disaster i feel.
  20. simaomacaco New Member

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    Oh ya! these are all with the Calgon crysis SP demo method
  21. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    so . . . I'm just curious here -

    what are the differences between the workaround method outlined above, and an install of Crysis then patched with 1.1? I thought 1.1 supposedly broguth multiGPU support for both xFire and SLI.


    Anyhow, if I feel up to later it I might go through those steps and see if there's any difference with my setup. As of now, though, I know Crossfire works with all other applications; but, in Crysis with the 1.1 patch, I only saw maybe 1FPS increase, but I swear I saw a noticeable reduction in IQ, also :confused:
  22. trog100 New Member

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    if the C/F option worked in the demo then got turned off in the real game there is a reason for it..

    the mystery.. what was that reason.. ????

    trog
  23. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    and the Crysis 1.1 patch brought questionable Crossfire support

    it all seems a little fishy
  24. trog100 New Member

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    it seems very fishy.. he he

    trog
  25. simaomacaco New Member

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    xx
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008

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