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 Post subject: Swap Crossfire Cards?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:59 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:23 pm
Posts: 50
My XFX 6870 is in the primary slot in my CF so it only has ~1" clearance between its fan and my secondary 6850. The 6870 shoots up rapidly from ~50*C to over 80*C in just a few minutes of gaming (Mechwarrior Online) and this causes a performance drop followed by a display driver crash (which usually results in my death in-game). The 6870 is physically smaller than the 6850, which runs cool despite being overclocked as far as AMD will allow.

If I put the 6850 as the primary card, how much performance will I lose?

My case (CM Storm Enforcer) lacks a side-panel airvent. Any ideas on how to cool that 1" space between the cards?


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 Post subject: Re: Swap Crossfire Cards?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:05 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5266
If they're both in a Crossfire configuration, then you won't lose anything. You won't gain anything either. The cards negotiate themselves to be roughly equal in order to minimize issues.

80C is also within normal operating temperature of a loaded GPU. If it's dropping performance and crashing, then it's actually overheating. So unless AMD cards have a lower temperature threshold, I would see about making sure the card is clean of dust bunnies. You could also opt for an aftermarket cooler if it's a reference design cooler (AMD makes pretty bad reference designs).


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 Post subject: Re: Swap Crossfire Cards?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:23 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:23 pm
Posts: 50
I am concerned about the overheating as it shoots up in temperature rapidly, while the 6850 never reaches 80C and climbs in temperature much more slowly. I've seen some old posts around the 'net talking about the XFX 6870 and overheating, with posts going so far as to recommend replacing the thermal paste on the GPU.

I do know that when I position my hand in the gaping open space beneath the 6850 it is fairly cool, despite reduced airflow to that region of the case, but when I hover my hand in the 1" gap between the 6870 and 6850 when the 6870 is gaming it is like sticking my hand into a furnace. Opening the case and pointing a desk fan at the 6870 helps reduce the heat buildup considerably.


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 Post subject: Re: Swap Crossfire Cards?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:47 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5266
Well we could add a data point and see what happens if you run the card solo.

But in all honesty, it just may be that it's a poor design (an axial fan on a high end part that just circulates air instead of blows it out? *Says in an AVGN voice* What were they thinking?)


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 Post subject: Re: Swap Crossfire Cards?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:00 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:23 pm
Posts: 50
Still experimenting with swapping cards and benchmarks but I've confirmed that, at essentially idle, my 6870 sits at 53C while my 6850 chills at 28C. In real units of temperature, that's ~45 degrees different. Perhaps I do have one of the heat-management-challened XFX 6870s that I've heard tell of thanks to Google.


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