6990M Crossfire Guide

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by Canious, Aug 5, 2011.

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  1. Canious

    Canious Notebook Consultant

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    Introduction


    This may be common knowledge for most people here, but i figured a new thread should be created for those who just recently recevied their M18x with dual 6990M's. I personally never had a xfire setup before until i got the m18x and was confused/disapointed/frustrated by the results until i asked around in this forum plus a little researching helped me improve my FPS tremendously. It's really sad when you pay $2000+ more for a machine and come to find out it's not 100% out of the box, but such is life and with a little bit of tweaking we all can maximize the power!

    Most, if not all of the information you'll find here are just collections of links & wisdom/knowledge from our beloved Mods/forums veterans - I take no credit other than copy/paste skills :D

    I recommend uninstalling the Dell's 6990M stock driver. *EDIT* As of 12/08/11 It appears the drivers on Dell's DL page is the most optimized drivers for our cards.

    The right way to do uninstall the AMD Driver is to go to control pannel - Programs/Uninstall - Click AMD Catalyst install manager and click CHANGE. On the next screen select: Express Unistall ALL AMD Softwares and on the following screen: Remove - This will unistall all AMD drivers/softwares. See below for instructions of clean driver install if needed



    1. Improvement Steps


    As of 12/13/11 current/latest versions:

    1. Click here M18x BIOS A05 "Improve AMD graphics fan algorithm to fix system shutdown issue." - Batboy

    2. Click here AMD HD6970M & HD6990M 8.902 DELL DRIVER (Release Date: 12/8/2011)

    3. Click here and download the new CAP (Xfire profiles and fixes)

    4. Click here and download Radeonpro and enable xfire bar (in settings to see if both cards are running at same rate)
    Some games runs a lot better than not having Radeon Pro. For ex even with the new drivers/cap without Radeon Pro i get 90fps on black ops (max settigns) and 180fps with Radeon Pro

    5. Click here to download Sapphire Trixx (Optional)



    2. Tips & Tricks


    Credit goes to member: Flashpoint for this Radeon PRO advise (+rep given):

    Basically to use the program hit the green + at the top to "add profile" then select the .exe path for the game you want. Some games like Witcher 2 uses a Launcher (steam) so you also have to specify the path for the Launcher (on the right tab by: Visual-Advance-Tweaks-Scripts-Launcher). Make sure you select "Custom" on the Launcher then it will allow you to select the path


    Credit goes to Mr. Fox on this workaround to enable xfire 24/7:

    To further elaborate...
    [​IMG]

    Another Kudo's to Mr. Fox on his step to do a clean driver install:



    3. Overclocking


    Next option would be OC, which i highly advise you try at your own discretion. Keep in mind over clocking can shorten the life span of your GPU and may cause unstable performance/flickers/bsods. Also keep in mind that everyone's GPU response differently when overclocking. Some can OC higher than others (still a mystery). For me i found out that i can keep at 820/1020 without having bsod issues or high gpu temps (max was 78C under full load). Refer to this thread by Shaden to get a good glimsp of 6990's oc comparison



    4. Useful Resources


    1. HWinfo GPU info/temp monitor
    2. *OFFICIAL* Alienware M18x Benchmark Thread
    3. *Official Alienware M18x AMD CrossFire Discussion Thread (re: Dell/AW Conference Call)*
    4. [GUIDE] Fix for Jittery display AMD cards!
    5. Brightness control App: DimScreen (thanks to Mr.Fox)



    5. Final Notes


    Im still learning the process myself if anyone has any better suggestions/ideas please do share :D
    Also HUUUUUUGE Props & Thanks to Mr. Fox for all of his wisdom and contributions to this thread - you sir are a HERO! :D

    Lastly, i will do my best to keep this thread updated with newer info/links as they pop. If you have any questions please do not PM me as i will not have the answer for you LOL... rather post a reply on this thread and i am sure that Mr. Fox will come to save the day!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2015
  2. prismatik

    prismatik Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for this info. I read your post in the thread titled "Performance disappointment" regarding the low fps in The Witcher 2. I too was getting similar low fps in The Witcher 2. After I installed the 11.8 AMD preview drivers, my fps improved also, I have yet to try step 2(CAP profiles) and step 3. But I'm happy with the results with just using the AMD drivers instead of the stock Dell drivers.
     
  3. Shaden

    Shaden Notebook Deity

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    Great guide, mine are actually rocking on Dell drivers, but I am not really playing games atm and I wanted to see what they crank on stock. I can't wait to run new drivers and bench. Unfortunately I am at the cottage so the ambient temps are about 80 F ... don't know how well it will work but I will try tomorrow.
     
  4. Canious

    Canious Notebook Consultant

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    Yea i was really excited to play Witcher 2 on my new m18x and when it couldnt even pull 25+ FPS i was freaking out (without ubersampling). Im getting solid 40-80 fps now with same settings

    I've also tested some oc'ing and seems like the sweet spot for me is 840/1040 temp at max load seems to be around 75-77C which isn't all too different from stock speeds

    I've attached a pic of another heaven 2.5 result with oc 840/1040
     

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  5. cachexic

    cachexic Notebook Consultant

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    I was at 15-30 FPS in the witcher 2 with all settings on low or disabled until I did what you just posted in your original post. Now it's 40-70. Everything on except ubersampling.
     
  6. Canious

    Canious Notebook Consultant

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    Welcome to the xfire club :D
     
  7. ARGH

    ARGH Notebook Deity

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    Does this work for crysis 2 with dx11 ultra settings and high res textute pack?
     
  8. V10Ace

    V10Ace Notebook Consultant

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    Great guide, thank you. My M18x arrives here in Kuwait in a week or so I am excited.
     
  9. Shaden

    Shaden Notebook Deity

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    Look at your Rep power grow Canious ! :)
     
  10. TheApprentice

    TheApprentice Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey guys. Not too long ago got my M18x.
    I followed this guide and saw a nice improvement overall.

    One problem though is that my FN+Brightness keys aren't working at all now.
    My screen is stuck at full brightness.
    Any solution to this?

    Thanks.

    Edit - Downloaded 11.8WHQL that I found on another thread.
    Solved the brightness issue. :)
     
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