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Dual 7950's - Is AMD ZeroCore Power a problem?

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Allan Speers
Dual 7950's - Is AMD ZeroCore Power a problem?
on Sep 6, 2016 at 10:03:30 pm

I still haven't decided on what card to get fro my 5,1 Mac Pro. It will probably be a 7950, since info on more powerful cards is hard to come by & I'm losing too much time to research.

I intend to run dual cards, once the first one is going, for the rather large FCPx performance boost reported with many other dual card setups.

HOWEVER - Most of the new AMD cards have this "Zerocore Power" technology, which turns the card off if there isn't any monitor activity. Well, with a dual-card system and only one monitor, doesn't that mean the second card would always be turned off? Am I missing something? Would it turn back on if FCPx was "asking" it for GPU power for rendering, or whatever?

Alternately, can this technology be turned off? (I can't find this information anywhere.) For me this would be ideal, since the second card would be run from a second psu. That psu could simply stay off whenever I'm not editing video.


Can anyone explain all this?


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Dennis Kutchera
Re: Dual 7950's - Is AMD ZeroCore Power a problem?
on Sep 10, 2016 at 4:37:15 am

You could try one of the Newertech headless accelerators, which are kind of like a monitor dongle that fools the card into believing a monitor is attached.

Also, if you want the best card that works with your 5.1 Mac Pro, consider the Nvidia Titan X with 12 gb of video memory. You can use a PC version with no problems. I'm doing this with another PC Nvidia card along with a GT120 for the GUI.

Dennis

Dennis Kutchera
Online Editor / Colourist
Halifax, Canada


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Allan Speers
Re: Dual 7950's - Is AMD ZeroCore Power a problem?
on Sep 16, 2016 at 7:25:17 pm

Thanks, Dennis.

I can't afford a Titan right now. I'll probably go with a new Mac next year, anyway.


As to my original question, your idea would probably work (clever) but it turns out to be a non-issue. For anyone else needing to know this, here's what an AMD tech just told me:

### The AMD "ZeroCore Power" technology cannot be disabled or turned off, however it ONLY APPLIES TO A CROSSFIRE SETUP.
With two cards in a Mac, and only one monitor connected, the second card will NOT go into sleep mode, unless the mac itself does.


AMD's product descriptions do not make this clear at all.


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