AMD CrossFire Technology in 2018 With Benchmark Results

Updated on October 19, 2018
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I'm just a small time guy working a normal job as a physician assistant. My passion is building PCs and testing/reviewing PC hardware.

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AMD CrossFire in 2018

Hello everyone. Will here and today, I am bringing you a quick article on crossfire performance on just a couple of Triple A titles. I have always been interested in doing a crossfire article but my 750-watt power supply just would not allow it. Well, now thanks to the folks over at be quiet! and their willingness to help out us small bloggers, I have a power supply with enough power to allow me to do some benchmarking with the crossfire setup. So, without further delay, let’s get to it.

Crossfire is AMD’s offering for multi-GPU support for PC graphics. The technology allos for up to four GPUs to be used in a single PC to improve graphics performance. The first generation of Crossfire was first made public on September 27, 2005. A system required CrossFire-compliant motherboard with a pair of ATI Radeon PCI express (PCIe) graphics cards. The cards at the time were the Radeon x800s, x850s, x1800s, and x1900s and they came in regular editions and a “CrossFire Edition” which has the “master” capability built into the hardware which means that the card had 5 extra image compositing chips, which would combine the output of both cards. To take advantage of Crossfire then, you would have to purchase a “Master” card and pair it with a regular card of the same series. The current generation no longer has the “Master” card need and you can pair GPUs within the same generation (eg. RX 570 with RX 580, Vega 56 with Vega 64). The current generation of CrossFire uses XDMA tehnology to open a direct channel of communication between the multiple GPUs in a system, operating over the same PCI Express bus which is used by AMD Radeon graphics cards.

CrossFire appears to be great in theory and on paper but there are not many games that currently support it nor the nVidia SLI technology or aren’t optimized to do so. There is a list of games that do support CrossFire and SLI which I will include below but even so, on that list, many of the games are not optimized and have issues ranging from minor frame tearing to complete glitch and crashes. This is a problem I ran into during testing as I tested, or attempted to test Battlefield 1 and Battlefield 4 and both games were complete messes with extreme glitches and ultimately crashes.

For testing, I used my Intel Core i7-8700K system clocked at 5.1GHz with 16GB of G.Skill TridentZ RAM clocked at 3200MHz in dual channel configuration. For the motherboard, I am using the ASRock Z370 Extreme4 motherboard. Powering the system was the be quiet! Straight Power 11 1000-watt power supply. The graphics card setups I tested were the RX 580 + RX 580 and RX Vega 64 + RX Vega 64. Each game was tested using the in game benchmarking utility only at the maximum graphical settings possible at 1080p resolution. Graphics drivers used were the AMD Adrenalin 18.9.3 drivers. I was only able to test 2 games in my game library as most games I own do not support CrossFire. Those games were Far Cry 5 and GTA V. So, now time for the results.

AMD CrossFire Benchmark Results

Setup
Game
Min FPS
Avg FPS
RX 580 + RX 580
Far Cry 5
28
88
RX 580 + RX 580
GTA V
49
109
RX Vega 64 + RX Vega 64
Far Cry 5
88
114
RX Vega 64 + RX Vega 64
GTA V
67
119
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Conclusion and Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. AMD’s crossfire results amongst 2 fairly popular games. As you can see, you can get some decent performance but it comes at a price. Currently the cheapest RX 580 graphics card you can get is around $220 while the cheapest RX Vega 64 card is around $500. So, putting 2 RX 580s in CrossFire, you are looking at spending roughly $440 in addition to higher price for a CrossFire compatible motherboard. For Vega 64 CrossFire, you will be spending roughly $1,000. Now, that’s just the cost. Given the support for CrossFire is limited and in some case terrible even for those games supported to me, there is no reason to purchase dual cards to place in Crossfire especially when you buy a solo GTX 1080 for about $40 less than 2 RX 580 cards and get the same or better performance and be assured the single card is supported in all games across the board. The same can be said for dual RX Vega 64 cards as you can purchase a single GTX 1080 Ti or RTX 2080 for less than 2 RX Vega 64 cards and get better performance and better support across games. And for just roughly $200 more, you could get an RTX 2080 Ti and have about a 40-45% performance advantage and better support across all games. So, at this point in time, no I cannot recommend CrossFire and given that it seems many game developers are minimally or no longer support dual GPU setups, there is absolutely no reason to waste your money. Just grab a GTX 1080, GTX 1080 Ti, or an RTX 2080 and have some fun and great performance for another 2-3 years.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the support. Please share this article and stop by again sometime. Have a great day.

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AMD CrossFire Use in 2018

Would you use AMD CrossFire?

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Hardware Unboxed tests AMD CrossFire on Vega 56 vs GTX 1070 Ti SLI

Crossfire is AMD’s offering for multi-GPU support for PC graphics. The technology allos for up to four GPUs to be used in a single PC to improve graphics performance. The first generation of Crossfire was first made public on September 27, 2005. A system required CrossFire-compliant motherboard with a pair of ATI Radeon PCI express (PCIe) graphics cards. The cards at the time were the Radeon x800s, x850s, x1800s, and x1900s and they came in regular editions and a “CrossFire Edition” which has the “master” capability built into the hardware which means that the card had 5 extra image compositing chips, which would combine the output of both cards. To take advantage of Crossfire then, you would have to purchase a “Master” card and pair it with a regular card of the same series. The current generation no longer has the “Master” card need and you can pair GPUs within the same generation (eg. RX 570 with RX 580, Vega 56 with Vega 64). The current generation of CrossFire uses XDMA tehnology to open a direct channel of communication between the multiple GPUs in a system, operating over the same PCI Express bus which is used by AMD Radeon graphics cards.

CrossFire appears to be great in theory and on paper but there are not many games that currently support it nor the nVidia SLI technology or aren’t optimized to do so. There is a list of games that do support CrossFire and SLI which I will include below but even so, on that list, many of the games are not optimized and have issues ranging from minor frame tearing to complete glitch and crashes. This is a problem I ran into during testing as I tested, or attempted to test Battlefield 1 and Battlefield 4 and both games were complete messes with extreme glitches and ultimately crashes.

Questions & Answers

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      • whcobb profile imageAUTHOR

        William Cobb 

        7 weeks ago from Clarksville, TN

        I would not recommend this for 4K gaming as I wouldn't even recommend it for 1080p or 1440p gaming. There is minimal support across the board from developers and the games that are supported are often terribly optimized if even optimized at all. Hope this helps

      • Vichet Sen profile image

        Vichet Sen 

        7 weeks ago from Phnom Penh, Cambodia

        I am interested to know about CrossFire technology. Hopefully, there will be strong support from the software industry in upcoming years. Linux still has very limited support. CrossFire is more expensive than single card. It requires strong, robust motherboard, cooling system and more. I regret that it is not always beating single card solution in terms of performance and support.

        4k gaming is my dream. I wish high end graphic processing is more accessible to the public, especially the price and compatibility.

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