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Adept I

RX 480 Crossfire: Underperforming in crossfire mode


  • RX 480 8GB Crossfire (Reference)
  • Windows 10 64bit
  • Crimson Relive 17.1.1
  • MSI Z97 PC Mate 1150 Motherboard
  • Intel Core I7 4790
  • Antec HCG 850M PSU
  • 16GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM


When in crossfire or multi-GPU mode, the graphics cards run at a lower frame-rate than when crossfire is disabled. An example is in the SteamVR performance test:


According to MSI afterburner, both cards seem to run at 100%. Another benchmark, VRMark,  has a similar issue:

AMD Radeon RX 480 video card benchmark result - Intel Core i7-4790 Processor,MSI Z97 PC Mate(MS-7850...

The RX 480s perform worse than a similar RX 480 PC. Games also do not run as well as they should do.

Any suggestions?

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3 Replies
Big Boss

Re: RX 480 Crossfire: Underperforming in crossfire mode

Are you sure that those VR benchmarks are Crossfire friendly?

Your issue looks like well known negative scaling effect.BF1 suffers from it for many months. You need to disable Crossfire for such applications(in game/applications profiles)

1.Update BIOS

2.Update chipset drivers

3.Delete C:\AMD folder

4.Uninstall all AMD software and clean your system in safe mode by DDU program and install 16.11.5 or 17.1.1 driver Windows 10 (64-bit)

5.Use Heaven 4.0 (DX 11 Full screen High settings AA4x) to test your GPUs scaling and stability. 30 min is quite enough(just leave it in fly mode)

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Adept I

Re: RX 480 Crossfire: Underperforming in crossfire mode


I've updated the BIOS, reinstalled all the drivers using DDU in safe mode. I've reinstalled the drivers and ran Heaven Benchmark.

As you can see, it's scaling almost perfectly, (About 80%):


However, that only makes it harder to explain why the SteamVR test did not scale with the RX 480s. I used to own a Radeon 7990, and it scaled fine in crossfire. I know for a fact that it supports it, so why is there an issue?

I've also found that some games haven't been scaling well, (Watch Dogs 2, GTA 5), while some, such as DX: Mankind Divided have been, but only at a 20-30% increase in framerate, compared to up to 90% with my 7990.

Any ideas?

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Big Boss

Re: RX 480 Crossfire: Underperforming in crossfire mode

1. 7990 based on GPU launched in 2011.It has quite polished drivers.

2. RX 480 is 2016 product and its drivers are far from perfect.

3.I had noticed that AMD Crimson driver doesn't like CPU limited condition. Especially on crossfire systems.

4.You can use VSR resolution and very high quality settings to avoid CPU overhead situations.

5.Watch Dogs 2 is unstable for now. This game needs patches and new drivers.

6. GTA V is old and CPU bound game. You need VSR resolution (4K) to reach good CF scaling

7. SteamVR... I don`t know. Maybe it needs new drivers or new SDK, more optimized for new hardware.

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