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 AMD CrossFire™ and Dual Graphics Requirements and Setup FAQ

Article Number: GPU-198

​​​​​​​​​ This document provides the answers to frequently asked questions about AMD Crossfire and Dual Graphics.  Examples include; how to setup AMD CrossFire, and how many graphics cards can be used in AMD Dual Graphics setup.​

 

 

What are the system requirements for AMD CrossFire™?

The minimum requirements to run AMD CrossFire are:

  • 2x or more AMD Radeon™ HD2000 series or greater graphics cards that are within the same family model number. E.g. 2 x AMD Radeon HD6770
  • An AMD CrossFire supporting motherboard
  • At least one AMD CrossFire interconnect bridge for each additional graphics card

Note - Running more than one graphics card on a system may require a higher rated power supply or a power supply that features enough power connections for each graphics card. Please refer to the list of AMD CrossFire certified power supplies.

How many AMD Radeon graphics cards can I have in an AMD CrossFire configuration?

AMD Crossfire is limited to a maximum of four GPUs in an AMD CrossFire configuration; either four AMD Radeon graphics cards each with a single GPU or two AMD Radeon graphics cards that feature two GPUs per graphics card, such as the AMD Radeon HD 6990. 


What happens when graphics cards with varying memory speeds and engine clocks are paired together?

​The overall performance will be adjusted to match the memory speeds and engine clocks of the lower clocked card. To obtain the ideal performance, graphics cards should be paired correctly using the AMD Crossfire compatibility chart.

I Have Multiple AMD Radeon™ Graphics Cards Setup in AMD Crossfire™ technology. Which Output Connectors Can Be Used?

​AMD Crossfire™ technology enables the output connectors on the primary graphics card.  The primary graphics card is the one located closest to the CPU.​

I Have Multiple AMD Radeon™ Graphics Cards Installed and Have Disabled AMD Crossfire™ Technology on My System. Which Display Modes Can Be Used?

The Clone (presentation), Extended, and AMD Eyefinity technology modes can be enabled on each of the installed graphics card by running AMD Crossfire™ technology on your system.  Multiple monitor setups can be configured through the AMD Catalyst™ Control Center or AMD VISION Engine Control Center.

Here is a brief description of each mode and its function:

Clone (Presentation) Mode

  • In this mode, the same identical desktop is shown on both displays simultaneously. Both monitors will run at the same resolution and refresh rate.
    • Clone mode is useful for presentations where one display is in front of the presenter and the other display is in front of the audience.

Note: Clone mode does not clone displays on different graphics cards. Clone mode only works on displays that are connected to the same graphics cards.

Extended Mode

  • Each monitor is configured with separate settings (resolution, refresh rates, color quality). The Windows® desktop is extended between the two or more monitors (except for the task bar).
    • In extended mode, the displays can be rotated between portrait and landscape view to maximize working desktop space.

AMD Eyefinity Group Mode

  • The Windows desktop is stretched between two or more monitors and is treated as one large desktop, complete with a Windows taskbar across all screens. The final resolution is the horizontal and vertical sum of the individual monitors.
    • Example: 4 x monitors arranged in a 2 x 2 configuration and each running at 1280 X 1024 = desktop area now running at 2560 X 2048

Note: The AMD Eyefinity group mode is not available under the Microsoft® Windows XP operating system.

For more information on the AMD Eyefinity Group Configuration, please also read our Setting up AMD Eyefinity Technology Display Groups knowledgebase article.

How do I know my AMD Radeon™ HD Graphics card is capable of supporting AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics?

There are two main ways to find out if your system can support AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics. One, you can go to www.amd.com/dualgraphics and get the latest information, including all supported discrete GPUs. Two, if you purchase an AMD A-Series APU for your desktop PC as an individual processor-in-a-box (PIB), the right hand panel will show the supported discrete GPUs for that particular APU model.

I just bought an AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 Series graphics card. How do I configure my PC to take advantage of AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics?

To take advantage of AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics, you must use a compatible AMD A-Series APU to pair with your supported AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 Series card. After installation of your graphics card, install the latest AMD graphics drivers. After driver installation, the option to enable AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics should become available in the AMD VISION Engine Control Center.

Once installed, go into the "Performance" section of the AMD VISION Engine Control Center and check the box that says 'Enable Crossfire™' - this will allow the AMD A-Series APU graphics to work in tandem with the select AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 Series GPU installed for increased graphics performance.​

Where do I plug my monitor in to get the best performance when using AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics technology?

For best performance, AMD recommends plugging the display into your discrete graphics card. This will ensure that even applications that do not take advantage of AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics will still be able to run on the faster graphics card in your system. However, to be more accurate, we recommend that you plug your monitor into the AMD Radeon™ graphics with the higher model number. If that is your APU, plug into the motherboard, if it is your discrete graphics card, plug into that.

Why doesn’t my DirectX® 9 game look better on AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics?

AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics was designed only for the latest DirectX® levels to allow AMD to focus resources on providing an optimal user experience on the latest graphics technologies. AMD encourages users to take advantage of these and numerous other innovations that have come to market recently by upgrading system hardware.​

AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 Series graphics, found in both AMD A-Series APUs and discrete video cards, are designed to deliver the best possible DirectX® 11 experience. As such, the dual graphics performance increase is applicable to select DirectX® 11 & DirectX® 10 enabled applications. For DirectX® 9 applications, the combined performance will be disabled and the fastest graphics engine will perform those tasks; however, users will still experience the speed and performance of AMD Radeon™ graphics.

Why doesn’t AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics work with Windows XP?

​AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics was designed for the latest Microsoft Windows operating system; this allows AMD to focus resources on providing an optimal user experience on the latest platform technology. AMD encourages users to upgrade to the latest operating system to take full advantage of the features and benefits of Windows 7 (including DirectX® 10 & Direct® 11) to ensure users get the best performance for what they do with their PC. For users that continue to use Windows XP and previous versions, dual graphics combined performance functionality will be disabled and the fastest graphics engine will perform those tasks.​

Does AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics work with AMD Eyefinity Technology?

AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics will support AMD Eyefinity Technology as long as your discrete GPU supports AMD Eyefinity Technology and monitors are plugged into the discrete GPU outputs.

With a multi-monitor setup, why do some of the displays become disabled when I enable AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics?

AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics is a form of AMD CrossFireX™ Technology and with the current solution only displays from the 'master' graphics device (the one that monitors are plugged into) are available. The other displays are disabled. To ensure your displays remain available, make sure to connect your displays to the 'master' graphics device. The 'master' device settings can be found in the AMD VISION Engine Control Center, which is the user interface for the drivers and installation package.

What is AMD CrossFire™?

​AMD CrossFire™ is a technology which can combine up to four GPUs to speed up the rendering of 3D graphics. In AMD CrossFire setups all displays outputs are connected to the primary (master) card and outputs on the slave card(s) are disabled.  AMD CrossFire™ only works in full screen mode.

What is the difference between AMD CrossFire™, AMD CrossFireX, AMD Dual Graphics and AMD Hybrid CrossFire?

​AMD CrossFire: CrossFire is the AMD brand name for multiple GPU configurations.  

AMD CrossFireX:  AMD CrossFireX was a rebranded term for CrossFire, these terms are interchangeable. However, AMD now only use the term CrossFire.

AMD Dual Graphics: This technology refers to the combination of the graphics processor on the APU and a single discrete graphics card working together in CrossFire.  A discrete graphics card is a standalone graphics card connected to the PCIe slot on the motherboard.

AMD Hybrid CrossFire: Hybrid CrossFire uses the integrated graphics on a motherboard chipset in combination with a discrete graphics card.  This is technology is obsolete and no longer supported.

Can I setup AMD CrossFire™ using cards that are not recommended on the AMD CrossFire Compatibility Charts?

​In unsupported configurations graphics performance may be negatively impacted. AMD suggests using only the recommended cards on the AMD CrossFire Compatibility Charts.​

Is AMD CrossFire™ compatible with AMD Eyefinity?

​Yes, AMD CrossFire and AMD Eyefinity are compatible.  Since only displays connected to the primary (master) card are supported in AMD CrossFire, the number of displays that can be enabled in AMD Eyefinity mode is limited to the number of supported displays of the primary card.

If you would like further information regarding AMD Eyefinity setup please visit, www.amd.com/FAQ1.

How do I setup AMD CrossFire™ on my system?

​If you would like to setup AMD CrossFire between two or more discrete graphics cards (PCIe socket cards) correctly, please read the following steps:

1. Please make sure that the power supply unit meets the recommended requirements of the complete AMD CrossFire setup.  There are free 3rd party tools available online that can determine the power requirements of your system.

2. Check with your motherboard manufacturer that your motherboard is AMD CrossFire compatible with the required number of PCIe x16 slots available (running at a minimum of PCIe x8 speed).

3. Check the AMD CrossFire Compatibility Charts to verify that the cards you are using are recommended for AMD CrossFire.

4. Please make sure that you are properly grounded and the system is powered off before installing the graphics cards.

5. Connect the preferred card into the primary PCIe slot on the motherboard (check motherboard manual to determine the primary PCIe slot).

6. Connect additional cards to the secondary PCIe slots on the motherboard.  Note: AMD CrossFire only supports up to 4 GPUs.

7. If any AMD CrossFire bridge cables were included with the graphics cards, please connect them now.

8. After starting up the system ensure that you install the latest compatible driver for the graphics cards.

9. Go to the AMD CrossFire option in the AMD Catalyst™ Control Center and make sure that the check box for "Enable AMD CrossFire" is checked.

Note: For AMD Dual Graphics setup with an APU and a single discrete graphics card connected to the PCIe slot please see the AMD Dual Graphics FAQ.

How do I check if my graphics cards are working in AMD CrossFire™ mode?

​As long the "Enable AMD CrossFire" option in the AMD Catalyst™ Control Center is selected then the AMD CrossFire setup is working.  Please remember that AMD CrossFire is only enabled while playing AMD CrossFire compatible games in "Full Screen" mode.​

I do not see any AMD CrossFire™ option in the AMD Catalyst™ Control Center?

If the "AMD CrossFire" option is not available in the AMD Catalyst™ Control Center then you will need to verify that the setup has been done correctly.

1. Please check the "How do I setup CrossFire on my system?" FAQ to make sure that everything is setup correctly.

2. If you still do not have this option, please check:

  1. Confirm that the motherboard is AMD CrossFire compatible
  2. Check that the 2nd card is in the correct PCIe slot and the BIOS configuration for the PCIe x16 slot is set to a minimum of x8 speed.
  3. If the cards are identical and from the same manufacturer, ensure they are running the same VBIOS version.  The VBIOS version can be found in the AMD Catalyst™ Control Center Hardware Information tab.
  4. If your graphics cards are overclocked by the manufacturer make sure that both graphics card run at the same core and memory clock speeds.

    3. Please make sure you have the latest compatible driver installed. If you have already done so, testing with the driver that came in the CD with the graphics card is recommended.  Please uninstall the current driver prior to testing with a different version.

    4. Please ensure each card is working properly on its own.  Make sure each of the PCIe slots are operating at the minimum of PCIe x8 speed.

    5. If the above steps do not resolve your issue, please submit a detailed report using AMD Issue Reporting Form.
How do the AMD Radeon™ R9 series cards implement AMD CrossFire™? I have heard that some of them do not need the AMD CrossFire Bridge?

​Some of the AMD Radeon™ R9 series cards do not need to be connected via AMD CrossFire bridges, but instead communicate between the cards via XDMA over the PCIe bus. Please refer to the "AMD CrossFire Support" on the Radeon R series specifications page as to what is required.​

Is it possible to setup AMD CrossFire™ using an AMD APU and an AMD graphics card?

​Yes, it is possible to setup a single discrete AMD graphics card in combination with an AMD APU's built-in graphics processor. This setup is referred to as AMD Dual Graphics.

Please be aware that some BIOS options will likely need to be changed in order for this setup to work. Please contact your motherboard manufacturer about how to set this up. Once you have setup the BIOS options correctly and have verified that the discrete graphics card is compatible with the APU you are using, the option for AMD Dual Graphics will be available in the AMD Catalyst™ Control Center.

How many graphics cards can I use in AMD Dual Graphics setup?

​AMD Dual Graphics setup only works with a single AMD discrete graphics card in combination with the AMD APU.​

How do I setup AMD Dual Graphics on my system?

​In order to setup AMD Dual Graphics correctly, please read the following steps:

1. Check the AMD Dual Graphics Charts to verify which cards are recommended for AMD Dual Graphics with your APU.

2. Check with your motherboard manufacturer as to which PCI-e slot should be used.  AMD Radeon™ graphics cards require PCIe x16 slot (running at a minimum of x8 speed) to function correctly.

3. Please contact your motherboard manufacturer about how to correctly access and configure the BIOS to enable AMD Dual Graphics.

4. Once you have followed the above AMD Dual Graphics will be available in the AMD Catalyst™ Control Center.

When in AMD CrossFire™ mode the secondary card is shown as “Disabled”

​Please refer to the troubleshooting steps in "I do not see any AMD CrossFire™ option in the AMD Catalyst™ Control Center?" FAQ​

While in AMD CrossFire™ mode monitors connected to the secondary card(s) do not display an image.

​While in AMD CrossFire mode only the primary (master) card can be used as the output source. All other cards in the AMD CrossFire setup are being used only to speed graphics processing.  In order to get an output from the secondary card(s), disable AMD CrossFire in the AMD Catalyst™ Control Center.​

Am I able to use HDMI, VGA, DVI and DisplayPort while in AMD CrossFire™ mode?

​There are no limitations on what output connections can be used on the primary (master) card.

I have two graphics cards connected with an AMD CrossFire™ bridge but 3rd party programs are showing that AMD CrossFire is disabled.

​Please use the AMD Catalyst™ Control Center to verify that AMD CrossFire is enabled.​

How can I ensure the best performance while running in AMD CrossFire™ mode?

​1. Please make sure the game is running in "Full Screen" mode.  Switching out of "Full Screen" mode would cause AMD CrossFire to be temporarily disabled until the game returns to "Full Screen" mode.

2. Please ensure that the game is updated with the latest patches.

3. Experiment with different "Vertical Sync" and "Antialiasing" options to see which setting provides the best performance.

4. Game support forums can provide useful tips on improving gaming performance.

5. If you have installed the AMD Gaming Evolved application (Raptr), it has an option to automatically optimize your game configuration to provide the best performance.

I have an AMD CrossFire™ setup. Can I add a standalone graphics card to support additional monitors?

​If your system meets the minimum power requirements, you can add a standalone graphics card to your setup. However, you will not be able to "clone/duplicate" monitors from the AMD CrossFire setup onto this card. You can only "clone/duplicate" the monitors that are physically connected to this additional graphics card.​

Can I setup AMD CrossFire™ on a Linux system?

​AMD CrossFire™ is supported on Linux only if there is an application profile available.  Also, Linux does not support XDMA AMD CrossFire.​

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