How to Configure Discrete Graphics Cards to Run In AMD CrossFire™ Mode

Article Number: DH-018

​​This document provides information and instructions on how to configure your system for AMD CrossFire™1 technology and is organized into the following sections:

AMD CrossFire™ Overview
AMD CrossFire™ is a multi-GPU (MGPU) technology which combines the processing power of graphics cards (GPUs) with the aim to improve performance by speeding up the rendering of 3D graphics.  The performance gains using AMD Crossfire are dependent on the application and can deliver increased performance than a single GPU configuration.

With DirectX® 12 and Vulkan® 3D Applications, multi-GPU support is exclusively handled by the application and should be available as an option in the game launcher or within the graphics/video settings menu.  The 3D application must support MGPU technology in order for AMD CrossFire™ to work.  Under DirectX® 9, 10 and 11, an AMD CrossFire™ driver profile is required. The AMD CrossFire driver profile provides unique instructions and optimizations to enable optimal performance and compatibility with the 3D application.

When AMD CrossFire™ support is enabled, one GPU acts as the primary GPU whereas the additional GPUs act as secondary GPUs.  Graphics rendering tasks are divided among each GPU to drive a single display connected to the primary GPU. If a second display is connected to the primary GPU, the current desktop can be extended to it, allowing AMD CrossFire to support multiple displays.  Displays connected to secondary GPUs are automatically disabled; to enable these displays, AMD CrossFire support must first be disabled.

Note! AMD CrossFire™ requires the application to run in exclusive full screen mode when using DirectX® 9, 10, 11 and OpenGL APIs.

AMD CrossFireRequirements

These are the requirements to enable AMD CrossFire™:

  1. Radeon™ RX Series, Radeon R9 and R7 300 Series GPUs must belong to the same family model number. E.g. 2 x AMD Radeon RX 580 or 2x AMD Radeon R9 390.
          1. For Radeon R9 and R7 200 series and Radeon HD 7000 series, please refer to the AMD CrossFire Compatibility chart.
            Note! Radeon R9 and R7 200 series and Radeon HD 7000 series may require an AMD CrossFire™ bridge to be connected to each GPU.  Please refer to the AMD CrossFire Compatibility chart or consult the manufacturer of the GPU for more information.
  2.  The power supply unit (PSU) must exceed the minimum requirements of the total system power draw which can be estimated using a PSU calculator and entering all system components.

  3. The motherboard must be AMD CrossFire™ certified with at least two PCIe x16 slots available, running at a minimum of PCIe x8 speed. Please check with the motherboard manufacturer for AMD CrossFire compatibility.

  4. AMD CrossFire™ is currently supported in Windows® 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 however, compatibility will be dependent on your GPUs. Please check with the GPU manufacturer for AMD CrossFire compatibility.

Once all AMD CrossFire™ requirements are met, the graphics hardware and software must be properly installed before configuring AMD CrossFire™

For instructions on installing your GPU hardware, please refer to the product user manual or documentation. For instructions on installing AMD graphics drivers, please refer to KB: How-To Install Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition on a Windows Based System.

Configuring AMD CrossFire™

The following section describes the options available within Radeon™ Settings which allow configuration of AMD CrossFire™ under the DirectX® 9, 10, 11, and OpenGL APIs and they include:

    • AMD CrossFire™
    • AMD CrossFire™ Logo
    • Frame Pacing
    • Custom AMD CrossFire™ Profiles

 

 

  1. To access these options open AMD Radeon Settings by right clicking on your desktop and select AMD Radeon Settings.

  2. Click on the Gaming Tab.

  3. Click on Global Settings.

    Note! Any changes made in Global settings should apply to all 3D applications upon launch.

    If you wish to create customized settings for specific 3D applications, you can create individual application profiles. This is explained in more detail in the document: How to Configure AMD Radeon Settings to Get the Optimal Gaming Experience.

AMD CrossFire™
The AMD CrossFire™ option is a toggle which allows AMD CrossFire to be enabled or disabled on a global basis for all 3D applications.

Note! AMD CrossFire™ requires the 3D application to run in exclusive full screen mode [JJL1] [MR2] when using DirectX 9, 10, 11 and OpenGL APIs.

AMD CrossFire™ Logo
When AMD CrossFire™ support is enabled, you can choose to show the AMD CrossFire logo when running 3D applications in full screen mode.  This logo (as shown below) appears in the top-right corner of the screen to indicate that AMD CrossFire™ support is enabled.  When AMD CrossFire™ support is disabled, no logo is shown.


 

Frame Pacing
In MGPU configurations, GPUs render alternating frames and push each frame to your display. Each frame rendered can be created at various speeds, causing differences in frame time delivery. With frame pacing enabled, frames are distributed evenly, i.e. with less time variance between frames, creating smoother gameplay when using AMD CrossFire™.


Customizing a AMD CrossFire
Mode
AMD CrossFire™ mode can be customized for 3D applications that do not have a predefined AMD CrossFire driver profile.  To begin customizing an application profile for AMD CrossFire™, add an application to Radeon Settings:

  1. From the Gaming menu, click on Add > Browse

  2. Find and select the application to add to Radeon Settings and click Open.

  3. Select the application to begin customization.

  4. Choose the preferred AMD CrossFire™ mode listed below:

    • Disabled: The 3D application runs in single GPU mode.

    • Default mode: If the 3D application has a driver profile it will be used. If a driver profile does not exist, the application will run in single GPU mode.

    • AFR friendly: The application will run in multi GPU mode with resource tracking disabled using alternate frame rendering. Each GPU will take turns rendering frames. AFR friendly makes assumptions that the 3D application was built to be multi GPU aware and could cause image corruption if it was not built that way.
    • Optimize 1x1: The 3D application will run in multi GPU mode using alternate frame rendering, but with optimizations for 1x1 surfaces.
    • AFR compatible: The 3D application will run in multi GPU mode with resource tracking enabled using alternate frame rendering.
    • Use AMD pre-defined profile: This mode allows the use of an existing driver profile and applies it to the current 3D application.

      Note! Custom AMD CrossFire™ profiles can cause flickering and/or poor performance if they are not compatible with the 3D application. Keep your display driver updated to ensure you have the latest set of AMD CrossFire™ driver profiles.

  5. Select the preferred mode and it will be saved to the application profile.

  6. Close Radeon Settings, when done.

1 AMD CrossFire™ technology and/or AMD LiquidVR™ Affinity Multi-GPU technology requires an AMD CrossFire™ technology-ready motherboard and may require a specialized power supply and AMD CrossFire™ Bridge Interconnect (for each additional graphics card). Check with your component or system manufacturer for specific model capabilities. See the following link for more information.

Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents.

 


Footnotes