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Crossfire and Visual Settings Improvement

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 7, 2010 7:40:51 PM

Hey guys, I tried to find the answer to this question in the stickies and in other threads but couldn't find it.

Basically I understand that at low resolution the improvement from crossfire setups is lessened. What I don't understand is whether or not crossfire provides other improvements at low resolution.

For instance, say I'm playing a game comfortably with everything maxed at 60fps, but with AA and Some crazy lighting effect off (lets say Ambient Occlusion but it doesn't matter)

If turning AA or Ambient Occlusion on, even at low resolution, drops fps down to say 30, would having a crossfire setup allow me to turn on those settings without the framerate hit? Or is it really only beneficial at high resolutions, and doesn't help with settings improvements.

Again, sorry if this has been brought up I did attempt to look for an answer.

Thanks in advance!
a c 169 U Graphics card
September 7, 2010 8:56:23 PM

Hello
What are your system specs? what resolution and which game are you playing ?
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September 7, 2010 8:56:50 PM

I would also like to know the answer to this. I'm in the same situation and am not sure whether its worth the upgrade.
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September 7, 2010 9:10:34 PM

Well I have a Phenom II 955 Processor and a ATI 5850, but I was more just curious in a general sense. A few friends of mine and I were talking about this the other day, they all have a similar situation but varying hardware setups.

I don't really have a specific game in mind, just in general there are some settings (AA being the most common, but intense lighting effects can do it also) that kill framerate even on low resolution.
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September 7, 2010 9:38:44 PM

HunterB1488 said:
Well I have a Phenom II 955 Processor and a ATI 5850, but I was more just curious in a general sense. A few friends of mine and I were talking about this the other day, they all have a similar situation but varying hardware setups.

I don't really have a specific game in mind, just in general there are some settings (AA being the most common, but intense lighting effects can do it also) that kill framerate even on low resolution.


Crysis is the obvious one where enabling the DX10 stuff really affects performance. I know at 1360x768 on a single 4870 1GB and Phenom X4 B50 gets me about 35fps average on the benchmark and enabling AA at all reduces it by about another 5fps or so as a guess.

This is why I want to know the answer as I am very near to getting playable framerates at max settings on most new games. Metro 2033 for example at max settings dips down to around 20 early on when you go outside. If Crossfire just gave me a 10fps boost at low res that would be good enough for me.

Anyway, don't want to hi-jack the thread, just thought I would give an example for you.
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September 7, 2010 10:22:28 PM

panbot3000 said:
Crysis is the obvious one where enabling the DX10 stuff really affects performance. I know at 1360x768 on a single 4870 1GB and Phenom X4 B50 gets me about 35fps average on the benchmark and enabling AA at all reduces it by about another 5fps or so as a guess.

This is why I want to know the answer as I am very near to getting playable framerates at max settings on most new games. Metro 2033 for example at max settings dips down to around 20 early on when you go outside. If Crossfire just gave me a 10fps boost at low res that would be good enough for me.

Anyway, don't want to hi-jack the thread, just thought I would give an example for you.



No ya I appreciate the example. My question basically falls around whether or not with that second card you could go from 2x AA to maybe 8x and have similar framerates as you did at 2x with just one card. Or does Crossfire just not work that way.
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September 7, 2010 10:45:50 PM

The thing that confuses me is that people claim that at low res the graphics are cpu bound and so crossfire would make no difference unless gaming at hi res.

Now this would make sense if the GPU handled anything you throw at it, but for me the extra settings or AA make the framerates GPU bound as its at 100% load all the time as opposed to the CPU which is only at about 50% load.

So it would make sense that adding another card in crossfire would allow it to boost your framerate to a point where you may once more become cpu bound. The only way I can see this not being the case is if crossfire requires lots of cpu power to work or if the game requires most of your cpu to begin with anyway.

Of course this is only theory from what I have read and experienced so it would need to be backed up by someone who has tried crossfire at low res. ;) 
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September 7, 2010 10:52:19 PM

panbot3000 said:
The thing that confuses me is that people claim that at low res the graphics are cpu bound and so crossfire would make no difference unless gaming at hi res.

Now this would make sense if the GPU handled anything you throw at it, but for me the extra settings or AA make the framerates GPU bound as its at 100% load all the time as opposed to the CPU which is only at about 50% load.

So it would make sense that adding another card in crossfire would allow it to boost your framerate to a point where you may once more become cpu bound. The only way I can see this not being the case is if crossfire requires lots of cpu power to work or if the game requires most of your cpu to begin with anyway.

Of course this is only theory from what I have read and experienced so it would need to be backed up by someone who has tried crossfire at low res. ;) 



I'd completely forgotten about this but ya I agree. I have a pretty new processor and I haven't seen it go under full load playing anything yet, where as my GPU will be under 100% if I play something really graphics intensive.

Hope someone else has some experience or knowhow to add.
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September 7, 2010 11:53:34 PM

I may just end up trying this though I may not be able to until later this month or the next depending on finances. If no one has replies by then I'll test the differences and post them up.

The second PCI-E 2.0 slot is 4x though so it may reduce the gains but hopefully not by too much to make it pointless.

Hopefully though someone will reply sooner. :) 
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September 8, 2010 3:02:00 AM

panbot3000 said:
I may just end up trying this though I may not be able to until later this month or the next depending on finances. If no one has replies by then I'll test the differences and post them up.

The second PCI-E 2.0 slot is 4x though so it may reduce the gains but hopefully not by too much to make it pointless.

Hopefully though someone will reply sooner. :) 


What are you runnin with Mobo GPU and CPU wise?
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September 8, 2010 6:27:10 AM

HunterB1488 said:
What are you runnin with Mobo GPU and CPU wise?


It should be in my profile but to make things easier I will list them.

MOBO - ASUS M4A77TD PRO
GPU - Powercolor 4870 1GB
CPU - AMD Phenom X4 B50 at 3.0GHz
RAM - 2x2GB DDR3 Kingston HyperX RAM at 1333Mhz
PSU - XFX 650W XXX Edition (52A on the 12V rail)
OS -Windows 7 64 Bit.

I underclocked the CPU by 100Mhz simply for stability as it still performed better in most appliactions than when it was a dual core at 3.5GHz.
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September 8, 2010 6:24:16 PM

panbot3000 said:
It should be in my profile but to make things easier I will list them.

MOBO - ASUS M4A77TD PRO
GPU - Powercolor 4870 1GB
CPU - AMD Phenom X4 B50 at 3.0GHz
RAM - 2x2GB DDR3 Kingston HyperX RAM at 1333Mhz
PSU - XFX 650W XXX Edition (52A on the 12V rail)
OS -Windows 7 64 Bit.

I underclocked the CPU by 100Mhz simply for stability as it still performed better in most appliactions than when it was a dual core at 3.5GHz.



Hmmm interesting, ya I'll be interested to see an answer not related to our specific hardware. I can't help but think that having a second card would increase the amount of settings that can be turned up, but all anyone ever talks about is framerate improvements.
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