Crossfire two different graphic cards

I got the worst idea of crossfiring my old R7 260X with my new RX 480. And I have never done something similar before, so it will be cool to try. You should not try to crossfire cards that are so different, but let us try and see what happens.

When using crossfire, I know that you need to have a couple of things before you can make it work, so i made this list:

  1. Your motherboard needs to support crossfire.
  2. Both graphic cards need to support crossfire.
  3. Your power supply should have enough power for two graphic cards.
  4. Your power supply needs to have enough cables for powering two graphic cards.

Ready to crossfire?

Am i ready to crossfire? Yes! Well, i am unsure of one thing, the power supply. I have a 600 W power supply and i think that it should be just enough for my both graphic cards. I am not sure if this is going to work or not. Because when I had just the R7 260X, I tried to do the same with Radeon Dual Graphics. Only then with the R7 260X and the A8 APU, without success. So I ended up just overclocking the R7 260X.

Installing the R7 260X

Install of an 2nd graphics card at the second PCI-E slot was not that satisfying. There was a lot of cables that goes to the front USB, Audio and so on that I felt got squeezed against the motherboard. Not that good of a feeling. I also had problems with the 6 pin connector from the power supply. The power supply comes with one 6+2 pin connector and one 6 pin connector. But the problem was, the last 6 pin connector was to short. Then i got stuck, what to do now? And then i remember that i got a 4 pin to 6 pin adapter. And it saved my day. You can find one at Amazon here:

4 pin to 6 pin adapter
4 pin to 6 pin adapter

Getting ready to Crossfire!

Everything is installed, starting up the computer and both graphic cards start up. The computer boots into Windows and i open AMD Radeon setting. And yes, both cards are listed. But the R7 260X is listed at “not active”. So now I am wondering how I can activate the card. So all the drivers are installed, and then I go to AMD’s website to check if I find any solution. AMD say: “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.”. To do this, I went to the “Gaming” tab, clicked the “Global Settings”. Both graphic cards are listed, but there is nothing that tells me that i can enable AMD CrossFire. So it looks like it is not possible.

What now?

I tried different stuff, like check if there is possible to enable som kind of crossfire option in the BIOS. But i did not find anything. So my conclusion is that, you cannot crossfire a R7 260X with a RX 480. And even if it worked, I believe that you would not get any better performance out of it. Maybe worse.

Products used in this post

My new MSI Radeon RX 480 8GB Armor OC

So i bought the new RX 480, and i am very happy with the result. I have never bought a graphics card this expensive before. So this will be a new experience for me.

My new RX 480
My new RX 480

MSI Radeon RX 480 8GB Armor OC or MSI Radeon RX 480 8GB Gaming X

I asked myself the same question when buying this video card. And by doing a lot of research, there is nearly no big difference. In one of my favorite video card benchmarks Unigine Valley, I believe you can get from 0 to 5 fps more with the Gaming X. I paid about 100 USD less for the Armor OC, so for me it was definietly worth it. But i think it really depends on the user. I think a red and black video card does not fit in my computer, and when i just installed the brown Noctua fans, it would be like a rainbow inside. So my conclution is, if you have a motherboard that will match the video card and like RGB lights, go for the Gaming X. If you just like a simple video card, go for the Armor OC.

How much did I pay?

I paid 250 USD for the card. I know it looks like a lot, but if you see it from my perspective, it is not. In my country, you would need to pay an import fee and VAT for the card. So let me do some calculations, today the card costs about 240 USD at Amazon. At import i would need to pay 60 USD VAT and a import fee at about 10 USD. So the total cost of the card would be 310 USD. And that is without shipping, Amazon does not ship for free to my country. So I was really lucky paying only 250 USD included shipping for the card, I think it was the last one in their stock or something and buying the Gaming X was not really an option for me when it was 100 USD more.

But i am interested in knowing how you pay for your hardware at Amazon, do you need to pay for some kind of VAT and how much would the total be if you had to pay 240 USD from Amazon? Let me know which country and what the total would be in the comments.

My old XFX R7 260X vs MSI Radeon RX 480 8GB Armor

What i need to mention at first is the sound! I can finally enjoy gaming without hearing the graphic card fan spinning, the R7 260X made even so much noise on about 50% fan speed. I am not sure what XFX though when they designed this fan. But the RX 480 is so quiet, even when benchmarking. And at idle, the RX 480 does not make a sound. Basically because it turns of the fans at idle. I did not even have to adjust the fan settings, because i think they are perfect from the box. It may vary from system to system, but for me it was good.

My old R7 260X
My old R7 260X

So lets talk about fps. I do play games like GTA V, Raise of the tomb raider, Cities: Skylines, Spintires and that kind of games. And going from medium settings at around 30 fps (overclocked), to max settings around 40 to 60 fps in GTA V was a dream for me. It made everything about buying a new graphic card worth it. But i have some scores from Unigine Valley (max settings at DX 11) for you guys to compare the diffrence of the graphic cards:

R7 260X 2GB (not overclocked)

  • FPS: 17.5
  • Score: 732
  • Min FPS: 9.8
  • Max FPS:32.3

RX 480 8GB

  • FPS: 48.7
  • Score: 2040
  • Min FPS: 21.3
  • Max FPS: 89.8

And as you can see, you do probably now understand why i bought a new RX 480.

Would i still recommend the R7 260X?

It really depends on the user. If you can afford paying 90 USD more for the RX 480, I would defiently go for the RX 480. But if you can survive a noisy fan and playing games at medium settings. It is okay to buy the R7 260X. I do not know if the Sapphire Radeon R7 260X 2GB makes the same noise as my XFX RADEON R7 260X 2GB. If you know, tell me and i will write it in this post.


Products used in this post