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: https://amzn.to/2otQU3q.

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

Going from water cooling to air cooling, leaking GPU block

So i decided to go from water cooling to air cooling. Mostly because it was a lot to do with the water cooling, like my GPU block started leaking and i had to replace the water pump because my old one broke. I think that my system was some quiet, but after i got the new pump everything changed, it made som much noise. Even though the pump looks like my old one, it is not from the same company, so you should be careful on which pump you buy.

My GPU block was leaking

In my last post i recommended a great GPU block, this is the one i bought after my last one started leaking. The first one i bought was a fully black very thin block, and after i opened it i understand how bad quality this was. And this is also one of my reasons i decided going from water cooling to air cooling. I do not want any more leaks. I was lucky that i had my PSU facing the fan downwards, if not the water would leak directly to the PSU and that could have gone wrong.

But i do recommend the last GPU block that i bought, the 43-61mm GPU Water Cooling Block Waterblock. I believe that you can find it for about $15 USD in my last post on ebay, they also look the same. It is definitely worth the price if you have a card similar to me that makes so much noise with the stock cooler.

Noctua fan

I decided to go for the best this time, no more going for the 2nd best. Noctua! I bought three Noctua fans, two for the front and one for the back of my computer. They have a really good reputation if you follow this link to one of the one i bought at Amazon Noctua 120mm NF-S12A FLX, you can see that it got 4.8 of 5 stars which is amazing.

So when i got the fans i was really impressed of the packaging, it felt like i really bought a high premium fan. So i went for one of the Noctua 120mm NF-S12A FLX and two of the Noctua NF-P12 120mm x 25mm.

High static pressure or not?

The Noctua NF-P12 is a high static pressure fan, so this would fit great in the front of your PC. What is basically does is if you have harddrives or air filters in front of the fan, it is recommended to have high static pressure. If you have nothing in front or back of the fan, i would recommend the NF-S12A. Also the NF-S12A is some quieter than the NF-P12, but you still cannot hear any of them.

If you have water cooling, and a radiator. I would recommend buying a extreme high pressure fan for the radiator. It have even more static pressure than the NF-P12. A great example on this is the Noctua NF-F12 PWM. But this one make a bit more noise than the NF-P12.

So this basically sums it to three different fans:

Noctua CPU cooler

I also got a CPU cooler from Noctua. It looked so big when i got it, but when it was intalled, it did not look that big any more. The CPU cooler is a Noctua NH-D9L, and it is as quiet as the rest of the fans. Under load you may hear it. But i am also very glad i bought this with the other Noctua fans.

Something i did not realise, is that the CPU cooler did include package of Noctua thermal paste, but i bought an additional Noctua thermal paste. It is not the same amount inside, but i do not think that i would need the additional one, but it is great to have.

My Noctua S12A (fan) and Noctua NH-D9L (CPU cooler)

The noise – Water cooling vs air cooling

As i said earlier, the new water pump did make a lot of noise. So going to this Noctua setup was a dream. As long as i do not game. Because the graphics card i have now makes a lot of noise when i am gaming. When i am not gaming i did actually set the fan in SpeedFan to idle, so the fan does not spin when the graphics card is not used. When i am gaming, it is a pain. A fair statement from me, is that if you get a good pump for your water cooling, it will be silent. But if you do as me, install only Noctua fans, and get a graphics card with silent fans you will have the quietest computer in your neighbourhood.

But there was still some noise, and that was the PSU fan. And i know I should not open an PSU (disclaimer: Your should not either!). But i did it anyway, and changed the fan to be a more silent one. I can still hear that it makes some noise, but I will survive until i can afford a new fan for the power supply.

Having water cooling vs having air cooling

Am i missing water cooling? Absolutely not, I just wanted to try it. And having an air cooled computer is so much easier. You do not need to think that your computer some day get wet because of an leakage, you do not need to think that your pump suddenly break and this kind of stuff. So if you are not thinking of doing some serious overclocking, I will recommend you to go for air cooling. And like i said, your computer will be more silent with just fans.

I did some benchmarking before and after, and the temperature on the CPU was actually lower after I installed air cooling. The GPU did not have any mayor diffrence. And i feel like the other components on the graphics card and mother board is more cooler now when i have more fans.

Replacing the GPU?

I am actually thinking of replacing the GPU, not only because of the noise. But getting 30 fps on medium settings on GTA V, is not that fun anymore. My R7 260X have done its job, and i am thinking of replacing it with something like an RX 480 or similar.

Products used in this post

See my YouTube video

How to create a cheap water cooling system for your computer

In this post i will show how to make an affordable water cooling for your computer including water blocks for the CPU and the GPU, water pump with reservoir and radiator.

Why should i install water cooling on my pc?

If you are like me, you would do it because it is fun… And maybe some overclocking. My main reason to water cool my pc was because of my annoying GPU fan, it made so much noise. So this is my way to make everything more quiet. Some would probably recommend to buy an 3 fan GPU and quiet fans, but i also wanted to try water cooling. So this is an affordable way to do it yourself.

My setup: CPU Cooling (24.98 USD)

I will be making a water cooling system for my setup. So this is for a AMD A8 6600K FM2 socket. But the ebay listing says that it will fit other sockets to like AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+ and FM1. Also it will fit Intel LGA 775, 1155, 115 and 1366 (this is from the item description on ebay, i do not know for sure that it will fit anything else that FM2). ebay: 

GPU Cooling (11.9 USD)

For the GPU i just had to risk and buy one because it is difficult to find one ebay listing that says this will fit my XFX R7 260X. In the item description it says that it will fit 270X, 280X, 290 and 290X. But no 260X, so i guess you need to check if it will fit your GPU by the 43-61mm range (check the ebay listing for more information: ). But this one will definitely fit the XFX AMD 260X.

Water pump with reservoir (15.99 USD)

This is a water pump that includes a reservoir, make sure you have a 3 pin cable ready for this one. If you don’t have a 3 pin available, then you can get a 3 pin splitter, they do not work as they should do always so make sure you get a quality one. They have the splitter on ebay and amazon. This water pump does make a bit noise, even if it says ultra quiet. But i bought this 3 pin noise reducer from ebay (link: ) and i can’t hear the pump anymore. Here is a ebay link to the pump:

Radiator (13.69 USD)

This is a very simple but okay to use radiator. I installed mine on the back exhaust fan. I got some long screws from ebay, they made me fasten both the fan and the radiator at the same time. If you take the screw from the inside of your case, and through the fan hole. You can fasten the screw inside the small holes that you see at the radiator. Make sure you have a 120mm fan. ebay radiator link:

Tubing (11.6 USD)

For tubing i bought 2 meters of 8*12mm. 2 meters is probably more than enough, i bought 2 to be sure. But 1 meter will probably be enough. I also bought a couple of hose connectors (ebay link: ), in case i cut to little. But the best thing about it is when you are going to drain your system, this one at the back of your computer is brilliant because you dont need to disconnect any tubing from either a radiator or a water block. You have 80% control when disconnecting tubes with this in between. Nothing much to say about the tubes. Link for ebay: .

Result

The total cost is about 78 USD. Which is good when you think about that this is for both the GPU and CPU. I have a very hot system, but manage to get around 40-50 degrees celsius on idle.

Prefer Amazon instead of ebay?

All of my links goes to ebay, but all of the parts is available at amazon.com. Check it out here:

My Chromebook C300

I got the Chromebook C300 4GB memory version. I use it mostly for school, it got everything i need. It is very light weight and around 11 hours of battery, that is amazing for a cheap laptop.

I installed Debian 64 bit with crouton to make more of my chromebook, but i cannot say that i really need it. And it got some issues, like it cant find the Linux kernel (if anyone know how to fix it, please comment). But something good with having linux is that you can install VLC media player and play all your movies when you are on the go. Last time i did this, i forgot to install VLC, so up in the air with no internet connection, great!

Products used in this post

Chromebook C300 4GB memory – https://goo.gl/zChbo5

My PC

I got a medium cost pc, it runs pretty much all new games on high quality settings. I get around 30 FPS on the most games, that is playable, but i would have enjoyed a 60 FPS much more. My camera is not with me on taking nice detailed pictures of my pc, so of all the pictures i took, this is the one that was not blurred.

My specs:

As you can see, I also got some water cooling going on. Currently the GPU is not water cooled because of a leak i had about a week ago. But a new one is bought and on its way. I plan to set a 120 x 120mm radiator where the seagate drives stands right now when i build my NAS, for more cooling. I do also have one 240 x 120 mm radiator on the top of the case. You can see the fan, and it does helps a little, but i will remove the fan when the 120 x 120 mm radiator is installed. I do also got the cheapest radiators i found, they are good enough, but i would have bought some cobber ones instead so i do not mix any metals like i do now. I do not need a reservoir because the pump have a integritet one. On the pump i have something like a controller, it gives it less power so the pump does not make that much noise and will still perform well.

My water cooling parts:

The GPU block is the new one, not the one that did leak.

So this is my pc, what do you think? Is it good, bad, a good budget PC, to low specs for water cooling? Say your opinion in the comment section below.

Old Hard Drive benchmark – Samsung HD154UI – Update #2

This is a follow up on the 6 year old Samsung HD154UI 1.5 TB Hard Drive. So i wanted to test my old hard drive to check if it is any good, and the results look bad. I tested my SSD’s, my 2 TB drives and the 1.5 TB drive.

Here are the results:

From top left: Samsung 850 SSD 120GB, Samsung 850 SSD 250GB, Seagate 2TB (in raid 1 so only one test) and the old Samsung HD154UI 1.5 TB.

As you see the old drive is a bit far behind on my seagate hard drives, about 100 MB/s. And even worse on the SSD’s. The SSD’s are about 5-6 times the speed, and that is impressing for the SSD’s, but not for my old drive. I got a motherboard and cables that supports Sata 3. Every drive is Sata 3 without my old hard drive, the Samsung HD154UI, it is Sata 2. So the problem is probably there.

So here we did some good results, i am a bit worried of the speed if i put the drive in the NAS server. Because it would not be the internet that slows down the transfer speed, but the drive. I should think about buying two new drives. It would have been fun to use this drive to, to check how long it would have survived.

Thanks for reading. Leave a comment if you have any questions or want me to test other stuff. 🙂

 

Products used in this post:

6 year old Samsung HD154UI 1.5 TB Hard Drive – Update #1

I want to show you my 6 year old Samsung HD154UI 1.5 terabyte hard drive. The average disk lives about 4 years, and that is why this Samsung drive impresses me, the production date is 2009 and 7 years later with 6 years of daily usage it still works.

My old harddrive
My old harddrive

I did replace it with a 120 GB SSD Samsung 850 about 6 months ago, and have since then used it as a backup device until today. I do also have 2 x 2 TB Seagate hard drives that i bought about 1 year ago. If you did read my NAS server project, you would probably already know what i am going to do with the disks. Yes, put them in the NAS.

This means i will have 2 x 2 TB and 1 x 1,5 TB storage on the NAS. I am thinking of buing another one so i would have RAID 1 on the 2 x 2 TB and the 1,5 TB. But i am unsure if i want to have a 1 TB or 2 TB drive with the 1,5 TB, because it will probably die soon anyway, so i would replace it with the same amount as the other new one.

On my daily pc i will have the 120 GB Samsung 850 SSD and another 250 GB Samsung 850 SSD. I do like the SSD’s, it comes with an easy to use software and they got a great design. Maybe not the cheapest or the best SSD’s on the market, but it depends on what you like.

I will update you with some smart tests in the next post.

 

Products used in this post: