Is My CrossFire Setup Working Correctly? [Basic/Advanced Guide]

Discussion in 'Videocards - AMD Radeon' started by AMDMatt, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. AMDMatt

    AMDMatt Master Guru

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    One of the questions i often see asked is, "How do i know if CrossfireX is working correctly?" Well i have written a basic and advanced guide that will show you two different ways to check that your CrossFireX setup is working correctly.

    The first (simple) method will allow you to get a visual notification in the form of an AMD CrossFireX logo every time a game starts and a CrossFireX profile is loaded. A quick and easy way to make sure that CrossFireX is working when you load a game.

    The second (advanced) method requires you to install a third party application called MSI Afterburner. This will allow to to monitor how your gpu's are performing down to the finest detail. Great for the enthusiast or someone that likes to keep a pulse on what his Radeon cards are doing at all times.

    I recommend using the latest WHQL driver from the AMD website. CrossFireX users should always use the most recent drivers to keep their CrossFireX profiles up to date.


    Basic Method - Quick Way To Check If CrossFireX Is Working


    Open Catalyst Control Center. Click preferences in the top right hand corner and make sure Advanced view is selected.

    [​IMG]

    Crossfire should be enabled by default after installing the driver, assuming you've installed the cards correctly and secured the relevant power connections. But lets just double check to make sure that's the case.

    Open the performance tab on the left. Click AMD CrossFireX. Ensure that Enable CrossfireX is selected.

    Note only Windows 8/8.1 users will see the option below that.

    The option to enable/disable crossfire is not present for 7990/295x2 users. Should these users wish to disable CrossFireX for a specific game you need to create a profile within 3d applications, select the game exe, add it, then disable CrossFireX and click apply.

    [​IMG]

    Next we need to make sure frame pacing is enabled. Again this should be on by default, but just double check. Go to the gaming, then 3d applications on the left. Click X in the top right hand corner to close CCC to the taskbar.


    [​IMG]

    Right Click the CCC icon ([​IMG]) in your taskbar. Go to 1.AMD Radeon >> Show CrossFireX Logo. Tick that like in the picture below.

    [​IMG]

    Now whenever a 3D Application loads, if CrossFireX is working and has applied a CrossFireX profile then you will see a small CrossFireX logo in the top right hand corner whenever a game or 3D application loads that has a CrossFireX profile.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  2. AMDMatt

    AMDMatt Master Guru

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    Advanced Method - Will Allow You To Better Monitor GPU Performance

    The advanced method to monitoring CrossFireX usage and general gpu performance allows you to access more precise information about how CrossFireX is performing. That is done using MSI Afterburners On Screen Display software called RivaTuner. This will enable you to monitor via a graph on the screen how each gpu is performing while you game. You can monitor its temperature, how much gpu usage it's receiving, (in other words - how hard it's working) as well as things like core clock speed and video memor usage. It's very handy and i recommend it to all 'advanced' CrossFireX users who wish to get every last drop of performance from their setup.

    First of all you will need to download the latest version of MSI Afterburner from Guru3D, which at the time of writing is 4.0.0.

    Download Link
    http://www.guru3d.com/files-get/msi-afterburner-beta-download,26.html

    Once you've downloaded it and installed afterburner and rivatuner, run it and follow the prompt to restart your pc.

    When you're back in Windows open up afterburner and go to settings. I highly recommend you copy the settings i use below, click ok then restart your pc again.

    [​IMG]

    Key Settings Explained

    Disable ULPS is a handy power saving tool that shuts off your second gpu completely when the pc is idle or not under heavy load. It's not absolutely essential to disable this, but it can improve performance a little bit to disable it so typically i recommend disabling it.

    Enable unified gpu usage monitoring should be ticked to provide more accurate gpu usage readings. As we want to monitor gpu usage to see how CrossFireX is working, this is essential.


    Setting Up RivaTuner


    Go to the monitoring tab. Change hardware polling period to 2000. That means the overlay will update once every two seconds. Settings this refresh too low can degrade performance on lower end systems so use with caution. I'd recommend no lower than a setting of 1000.

    [​IMG]

    Now we need to set up the on screen display itself to show the desired information while we game.

    Tick and activate each of the hardware monitoring graphs under this section. Put a tick in GPU 1 Temp, then go down to show in on screen display and put a tick there. Then go to override group name and put a tick in there. Name it GPU1. Now do the same for GPU 2 Temp and name is GPU 2. When you get down to override group name make sure you put in GPU2 and not GPU1. You want them on separate lines on the overlay to keep things clear.

    GPU1
    [​IMG]


    GPU2
    [​IMG]

    I recommend you set up the following for all gpus. Make sure you tick override group name and keep naming the relevant part GPU1 and GPU2 etc. You want all GPU1 info on one line and GPU2 info on the next line below it.

    GPU1 TEMP
    GPU2 TEMP
    GPU1 USAGE
    GPU2 USAGE
    GPU1 CORE CLOCK
    GPU2 CORE CLOCK
    GPU1 MEMORY CLOCK
    GPU2 MEMORY CLOCK

    You can also monitor other things like fps, video ram usage, cpu temperature and usage etc. These can be handy to monitor as well, so if that interests you then setup overlays for those as well. Just remember to put them on a different line to keep things organized and tidy.

    Note under Framerate and Frametime you're not able to select override group name. So all you do is tick show in on screen display, like so.

    [​IMG]

    If you do decide to monitor video memory, system memory and pagefile usage then i suggest you use override group name on all of them, and have the name as MEMORY or MEM in capitals. If you use the same override group name on all of them it will position them on the same line on screen.

    [​IMG]

    As above, you can add cpu temperature and cpu usage (per core/thread - similar to gpu usage) to the on screen display as well if you want. Just follow the same instructions as above to add those.

    Now we need to tweak the overlay so we can see it easily while running 3D applications. It needs to stand out so we can easily read it while fragging. For this we need to open RivaTuner [​IMG] which will be in your taskbar somewhere near the MSI afterburner icon.

    With RivaTuner open, go to 'on screen display shadow' and change it to on.

    [​IMG]

    Next we need to change the colour of the text so it stands out well against backgrounds. To do that click the purple on screen display palette. Select white as the primary colour and black as the secondary colour. You can select whichever colour you choose, but i think white and black stands out best on any colour background in my opinion.

    [​IMG]

    Once all that is done and you're happy it's time to play some games and check out that overlay. Pay special attention to the 'GPU Usage', look out for the percentage sign that is displayed. This will tell how much each of your gpu's is being used. Ideally you will want to see this on or around 99% on both gpu's. This will mean each gpu is working to 99% of it's maximum capability.

    Here is what the overlay should look like in game.

    [​IMG]

    Here's what you should be looking out for in games. Both gpu's showing at 90-99% gpu usage with crossfire running. The GPU usage is on the top line, after the gpu temperature. Below that i have cpu temperature and cpu usage.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Frequently Asked Questions


    You can set up a toggle key to enable and disable the on screen display overlay at the press of a keystroke, should you find it irritating while gaming. To set this up do the following. Choose a toggle key from the monitoring tab in settings to turn the on screen display overlay on or off. I use F8. Press that while gaming and the overlay will vanish. Press it again to bring it back. Very handy if you plan to take screenshots while gaming.

    [​IMG]



    Gpu usage can and will fluctuate depending on many things, so don't worry. As long as performance is good and fps are high, i wouldn't worry about it. However low gpu usage coupled with poor performance can sometimes indicate one of the following.

    1. You're using vsync or an fps limit. This is stopping the gpu from working to its full capacity as it can provide the number of frames required without working at maximum (99%) capacity. As long as performance is good and smooth, don't worry about low gpu usage here.

    2. There could be a cpu bottleneck in place. This occurs when your cpu is unable to provide enough grunt (fps) for the gpu's to work at their maximum capacity, 99%. The only way to fix this is to overclock the cpu or upgrade the cpu. Faster system memory can also help, but less so than the cpu.

    3. The bottleneck could be a limitation of the game engine or the API (DirectX) itself. Overclocking the cpu can sometimes help with this and can sometimes improve fps and get cpu/gpu usage up a bit further. Otherwise the only option may be to lower details a bit and see if you can improve performance at lower settings.


    Currently under DirectX/OpenGL CrossfireX will only work if the 3D application or game is running in Full Screen Mode. Please check the video options and ensure that you're running in Full Screen Mode and not Borderless Mode or Windowed Mode.

    If you're using the Mantle API then CrossfireX will work in Borderless Mode or Windowed Mode. It should be noted that although Crossfire will work under Mantle in Borderless or Windowed Mode, to get the best possible performance i recommend running in Full Screen Mode.


    PLEASE NOTE THAT THE AMD PRODUCT WARRANTY DOES NOT COVER DAMAGES CAUSED BY RUNNING COMPONENTS OUTSIDE OF SPECIFICATION INCLUDING DAMAGES CAUSED BY OVERCLOCKING. (EVEN WHEN OVERCLOCKING IS ENABLED WITH THE AMD OVERDRIVE UTILITY)

    ALL ADVICE PROVIDED HERE IS FOLLOWED AT YOUR OWN RISK, AMD CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGE CAUSED BY FOLLOWING THESE GUIDELINES.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  3. shankly1985

    shankly1985 Master Guru

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    Great information matt. Will be very helpful for new and existing users.
     
  4. tommybh0y

    tommybh0y New Member

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    CrossFire bible, bookmark this folks, very handy guide for optimum CrossFire performance, well done matt.
     

  5. wrathloki

    wrathloki Maha Guru

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    This is excellent. Awesome that we have our own in house AMD specialist. lol
     
  6. jimlad21

    jimlad21 New Member

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    Just signed up to Guru3D to say this is an incredibly helpful guide. Thank you Matt.
     
  7. Agonist

    Agonist Ancient Guru

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    Since I run eyefinity, I have 3x1 17 inch monitors, and 1 15 inch monitor. Its mounted under my 3 monitors.

    I use this setup instead of having my screen cluttered with information.
    I love it.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  8. AMDMatt

    AMDMatt Master Guru

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    Nice one Agonist.

    I use my G19 keyboard to display my gpu/vrm/cpu temps and i use afterburner for gpu clocks, usage, fps and vram usage. Always handy to keep an eye what's going on when you use more than one gpu.
     
  9. Agonist

    Agonist Ancient Guru

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    Thanks mate.

    Everything is ugly right now. Just installed win 8.1 yesterday.
    I always wanted a G19.
    But settled for a Razer Blackwidow Ultimate cause I got it uber cheap.
    Just saw you had 4x 290........... WOW Im drooling.
    And I though my HD 7950 crossfire is kick ass.
     
  10. Steppzor

    Steppzor Master Guru

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    Sticky?
     

  11. AMDMatt

    AMDMatt Master Guru

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    Been using Windows 8.1 for a while now, i like it. Saying that though, i do use start8. :thumbup:

    Crossfire is great, sometimes it just requires a bit of fine tuning though. I love tweaking. :)

    That would be great. :banana:
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
  12. Deathchild

    Deathchild Ancient Guru

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    Hey man have you found any good archeage crossfire profile yet? Would be good to know! :D

    Thanks! <3 :)
     
  13. AMDMatt

    AMDMatt Master Guru

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    I don't have that game I'm afraid Deathchild. However a bit of research shows me it's a Cryengine title, so I'd recommend trying custom profiles from Crysis 3 or Lichdom. :)
     
  14. Deathchild

    Deathchild Ancient Guru

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    Ok, will try. :) Thanks dude.
     
  15. AMDMatt

    AMDMatt Master Guru

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    If you still have problems let me know and i will see if i can get a copy and test myself.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014

  16. wrathloki

    wrathloki Maha Guru

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    FYI Archeage is free to play.
     
  17. Agonist

    Agonist Ancient Guru

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    Agreed, I love to tweak. I spend half my time tweaking a game instead of playing it lol

    I use paid version of Start is Back . I have ran into a cpu bottlenecking with my i7 950 @ 4.1 with 7950 crossfire. BF3 and BF4 reveal this the most. Really only two games I have the issue with.

    Since I cant afford to go get a 3770k setup, Im gonna drop $70 on Xeon X5650 six core and oc the piss out of it.
     
  18. Deathchild

    Deathchild Ancient Guru

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    Ok thanks dude that would be awesome man. :) :D

    Truly. :D
     
  19. Mrwhiterx7

    Mrwhiterx7 Member

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    Matt, after installing 14.9 and/ or 14.9.1 (tried both) I noticed the CCC doesn't recognize all three of my 290's. It only shows two of them. MSI afterburner shows all three but even in games it will only use 2. Worked fine before.. anything I should check for?
     
  20. AMDMatt

    AMDMatt Master Guru

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    Hi Mrwhiterx7,

    I'd recommend turning the pc off and removing all the cards. First test each card individually in pci-e slot one of your motherboard to make sure that they all work correctly and are being detected in windows. Make sure to briefly test a 3d application on each card. Assuming no problems then please insert all cards back into the motherboard. Head into windows and check device manager to make sure all cards are detected like in the image below. (i have four cards so you should see three)

    [​IMG]


    Assuming all cards are detected check CCC to see if the option for three cards is present like in the screenshot below.


    [​IMG]


    If it still only shows two cards in device manager or CCC, I'd recommend trying to uninstall the AMD drivers using this guide and then reinstall 14.9.1 drivers.

    If you're still having problems getting the third card detected let me know and i will escalate your issue to get you more help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014

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