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AMD Radeon RX 480 in CrossFire - Beating the GeForce GTX 1080 at 4K

By: Anthony Garreffa | AMD CrossFire Articles in Video Cards | Posted: Jul 6, 2016 12:40 am

In our synthetic benchmarking with Heaven, the Radeon RX 480s in CF beat everything else on our charts except the GTX 1080. This includes the HBM1-based Radeon R9 Fury X, and even the GeForce GTX 1070. When it comes to 3DMark FireStrike at 1080p, the Radeon RX 480 CrossFire slays all of the other GPUs with the highest result.



1080p - Not Bad


Metro: Last Light Redux is a pretty hard benchmark for the best of the best, with the RX 480 CF setup providing 130FPS of average frame rate at 1080p, losing only to the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080. We see some great scaling here, as a single Radeon RX 480 only manages 81FPS average - the boost up to 130FPS is definitely a nice thing to see.




Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of my favorite games to benchmark, as it stresses out the GPU so much. With two P10-powered Radeon RX 480s, we have an average frame rate of 140FPS which is amazing, as the single RX 480 pushes out just 87FPS. NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080 is the only card capable of beating the RX 480s in CrossFire, with the GTX 1070 falling behind by 10%.



Thief is another interesting benchmark for the Radeon RX 480s in CrossFire, as they didn't fare so well here. We have 96FPS average, compared to the 80FPS from the single RX 480. NVIDIA's older cards like the GTX 980 Ti and Titan X run rings around two of AMD's next-gen Radeon RX 480s in CrossFire in Thief at 1080p - but will things improve in 1440p and 4K?


Multi-GPU scaling has always been great in Tomb Raider, but even with it being an AMD optimized title, the Radeon RX 480s in CrossFire don't do too well here at 1080p either. We have 181FPS average - which is way more than you'll need for now, compared to 149FPS on the single RX 480. The GTX 1080 pushes a huge 261FPS average at 1080p in Tomb Raider.


Overall I wouldn't recommend Radeon RX 480s in CrossFire for 1080p, but I wouldn't recommend most multi-GPU setups for 1080p. Multiple GPUs are great for 1080p if you have a 120/144/165Hz display and want to push as many FPS as you can - but you need great CF/SLI scaling to do so.


At 1080p, a single GPU is what you want. It's the most efficient way of gaming. If you're using a 1440p display, and especially the ones with 120/144Hz, then multiple video cards begins to make much more sense - and becomes a huge upgrade path for those chasing frames.



1440p - Getting Better


Starting with Far Cry Primal at 1440p, we have the RX 480s in CrossFire pumping away at 67FPS average - which is perfect. Anything over 60FPS average is fine with me, and considering the much faster, and much more expensive NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 is capable of 80FPS, the RX480s in CF are holding up extremely well in FCP at 1440p.


I was expecting Metro Last Light Redux to squeeze the life out of the Radeon RX 480s in CF, and it did - we have 92FPS average, which is an amazing result compared to the 51FPS that the single Radeon RX 480 managed. The GTX 1080 edges out the RX 480s in CF at 1440p, with 98FPS.




Ah, Shadow of Mordor - we meet again, but at 2560x1440. AMD's Radeon RX 480s in CrossFire did extremely well, with 107FPS average, a huge leap over the 61FPS average of the single RX 480 - and just shy of the 111FPS average that the GeForce GTX 1080 pumped out.


Thief is another surprise, with 89FPS average with the two Radeon RX 480s in CrossFire, especially from the 54FPS average that the single Radeon RX 480 is capable of. Thief at 1440p has the GeForce GTX 1080 with 95FPS, so the RX 480s are keeping up without a problem here with Thief at 1440p.


Tomb Raider scales well with multi-GPU, but the RX 480s in CrossFire did beautifully here at 1440p - beating out the GTX 1080 without a problem. The minimum FPS result hurts, with 72FPS average - the lowest on our charts, but it's a huge leap over the 94FPS on the single Radeon RX 480, that's for sure.



4K - There We Go!


4K is where the magic happens for the Radeon RX 480s in CrossFire, starting with Far Cry Primal we have 50FPS average compared to 25FPS average on the single Radeon RX 480 - a 100% increase in performance. The GeForce GTX 1080 pushes just 45FPS average here at 4K in Far Cry Primal.


Moving onto Metro: Last Light Redux, the Radeon RX 480s in CrossFire lose it with the minimum frame rate of just 4FPS, but with an average of 44FPS, it's only 1FPS behind the $699 GeForce GTX 1080. The single RX 480 pushed just 23FPS here, so again we're close to 100% scaling here.




This is the test I was waiting for, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. AMD's new Radeon RX 480s in CrossFire are incredible here, with 61FPS average compared to the 33FPS of the single Radeon RX 480 - and it thrashes the GeForce GTX 1080 and its 52FPS average - especially given the $200+ cost savings with the 2 x RX 480s versus the single GTX 1080.


The same results are seen in Thief at 4K on the Radeon RX 480s in CrossFire, with 56FPS average compared to 29FPS on the single card. NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 1080 only manages 51FPS average at 4K, while the GTX 1070 trails with 42FPS average.


Things continue to get better for AMD with Tomb Raider at 4K on the Radeon RX 480s in CrossFire hitting 84FPS average, compared to just 42FPS average on the single RX 480 - another 100% improvement. NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 1080 manages 77FPS here at 4K in Tomb Raider, behind the RX 480s in CF by 7FPS. The GTX 1070 manages just 61FPS here.

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