AMD Radeon RX 480 CrossFire Performance Comparison

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Page 5 : Radeon RX 480 CrossFire Performance Summary, Our Opinion

Performance Summary

Here is a summary of our benchmark results. We highlighted the benchmarks in which the CrossFire mode worked (in green), and when it didn’t work (in red).

BenchmarksRadeon R9 380Radeon RX 480GeForce GTX 1060GeForce GTX 980 TiGeForce GTX 1070Radeon RX 480 CrossFire
Time Spy (1440p)Slower by 65.1%Slower by 48.2%Slower by 45.8%Slower by 36.5%Slower by 24.8%Baseline
Fire Strike (1080p)Slower by 64.0%Slower by 48.8%Slower by 45.2%Slower by 28.7%Slower by 25.1%Baseline
Fire Strike Extreme (1440p)Slower by 63.4%Slower by 49.0%Slower by 42.4%Slower by 25.1%Slower by 21.2%Baseline
Fire Strike Ultra (2160p)Slower by 61.2%Slower by 48.3%Slower by 42.1%Slower by 22.5%Slower by 18.8%Baseline
Ashes of the SingularityFailed
Total War: Warhammer (1080p)Slower by 26.1%Faster by 7.0%Slower by 0.5%Faster by 30.7%Faster by 36.1%Baseline
Total War: Warhammer (1440p)Slower by 26.4%Faster by 8.4%Faster by 3.9%Faster by 40.3%Faster by 43.8%Baseline
Total War: Warhammer (2160p)Slower by 29.4%Faster by 5.1%Faster by 7.5%Faster by 48.6%Faster by 51.0%Baseline
The Witcher 3 (1080p)Slower by 57.6%Slower by 37.2%Slower by 33.1%Slower by 8.0%Slower by 4.8%Baseline
The Witcher 3 (1440p)Slower by 57.0%Slower by 37.2%Slower by 33.1%Slower by 7.8%Slower by 5.3%Baseline
The Witcher 3 (2160p)Slower by 57.5%Slower by 39.2%Slower by 34.4%Slower by 10.2%Slower by 8.1%Baseline
Fallout 4 (1080p)Slower by 20.5%Faster by 2.8%Faster by 19.1%Faster by 27.8%Faster by 29.6%Baseline
Fallout 4 (1440p)Slower by 41.7%Slower by 19.6%Slower by 8.7%Faster by 16.7%Faster by 22.6%Baseline
Fallout 4 (2160p)Slower by 54.3%Slower by 38.1%Slower by 30.2%Slower by 8.0%Slower by 1.1%Baseline


Our Opinion

The Radeon RX 480 CrossFire showed great promise in the 3DMark benchmarks. It was able to deliver 93% to 96% better performance than a single Radeon RX 480 graphics card.

The actual boost in frame rate was smaller, of course, due to CPU limits. But it proved to be faster than the GeForce GTX 1070 by 15% to 18% in DirectX 11, and 26% in DirectX 12. Very impressive.

AMD Radeon RX 480 CrossFire Performance Comparison

Unfortunately, we do not have an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 in our benchmark suite, but we know that it is roughly 20%-25% faster than the GeForce GTX 1070. So we can guesstimate that the Radeon RX 480 CrossFire will be slightly faster than the GeForce GTX 1080 in DirectX 12, and slightly slower in DirectX 11.

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From a price-performance perspective, the Radeon RX 480 CrossFire ties with the GeForce GTX 1070, if we only take into account the 3DMark results. It loses out to the GeForce GTX 1070 when it comes to actual games, particularly in games that don’t work well or at all with CrossFire.

As you can tell from the table above, the reliability of the CrossFire mode is still quite iffy. That is really too bad, because the 3DMark results show that the Radeon RX 480 CrossFire has great potential, particularly in DirectX 12.

If AMD can get the CrossFire mode to work in all games, the Radeon RX 480 CrossFire is a great alternative to the GeForce GTX 1080. It offers equivalent performance at a 20% discount (US$478 vs. US$599), albeit with much higher power consumption (300W vs. 180W).


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    1. Dr. Adrian Wong

      You are correct. It has 8 GB effective even though the specs are correct that it has 16 GB physical memory. We will add “8 GB effective” to be more accurate. Thanks for the comment!

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