Tag Archives: Multi-GPU

AMD Retires CrossFire & Limits mGPU Capability

AMD Retires CrossFire & Limits mGPU Capability

When AMD announced the ability to run two Radeon RX Vega cards simultaneously, they conspicuously called it mGPU (short for multiple GPU) instead of the far more familiar CrossFire. That’s because they are retiring the CrossFire brand in favour of the generic mGPU moniker. They also limited the mGPU capability. Find out why!

 

End of the road for AMD CrossFire

The first AMD Polaris-based graphics card, the AMD Radeon RX 480, was showcased in Computex 2016 with Raja Koduri showing off its CrossFire performance in Ashes of the Singularity. But when AMD released the Radeon RX Vega family, they did not mention any CrossFire support.

In fact, the AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics cards was only capable of running as single cards until the release of Radeon Software 17.9.2. It also represented the end of the road for AMD CrossFire. With this release, AMD officially abandoned it for mGPU.

Why? Here is AMD’s response when they were asked that very question by Brad Chacos of PCWorld :

CrossFire isn’t mentioned because it technically refers to DX11 applications.

In DirectX 12, we reference multi-GPU as applications must support mGPU, whereas AMD has to create the profiles for DX11.

We’ve accordingly moved away from using the CrossFire tag for multi-GPU gaming.

This is a surprising turn of event because the CrossFire brand goes all the way back to 2005. Almost 12 years to the day, as a matter of fact. That’s a lot of marketing history for AMD to throw away. But throw it all away, they did.

Nothing has changed though. They just decided to call the ability to use multiple graphics cards as mGPU, instead of CrossFire. In other words – this is a branding decision.

AMD will continue to use CrossFire for current and future DirectX 11 profiles, but refer to mGPU for DirectX 12 titles.

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Limited mGPU Capability

AMD is also limiting the mGPU support to just two graphics cards. The 4-way mGPU capabilities that top-of-the-line Radeon cards used to support have been dropped. The AMD Radeon RX Vega family are therefore limited to two cards in mGPU mode :

Gamers can pair two Radeon RX Vega 56 GPUs or two Radeon RX Vega 64 GPUs

This move was not surprising. Even NVIDIA abandoned three or four card configurations with the GeForce GTX 10 series last year. With fewer games supporting multi GPUs and interest in power efficiency burgeoning, the days of 3-way or 4-way multi GPUs are over.

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AMD Finally Enables Radeon RX Vega CrossFire!

Ever since AMD Radeon RX Vega was launched, there have been questions about support for Radeon RX Vega CrossFire. After all, running two Radeon RX Vega cards greatly increases performance for gaming. Now the wait is over. AMD has finally enabled CrossFire for Radeon RX Vega!

 

AMD Radeon RX Vega CrossFire Is Here!

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While the AMD CrossFire mode was enabled for earlier graphics cards (e.g. Radeon RX 480 CrossFire), it was not possible to use two Radeon RX Vega graphics cards in CrossFire mode. That ends with the release of Radeon Software 17.9.2.

With Radeon Software 17.9.2, you can now pair two RX Vega 56, or two RX Vega 64 graphics cards to greatly boost performance.

For some reason, AMD no longer calls this feature CrossFire, just the plain “multi GPU“. But unless they are permitting the combination of more than two graphics cards later, they should call it “dual GPU“. We think it would have been easier and better to stick with CrossFire. Every techie / gamer worth his / her salt knows what CrossFire means.

 

AMD Radeon RX Vega CrossFire Performance

Now, you may be wondering – how much of a performance boost can you expect with AMD Radeon RX Vega CrossFire?

AMD shared this slide with us. It shows the results of the benchmarks performed at the AMD Performance Lab. According to their tests, running two RX Vega 64 graphic cards in CrossFire mode (okay, multi GPU mode) delivers more than 80% faster performance in Far Cry Primal, Metro Last Night Redux, Sniper Elite 4 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Other AMD Vega Articles

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AMD Doubles Down On mGPU Frame Pacing

Adding to Radeon Software Crimson Edition’s enhancements for DirectX 9, DirectX 10, and DirectX 11, Radeon Software 16.9.1 enables multi-GPU frame pacing support to DirectX12 on all GCN-enabled GPUs and AMD A8 APUs or higher with GCN.

Frame pacing delivers consistency by increasing smoothness in gameplay. In multi-GPU (mGPU) configurations, GPUs render alternating frames and push each frame to your screen. Each render can be created at various speeds causing differences in frame time. With frame pacing enabled, frames are distributed evenly, i.e. with less variance between frames, creating liquid smooth gameplay. For more details, please watch the following video:

 

Radeon Tech Talk: DirectX 12 mGPU Frame Pacing

A number of games currently take advantage of frame pacing in DirectX 12. Total War – Warhammer, Rise of the Tomb Raider and the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark also show smoother run-throughs.

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Let’s look at the some real-life scenarios:

 

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