How To Make Sure Crossfire Is Working Correctly?

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How To Make Sure Crossfire Is Working Correctly?

Post #1 by LtMatt » Mon May 12, 2014 9:43 am

I've seen a few posts recently about people unsure if their crossfire system is working properly. There are two methods to check that crossfire is working as it should. I will explain these now and how to set them up so you can make everything is working as it should be.

First of all i strongly recommend all crossfire users to download the latest version of MSI Afterburner and install it, run it, then restart your pc when prompted. Make sure you install RivaTuner as well when you run the installer.

Download Link

When you have done that we first need to disable ULPS to get the most out of our crossfire setup. ULPS is a handy power saving trick that shuts off your second gpu when idle. It will save you a little bit of electricity but unfortunately it does come with a small performance penalty. I recommend you turn it off. You will gain about 5% extra performance with it off, assuming you run at stock clocks. If you overclock you absolutely must turn it off to get good results.

So if you decide to disable it, this is easily done via afterburner settings. Scroll down to the bottom and put a tick in 'Disable ULPS'. After this you will be prompted to restart your pc.

Copy these settings, click ok, restart.


Basic Method - Quick Way To Check If Crossfire Is Working

Once you've installed the latest beta driver and then afterburner open up CCC. (Catalyst Control Centre)

Click preferences in the top right hand corner and make sure Advanced view is selected, like so


Crossfire should be enabled by default after installing the driver. Open the performance tab on the left. Click AMD CrossfireX. Ensure that Enable CrossfireX is selected. Note only Windows 8 users will see the option below that. The option to enable/disable crossfire is not preset for 7990 users. Should you wish to disable crossfire for a specific game you need to create a profile within 3d applications and select the game exe, add it, then disable crossfire and click apply.


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 to close CCC to the taskbar.


Right Click the CCC icon (Image) in your taskbar. Go to 1.AMD Radeon >> Show CrossfireX Logo. Tick that like in the picture below.


Now whenever a 3D Application loads, if Crossfire is working then you will see a small CrossfireX logo in the top right hand corner. This will tell you that Crossfire is working as intended.


Advanced Method - Slower But More Thorough Method To Check That Crossfire Is Working - Will Allow You To Better Monitor GPU Performance

There is also a more advanced method to monitoring crossfire usage and general gpu performance. That is using MSI Afterburner's On Screen Display. This will enable you to monitor how well each gpu is performing, how much its being used as well as how hot it is running. Its very handy and i strongly recommend all crossfire users to use it. That way you can be sure you're getting the most from your gpu's all the time and things are working as intended. You can also set up a toggle key to enable and disable the overlay at any time, should you find it irritating while gaming. To set this up do the following.

First set up a toggle key to turn the OSD on or off. I use F8. Go to settings, then on screen display.


Now go to the monitoring tab. Change hardware polling period to 1000. That means the overlay will update once a second.


Now we need to set up the OSD itself to display the desired information. To do this what we need to do is. Tick and activate each of the hardware monitoring graphs under this section. So you tick GPU 1 Temp, then go down to Show in On-Screen Display and put a tick there. Then you go to Override group name and put a tick in there. Name it GPU1. Now do the same for GPU 2 Temp. This time when you get down to override group name make sure you put in GPU2 and not GPU1.



I recommend you set up the following for GPU1/2. Make sure you tick override group name and keep naming the relevant part GPU1 and GPU2. You want all GPU1 info on one line and GPU2 info on the next line below it.


You can also monitor other things like fps, frame times, vram and dram usage. I think these are very handy to monitor, particularly fps. So i'd recommend setting up overlays for these as well.

Note under Framerate and Frametime you're not able to override group name. So all you do is tick Show in On Screen Display, like so.


If you do decide to monitor memory usage and ram usage then i suggest you use override group name on both and have the name as MEMORY, in caps. If you use the same override group name on both it will put them on the same line on screen. It looks neater.


You can also add cpu temp + cpu usage to the OSD 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. For this we need to open RivaTuner Image 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.


Now 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.


Once all that is done and you're happy its time to play some games and check out that overlay. Pay 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. You want to see this at 90-99% on both gpu's ideally. If you don't it could be a sign that you're cpu bottlenecked or there is something else wrong.

Here is what the overlay should look like in game.


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




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Re: How To Make Sure Crossfire Is Working Correctly?

Post #2 by huddy » Mon May 12, 2014 5:02 pm

Moved.. witha slight edit at top.. thanks for contribution Matt... would you like a contributor rank for your profile status?

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Re: How To Make Sure Crossfire Is Working Correctly?

Post #3 by Frenzic » Mon May 12, 2014 5:38 pm

Good guide, x-fire or sli one day maybe :)
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Re: How To Make Sure Crossfire Is Working Correctly?

Post #4 by OverFienD » Mon May 12, 2014 9:31 pm

Very good work Matt.
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Re: How To Make Sure Crossfire Is Working Correctly?

Post #5 by Gregster » Tue May 13, 2014 11:34 am

Great guide Matt and very handy :)
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Re: How To Make Sure Crossfire Is Working Correctly?

Post #6 by Bigmender » Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:36 pm

great guide I used the method with afterburner and set up the overlay as you explained. when playing bf3 both my GPU's are using the same percentage but they were varying between 35%-50% In the guide it said both GPU's should be running 100% or close does this mean something is wrong? I tried testing on bf4 also but couldnt get into a server it would just crahs on the loading screen. but with it off i can play fine.
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