With two RX 570 reviews out of the way, before packing them back up I grabbed both cards and set them up in Crossfire. I was really curious to see if an upgrade to Crossfire would be worth it to anyone who couldn’t afford a more expensive card when they built their computer. In the past, this has been very dependent on the games you play and I imagine it will be the same again but there is only one way to find out. Like our previous Crossfire and SLI coverage, the commenting will be at a minimum and this is just a quick article to show off the numbers so keep that in mind and use the information however you would like.

Product Names: XFX RX 570 RS and Asus Strix RX 570

Written by: Wes

Testing By: Wes

Amazon Affiliate Links: XFX RX 570 RS and Asus Strix RX 570

 

Links to our original reviews

XFX RX 570 RS

Asus Strix RX 570

 


Our Test Rig and Procedures

Our Test Rig

CPU

Intel i7-5960X

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Memory

Kingston HyperX FURY Black 32GB Quad Channel Kit 2666 MHz

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Motherboard

Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion 

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Cooling

Noctua NH-U12S Cooler

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Power Supply

Corsair AX1200w

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Storage

Kingston Hyper X Savage 960GB SSD

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Case

Primochill Wetbench

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OS

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

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Our Testing Procedures

3DMark

The same goes for the most current version of 3DMark using the Fire Strike benchmark in normal, extreme, and ultra settings. Tests are also run in the DX12 focused Time Spy benchmark as well.

Unigine Superposition

1080p Medium, 1080p Extreme, 4k Optimized, and 8k Optimized benchmarks all run in DirectX

Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0

Using the Extreme HD preset to get an average FPS

Catzilla 4k

Default tests for 1080p, 1440p, and 4k resolutions using the overall score for each as our result

SteamVR

Default SteamVR test using Average Quality score

VRMark

Orange and Blue rooms tested, use Average FPS for the result

Ghost Recon Wildlands

Ultra and High detail settings are used in the built-in benchmark run at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Tests are done using the built-in benchmark at High and Ultra graphic settings at both 1080p 1440p, and 4k resolutions.

DOOM

Doom is tested on the Ultra quality setting. Tests are run at 1080p 1440p, and 4k using both OpenGL and Vulkan. The benchmark is a basic one using just the average FPS in the opening scene.

HITMAN 2016

Fullscreen with V-Sync turned off Detail, Texture Quality, Shadow Maps, and Shadow Resolution all set to their highest settings. We test using both DX11 and DX12 at 1080p 1440p, and 4k.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

Built-in benchmark ran at 1080p 1440p, and 4k with graphics settings set to the “Crazy” setting with the exception of turning off V-Sync Mode. The benchmark scenario is set to GPU Focused and we use the Average Framerate for All Batches as the result. Tests are run in DX12

The Division

Built-in benchmark ran at 1080p 1440p, and 4k with graphics settings set to the default “Ultra” setting with the exception of turning off V-Sync Mode

Total War: ROME II

Ultra-setting tested at 1080p 1440p, and 4k, built in forest benchmark

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Using the built-in benchmark we test with ultra settings at 1440p and 4k

Sniper Elite 3

Ultra-setting tested at 1080p 1440p, and 4k, built in benchmark

Thief

Tested using the “Very High” setting at 1080p 1440p, and 4k with V-sync off

Passmark Performance Test 9

Test using the GPU Compute Score inside of Passmark’s Performance Test 9

CompuBenchCL

Video Composition and Bitcoin tests

Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0 heat testing

We run through Unigine Valley using the “Extreme HD” preset for 30 minutes to test in game cooling performance with the fan speed set to auto then again with the fan set to 100%.

Power Usage

Using 3dmark Fire Strike with the “performance” preset, we get our “load” power usage number from the peak power usage during our test. We get our numbers from a Kill-A-Watt connected to the test benches power cord.

Noise Testing

Our Noise testing is done using a decibel meter 18 inches away from the video card on the bottom/fan side of the card. We test at both 50% and 100% fan speeds. The 100% test isn’t a representation of typical in-game noise levels, but it will show you how loud a card can be if you run it at its highest setting or if it gets very hot. This is done using a Protmex PT02 Sound Meter that is rated IEC651 type 2 and ANSI S1.4 type 2. Tests are done set weighted to A and set to a slow response using the max function. The ambient noise level in the testing area is 33.3 decibels using the test settings.

 


Synthetic Benchmarks

As always for the first batch of testing, I ran the two cards in Crossfire through a few synthetic benchmarks. These are typically more likely to support multi-card configurations and are great for comparing the difference between cards. The first tests were in 3DMark where I tested using the Fire Strike benchmark at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k then I also used Time Spy to check out DX12 performance. At 1080p the 570’s came in below the 1080 Ti but above the new 11Gbps GTX 1080’s. Turning the resolution up had the pair dropping down some at 1440p and even more at 4k where single cards with more VRAM and higher memory bandwidth have advantages. In Time Spy there is a noticeable different between the RX 570’s in Crossfire compared to the RX 470’s in Crossfire and the 570’s came in just below the 11Gbps GTX 1080.

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Unigine Valley had Crossfire support and the cards were up in the GTX 1070 range, about 40 FPS above a single RX 570. In the new Unigine Superposition benchmark, there wasn’t any support and the two cards running together basically matched the single card performance of the Asus RX 570 that was the main card anyhow so at least there wasn’t a performance drop but this is an example of what happens when games aren’t supported.

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Catzilla was the same, all three tests came in just below the Strix RX 570 with no Crossfire support and a few point loss.

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I also slipped in a little VR testing and there was an improvement in the SteamVR benchmark from 6.5 up to 7.9, both are in the green but it looks like if the game supports Crossfire you will see much smoother VR performance. The same happened in VRMark where we gained 23 FPS on the orange room and about 9 on the always demanding blue room test.

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In-Game Benchmarks

Now we finally get into the in game performance that is the main reason people pick up a new video card. To test things out I ran through our recently updated benchmark suite that tests 10 games at three different resolutions (1080p, 1440p, and 4k). I also slipped in a few variations on the same games for comparisons like DX11 to DX12, OpenGL to Vulkan, and a couple of games are just tested at their highest setting and lower but still high detail options to show the performance difference when things are turned down slightly. In total, each video card is tested 41 times and that makes for a huge mess of graphs when you put them all together. To help with that I like to start off with these overall playability graphs that take all of the results and give an easier to read the result. I have one for each of the three resolutions and each is broken up into four FPS ranges. Under 30 FPS is considered unplayable, over 30 is playable but not ideal, over 60 is the sweet spot, and then over 120 FPS is for high refresh rate monitors.

So each of the two RX 570’s were good at 1080p in my original testing so the cards paired up performing well at 1080p wasn’t a big surprise. Comparing the playability graphs between the Asus RX 570 and the two 570’s in crossfire, however, don’t show any big jumps in performance, well I should say the performance improvements didn’t translate to putting out tests up into new FPS ranges. The single card had 2 120+, 6 60+, and 5 30+ where in Crossfire only one game jumped from the 30+ range to above 60 FPS. At 1440p things were interesting as well. We went from 2 60+ 10 30+ and 1 under 30 to 1 120+, 5 60+, 5 30+, and 3 under 30. In other words, some games jumped in performance at 1440p but there were also more games than dropped down into the unplayable range. 4K only saw one moving up into the 60 plus range as well. So overall there were improvements but the games that didn’t improve or actually went down hurt the overall averages.

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Those graphs weren’t all that helpful but we do have the actual game graphs so let's check those out. First off I took a look to see what games even had an improvement with Crossfire. Deus Ex, DOOM, Ashes of the Singularity, and Thief all had no improvement. Hitman did in DX11 but none in DX12. Then there was Ghost Recon: Wildlands, the results here were a little weirder. At 1080p there was almost no gain when running the Ultra detail setting and at lower resolutions, the performance was actually much lower than a single card. High detail settings, on the other hand, performed well. So basically I can say 8 out of the 14 tests ran didn’t support crossfire.

So what about the games that do have support? Well, the 570’s in Crossfire came in just above the GTX 1070 in most cases. This typically wasn’t double the performance of the single RX 570, but a decent performance jump. The RX 580’s in Crossfire were without a doubt more efficient though.

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Power Usage and Final Thoughts

So what about power? How much power do you need to run two RX 570’s in Crossfire? Well on our test system the two cards ended up pulling 467 watts while under full load. Just like the single RX 570s did, the pair pulled a lot of power with just the RX 580’s pulling even more. For comparison, the GTX 1070 was close in performance when Crossfire was supported and it pulled 276 watts, even the GTX 1080 Ti only pulled 397.

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So over the last few years, I have been critical of running dual card configurations both from Nvidia and AMD. They really only help if the games you like to play have Crossfire support and that is hit and miss. AMD also doesn’t really have a documented list of the games that are supported either, that would make a big difference. Later on, as drivers evolve support for your game can also go away, I’ve had that one happen in the past even with the games and benchmarks that we test with. The ironic thing is while being critical of SLI and Crossfire I have been running dual, triple, and quad card setups in my own PC. But the reality is that it normally isn’t a good value. Two RX 570’s are going to run you $380 or more where the GTX 1070 can be had for a little less and it will work with all games. 1440p and 4k are also important here as the RX 570’s don’t really scale up to those resolutions as well. Now a year from now as prices drop and the next best thing is coming out, picking up a second RX 570 might be just what you need to get a little extra performance, but that is only if your games support it. Everyone else should get a single card that works for you.

Amazon Affiliate Links: XFX RX 570 RS and Asus Strix RX 570

Links to our original reviews XFX RX 570 RS and Asus Strix RX 570

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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