Topic Title: Don't buy R9 290X Crossfire Battlefield 4 Mantle or DirectX
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Created On: 03/07/2014 06:07 PM
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 03/07/2014 06:07 PM
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Posts: 3
Joined: 03/05/2014

He guys,

This is my first post on this forum. I need help and to tell you this important information. One month ago I started building my first new Gaming PC for battlefield 4. My specs


i7 4770K @ 4.5

MSI Z87 Xpower

2x MSI R9 290X GAMING 4GB (Crossfire)

16GB Corsair Dominator Platinum 2400Mhz

Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB

PSU Corsair RM1000

Windows 8.1 64Bit

Samsung Full LED HD TV UE46F5000, 100Hz Clear Rate Motion



I thought I had a beast setup with those 290X in Crossfire, but I was wrong...

Since day one I had issues playing Battlefield 4 with smoothness, expected FPS, no lag etc. The FPS I was getting was terrible. I must mention 290X CROSSFIRE reviews are mostly or only above 1920x1080 resolution.

My first step was to change my motherboard to MSI Z87 Xpower (changed it with Asus Z87 Plus or Deluxe). MSI Z87 Xpower supports PCI-e 3.0 at dual x16 x16. Even though I have seen lots of people telling that it doesnt make a difference to have x8 x8 2.0/3.0 etc. In my case, they were wrong. I had a huge FPS boost. I think it was double. Ive read alot of other guys having R9 290X Crossfire issues, so this might help you. Test it out. 

Went from average 80/100 to 180/200 FPS. Crossfire enabled (and there is a big problem with Crossfire I will show and talk about further down).

I was happy with the results. I was always testing in TEST RANGE and using the internal BF4 FPS monitor. Typing Perfoverlay.drawfps 1 , ENTER after pressing this button ~ on keyboard. I couldnt really see difference in Crossfire ON/OFF. Both were smooth and the difference was something like Single GPU 140 FPS

Crossfire 200 FPS (maybe more, values above 200 are not supported). 

AMD Mantle was Enabled. Using AMD Catalyst version 14.1 (beta). 

I benchmarked with Heaven Unigine 4.0 and got the same results as in this review

(Im going to try contact Paul in this video or Newegg TV. At 2:52 you can see that at 1920x1080 resolution R9 290X has problems with 3-/4-way Crossfire. Something like +2 FPS from 2-way R9 290X. At 4:30 he talks about the bad scalers while benchmarking Crossfire. He mentions BF4 at 1080 bad. I will try to find out what he means with that. A little further he tells that AMD has designed these cards for 4K and not 1080

Meanwhile I have played Battlefield 4 alot and have followed steps to get the best FPS boost and smoothness while playing. Found tips on forums (thanks guys    and youtube.

-Unparking CPU Cores

-EnableULPS set all find in regedit to 0, means off (some sort of power saving management)

-Control Panel,select in Power Options - High Performance

-BIOS, Disable Intel EIST


Still while I was playing I noticed that something was off, but I just went on playing. But still couldnt believe that this was the result of the money I spent. Others on youtube had older build systems than mine and there game experience looked much better. I dont think it was only because they were using desktop monitors with higher resolutions like 2560x1440 etc.

At this moment Im using AMD Catalyst version 14.2 (beta). Two important highlights

- Mantle: Multi-GPU configurations (up to 4 GPUs) running Battlefield 4 are now supported

- Frame Pacing for Dual Graphics and non-XDMA configurations above 2560x1600 are now supported with Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4


So what I did yesterday was disable Crossfire and I was shocked. It was a great look and feeling while playing. Never seen Battlefield 4 this smooth. Finally I saw the real FPS that was being recorded on screen. The R9 290X is a beast. Unfortunately only in Single GPU mode. When putting 2x R9 290X Crossfire at work you lose. Please look at the pictures beneath. Its weird.

My description of what is happening in words (Probably tomorrow I will record two videos. Crossfire ON and OFF. Not sure if the difference will be shown while recording. Cant record above 60 fps with Mantle at the moment. Using Mirillis Action desktop mode to record. And chaging Fullscreen in BF4 video settings to Borderless or Windowed)

CROSSFIRE enabled shows higher FPS on screen in comparison with Single R9 290X. That is what is suppose to be happening right? But when you actually play. The Crossfire is worse. I think it had something to do with the two cards not working together properly and drivers. And the only information I could find is in the above youtube video. But not the complete story Im looking for or any solution. What is wrong with these cards? 

So after using "Perfoverlay.framefilelogenable 1" and analysing the logs saved in my documents. I got the pictures beneath. I played two games for testing Conquest large 64 players on Ultra.

You can see that the average FPS is only 20/25 FPS higher in Crossfire. With a second card enabled I expect at least somewhere near 50% FPS boost. 20/25 is to low, need at least 60 FPS more with CROSSFIRE enabled. And the average GPU FPS is lower in Crossfire then SIngle GPU. The minimal GPU FPS has the same. Lower in Crossfire mode. 

These numbers are not shown in the FPS monitor while playing. But while playing you can feel something is off. I see 150 FPS in Crossfire but it feels like 30/60, while using Single R9 290X is great. You can just see it and it gets more obvious while playing for awhile and switching back to Single R9 290x to great gameplay


Siege of Shanghai Conquest Large 64 players




Siege of Shanghai Conquest Large 64 players




Graphic settings BF4, Mantle enabled

Playing on 1920x1080, 59/60Hz


So guys first of all thanks for reading. Maybe you have learned something. Finally I want to ask you for you help. I've seen others on youtube with R9 290X crossfire and no problems. They use above 1920x1080 resolutions. I was also minding my TV. It has 100Hz, but i cant select above 60Hz in BF4 settings. But still I dont think this could be the issue causing the strange FPS drop and smoothness loss while playing in Crossfire. You think I should drag my PC to the store and test it with 120Hz?

The resolution the problem? This R9 290X Crossfire not supporting 1920x1080? Made for 2560x1440, 4K etc? Is this the wrong place to ask for help? 

I need to do some more testing with other games. Think will try Crysis 3 and BF3 tomorrow if possible. For now thnx. 

 03/07/2014 06:32 PM
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Ninja Zombie Killer

Posts: 4905
Joined: 12/27/2008

It's all about doing some research. Everyone -- except for those who need to justify themselves -- say CF and SLI are crap. Don't use them, use one fast GPU and that's enough. You don't need 200 fps, you can't see it, your monitor can't display it. It's all about paying money for no reason for some epeen. There is only one winner here, AMD. Just don't let them...


CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 810 @ 3120MHz | RAM: Kingmax 2x2GB DDR2 800 @ 833MHz| MoBo: MSI K9A2 CF v1.0 (BIOS: 1.D)| GPU: Asus HD 6850 1024MB (DirectCu) @ 835/1135MHz | Display: L24FHD | PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad | OS: MS Windows 3.11 Pro x64

 03/07/2014 06:59 PM
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Heavy Wizardry

Posts: 8705
Joined: 11/13/2009

AMD/ can we make more money? I know, lets sell them two! Why not 3 or 4...with four the problems will go away. There are legit reasons for crossfire/sli...more frames per second on the average monitor is not one of them...IMO. Two HD3xxx,HD2xxx, or 1HDXXX series does. So does playing on a 3'x5' screen. Return or sell one card, and enjoy playing again.


Intel I7 960 @ 3.87ghz *Intel DX58SO *AMD R9 290 4gb *Corsair TX650M *2x4gb Corsair XMS3 *WD Black 1TB *Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit ***Asus N71Jq laptop *Intel I7 720QM Processor *Mobility Radeon HD5730 1gb *8gb Ram *Windows 7 64bit ** Toshiba P75-A7200 * Intel I7-4700MQ * Windows 8.1 64bit 

***** cetera fallunt, ludere mortuus ******

Edited: 03/07/2014 at 07:49 PM by stumped
 03/08/2014 01:49 AM
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Case Modder

Posts: 841
Joined: 01/05/2013

Nah...Crossfire is a benefit in many games, but not all.  Am staying with Crossfire.




Non-noob components.

 03/08/2014 01:48 PM
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Posts: 36
Joined: 04/18/2013

your hdtv has a 100hz internally ...doesn't provide 100hz in hdmi to pc... also my tv has a 100hz mci motion but only for DVB-T etc...

then, for crossfire and 2x 290 ATM there's an issue with vsync ON... but they're working on a fix on the next beta drivers this month...

IMO you just don't need more than 60fps on a 60hz screen... 'cause the IQ then fails, and above all you don't need 2x 290 at 1080p

unfortunately it's true that not all games work with CF and SLI...

something like Mantle should alleviate this kind of issues, 'cause the devs have to do working multigpu by application side... for D3D multigpu we need specific profiles by drivers,instead... don't know if DX12 will be different but I'm afraid that it won't...

Edited: 03/08/2014 at 08:49 PM by 7stars
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