Both AMD and Nvidia have almost entirely sidelined support for multiple graphics cards these days, but it’s still possible to run a multi-GPU configuration, and with seemingly interesting performance boosting results, according to a fresh test using AMD’s Navi video cards.
As we’ve discussed before, AMD’s CrossFire system is effectively dead – and Nvidia’s SLI has been ditched in favor of NVLink, and that’s perhaps for the best, really – but the good folks over at Uniko’s Hardware got an Asus RX 5700 and RX 5600 XT up and running in tandem.
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As the Chinese tech site noted, a pair of Navi cards can be used together in ‘explicit’ multi-GPU mode when running a DX12 or Vulkan game (although that game has to support multiple graphics cards).
And while the overall findings look pretty flaky indeed, with many games failing to work or crashing, Uniko’s Hardware did manage to run Rise of The Tomb Raider (with very high graphics settings) and observed an increase in average frame rate of 64% compared to just the RX 5700 on its own (in a system powered by a Ryzen 7 3700X processor).
That’s a pretty impressive leap in frames per second (FPS), although the tester does qualify that it came with ‘a sense of stutter’, presumably referring to micro-stuttering jerkiness being something of a fly in the ointment.
Strange Brigade also worked with multi-GPU to deliver an average FPS boost of around 65%.
In 3DMark’s Time Spy benchmark, the RX 5700 and RX 5600 XT paired together hit an overall score of 13,342, compared to 8,508 for the RX 5700 on its own. Again, that’s a pretty impressive leap achieved by adding the second GPU.
We wouldn’t get too excited here, though. The stuttering issues, and the reports of crashing and compatibility problems with many of the games Uniko’s Hardware tried, all paint a rather familiar picture, and remind us why we might not even want multi-GPU support to come fully back into the fray, anyway.
That said, you never know what’s round the corner, and one rumor we’ve heard in the past regarding Intel’s incoming graphics cards is that the company might be planning to do something special with multi-GPU in terms of an implementation which properly scales the power of two cards.
As a newcomer trying to grab some turf for itself in the GPU arena, Intel will need to do something to differentiate itself from AMD and Nvidia, and maybe – just maybe – this could be its line of attack.
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