AMD R7 260X in CrossFireX mode – A Worthy Setup?

The title says it all – this article explores the potential of CrossfireX setup using a mid / low range graphic card like the R7 260X.

AMD R7 260X in CrossFireX mode - A Worthy Setup?

To make the comparison more complete, I not only pit the R7 260X CFX setup against a HD 7970 (which is essentially an R9 280X, also part of the comparison) but also I threw the HD 7790 1GB CFX into the arena for good measure.

*CFX = CrossfireX

Test Setup

Processor Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.2ghz
RAM Avexir Core Series 8GB DDR3-1600
Motherboard MSI Z77A-G45
Driver AMD Catalyst 13.9

Cards involved :
Sapphire R7 260X 2GB OC
Sapphire HD 7790 1GB Dual-X
Sapphire HD 7970 Vapor-X 3GB
MSI HD 7790 1GB
Asus R9 280X DirectCU II Top

The Sapphire and MSI HD 7790 were paired, running at the same clock.


Here we go!

Metro 2033

Metro 2033

Card 1080p (avg)
CFX R7 260X 43.5
CFX HD 7790 42.5
Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition 71.5
ASUS Radeon R9 280X 76.5

Unigine Heaven 4.0

Heaven 4.0

Card 1080p (avg)
CFX R7 260X 48.8
CFX HD 7790 47.1
Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition 55.4
ASUS Radeon R9 280X 59.5

Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil 6
*Full HD at 1920×1080 – pardon me for the wrong screen resolution in the shot above.

Card 1080p (score)
CFX R7 260X 10142
CFX HD 7790 9512
Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition 10741
ASUS Radeon R9 280X (13.11) 11441

Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2

Scene Card 1080p (avg)
Dark Tower Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition 115.27
CFX R7 260X 112.12
CFX HD 7790 108.48
ASUS Radeon R9 280X 121.90
Desert Sunrise Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition 146.16
CFX R7 260X 149.18
CFX HD 7790 144.45
ASUS Radeon R9 280X 153.28
Concrete Jungle Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition 84.92
CFX R7 260X 73.18
CFX HD 7790 72.08
ASUS Radeon R9 280X 87.42

Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs

Card Score
CFX R7 260X 43.5
CFX HD 7790 42.4
Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition 45.5

*I didn’t manage to test the R9 on this benchmark.


At the time of this article, the approximate price of the the products used are as follows
– Sapphire HD 7790 1GB OC Dual-X = RM 460
– Sapphire R7 260X 2GB OC = RM 540
– Sapphire HD 7970 3GB Vapor-X = RM 1300
– Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X = RM 1250

FYI – I’m using the models under the same brand for ease of analysis.

The CrossfireX setup of the R7 260X costs almost 90% of the R9 280X (RM 1080 vs 1250) and it was able to deliver around 80% – 90% on most tests while consuming approximately 90% of power of the R9 280X (2x ~115w vs ~250w).

Suffice to say, the R7 260X CrossfireX is just not worth considering. A more feasible setup would be the HD 7790 CrossfireX setup.

The HD 7790 CFX setup performed very closely to the R7 260X CFX setup despite having only half the VRAM. The HD 7790 CFX setup is 75% the cost of an R9 280X but it was also able to deliver about 80% – 90% of the R9 280X’s performance while consuming ~33% less power (2x ~85w vs ~250w).

One thing that I must also highlight was that in the benchmark above, the R7 260X were clocked a little higher than the HD 7790 so if they were to run at the same clock then the performance would’ve been identical.

If you already have an AMD HD 7790 card, I think adding another HD 7790 card for performance boost is a great move. It’s even more cost-effective if you are able to source for a used unit. Just bear in mind that ideally your board should be able to run x8 / x8 Crossfire mode and your power supply is able to support an additional HD 7790.

In the end, nothing beats a single card setup. If you don’t mind the hassle, just sell off the HD 7790 and get a card like R9 270X and spare the hassle of setting up Crossfire and deal with scaling issues. 🙂

goldfries rated this product :


  1. Dear goldfries, can you do a simple test with the latest 13.11 v9.4 beta drivers?

    The test isn’t related to 3D performance, but 2D such as windows aero and simple video playback.

    Reason being few my friends who purchased Sapphire R7 260X (same as the one you pictured above) has some weird horizontal line flickering during web browsing with chrome,firefox and internet explorer. BTW, we did test the issue by disabling those browsers hardware acceleration. But it didn’t help much because windows aero desktop stll exhibit the same issue.

    So far , only 13.10 WHQL doesnt have this issue.

    My google search on this issue has brought me to

    Page 4, whereby sapphire provided a bios to boost up the voltage during low power 2D mode. Oh, that one for sapphire R9 280X.
    There is another thread for Gigabyte R9 270X with same fix whereby gigabyte sent one of the customers a beta bios (same method by increasing the voltage a bit for 2D low power mode)

    It is either the original bios provided too low voltage or the beta drivers has issue.

    Can you help me to escalate this issue ? I been submitting my ticket to sapphire and so far, no luck. Perhaps because R7 260X is a budget card? T_T
    I also repeatly submitted the issue to AMD Survey for feedback.

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