GPU Upgrade: 270X CF w/ 7870 or 280X?

I'll be making an upgrade to my rig soon and wanted to get some feedback regarding my potential upgrade options.

My rig is currently:

AMD FX-8350

Zalman CNPS7X Cooler

Gigabyte 7870Ghz Edition

Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5

G.Skill Sniper 16GB RAM

Samsung 830 120GB SSD

Seagate Barracuda 2TB HDD

Rosewill 750W 80+ Bronze PSU

Rosewill Challenger UD3 Chassis

My question is simple, will I see better performance with a 280X, or with a 270X in Crossfire? My rig is in the living room, on a 1080p LG TV. I wanna be able to play the newest games at 1080p with all settings maxed, My 7870's been doing a pretty good job, but I often have to settle for very low anti-aliasing to keep my frame rates in the 45-60 range, and I notice with the newest games (i.e. Thief) I'm in the 30 - 45 range. I'm looking to upgrade in the next week or two. Thanks in advance for feedback and opinions.


Buy the strongest card your can afford. CF is great when it works but its not always gonna work well or right. To keep it simple and trouble free as possible get the strongest single card you can afford. Crossfiring my 7870s has left me impressed with the cards ability but its not a easy or free ride. Spend alot of time tinkering settings.

I feel the same as above

only a very few games get nigh on 100% performance scaling from crossfire, everything else can be a bit pot luck and can even perform worse.

i remember my first (and only) attempt at crossfire with two 7850's..

four games

crysis 3 (awesome crossfire performance)

Battlefield 4 (awesome crossfire performance)

bioshock infinite (terrible crossfire performance)

skyrim (absolutely terrible crossfire performance).


The skyrim one bugged me the most (considering I play it soo damn much) and the only recommendations online to improve performance was to turn off crossfire, did not make me happy :(

I ended up getting rid of them and replacing with a single, better card.

Oh, and buy the way. You should be thinking 780 level. If you take what you have and times it by two. Thats the card level you should be looking at. Unless a 7870 happens to drop to 140 dollars or so. My thoughts on that. Its where i am going. Mostly because i dont like the noise and extra heat of the high end amd cards. 780 prices has become something of interest to me.

Huh? A 280X is about $300, while a 780 is about $500. I am guessing that's the OP's budget (after selling the 7870). My own suggestion: buy the 280X if you have the money. With crossfire you won't have consistent performance with different games.

And the high end AMD cards being noisier and hotter has stopped being true as soon as the custom designs have been launched, quite a few months ago.


A 280X would do fine, you have my vote for it.

Sell your 7870 & grab a 280x or above (even a 2nd hand ex-miner 290 thats still got warranty would be worth considering. Or nvidia - 770 etc.

Don't buy the 280X and crossfire it with your 7870ghz edition. They are not from the same family of cards. 

The 270X is the closest to your 7870ghz edition (it's basically a re-brand of that exact card) and would yield the best crossfire scaling performance per dollar. Using the 280X wouldn't provide any benefit in crossfire with your existing card over the 270X. The 280X is closest to an overclocked 7970 or ghz edition.

So either crossfire with a 270X or sell your 7870ghz and get an R9-290 or GTX 780. 

you cannot CF a 7870ghz with a 280X, cause like you said they have a diffrent gpu. You can only CF a 7870ghz with a 270X. or a 7970 with a 280X.

But im personaly not a big fan of CF setups. offcourse a 280X CF would perform better, but yeah there are also games that have terrible optimization for CF, so those gonne be a pain in the ass, you also gonne need a powerfull decent psu. if you dont have, you have to buy it as well.

I would personaly sell your current card and grab a R9-280X or a R9-290.

i personaly think its not worth it all those pain in the asses with CF for just 1080p gaming. Cause there is also the factor scaling, the price you gonne pay for your second card, will definitely not justify the performance you will get from it, cause of the scaling factor.

Yea, sorry if my wording was off, I'm aware that the 270X is the only crossfire option for my card. My budget is 200 - 350, and I was curious if I'd see better gains spending only ~200 and matching a 270X with my 7870, or if I should spend the extra 100 - 150 and stay single card with a 280X. Consensus seems to be single card is the way to go, especially since I'm looking for max overall performance in 1080p.

Thanks a lot for the feedback everyone, thats definitely made things a bit clearer.

if you want insane performance for the money than save alittle bit and grab R9-290. i've seen some that are at the 400 dollar range right now and that will blow the R9-280x out of the water.

also from experience crossfired R9-270x is a HEADACHE and a Bloody Half. massive screen-tearing, and games that have work with ENB Mods just don't even bloody work with crossfire. yes you'll get higher framerates without question, but its not worth the headache that is going to come with it.


NIce. I was thinking about holding on to my 7870 for a second build, but maybe I'll just sell it and go 290. The tinkerer in me wanted to do CF just to do it, but I can deal without the

Skyrim was probably the most heart-wrentching, in my old crossfire setup, you'd expect me to run skyrim maxed out with like 150+mods, NOPE, i did but with ENB settings it just didn't work unless I disabled Depth of Field, so the way i saw it just defeated the purpose of having a crossfire setup, i couldnt run games the way i wanted to so later sold both cards and just grabbed a 770 lol


R9-290 is a bit overkill for 1080P, unless you're planning to run 3 displays in a surround setup. If not, the R9-280X is plenty fast for 1080p and will be for a long time yet. With the 290, you'll be spending more money but won't see any difference, especially when you're running nearly every game at well over 60fps+. And if that's the case, you'll want to run V-sync anyways or the screen tearing will be horrible. lol 

on the other hand i have had much better luck with SLI than crossfire. had two 6950s worked alright but i have only had a problem on 2 games with my 660 sli set up. and both those games are still in early access on steam ( rust, planet explorers). just saying if you go with more common cards i think it gets better. oh yes and i think the sli probably works better because the cards are newer but w/e.

well i think it could be a nice set up with a 290 if he just has 2 monitors. on my main machine i use the nice monitor for gaming while i watch netflix or movies on my second monitor. a situation like this would be perfect.

The sapphire 290 tri x rocks, sound and thermals are good and the performance is excellent.

Nice to see the price has become more sane.


It's sad i know but every now and again I take it out of the case just to look at it.

...dear lord, there is no hope left for me, i think a graphics card looks 'sexy' :O

I do that with my current setup with a 7950 (equivalent to an R9-280). Play demanding games maxed at 1080p and watch HD content simultaneously all the time, doesn't slow it down at all. Actually probably puts more demand on the CPU than GPU (and the i5-4570 has no trouble with it).

Don't get me wrong, the 290 is an awesome card, but it's still overkill IMO for 1080p single monitor gaming, even with a secondary display. Running 3 surround displays, for example, would be different as your full resolution in-game would be much higher (5760x1080 vs. 1920x1080) and thus would require the extra grunt the 290 can provide. 

I think this has happened to most of us, even if we don't want to admit it, Zim.

Just got the OC'd Gigabyte R9 280X, new in box, for $250 shipped on eBay. Thanks for all the feedback everyone!