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September 29, 2005

Review: ATI CrossFire multi-GPU platform

Riyad Emeran at The Register:

If you have even a passing interest in 3D graphics, you’ve probably been waiting for the appearance of ATI’s dual-GPU solution. It seems like aeons ago that ATI announced that it would produce a platform to rival Nvidia’s tremendously successful SLi, but now, finally I have a CrossFire system in front of me and it’s time to see if it was worth the wait, writes Riyad Emeran.

What I’m talking about is the ability to install two graphics cards in a single PC so the two cards share the load when it comes to 3D rendering – resulting in a significant performance boost when you fire up your favourite game.

One of the most obvious physical differences between SLi and CrossFire, is the method of connection between the two cards. With SLi a small bridge is employed between the two cards that links them internally, while CrossFire uses a daisy-chained DVI cable that links the cards externally. There’s no doubt that the Nvidia solution is more elegant from a PC building point of view, but looks aren’t everything.

Another big difference between the two systems is that ATI has promised that CrossFire will work with every single game out there, whereas for SLi to weave its spell there needs to be a driver profile for each game you want to play. Of course, this doesn’t mean that CrossFire will enhance the performance of every game, but just that every game should play in CrossFire mode.

Much more by following the link, but frankly it seems that all these dual GPU systems are right on the bleeding edge with a variety of quirks. Per the reveiw, some of the ones with CrossFire may be alleviated by ATI’s next generation of graphics cards, based on the new R520 core.

Posted at 10:16 am. Filed under ATI, Companies, Graphics Cards, NVIDIA

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