ATi Crossfire launched
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Thread: ATi Crossfire launched

  1. #1
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    ATi Crossfire launched

    Opteron 144@2.8GHz (stock HS/fan), Asus A8N-SLI SE (passive NB), 1.5GB RAM (2:3:2:5, 2T), WD Raptor 740GD 74GB, Maxtor DM10 300GB, Asus EN7600GT SILENT@???, M-Audio Revo 7.1, Nebula DigiTV, Dell 2005FPW, Enermax 431W Active.

  2. #2
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    yep, if you really want it you better just have an lcd thats native 1600x1200

    or

    screw all of this dual card crap and just buy one damn 7800gtx, its cheaper its faster its simple.

  3. #3
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    Better yet, just get one 7800GT and save your energy, both literally and figuratively--oh wait, that's what I've been saying since the 7800GT was launched! Never mind...
    Give what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose.

  4. #4
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    The x850 CrossFire cards are just too much. The x800 CF cards are not too bad. Add one of those to my x800XL and I should be able to beat a GeForce 6800GT or possibly Ultra in SLI.I am planning on getting a CrossFire board, but I am unsure if I will get a CrossFire cards too. Likely it will be either an Athlon64 X2 3800+ or an x800 CrossFire card. I doubt I can justify getting both.
    AMD Phenom II x4 945 3Ghz | ASUS M4A77TD | 2X WD 1TB SATA 2 hard drive | 2x2GB Corsair XMS3 | nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS | ATI TV Wonder Theater Pro 550 | Antec P-160 case | Antec 650w Earth Watts | LG Blu-ray Super Drive | LG DVD RW | Windows 7 Pro

  5. #5
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    I doubt I can justify getting a dual card setup period. Whens the r520 gonna arrive?

  6. #6
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    The countdown is on ATi's site:

    www.ati.com

  7. #7
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    All I can say is: WTF?

    Well, seriously, I remember the old Voodoo 5 I had, and its internal SLI setup. It just worked. In all games, on all motherboards, etc. It just worked. The game and OS only talked to one core, which relayed the commands to the other one, as needed. I'll stress the last point again: it didn't need any special motherboard support or anything, it had all the needed circuitry on-board already.

    Enter the modern day version. You need a different motherboard, and not just as in "with two x16 slots", but as in from the same manufacturer. You need driver support for each game. And various other such weird restrictions.

    Are these people stupid, as in too incompetent to make it work right, or stupid, as in they let marketting run amok and decide they'd rather use it to sell more motherboards than have a good product? No, seriously.

    Would I buy two ATI cards and go CrossFire? Not as long as it needs a new motherboard, I won't. I just blew a bunch of money on this ASUS SLI Premium board, and anyway, changing motherboards is a pain.

    Would I go SLI with a second Nvidia card? Not as long as I need special support for each game in the drivers. It may be ok if all you play CS or UT2004 online, but for everything else the support just won't be there if you buy the game on the launch day. So basically, it's what? An expensive solution for people who only get their games 1 year later from the bargain bin, when hopefully they'll be finally supported? Aiming such an expensive solution at that market seems to me like a pretty stupid thing to do.

    And the need for perfectly matched boards and BIOSes doesn't make me confident about going that route either. If I buy a second 7800 GTX, will it be a perfect enough match? How do I know?

    Actually, let me ammend what I've said earlier. It's not as much being "stupid", it's increasingly obvious that they just don't give much of a damn about this market segment.

    The bulk of both ATI's and Nvidia's sales isn't from the top end cards, and even less of it is from SLI maniacs. People see the SLI 7800 GTX benchmarks, decide that "whoa, Nvidia is faster", then go and buy a cheap 6200.

    And some of them go and buy a motherboard SLI motherboard, just in case. You know, in case some time in the future they decide to go SLI.

    So basically it seems to me that these boards exist primarly not to be sold as such (though ATI or Nvidia will be happy to take your money if you want to buy one), but to help sell the other boards and a bunch of mainboard chipsets.

    So I'm increasingly starting to wonder if all these restrictions aren't in fact deliberate. Nvidia made _far_ more money from selling SLI Nforce4 chipsets than from actually selling 6800 Ultras and 7800 GTXes to be used in SLI. I wouldn't be surprised if that's really why ATI too now needs their own motherboards for it.

  8. #8
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    Yeah, and considering that nVidia bought up 3DFX, you'd think they'd know what they were doing. However (and it's a big however), consider what makes more money for them--selling 1 really expensive card with 2 GPUs (which do exist in very limited quanities), or to sell an "SLI motherboard" at a price premium along with 2 "SLI-compatible" video cards? Sure, it screws us, but they can make 2-3x more money! The down side is it requires gaming support, but I think this will be a given eventually.
    Give what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose.

  9. #9
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    Well, that's just the thing. It's not just that for each guy that bought 2 video cards to run in SLI, they also sell 1 premium motherboard. It's that for each guy that actually bought 2 video cards to run in SLI, they sell 1000 SLI motherboards to other guys who don't, but better be future-safe anyway. There's a lot more money to be made from selling a half-arsed hack, than from making a product that just work with any mainboard and any game.

  10. #10
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    You're absolutely right. I've been consistantly amazed at how many people are excited about SLI and crossfire, when both are truely sloppy solutions that seem (to me) geared towards only one thing: Selling more hardware.

    In fact, even in the games and aps that DO support the technology, the gains seem to be JUST large enough so that a handful of hyper-enthusiasts will actually buy in. Others will just buy SLI/Crossfire boards (at a premium) to be "future proof."

    The irony here (and one that I've pointed out before), is that for the rather paltry showing that SLI and Crossfire actually make, it's almost always garunteed that by the time you 'Upgrade' to SLI/Crossfire by adding the second identical (or in the case of crossfire VIRTUALLY identical) card, you'd be able to spend the same amount or less and buy a single card solution that will blow away your paired (6-12 month old !obsolete!) cards. All with less expense, trouble, and waste heat.

    As far as why these cards can't just route any number of various protocals through PCIe... again, considering the bandwidth available, I think it's more a marketectural limitation than anything else. I very much doubt that ATi is routing a whole lot of information through that modded DVI cable (compared with what could be routed through PCIe). Even if PCIe wasn't fast enough, NVDA could certainly have put virtually ANYTHING through the HT tunnel on their AMD platforms. Even on Intel platorms, NVDA has worked HT into the chipset as the backbone that unifies all the various protocals. There is not much stopping them from communicating GPU to GPU on those protocals. Except, of course, that you would potentially be able to gang all sorts of different cards... even ATI ones, since HT is an open standard.
    We all Think Different too.

  11. #11
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    Future Crossfire cards not limited to 1600x1200 @ 60 Hz

    http://www.tomshardware.com/hardnews...27_121059.html

  12. #12
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    Well isn't that nice. Another hardware upgrade in the near future....AGAIN.

    Current Main Rig:
    AMD FX55 @ 2.9 GHz
    2 GB PC 3200 DDR RAM
    ABIT KN8 SLi motherboard
    ATI X1900XT O/C to XTX speeds

    Retired Rig:
    AMD Athlon XP 2500+ Barton @ 2387 MHz. (217*11)
    512MB DDR RAM @ 436 MHz. (PC 3700)
    Abit AN7 motherboard
    BFG GeForce 6800GT OC!

  13. #13
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    i think 3dfx's sli solution wasnt the same as current generations. it only mixed output signals, not totally intertwine the two graphics cards together. i cant remember for sure but i dont beleive the voodoo cards do the same thing as current nvidia and ati cards.

    its so stupid though. especially with the new generation of cards comming out, there is no reason to get sli or crossfire. unless they vastly impove on the downsides, i dont see thise endevor lasting.

    However, i could see single card - dual processor setups. i bet in a few years sli is gone and in are the times of quad-core 2gb memory cards.....

  14. #14
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    Well, here's your one, single-card SLI 7800GT solution:

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/video/d...925211021.html

    Someone can help me out on the monitary conversion, but I think in American currency, it comes in as very expensive. The thing takes so much power that it has an external power supply!
    Give what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose.

  15. #15
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    You are right about the Voodoo 2, krupted, but the Voodoo 5 (and the planned Voodoo 6) was a very different beast. It actually had a RAMDAC which read the (digital) data from both "cards" video RAM and produced the image on the fly.

    E.g., if you used FSAA (and honestly, that was the main reason to own a Voodoo 5), say 4x FSAA, it would actually render 4 different images in RAM and leave it as that. It didn't then have an extra step of combining/scaling them into the final image to be displayed. The video refresh circuitry then actually scanned all 4 images at the same time, so for each pixel output to the monitor, it would actually read the (digital) colour values for 4 pixels, compute the average, and output that to screen.

    As an effect, it also had no precision loss when combining them into the final image. If you ran in 16 bit with 4x FSAA, you'd really get 22 bit precision in that final step. (2 extra bits per colour component, times 3 colour components.) And the dithering in FSAA mode happened between those sub-pixels, so you'd get some of the extra bits back in that final step.

    Bit of a pity that 3dfx went under. There was a lot of real engineering that went into that card, as opposed to the marketectural decisions of today. It takes a company run by engineers to come up with ideas like "how can we make 16 bit mode look a lot better" (and get wiped out by marketters dodging it with "so who cares about 16 bit? just run in 32 bit!") as opposed to "how can we cripple the card to make the people buy our motherboards?"

    A lot of that engineering could actually still be useful to a lot of people. E.g., sure, if you're like me and have a 256 bit 7800 GTX or an x800 XT, you don't need 16 bit mode. But the buggers with 6200-TC cards could use being able to switch to 16 bit with less loss of quality.

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