Monday, March 10, 2008

CrossFire X Reviews

With last weeks release of the new Catalyst 8.3 drivers, ATI released support for what it is calling CrossFire X signifying support for 2, 3 and 4 GPUs.

According to the release notes:
"This release of Catalyst introduces CrossFireX Quad support. Users with any combination of a ATI Radeon HD 3870, ATI Radeon HD 3850, and ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 graphics accelerators running with 3 or 4 GPUs will be able to run in CrossFireX Quad mode (when used in a CrossFireX compatible PC). CrossFireX Quad will deliver significant performance improvements in a number of applications. Users can expect to see further DirectX 10 QUAD CrossFireX performance improvements in future Catalyst releases.
Users are now able to run in CrossFireX™ (Quad) mode while running in extended desktop mode on the Windows Vista desktop"

Two sites have great reviews posted already, ExtremeTech's article "CrossFire X Performance--Two, Three, and Four GPUs in One" and Anandtech's "CrossFireX Arrives: First Look at 3 and 4 GPUs in 2 Card Setups".

Both article, as we all would have guessed reached the same conclusion. A single graphics card still provides the best cost to performance ratio. Moving to a dual-GPU 3870 X2 still delivers good price/performance, as many applications now scale pretty well to two GPUs. Three is where the value proposition starts to fall of in lots of applications, you may see a slight gain in performance but at a great cost.

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