Well, I have to disagree with most of this article. There are several misleading or misunderstood points in it, and one flat factual error. The error is the claim that you need to spend $500 on a master card. That is not true, there are two types of master card and one of them is much, much less than $500. Other than that, there are a number of other points that should be noted: ATI's card matching does not require identical board specs, chipsets and (most importantly) bios matching. Also, the suggestion that an ATI motherboard is required is pure conjecture as this point. Only one thing is for sure - there's no dedicated silicon in ATI's supporting mobo chipset for Crossfire and there's no reason other mobo chipset solutions shouldnt support it via driver updates.. It's very possible that Crossfire will be just as fast on other 2x 8-lane (electrical) PCI express graphics chipsets. However, I would also expect the Likes of NVIDIA to bork Crossfire support in their mobo driver, and if that happens, its hardly ATI's fault. On balance, (and for now on-paper) Crossfire itself is the more attractive proposition, but it does suffer from the lack of SM3 GPUs from ATI. If I was buying a high-end graphics rig today, I would want the future proofing and peace of mind of having SM3 support for future game releases.
Want to enjoy fewer advertisements and more features? Click here to become a Hardware Analysis registered user.
so what is that other card thats a crossfire edition? i still havnt seen anything except for x850 examples
Nvidia's solution doesnt require matching BIOS' either, it just needs two cards that work almost identically (e.g. no overclocked out of the box cards mixed with generic ones) besides i prefer just getting any pair of cards to start....
Hang on youre running around in circles here, VIA and nvidia both have their own chipsets for dual vga gfx's and they wont enable crossfire unless the solution works purely on double gfx slot mobos (thats ONE mobo from DFI and every board using intel's tumwater zeon chipset...)
It wont be nvidia's fault either for mobo support, supporting different techs on different platforms usually involve exchange of currency you know, SLI doesnt come cheap for OEM people either....why should nvidia based motherboards help the competition when it wont give them any overall benefit?
only thing i agree is that overall yeah crossfire is better until proven true or otherwise with a proper suite of benches but overall i see just as many things to discourage someone as SLI....
p.s. that weird connector thingy reminds em of the days you got a aseparate video and graphics accelerator card
An xbox360 and a 12" iBook....
And a kawasaki er-6n to mod instead
I guess you'll have to wait until tomorrow for the details on Crossfire edition cards and the extent to which ATI cards can be mixed and matched.
I must confess I haven't tried SLI for about 2-3 months, but last time I did identical bios were required - an atttempt to match cards without identical bioses gave an error meesage to that effect. I know NVIDIA is talking about removing that requirement, but as far as I am aware this has not happened yet - are you explicitly saying that NVIDIA has removed the matched bios requirement. If so when did this happen.
You should also remember that ATI's cards are currently a fair bit less power hungry than the NV competition, which is likely to make getting a Crossfire rig up and running easier than SLI which can be a real headache in terms of PSUs and whatnot.
The point about motherboard support is that there are no grounds for criticising ATI if they produce a solution that would work on other chipsets but other chipset vendors do not enable support etc. Crossfire is far from perfect,but in terms of compatibility and ease of use, I'd say it clearly has the edge. There's also one other key area where Crossfire has a huge on-paper advantage but you'll have to wait for the NDAs to lift to find that out. Again, my main problem with Crossfire is the lack of SM3. I really cant see how anyone would want to spend a lot of moeny on a rig that lacks SM3 right now.
If these 2 cards in the Master Apprentice Archetecture could actually talk to one another we wouldn't need to buy duplicate cards rather than two cards that just happen to have the same FSB.
This is a ham handed attempt at branding incompatable software.
That might be a service or an innovation or cutting edge thinking.
But instead it is a sad marketing attempt at passing off inferior product.
I will be waiting until ATI and NVidia share their code and can build on top of each other at least to simply share memory at some rudimentry level .
As a Gamer that seems to be bare minimum utility that will be seen in the next Open Source type product that will obviously dominate in this market eventually.
It seems like until then people will have to skip 4 to 6 generations before required hardware updates or modification.
"...next Open Source type product that will obviously dominate in this market eventually...."
Pray tell... how do you have Open Source hardware?
Whatever. I think ATI and Nvidia are doing ... okay... but... personally, I believe that a second PCIe slot should be reserved for a PPU connected to a GPU, rather than two GPU's which we have... truly... no need for. That's just dumb. And it isolates notebook gaming.
why not create one super chip, that has dual-core: Athlon 64 processors, audio processors, gpu, physics processors, whack on a large shared cache, stick the chip on a rambus XDR memory bus and you've got something that's damn fast... and expensive.
But I beleive that the crossfire article was a little unfair, and biased, a little visit to http://www.theinquirer.org/ may reveal information about ATI's crossfire, which has advantages. For example it will work with all games (or atleast they claim it will), nvidia's SLI will not
The article does seem biased and too harsh on Crossfire. Kudos to ATi for coming to the market with a product that they JUST CREATED and have running just fine from the sounds of it. Reviewers who have used it confirm this. They may have some experience with this stuff (Rage MAXX) but nVidia has the 3DFXers...
Thats weird cuz anotrher guy asked ati directly and ati said that both cards had to be from the the same manufacturer and when nvidia was asked something similar they said that the cards do not need to be from the same manufacturer just the same model with similar bios' (e.g. both reference unmodified)
careful though toms hardwares has been biased in the past... those advntages look kinda weird like the "more dual modes than sli"....errr you mean one more...the improved picture quality means you use the two cards to get a maximum of 14x (16x?) super antialiasing by getting the two cards to sample for each other....
An xbox360 and a 12" iBook....
And a kawasaki er-6n to mod instead
remember the architecture is still in the infant stage, when its fully released will be a Moment of Truth, but for me im waiting for A Chipset from Via/ALi/ULi that will Integrate both SLI and Crossfire Arch into One simple system (Still have 2 slots but no Daughterboard)
Sander I know, from the last year of reading this forum, that you are a fan of NVidia products but you know as well as I do that you can't put too much creedence in pre-release info on video card products. What ATI may or may not have said about Crossfire before the technology was released is not concrete fact even if it comes from ATI or NVidia directly. ATI and NVidia are both guilty of hyping new product features and specs that ended up changing once the product went gold. Products under go change through the development cycle.
As for which system is better I don't think we will know that until someone has a CrossFire system to test and compare with an SLI NVidia system. As a consumer I don't think I can even buy product yet.
Any way, life is good Sander and you really shouldn't stress over what ATI does with Crossfire. ;-)
personally i don't mind a dongle, and the advantages of the master/slave system are worth it.
from early discriptions i can't wait to try both super aa and the "every-other rendering" mode , to see how fast, and how good i can make games look and play
i love ATI, but i gave SLI a chance. .
either way, it doesn't matter .. 2 cards is just novel in the end.. just use one big one! it's easier and costs less
BTW: it's beautiful outside.. what am idoing inside on this damn box anyways.. ??? everybody go OUTSIDE an live a little