Its quite clear by now, that somehow you are rather inclined towards Nvidia and their products then ATI, you seems to have better understanding with guys and professionals over Nvidia. You know it very well that the concept of SLI is bring back from 3dfx (Voodo), its not 'originally' their (Nvidia) idea to release such a solution. And mind you SLI is such an easy concept, Nvidia rather had tried to 'use' "little' of brain power atleast.
I don't know what conversations took place between you and that ATI PR representative, but I believe he was just stating the mere facts. SLI wasn't even required, the concept is rather pretty much clear that they are after money...'big' money mind you. Current single solution cards are almost enough to play any game at maximum resolution (and now since they've released it, Game Developer's are so keen to make games to take full advantage of SLI). If you carefully examine the community, you'll perhaps find that peoples who are using Single card are indeed gamer's and peoples with SLI configuration are more inclined towards benchmarks (just to prove bragging rights).
Following is your statement with my opinions.
"He continued his rebuttal by stating that ATI would never be tempted to try such a solution, as there is no market for it"
- Precisely, he was right in making that comment, 'at that time',.. even if I were at his place, may be I would've had also said the same thing, the thing is he was talking from gaming perspective, since current generation cards like X850XT PE and mighty 7800GTX are almost enough to play any game with decent FPS. So why would anyone use two cards to get 135FPS if a gamer is already getting 100FPS with one card?. Its a waste of money (and peoples are so happy to waste it). SLI market is mostly captured by peoples who like to benchmark their systems, in real world performance, kindly show me the difference between 100 and 150 FPS please?... I think his (ATI PR representative) statement was 'valid', but only at that time, since now its a complete different storry, so we can have a laugh at it.
The Crossfire solution is more 'Advanced' than Nvidia's SLI,...Crossfire rendering modes does differ from SLI, and ATI really worked hard on it.. The benchmarks we've seen these days shows how good is ATI is in releasing fresh products with fresh drivers..., in few cases it almosts beat 7800GT in SLI configuration and is tad slower than 7800GTX SLI configuration.. don't you think that's exactly the thing we were looking for? X850 Crossfire is significantly faster than 6800Ultra's in SLI, because 6800Ultra's 'cannot' beat....I repeat 'cannot' beat 7800GT in SLI, but X850 in CrossFire certainly 'did'.
Crossfire is not matured, we cannot say we've seen its actual potential, it's massively depends on new drivers for the Card and Chipset. It can vary, and I bet it will vary. Judging a Crossfire potential with fresh drivers is something I cannot understand and will never understand. Usually what peoples says " wait for more official drivers to come", and tweaked and advanced drivers have 'yet' to come.
You've said "Although that’s unfortunate"...
Perhaps, I would say it 'is' fortunate that ATI has made such a bold step, by releasing a solution which is quite economical also. Don't expect other's to shell out $1000 for both cards, just to use SLI (which is not even required). And for your information the reason why 16-Pixel Pipeline Master Card will come down to 12-Pixel Pipeline Slave card is because they have to run 'in' sync to give the better performance, just like SLI,.. but just give it another thought like this way: for example: A person who cannot buy couple of cards worth $800 to $1000 for SLI, can buy a card worth $200 for CrossFire and lateron he could get a shiny new Master card with Maximum Pixel Pipelines. Sure Pipelines would run in sync?, yes! but he would get best price/performance ratio also, while a person with Nvidia SLI would have to get the 'same' another shiny new card for SLI to get it work.
And Super Tiling Mode would not work because it depends on 'same' number of Quads(Pixel Pipeline divides itself in group of four or 'Quad'). And in my opinion both Master X850 in crossfire will give the 'best' performance..
Ok, the biggest obstacle you are talking about is that Crossfire cannot render at more than a 1600x1200 resolution with a 60Hz refresh rate..... is due to the fact that it may be Sil 1161 reciever on X850 Master CrossFire Cards 'OR' the Composite Engine with onboard frame buffer on the Master Card is rather giving the headache. While, I am still little shocked that why ATI hasn't implemented the Sil 1171 Receiver, the maximum it can provide is QXGA 2048x1536. In case if you are interested in further reading, kindly read the following:
ATI has also indicated that they will use Dual-Link TMDS Reciever on their future Master Cards for better bandwidth, for example it may be also implemented on R520 and R580 Master Cards ('postively') which will illiminate each refresh rate bottleneck. In case you want to read about Dual-Link TMDS, kindly click on the following link for further reading: http://www.sencore.com/newsletter/Apr04/NewDVI.htm
X850 may be limited to 1600x1200 at 60Hz, but at the same time its a new technology by ATI, newly in term for Desktops.
On that part I agree that 'currently' SLI gives better flexibility as its quite old and matured already, and CrossFire has just entered the market, and I would say its a better way to enter a Multi-Visual processing market, because the concept is entirely different from Nvidia's SLI. Crossfire certainly alarmed Nvidia, and forced them to release SLI - 2 which is based on entirely different Chipset with 16x dedicated lanes for each card and better rending modes, but you never know what ATI has their in mind, you might witness Crossfire - II also, because the Graphic Industry will move like this 'forever', and ATI will have edge, because they would certainly try to implement something better than Nvidia, forever, and always, example being 9800XT, X850XT PE and Crossfire with outstanding approach.
And you were right when you said "We’ll reserve judgment until the new X1800 series of cards are introduced however" because, certainly the X1800XT will be more advanced and 'might' have Dual Link transmitters for the refersh rate bottleneck.
And in case, you are not aware of CrossFire power, perhaps you might look at Tomshardware benchmarks, which is indeed quite reputable website as far as reviews goes. And I've seen 'plenty' of Nvidia fanboys listing their articles to prove their supreme Nvidia Cards, while this time, it may be different story.
Here are following benchmarks (X850 CrossFire Vs. 7800GTX SLI):
And now, why would I get disappointed with CrossFire? may be just not because it doesn't beat 7800GTX in 'almost' every benchmark, which I would say 'unfair' comparison. And yes with X1800XT, CrossFire does look promising.
Sander, I would say again, I have respect for you and will have always, but sometimes you'll have to be rational in judging the perfomance, I never said Nvidia makes bad cards, infact I do suggest peoples to get Nvidia cards sometimes also, where I think its necessary to suggest. Here I am talking from both perspective, keeping in my that SLI is so matured, and CrossFire is new, but still don't you think CrossFire has the upper hand? while, we have yet to see fully tweaked drivers for it.
I am sorry though, if somehow you find me little arrogant. But really I am straight forward person, and I would say what's best in my knowledge and as always you'll remain my 'Sir'
I see the validity of your points but don't agree with your conclusions. CrossFire is out months after SLI and does not have the capability to compete with SLI due to ATI’s current generation cards being weaker - plain and simple.
Sander is completely correct to write that CrossFire could be too little, too late. It took ATI months to answer NVIDIA’s SLI technology. It would stand to reason that ATI would have waited to release Crossfire in tandem with the X1800 line of cards so that their product would be comparable and/or better than a SLI setup with the fastest NVIDIA cards. (After all, ATI was already months behind NVIDIA’s SLI…it wouldn’t have hurt to wait a little bit longer.) ATI chose to not do this however, and has once again released something to compete with NVIDIA which is slower than NVIDIA’s technology and plagued with weird features such as limited refresh rates.
Hopefully, CrossFire will prove to be more useful once the X1800 series of graphics cards come out from ATI. Only time will tell what comes of this technology. For the time being though, I see no point it purchasing or setting up a system with CrossFire.
I think CrossFire, with the exception of that 1600x1200 @ 60Hz, is off to a mighty start. It has also been suggested that this dismal refresh rate may be repaired given a patch update, and it would most certainly surprise me if the X1xxx-series of cards couldn't do better than that.
For me, 1280x1024 is just fine, and frankly, I have low opinions on both SLI and CrossFire. I don't like the idea of dual GPUs.
Frankly, the only trouble I have with the entirety of the graphics-and-related world is that everyone is kissing up to Nvidia's every whim. I... can't... stand this. Nvidia's only singular better card is the 7800 GTX. Once the X1xxx-series cards comes out and CrossFire matures a few driver versions, then I've no doubt in my mind that ATI will once again be trouncing Nvidia as it did before.
ATI cards have ALWAYS performed better (except in games where Nvidia PAYS the developers to optimize for them, ala Doom 3 and Battlefield 2) in general gaming. Beyond gaming, ATI cards are actually useful in things like 3D Animation and Video Editing. To top this all off, ATI cards are STILL cheaper than their Nvidia "counterparts."
I would like to answer few of your statements Michael:
"CrossFire is out months after SLI and does not have the capability to compete with SLI due to ATI’s current generation cards being weaker - plain and simple."
- Precisely to beat SLI in every department, thats why they took so much time....and it did with X850, if you are saying ATIs current generation cards are weaker, then perhaps I would say Nvidia cards are WEAKEST. Since X850XT PE is fastest AGP card availiable in the market currently. this "Plain and Simple" thought is coming from someone, who used to hail 9800pro before.
"Sander is completely correct to write that CrossFire could be too little, too late".
- No, its good, but little late, since X850 proved better than 6800Ultra's in SLI, I've yet to see 6800Ultra SLI configuration beating 7800GT or 7800GTX in SLI. But with X850 it certainly did.
"It took ATI months to answer NVIDIA’s SLI technology. It would stand to reason that ATI would have waited to release Crossfire in tandem with the X1800 line of cards so that their product would be comparable and/or better than a SLI setup with the fastest NVIDIA cards. (After all, ATI was already months behind NVIDIA’s SLI…it wouldn’t have hurt to wait a little bit longer.)"
- It took ATI months to answer NVIDIA's stealed concept by 3dfx is because of better modes in rendering and better concept, CrossFire is a better concept, and only answer to this concept is SLI - II.....and yes it was required by them to release CrossFire before X1800XT release, since it shows significant lead of 6800Ultra's in SLI, so you can conclude/imagine yourself X1800XT in crossfire. And if you certainly don't the power of X1800XL, then it already crossed the barrier of 7000 3D Marks 05', which I was talking about earlier...as per displayed in the following links.
While, 7800GTX is capable to fetch 7400-7600 3D Mark 05' points, so don't you think you should expect like 8600 points from X1800XT??.....and that's what I also hear about them....nevermind, its a matter of few days now, less than week rather.
"ATI chose to not do this however, and has once again released something to compete with NVIDIA which is slower than NVIDIA’s technology and plagued with weird features such as limited refresh rates."
- See my first post carefully, you'll find all your answers.
"Hopefully, CrossFire will prove to be more useful once the X1800 series of graphics cards come out from ATI. Only time will tell what comes of this technology. For the time being though, I see no point it purchasing or setting up a system with CrossFire."
- Tomshardware (which is respectable website) already proved what CrossFire is capable to do, while I dont understand why would you go with SLI instead of Crossfire -II or wouldn't rather wait for SLI-II?
ATI pricing "revelation." Still more expensive, but... give 'em a month, just like we gave the GTX.
I might add, I don't like CrossFire or SLI merely because they simply ARE what they are... dual PCIe slots... this incurs all sorts of new things on computers that weren't necessary before. Fine, maybe you CAN play F.E.A.R. on ub3r high settings, but what's to stop a game developer from making a game whose "High" settings will be unachievable STILL with SLI or Crossfire?
Both dual GPU arrangements alienate the mobile market, which, once was able to keep pace (relatively) with desktop PC's performance-wise, albeit at a higher cost.
Both dual GPU arrangements further complicate the integration of the VERY real "Physics Processing Unit" and it's integration into motherboards.
Both of these arrangements are not technological advances in any way. They double required mainboard real estate, double power, double required CPU-time, and don't double performance. It's that simple.
""He continued his rebuttal by stating that ATI would never be tempted to try such a solution, as there is no market for it"
- Precisely, he was right in making that comment, 'at that time',.. even if I were at his place, may be I would've had also said the same thing, the thing is he was talking from gaming perspective, since current generation cards like X850XT PE and mighty 7800GTX are almost enough to play any game with decent FPS. So why would anyone use two cards to get 135FPS if a gamer is already getting 100FPS with one card?. Its a waste of money (and peoples are so happy to waste it). SLI market is mostly captured by peoples who like to benchmark their systems, in real world performance, kindly show me the difference between 100 and 150 FPS please?... I think his (ATI PR representative) statement was 'valid', but only at that time, since now its a complete different storry, so we can have a laugh at it."
Supreet, did you read it???? He says "by stating that ATI would never be tempted to try such a solution," That is - NEVER. When should we believe ATI, and when should we not?
Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
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it seems that other sites have givin crossfire the thumbs down 2 just 4 being late from wat i've heard over this crossfire buisness...i think that if it was out a couple of months ago sure....it wood put up competition 4 sli...but seeing as now most ppl with sli have already spent all that money into...y wood they change over now....i reckon crossfire will b an alternative 2 sli 4 ppl like me who r thinking about/trying 2 upgrade at the end of the year
Towlie: Wanna get high?
Cartman: NO!!! WE DO NOT WANT TO GET HIGH YOU STUPID TOWL!!
tell ya what when a end user like my self overclocks them and benches them like i did mine. Then and only then will i pass judgment. im just dieing to see there scores in cross fire with the new X1800XT
wrong, nvidia paper launched (yes i know 'paper', but its coming) their new x16 sli platform a few weeks ago.
"crossfire was designed to beat sli in every way"
and which way is that? the few benches that i've read on sites other than tom's have shown that dual 6800 ultra's will perform on par with dual x850's (or close enough 1-3fps off depending on benchmark like those "supportive" ones like doom 3/half life 2)
"nvidia pays the game developers to make the games perform better on nvidia cards"
perhaps, but how would you explain far cry which is supposed to be "nvidia optimized" yet ati beats it in every way?
and another thing i hear people say "why do they compare 7800gtx vs x850xt pe? its not even fair"
benchmarkers are comparing the best of each company to show which cards they currently both have to offer. if ati is late in releasing the x1800xt, that is their problem. and needless the say dual 6800 ultra's don't trail the x850's
also note that when you compare an x850 to a 6800 ultra...x850's were launched months AFTER the 6800 ultra and yet you guys are here complainng the x850 to 7800 comparison.
I think the others posting in this thread having given you enough feedback to chew on, but here's my 2-cents. I'm not putting CrossFire in a negative light, just posting on the status quo, and as I mention in the last paragraph CrossFire might look a lot better with the X1x00 series of cards, hence I'm witholding judgement untill they are out. Unfortunately CrossFire currently doesn't really offer anything worthwhile over NVIDIA's SLI.
dont some cusotm boards already offer 16X SLI ?.... I read something about that.
Setting aside all the technical jargon... the only thing that matters at this point is hat the Crossfire is competetive..... but with SLI 8X ....so if we were to check the comparison with SLI 16X, crossfire would prolly take a royal hit.
Both crossfire and SLI are total nonsense. They dont offer 200% perfomance but carry 200% the price tag.
In my opinion there is nothing outstanding about Crossfire. Scissor mode is the same redering technique as SLI and offers only super-tiling as a unique option in Direct 3D mode.
Now what would happen with games that run a combination of opengl and D3d?...
Unlike what they had promised, Crossfire does not offer unconditional pairing, its just as conditional as SLI. Infact since SLI relies on identical cards, they've narrowed down the potential problems, but with ATI's mix'n match option, u will see HUGE perfomance differences when the wrong combinaiton is used. So it quite simply boils down to another 1:1 card combination for best perfomance. Link an X850 with an X700 and it'll perform worse than a single X800.... I'm hoping Sander can check this via some tests... but this is what I feel.
So both SLI and Crossfire are total trash and should be binned this instant ! .... unless and until they can double the perfomance... there is no justification to making people spend twice as much.
"Supreet, did you read it???? He says "by stating that ATI would never be tempted to try such a solution," That is - NEVER. When should we believe ATI, and when should we not?"
- And when this annoucement was made in public josh? they never indicated such things josh... if you try put just little pressure on your brain more, you'll find the exact thing I was referring to,... read carefully the last statement of that paragraph again. SLI captured the market...yes....why ATI don't make their MVP solution?....or rather Josh you are trying to say ATI shouldn't have made this CrossFire solution because they were saying there's was no need for it?....C'mon be a serious businessman here Josh! Why do you think why Nvidia is going for SLI - II?
As expected I am questioned by Nvidia fanboy, but the actual and real thing is CrossFire is better than SLI, that's why may be Nvidia is so tempted to release SLI-II in place, because SLI is NO match for CrossFire, and you all are going to see with X1800XT.
I was expecting better from you, your statement 'enough feedback to chew on' I couldn't understand, the gilberish what Nvidia fanboys are saying doesn't make any sense.
And CrossFire does offer a worthwhile over Nvidia's SLI, which is dedicated 16x lanes to each card in CrossFire and..and the way you can upgrade you cards, however in your Article, you made it clear that it is 'unfortunate' that both cards will run in sync, however this actually a 'fortunate' thing from upgrade perspective.
Unless Nvidia Fanboys prove me wrong with facts, they have no right to question me, my first post has detailed information why CrossFire is better than SLI, and the fact is also that Nvidia is moving to SLI-II to earn more profit from these peoples who tends to utilize only 20% of the brain, just like the two cards in SLI gives 20% boost.
You surprise me everytime with your ability to read a reply, or article, and not pick up on the points that the author is trying to get across. Every reputable website that has looked at CrossFire has arrived at the same conclusions I have, hence it is safe to say I got the right perspective here, no need to elaborate further, that's just how it is. And honestly you seem a bit confused, I think you need to step back from this and look at it with a fresh perspective, ATI is not your own business you have to defend nail and tooth, nor is NVIDIA. In the end it is about what products offer the best bang for the buck and CrossFire is lacking in that department, and no amount of sweettalking or replies from you is going to improve things for CrossFire. As I mentioned in the last paragraph of the column, I'll reserve final judgement when the X1x00 series arrives.
To further rain on your parade, the benchmarks you quoted from Tom's are invalid, these are scores at 1024x768, here the CPU is the bottleneck not the graphics cards, you'll notice they also have 1600x1200 scores where the Radeon X850 CrossFire platform is left biting the dust by the NVIDIA SLI setup. Can you please stop your ramblings now? Or do you need me to draw it out for you?
Are you implying that I am an NVIDIA fanboy? Dude, we've talked before about this and you and I both agreed that it didn't matter who made the card as much as how it performed. If Intel showed up tommorrow with the best graphics card on the market I'd buy it. To me, and to the majority of people, it's more important how something runs rather than who makes it...
"- Precisely to beat SLI in every department, thats why they took so much time....and it did with X850, if you are saying ATIs current generation cards are weaker, then perhaps I would say Nvidia cards are WEAKEST. Since X850XT PE is fastest AGP card availiable in the market currently. this "Plain and Simple" thought is coming from someone, who used to hail 9800pro before."
I used to hail the 9800 Pro because it was the best card at the time for it's value and performance. It doesn't matter if it was made by ATI, NVIDIA, the tooth fairy, the flying spaghetti monster, or Santa Clause. The 9800 Pro was an excellent card, and until the 6600GT came out, one of the most logical cards to purchase when looking for a good sub $200 USD graphics card.
I don't hold loyality to brands, Supreet. It appears that you think that I do. To me it's about how the card runs my games. It's not about the highest 3DMark score or the shiny ATI or NVIDIA logo on the side of card. All I want is good value and performance.