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Differences between crossfire and sli?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
What are the differences (every little one i would like to know.)
Lee XT
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Lee XT
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post #2 of 9
Crossfire is ATI, and most of the time requires a master card and a slave card. (Not the case with some lower end cards or the HD2900XT).

SLI is nVidia, and requires two of the same cards.
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Namrac View Post
Crossfire is ATI, and most of the time requires a master card and a slave card. (Not the case with some lower end cards or the HD2900XT).

SLI is nVidia, and requires two of the same cards.
The x1950s don't need a master card.

Also, I read a Maximum PC article where they said that the dongle that used to attach 2 CF cards was actually a performance boost, because the SLI message from card to card has to travel through the NB and an SLI chip on the mobo or something like that, but the newer ATI cards don't need the dongle, so who knows if that advantage still exists...
    
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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pow3rtr1p View Post
The x1950s don't need a master card.

Also, I read a Maximum PC article where they said that the dongle that used to attach 2 CF cards was actually a performance boost, because the SLI message from card to card has to travel through the NB and an SLI chip on the mobo or something like that, but the newer ATI cards don't need the dongle, so who knows if that advantage still exists...
Dongle?

And what do you mean by master card?
Lee XT
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Lee XT
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post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by pow3rtr1p View Post
The x1950s don't need a master card.

Also, I read a Maximum PC article where they said that the dongle that used to attach 2 CF cards was actually a performance boost, because the SLI message from card to card has to travel through the NB and an SLI chip on the mobo or something like that, but the newer ATI cards don't need the dongle, so who knows if that advantage still exists...
The X1950XTX does. I believe the X1950XT does too, but the X1950 Pro doesn't, no.
post #6 of 9
Sorry.

And the dongle is the external cable used to attach the 2 cards to one another.
    
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post #7 of 9
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post #8 of 9
Crossfire seperates the load between the two like a checker board, while SLI splits every other frame. Crossfire has an advantage with memory since, each card only needs half of the texture's of an image to process it, as the other has the other half. In SLI's case, both need all of it, since each one does the full frame, just every other one instead.
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by whe3ls View Post
for soft fire u need a crossfire ready card and a regaler card internal birge u need to of the same card or same style 16500 xt 1950 pro 2900xt dongle in need a crossfire master card and a salve card be it a 1800xl or xt master or a 19s0 master card and a pro xt or xtx
After finally understanding it... I disagree.

'Softfire' is accomplished by using identical cards WITHOUT the internal bridge or the external cable. No 'hard wire' is used, and all communication goes through the motherboard, hence the name 'softfire'. This is only possible with lower-end cards like the X13xx, the X16xx (except X1650XT) series, the X1800GTO, and the X1900GT.

There are two versions of 'true' Crossfire: one using an internal bridge, like SLI, and one using an external cable and a master/slave card configuration. The version with the internal bridge gets rid of the need for a master card, and two 'regular' cards can be used. This only works with the X1650XT and the X1950PRO cards. The most common version of Crossfire is still the master Crossfire Edition card in combination with a regular card as slave. Unfortunately, Crossfire edition cards are sometimes hard to find and expensive.

Here is the chart of possible Crossfire set ups. The color indicates what sort of connector, if any, is used.
    
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