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[Anandtech] CrossFireX Arrives: First Look at 3 and 4 GPUs in 2 Card Setups

post #1 of 29
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Quote:
We previewed AMD's CrossFireX technology a couple weeks ago, but today a WHQL drier is available that supports more than two AMD GPUs. In order to do this, AMD employs Vista's Linked Display Adapter (LDA) technology to make the collective GPUs appear to the system as a single virtual device. While this allows for more flexibility in GPU configurations, there are some drawbacks that we will talk about shortly.
The new Catalyst 8.3 is a milestone release for AMD that brings, in addition to Vista LDA support for more than two GPUs, a number of new features. These are (from AMD's documentation):
Source
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post #2 of 29
I love how even with beta drivers, CrossfireX scales linearly, unlike SLI which offers a 15% benefit from 2 to 3 cards and only 30-50% from 1 to 2 cards. And it's even better that cards with different GPU's can be combined for your perfect mix of power.

Crossfire >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> SLI

I like nVidia, but SLI is a joke, CF is 100x superior.
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post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidwolf909 View Post
I love how even with beta drivers, CrossfireX scales linearly, unlike SLI which offers a 15% benefit from 2 to 3 cards and only 30-50% from 1 to 2 cards. And it's even better that cards with different GPU's can be combined for your perfect mix of power.

Crossfire >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> SLI

I like nVidia, but SLI is a joke, CF is 100x superior.
CrossFire seems to before very well in some benchmarks while quite mediocre in others. SLI performance seems to be consistent across the board.

With that said, I believe CrossFire is superior with its multi-monitor support and apparent superior scaling.
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post #4 of 29
/// What are u talking about? the 4th GPU seemed to make close to nod difference at all. I can;t believe ATI has the nerve to sell this product... It doesn;t work! There a like 10% gain going from 3-4 GPU's

Tri SLI 8800 Ultras would SMOKE this! Heck, wouldn't dual SLI ultras smoke it too?
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post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteCrane View Post
/// What are u talking about? the 4th GPU seemed to make close to nod difference at all. I can;t believe ATI has the nerve to sell this product... It doesn;t work! There a like 10% gain going from 3-4 GPU's

Tri SLI 8800 Ultras would SMOKE this! Heck, wouldn't dual SLI ultras smoke it too?
Did you even read any of the article?
It explains the pretty graphs that you don't seem to comprehend.
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post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauldovi View Post
CrossFire seems to before very well in some benchmarks while quite mediocre in others. SLI performance seems to be consistent across the board.

With that said, I believe CrossFire is superior with its multi-monitor support and apparent superior scaling.
This is true, the crossfire results shown here seem to vary a bit, but I believe with driver revision, that can be sorted out. SLI does seem to be consistent, however, consistently poor is not justifiable. SLI is a gimmick. I think CrossfireX is actually a logical, consumer-friendly method of adding the power you desire to your system at the cost point that is right for you.

If SLI revised it's render algorithm to be more efficient and made more effective use of video RAM in SLI-mode, it could be very successful. However, using two sets of 512MB ram to store the same image and data is wasteful, just like Pentium D's with separate L2 cache. nVidia needs to seriously examine SLI and improve it to make it a viable solution. I believe ATI has a viable solution in CrossfireX right now.
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post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by grunion View Post
Did you even read any of the article?
It explains the pretty graphs that you don't seem to comprehend.
I will admit i did not read the article. However, an explanatauion of why something only works 10%, while it is valuable, still dopes not justify a purchyase.

Unless the 10% gain is countered by added quality of an image, that is not measured on the graph, while I do value an explanatation and will read itm latyer, telling me why something is broken, does not excuse the fact that im paying for that 4th GPU that IMO, simply does not work. Th 10% gain is not worth it.

I still think Dual SLI GTX or Ultra's would outperform this, only using 2 GPU's. When you're as powerful as Nvidia 8800 series, you don't need to scale as well as Xfire. You have so much of an advantage from the get go in that your GOPU starting point is so much more powerful.

If we ket stacking GPU's eventually sure Xfire would win as it scales better but from what I've seen here 4 is not the magic number.

Even if we assumed perfect scaling, and took a 3870, and multiplied it by 4 in terms of power, wouldnt a Tri SLI system still be far overpowering?
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post #8 of 29
WhiteCrane, beside being a fanboy of ultras for some reason have you actually seen how tri-SLI scale? It will be lucky if the third GPU even scales close the 4th GPU in Crossfire
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post #9 of 29
These graphs are almost unusable. They really should have thought the data layout better. It does seam the 9600s scale remarkably well though.
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post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteCrane View Post
I will admit i did not read the article. However, an explanatauion of why something only works 10%, while it is valuable, still dopes not justify a purchyase.

Unless the 10% gain is countered by added quality of an image, that is not measured on the graph, while I do value an explanatation and will read itm latyer, telling me why something is broken, does not excuse the fact that im paying for that 4th GPU that IMO, simply does not work. Th 10% gain is not worth it.

I still think Dual SLI GTX or Ultra's would outperform this, only using 2 GPU's. When you're as powerful as Nvidia 8800 series, you don't need to scale as well as Xfire. You have so much of an advantage from the get go in that your GOPU starting point is so much more powerful.

If we ket stacking GPU's eventually sure Xfire would win as it scales better but from what I've seen here 4 is not the magic number.

Even if we assumed perfect scaling, and took a 3870, and multiplied it by 4 in terms of power, wouldnt a Tri SLI system still be far overpowering?

According to OCN's own Top 30 Benchmarking, Dual 3870x2s beat out TriSLI Ultra's and TriSLI GTX's.

Now as far as I'm concerned, it doesnt matter who is in first place. 3dMark01 and 03 are so antiquated it's not funny. But the 3870x2 beats the Ultras and GTXs in 3dMark05 and 06. So you're basically wrong in your assumptions.

Edit - And Also, I don't think Crossfire OR SLI have reached their full potential. I want to see how the 98 series performs will multiple GPUs.
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