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ATI's announces the latest perk of CrossFire

Two's company, three's a crowd -- that is a saying around these parts. ATI is looking to make "three" the magic number when it comes to physics on desktop PCs. ATI today announced at Computex an asymmetric CrossFire configuration that allows gamers to pair two graphics cards in a traditional CrossFire mult-GPU setup with a third graphics card dedicated solely to handling physics. This would also explain why ATI has been winking and nodding for manufacturers to include three physical 16x slots on their new motherboards according to our well-placed sources.

This opens up a whole new level of possibilities when it comes not only to physics in current and future games, but also has the potential to shape how a gamer chooses to upgrade his or her rig. Take for example a gamer that is using a single Radeon X1600 Pro graphics card right now and decides that they want to kick it up few notches and go with dual Radeon X1900 class graphics cards in CrossFire mode for maximum performance. Instead of simply tossing the Radeon X1600 Pro aside to collect dust in a corner somewhere or selling it for much less than you paid for it, you can now (if you motherboard supports it) use that “odd man out” to do some actual work.

ATI is of course thrilled with the possibilities that this opens up for gamers (along with the possibility of gamers going out to buy yet another ATI-based graphics card) and is throwing more resources into its CrossFire certification program. This latest move in CrossFire physics is an intriguing solution and one that could be quite a bit cheaper than a dedicated physics solution for gamers who already are packing dual ATI graphics cards. Here's a statement from ATI's press release:

"The addition of physics to the CrossFire platform, and the continuing evolution of CrossFire is based directly on the feedback of hardcore gamers - CrossFire is not ATI's platform, it's gamers' platform," said Godfrey Cheng, Director of Marketing, Platform Technologies, ATI Technologies Inc., responsible for ATI's CrossFire strategy. "Asymmetrical physics support, broader certification, and untouchable overclockability are a direct result of gamers' input. CrossFire will continue to evolve to be more open, flexible and easy to use without sacrificing performance, and it starts with boundless gaming."



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3 cards?
By poohbear on 6/6/2006 8:59:37 AM , Rating: 2
are'nt they being a lil impractical w/ 3 cards? whos gonna buy 3 cards if ppl arent even convinced to buy 2?!




RE: 3 cards?
By Griswold on 6/6/2006 9:13:15 AM , Rating: 2
Not many. But did you read the article? They market this as an upgrade path. Use your old and rusty vid card instead of throwing it away when you make the move to CF.

But thats about the only use I can see for this.


RE: 3 cards?
By Cincybeck on 6/6/2006 9:23:18 AM , Rating: 1
It's not a viable upgrade path either at the moment when you factor in that no motherboard has three slots. So you're looking at spending another $220 on a new motherboard.


RE: 3 cards?
By Griswold on 6/6/2006 9:57:21 AM , Rating: 2
No not at the moment, but in a couple months. People will buy new mobos (also because of core2 and am2) and if that board has 3 slots - voila, there is your "upgrade" path for the future. Not like anyone needs any physics acceleration right now anyway, with the few games that may or may not support it.


RE: 3 cards?
By phatboye on 6/6/2006 10:17:43 AM , Rating: 2
RE: 3 cards?
By Goty on 6/6/2006 11:11:40 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, that's really EITHER one x16 slot, or two x8s, they don't all work at the same time.


RE: 3 cards?
By Trisped on 6/7/2006 12:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
There are many people with more money then brains that like to upgrade their PCs once a year. These people would need to upgrade the mother boards anyways to get the newest processors, so there is the mother board. Plus, it allows for strange combinations. Currently I have an AIW card, so I can't upgrade without buying a new TV tuner as well as video card. With this new mother board I could keep the AIW, use it as another display device, TV tuner, and physics processor; all while being able to upgrade to the latest and greatest Crossfire setup.


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