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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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All That for the low low price of......
By SpaceRanger on 6/6/2006 10:12:27 AM , Rating: 2
thousands of dollars!!! Yes.... And the wife is gonna wonder why the lights dim in the house every time you fire up your PC.

RE: All That for the low low price of......
By fungry on 6/6/2006 10:17:56 AM , Rating: 2
haha yea! Dimming lights. Happens when i turn on this power sucking air-conditioning appliance...

RE: All That for the low low price of......
By hwhacker on 6/6/2006 10:33:25 AM , Rating: 3
It should be noted along-side the 2+1 config that has everyone's panties in a bunch, they showed a 1+1 config being possible. This, in my opinion, seems the most feasible.

Instead of ditching your x1600/x1700/x1800/x1900 (although i'd imagine you'd want to sell your x1900) when you grab your fresh new R600, just throw it in the second slot for some physics. It's especially a good option if you grab a card like a x1600/x1700/x1800gto for now to carry you over until then, as they're not expensive but should yield, if ATi is to be believed, better results than an equally-priced PPU in physics, while being dually useful then and now.

I do agree on two points others have made:
1. ATi should concentrate harder on creating a dual-gpu card, like the one Nvidia currently just released, so we don't need 3 different 16x slots, or we have more room for expansion of lesser things like a soundcard, etc on pci-e.
2. I hope Havok's API can mature to be on-par with what Aegia's can SUPPOSEDLY do with interaction as opposed to being passive. As a previous poster said, that does not yet seem to be the case. The fact Nvidia and ATi are both using Havok though, i'm sure it will grow...and it may just explode in Aegia's face...Perhaps even forcing them to abandon hardware and going more Havok's route, software, if they want their (perhaps superior) tech to survive. It's already been shown Aegia's tech can used without a ppu (supposedly on PS3), so I think it's a definate possibility.

Oofta. I guess we'll see.

By abhaxus on 6/6/2006 3:45:07 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if it will be possible for people that have the Asrock 939Dual like myself... I've got an ATI X800XL in my AGP slot and waiting for a PCIe card to get really excited about. Would be awesome if I could keep my X800 in there for physics. Guess its probably not very likely.

By Trisped on 6/7/2006 12:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
I am praying that ATI does not release a two cards connected to each other solution like NVIDIA's 7950GTX2. It is a sign of a lazy developer. Sure, NVIDIA is trying to capitalize off its SLI name, but you don't get 2x performance from running 2 cards in SLI. You would be much better off building the 2 GPUs into 1 with twice the hardware. You could put twice the RAM on it, since each card would not need its own set, you would have the same number of shaders, since you have them from both. Latency between cards wouldn't be a problem. Over all, you would get something much closer to 2x then any SLI or Crossfire setup will ever be.

"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

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