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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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This is crazy !
By icered on 6/6/2006 10:16:28 AM , Rating: 2
Years ago I had to try and save every penny to get myself a good graphics card to play the new games that come out at acceptable framerates. When they brought out SLI and crossfire, i thought they were going overboard for an increase in performance. Now another card just for physics?.. This is NUTS!!.

They should be integrating everything into a single card.
An analogy would be like having a separate processor for FPU operations besides the primary CPU(If AMD has its way this too seems like another likely prospect). Seriously buying several components for gaming that exceeds the cost of the rest of your PC by several times over doesn't seem to be a sensible proposition. But then again this is just my point of view.




RE: This is crazy !
By hwhacker on 6/6/2006 10:41:46 AM , Rating: 2
^ if rumors are to be believed, both companies are dabbling in that now (keep old card, change the gpu in said card). It's not inprobable to believe if that does happen, there will be dual socket cards like this, allowing for two different ATi (or Nvidia) cores to be used...One for rendering, one for physics.

There's also AMD's new Torrenza, which perhaps ATi or nvidia could release a part for. That surely would be more of a niche product though, as it would leave all Intel users out.

I think we're definately seeing a transformation coming in this and other areas, and by the end 2008 into 2009 we'll start to see the changes actually taking shape.


RE: This is crazy !
By Trisped on 6/7/2006 1:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
ATI does have a single card solution that does both GPU and physics.

As far as I saw, AMD is pushing the co-processor in the server market where they do a lot of math functions. In reality though, having multi-core math coprocessors is what the physics card is, so the product is already sold.

And flip chip GPUs don't seem likely due to the limited number of constants found on a video card board. Only the people that upgrade ever year would benefit from it, and then only by a small amount.


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