Print 70 comment(s) - last by Trisped.. on Jun 8 at 12:52 PM

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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Perhaps a change is required
By Sceptor on 6/6/2006 10:26:04 AM , Rating: 2
This is getting absurd...what these companies don't realize is that power costs $$$. Maybe they should design a standardized card layout with interchangeable GPU cores and memory slots to upgrade.

This way you could add a new GPU core (even physic co-pro) if required and save us from buying 3+ video cards.

ATI and Nvidia take the hint from AMD...conserve power.

RE: Perhaps a change is required
By josmala on 6/6/2006 11:30:31 AM , Rating: 2
And run it with quarter of memory bandwith available todays graphics cards.
Thats the trade off for what you propose.
The socketing and slotting doesn't come free firstly it increses initial costs, 2ndly it makes electrical design harder.
The 2nd issue put along with 128bit as maximum reasonable memory interface for such a card would result somewhere along the lines of redusing the memory bandwith a lot.

RE: Perhaps a change is required
By Trisped on 6/7/2006 1:27:17 PM , Rating: 2
It is not the manufactures that don't realize that power cost $$$, it is the consumers. Everyone puts so much pressure on being the company with the fastest card that both NVIDIA and ATI have to dump excessive amounts of money into creating a card that is just a little more powerful then their competitor.

GPU flip chips have been discussed in the past, but the increase in cost, loss of efficiency, and the fact that each GPU revision requires a new board and interface makes this idea not effective.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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