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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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How about something for normal gamers
By bigboxes on 6/6/2006 10:39:45 AM , Rating: 4
Most peeps don't use SLI or Crossfire. We might have one good card that adequately plays games. When it starts chugging as we try out the latest games, then we reluctantly upgrade to something affordable. (Read: <$200) I think something more reasonable would be to use the older card when we upgrade for as a physics card. The newer card would reside in the first x16 slot and the retired card would reside in the second x16 slot. Two cards, not three. Sheesh, these video card makers and their pipe dreams.

RE: How about something for normal gamers
By hwhacker on 6/6/2006 10:43:47 AM , Rating: 2
If you read around the web this morning, ATi says they will support exactly what you just mentioned. The 3-card option is just getting all the attention...Because it's so damn crazy. :P

RE: How about something for normal gamers
By michal1980 on 6/6/06, Rating: -1
RE: How about something for normal gamers
By Motley on 6/6/2006 1:54:06 PM , Rating: 2
Except that in your case, where you upgrade your 7800gt to a 7900gt, you could now put the 7800gt in the second slot and use it for physics.

When you decide to upgrade your 7900gt to a 7900gtx2, you can throw away the 7800gt, and use the 7900gt for physics. I really don't see a problem with this. Those of us that upgrade regularly can make better use of our last-gen video cards.

By hoppa on 6/6/2006 1:57:11 PM , Rating: 2
Except that in your case, where you upgrade your 7800gt to a 7900gt, you could now put the 7800gt in the second slot and use it for physics.

Even better, he could sell it ;)

By Trisped on 6/7/2006 1:40:41 PM , Rating: 2
Except that in your case, where you upgrade your 7800gt to a 7900gt, you could now put the 7800gt in the second slot and use it for physics.
So casual readers don't get confused:
This is just an analogy, NVIDIA does not really support this type of use.
The ATI analogy would be:
You bought the x1800, then upgraded to the x1900 with the x1800 doing physics, then bought the x1950 with the x1900 doing physics and sold the x1800 on ebay.

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