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Benchmarks provided to vendors for the Radeon X1950XTX CrossFire versus GeForce 7950GX2 Quad SLI - Click to enlarge
Radeon X1950 CrossFire puts Quad SLI in its place

DailyTech has received early benchmarks of ATI’s upcoming Radeon X1950XTX and X1950 CrossFire graphics cards. ATI’s upcoming Radeon X1950XTX and X1950 CrossFire is expected to make its debut on August 23rd. Specifications for the Radeon X1950XTX and X1950 CrossFire are finalized with a 650 MHz core clock and 2 GHz effective memory clock. The core clock is unchanged from the previous Radeon X1900XTX while memory clock receives a hefty 450 MHz boost. This time around the Radeon X1950XTX and X1950 CrossFire are equipped with 90nm Samsung GDDR4 memory.

The benchmarks compare ATI’s Radeon X1950XT in CrossFire against NVIDIA’s Quad SLI. The test setup used for NVIDIA’s Quad SLI is a Dell XPS 700 system equipped with an Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800, 1GB of DDR2-800 memory and two GeForce 7950GX2 graphics cards for four total GPUs. The ATI CrossFire test system is identical with the Quad SLI system except the nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition motherboard was swapped out for an early Radeon Xpress 3200 (RD600) motherboard and two ATI Radeon X1950XTX/CrossFire graphics cards.

These early benchmarks are favorable to ATI. Call of Duty 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 1 and Serious Sam II heavily favor ATI, most likely due to better multi-GPU scaling on ATI’s side. FarCry, Quake 4 and Doom 3 performance shows the Quad SLI system creeping up to the performance of ATI’s X1950XTX/CrossFire system. However, the Quad SLI system still falls behind, close but no cigar. F.E.A.R. is the only game that can take advantage of Quad SLI and shows the Quad SLI system beating out the similarly configured X1950XTX/CrossFire system; though at 2560x1600 with 4xAA and 8xAF the X1950XTX/CrossFire takes the lead once again. With Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion the X1950XTX/CrossFire system manages to take a nice lead over Quad SLI at 1600x1200 with 8xAF. The lead narrows when the resolution is raised to 2560x1600 with 8xAF.

While these early benchmarks show ATI’s X1950XTX/CrossFire beating out NVIDIA’s Quad SLI there’s more to the story. Since the benchmarks are only comparing performance with 4x anti-aliasing and 8x anisotropic filtering at most, it doesn’t show the true performance of NVIDIA’s Quad SLI. The true performance of Quad SLI being its capability to render high levels of anti-aliasing without taking a heavy performance hit. Ryan Shrout at PC Perspective has written an excellent article covering early Quad SLI performance.

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Which is better for me??
By othercents on 8/9/2006 1:52:17 PM , Rating: 2
My prospective is a little different because of my system. Basically I can't fit dual slot cards into my computer case because of the way the BTX case was designed. So this means I can only use single slot cards (GF7900GT, X1900GT). There is a significant performance hit between these too cards and Nvidia is the better choice.

Now lets say I could run one video card that was dual slot (Non SLI or Crossfire). The obvious top of the line cards are GF7950GX2 and X1950XTX. However based on previous card designs I would lean toward the Nvidia card. This is because the X1900XT and X1900XTX are noisier and run hotter than the GF7900GTX or GF7900GT cards. Granted personally I wouldn't purchase a $500 card anyways. Even when I played games all the time, I have only spent as much as $300 for a video card.

But really to each his own. Either of the cards are going to be great performers and provide the experience everyone is looking for. Once we get some real reviews out on the cards we will be able to see which card is the best. Does that mean you are going to upgrade your X1900XTX Crossfire system to the X1950XTX Crossfire cards? I don't think so.

I'm happy with my GF7900GT-256 that I purchased yesterday for $202.00. It will work with my system, unlike the higher performing cards available, and the price was right.

Oh side note... do you think ATI has a new driver that makes the X1950XTX perform better over their current set of cards? Maybe if you downloaded the new driver your old X1900XTX will perform just the same. This is definitly one of those slight of hand type of anouncements I have seen before from other manufacturers.


RE: Which is better for me??
By Master Kenobi on 8/9/2006 1:59:35 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I think the real winner for ATI's crossfire configuration is the fact that its running X3200 crossfire chipset, which last I read, would significantly boost crossfire performance in the current crossfire cards, no real surprise that it would lend a helping hand to the latest crossfire cards as well.

RE: Which is better for me??
By othercents on 8/9/2006 5:38:01 PM , Rating: 2
Which might mean that a new motherboard will boost your performance more than purchasing the latest X1950XTX Crossfire cards.


RE: Which is better for me??
By MonkeyPaw on 8/9/2006 2:34:06 PM , Rating: 2
Now lets say I could run one video card that was dual slot (Non SLI or Crossfire). The obvious top of the line cards are GF7950GX2 and X1950XTX

Actually, I think you need an SLI motherboard to run the GX2, even though you're only running one "card." That eliminates that choice for you.

RE: Which is better for me??
By EarthsDM on 8/9/2006 2:48:59 PM , Rating: 1
The 7950 GTX runs with any chipset, SLI or not. It will happily run with Intel, Via, Sis, even ATI chipsets. What makes the 7950 GTX so popular is that it DOESN’T need an SLI chipset unless you want to run it in quad.

RE: Which is better for me??
By MonkeyPaw on 8/9/2006 3:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm, I thought I remember reading that it did need an SLI board. I'm pretty sure the old 2 GPUs on one PCB required an SLI board, but I guess the GX2 handles the SLI stuff on card. I guess that would help the GX2's popularity then, wouldn't it?

RE: Which is better for me??
By Jakall on 8/11/2006 6:30:43 AM , Rating: 2
It will run on any chipset, that`s true, but in single card mode! .

"Q: Are these available for Intel or AMD-based system?
A: Yes. The NVIDIA® GeForce® 7950 GX2 will work on both Intel and AMD-based systems in single card mode. For SLI support, NVIDIA® GeForce® 7950 GX2 will work on any NVIDIA nForce® SLI MCP-based motherboard."

I guess no one buys 7950 for single card mode on an intel, VIA, SIS or ATI chpset...

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