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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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RE: The 7950 GX2 numbers seem a little odd
By Anh Huynh on 8/9/2006 2:00:23 PM , Rating: 2
Quad SLI has very poor scaling. The only game that takes advantage of the four GPUs is F.E.A.R. PC Perspective outlines the performance. Most of the time Quad SLI has troubles keeping up with SLI. Quad SLI only shows its true performance with SLI8XAA and SLI16XAA where it takes no performance hit.

RE: The 7950 GX2 numbers seem a little odd
By Some1ne on 8/9/2006 4:08:21 PM , Rating: 2
Are you sure that that is accurate? The 7950GX2 appears to the system as a single graphics card, hence its ability to work even on platforms that do not support SLI of any sort. Given that, although running two of these cards in SLI has been branded "Quad-SLI" to indicate that there are really 4 GPU's, to the rest of the system it should appear to be just a plain SLI setup, and should scale at least as well as a plain SLI setup would. I don't see why a game would have to do anything special to support quad SLI beyond what is done to support plain SLI...all the algorithm does is divide the data in two either by frame or by individual parts of a single frame, and then ship each half off to the GPU's, and if the data can be split in half, each half can be split again without doing anything special.

I agree with the general skepticism being expressed by others here. I think that the graph shows either a single X1950 against a single 7950GX2, or possibly even two X1950's in crossfire against a single 7950GX2. Keep in mind that a single X1900XTX is demonstrably slower than a 7590GX2, and that the X1950's are really just X1900's with GDDR4 instead of GDDR4, so it really seems like a stretch to believe that a simple memory upgrade has boosted the card's performance to the point where it absolutely rrounces the 7950 as that chart suggests. In fact, when you think about it, the results on that chart look suspiciously like what one would expect if you were to bench two X1900's in crossfire against a single 7950GX2.

By Anh Huynh on 8/9/2006 8:44:05 PM , Rating: 2
7950GX2 shows up as two GPUs and will run SLI. You can disable one GPU and just run single GPU mode.

The X1950XTX has a major memory bandwidth advancement. With those limited AA and AF modes Quad SLI isn't able to shine. Quad SLI is designed for higher AA/AF without taking a performance hit. Check the Pcperspective article linked towards the end of this news post.

I double checked to make sure that it is indeed CF and Quad SLI.

By OrSin on 8/10/2006 9:49:43 AM , Rating: 2
7950 Gx2 will not work in a non-SLI systems unless you disable one of the cores. Also the QUad rives sucks and and many sites should that that 2 cars in sli is getting these quad systems. I dont thing the numbers are that far off.

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