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Sapphire's Dual-Radeon X1950, dubbed "The Godfather," running in action
Quad-Crossfire, here we come

If waiting for R600 has you down, Sapphire has an upcoming alternative.  Early this morning the company internally demonstrated its dual-GPU Radeon X1950 Pro board, dubbed The Godfather.  The dual-slot GPU uses two 6-pin power connectors but still fits within the standard 9" riser-board dimensions.

Sapphire representatives tell us the performance of the single card is comparable to two Radeon X1950s in Crossfire mode.  The card runs on a single x16 PCIe connector. Both dual-link DVI connectors can be utilized at the same time.

Previous Radeon X1950 Pro cards have a GPU core clock of around 575MHz with a memory clock of 700MHz.  The clock frequencies for The Godfather were not revealed.

Also visible on the adaptor are the two interfaces needed for AMD Crossfire.  We have confirmed that the upcoming adaptor does not need a Crossfire motherboard as well in single-card implementations.  However, memos from the company reveal that the card can be put into Crossfire mode with another identical card on a Crossfire motherboard -- the upcoming implementation would be the first capable of Quad-Crossfire.

Like other X-series Radeon cards, The Godfather is also capable of physics processing via Havok or any other middleware capable of interfacing with the Radeon FPU for physics calculations.

Expect to see demonstrations and benchmarks of the card during the upcoming CES 2007.  Sapphire claims the card will be available in Q1'07, well ahead of the March 2007 R600 launch.  Sapphire recently announced its AGP version of the Radeon X1950 Pro, but the company would not respond if The Godfather would be available in AGP versions.

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Crossfire on motherboards? What a crock!
By Araemo on 12/21/2006 8:39:46 AM , Rating: 2
"We have confirmed that the upcoming adaptor does not need a Crossfire motherboard as well."

Good riddance! Seriously, I could understand crossfire/SLI support being special on a motherboard if A: crossfire/SLI didn't require a side-band connection between the two cards(The crossfire/SLI bridge), and if B: PCI Express didn't allow two PCIe devices to communicate directly without controller arbitration at high speeds as part of the spec. (And since you can crossfire low end nVidia cards without a bridge connector, nVidia realizes that too.)

Now then, if nVidia will follow suit, we'll be back to a fair and level graphics playing field. I have not heard a single technical reason why crossfire/SLI would NOT work on a given motherboard that has the physical PCIe lanes, and the driver inf hacks that allow it to work on any motherboard that has the physical PCIe lanes seem to support my suggestion. ;)

By KristopherKubicki on 12/21/2006 8:47:20 AM , Rating: 1
My apologies if there is some confusion here. For one card, you will not need a Crossfire motherboard. This is unique since previous dual-GPU Radeons did require Crossfire boards, and previous dual-GPU Geforces required SLI motherboards.

For multi-card solutions, you'll still need a Crossfire motherboard I believe. Sapphire might have something planned, but they were pretty tight lipped about it.

RE: Crossfire on motherboards? What a crock!
By Jedi2155 on 12/21/2006 8:48:21 AM , Rating: 2
<quote="Araemo">you can crossfire low end nVidia cards without a bridge connector

Crossfire nVidia thats new!

RE: Crossfire on motherboards? What a crock!
By jackalsmith on 12/21/2006 9:42:01 AM , Rating: 2
Not really.
You can run 2 nvidia cards in SLI on a crossfire board wih a modified nvidia driver. I've seen 2 8800gtx on a 975x crossfire board.

By DigitalFreak on 12/21/2006 10:38:23 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, it's all political. I hate that!

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh
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