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Review: ATI Crossfire - X850 Crossfire Edition and Platform Basics

by Ryszard Sommefeldt on 26 September 2005, 00:00

Tags: Sapphire RADEON X850 XT, ATi Technologies (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabtt

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Introduction

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It has been a long time coming but Crossfire, ATI's consumer multi-GPU rendering solution, has finally arrived. NVIDIA forced ATI to join the multi-GPU party with their highly successful launch of SLI, sending ATI luminaries such as Raja Koduri to the engineering drawing board to adapt the company's existing multi-GPU solutions for the professional space into consumer-ready products fit for a much wider, and in some ways more demanding, audience. While the professional space is exacting in its demands, it's nothing like the consumer space that'll turn technology excellence into a rotten tomato in the blink of an eye.

The resulting Crossfire product has seen plenty of press time in the last few months, initially showing up before Computex 2005 as a name and then on that show's opening day as a set of technology previews from sites like HEXUS explaining how it all works. We did so, explaining the basics of how ATI claimed it would work and would be implemented.

Crossfire was always set to launch before the next generation of ATI graphics processors and with those launching in a week or so it was time for Crossfire systems to make their way to folks like me recently, for full evaluation. Were ATI's claims for the technology preview correct? How would integrating a Crossfire system work for the end-user? What's the Crossfire platform like as a whole?

We've had the pleasure of figuring most that out for you over the past couple of weeks. While we can't show you the complete picture today for reasons to be explained, we've definitely got the basics for you to look over. Without further delay, duress or devilry, I present you with ATI Crossfire.