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Review: ATI Radeon X1800 Crossfire

by Ryszard Sommefeldt on 15 December 2005, 18:32

Tags: ATi Technologies (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaeaq

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Ah, ATI Crossfire. When I think of all the graphics-related products and technologies released in the last 2 years, I get the worst vibes from Thy Technology That Doth Not Start With An X. First time out it pretty much sucked. While performance was generally good, and IQ enhancements were there to be had, that was pretty much it. The list of things to frown about were much more numerous. Resolution limitations, the fact that a pair of X850 XTs generally had little measure of the best single NVIDIA boards out at the time, crap availability of the master SKU, noise and heat issues, and the small matter of Radeon X1K being released barely weeks later saw fit to trip it up.

Even today, an X850 XT Crossfire Edition board is around £240 just now in the UK, including VAT. You could just get a GeForce 7800 GT for that with change, which is better nearly across the board. Sell your existing X850 XT or XT PE and you'll pay less than half that, or you can get a GeForce 7800 GTX or Radeon X1800 XT. Regardless, X8-series Crossfire is forgettable.

The general concensus from the entire online press was to just wait and invest in something else. If you've held off buying anything up to just to wait and see how it pans out just before Christmas, or you've already splashed out on an ATI Radeon X1800 XT or XL (I'll come back to that later), or you simply have that car crash curiosity about high-end 3D graphics right now, today's article will have your interest.

The reason is the release of ATI Radeon X1800 XT Crossfire master boards to market. Radeon X1800 XT Crossfire was always on the cards, bringing the SuperAA and performance acceleration enhancements to that product, but the big question is have the downsides of the first generation of Crossfire been eliminated? Doth It Suck™ as much as it did with X850? Something for me to answer for you lucky patrons of the cuddly HEXUS.core, methinks.

Join me as I analyse what's going on with Crossfire these days, up in the high-end 3D exosphere. £1000 just on graphics boards in one system? Oh! Suits you, sir.