ATI CrossFireX Preview – Triple CrossFire BenchmarkingFri, Feb 29, 2008 - 8:00 AM
CrossFireX Performance Preview
We’ve had ATI CrossFireX running the past couple days here at Legit Reviews and while the drivers are not public yet, things are looking very good from what we have seen. Since we are still waiting on another Radeon HD 3870 X2 to be delivered by Fed Ex, we slapped together a Radeon HD 3870 X2 with a Radeon HD 3870, which in turn creates a Triple CrossFireX platform with just two x16 PCI Express slots. Down the road, once the drivers are official and out for the public, we will have Quad numbers for you, but for now, let’s see what made this possible.
In March, ATI will be releasing CATALYST 8.3 drivers, which now offer support for CrossFireX in both DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 applications. For now only the Radeon HD 3800 series of video cards will support 3-way or 4-way CrossFire in compatible PCs. ATI has stated in the open that performance still has a ways to go and that over the next few months performance is only going to get better. The driver team at ATI is cranking away on CrossFireX and, as you will see in this article, they are off to a great start.
One of the other neat features of CATALYST 8.3 drivers is the ability to run an extended desktop while running CrossFireX. This is something that NVIDIA has been unable to do since they first showed off Quad-SLI years ago with a pair of GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics cards. If the rumors prove true, this is still something that NVIDIA will be unable to do once the GeForce 9800 GX2 is released. Other than support for CrossFireX and Hybrid CrossFire, the CATALYST 8.3 drivers bring a bunch of new features to the table like DirectX 10.1 support (useless until Vista SP1 comes out), Anti-Aliasing enhancements for all Unreal 3.0 engine games in DirectX 9 mode, HydraVision (yes, HydraGrid has been ported over from the XP drivers), digital panel GPU image scaling (the driver can now force the aspect ratio), new AVIVO video controls (sliders for the amount of noise reduction and edge enhancement that you want), support for GPU Folding (Stanford needs to release a new client though) and tessellation has been added for developers to play around with. The CATALYST 8.3 drivers have a ton of new features, but we will be taking a closer look at the CrossFireX support today which seem to be the sexiest of all the new features.
Nothing Like have a Radeon HD 3870 X2 and a Radeon HD 3870 in the same system!
With both cards installed and CATALYST 8.3 installed, a quick look at the drivers showed that both cards are showing up and that CrossFire was enabled. Time to play some games!