For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Seasonic Power Angel. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers, we measured the peak wattage used by the system while running the game World in Conflict at 1600×1200 with medium graphics quality.
Power Consumption Results: Looking at just the Radeon HD 3870 graphics cards we can see how adding more GPU’s to the mix also increases the amount of power used by the system. The CrossFireX setup with three GPU’s used nearly 400W at load when running World in Conflict, which isn’t bad considering how many GPU’s are in the system.
We’ve been talking about CrossFireX drivers since November 2007 and it’s been a long four months of waiting, but it seems like it was worth the wait. The drivers we used for testing are still in development, so once the final CATALYST 8.3 drivers are delivered we will take a closer look at CrossFireX, and by then, we should have another Radeon HD 3870 X2 in our hands and enough cards on the test bench to run any game and resolution. CrossFireX looks good and the scaling from two cards to three shows performance gains of 5-50% with the average being right around 33%. We can’t wait to see what Quad-CrossFire looks like and what CATALYST 8.4 and 8.5 drivers will bring to the table.
Legit Bottom Line: CrossFireX drivers are coming, so if you’ve been waiting for triple and quad CrossFire the time has nearly arrived.