ATI CrossFire: the Future
No matter if we like it or not, but multi-GPU is not just the spirit of the times, but a technology that is about to stay around for a long time. ATI followed NVIDIA on this one, other players, such as S3 Graphics are to follow next. Nevertheless, we should take into account that there are not that many users who really take advantage of multi-GPU technologies, so we shouldn’t overestimate their meaning.
ATI CrossFire today is NVIDIA SLI yesterday: driver and game issues will be identified and resolved with the time. In other words, it will take another couple of months before they manage to offer us a fully-fledged polished-off CrossFire driver.
However, the today’s CrossFire incarnation has one more serious drawback than just a raw driver: the resolution limitation of 1600x1200 at 60Hz refresh rate, which is in fact a hardware flaw. This is most likely to prevent ATI RADEON X8 CrossFire from getting really popular. Since the new ATI chips should have dual-link DVI transmitters, this limitation has every chance to disappear in the RADEON X1800 generation of products, leaving RADEON X8 and its drawback behind.
Another potential issue with ATI CrossFire may be the lack of CrossFire Edition graphics cards in the market. Moreover, this problem may touch not only upon RADEON X8 CrossFire Edition, but also upon the upcoming RADEON X1800 CrossFire Edition. Unless ATI decides to design its Compositing Engine as an add-on component and supply it with the corresponding mainboards, for instance.