Multi-GPU technologies, including the mature scalable link interface (SLI) from Nvidia Corp. and CrossFire technology from ATI that only begins to gain market acceptance, are intended for relatively small group of enthusiasts who desire tomorrow’s performance today. The enthusiasm towards high-peformance multi-GPU systems is akin to interest in luxurious sports cars: hundreads dream of Ferraris, but end up with Fiats.
Graphics chip companies present multi-GPU technologies as a way to get next-generation speed out of the currently existing hardware and as an option of upgrading later without need to get rid of the current graphics card. Both theories have a right to exist, but you should remember that future graphics cards will bring in a new feature-set; while in case you won’t sell your graphics board tomorrow, but install a similar one, you’ll need to sell already two boards the day after tomorrow.
Indeed, multi-GPU is generally needed for high-end computers, in fact, they do bring a lot of benefits for their owners: ability to play in high resolutions, ability to enable more advanced full-screen anti-aliasing methods compared to single-GPU setups, generally higher speed and some others. Keeping in mind both these advantages as well as somewhat debatable ritorics of graphics chip suppliers, it is clear that there is a need for ultra high end ?ber-performance graphics solutions for those who demand it at any cost.
For about a year Nvidia’s SLI was the only option for those who would to have the highest speed: the Radeon X850 CrossFire arrived too late and was still slower compared to Nvidia’s offerings, the Radeon X1800 CrossFire arrived just weeks before the Radeon X1900 and also had some performance issues when compared to the highest-end dual-GeForce 7800-series setups. Today we try to find out whether two of the Radeon X1900 XT graphics cards deliver the unbeatable performance and really represent a too fast and too furious tandem.