ATI Technologies recently rolled-out campaign aimed to popularize yet-to-be-launched multi-GPU CrossFire technology among consumers. As part of the promotion, ATI will offer $100 rebate for those, who purchase graphics cards for operation in multi-GPU modes.
In order to get a rebate, customers should purchase a RADEON X8-series product, register it and get a so-called e-coupon, buy a RADEON X8- CrossFire Edition graphics card by September 29th and then mail in the completed e-coupon and the UPC code from the CrossFire Edition graphics card. ATI promises to send a $100 check within 8 weeks after the company receives the codes.
Currently ATI ships numerous RADEON X8-series graphics cards for PCI Express x16 bus that may power dual-GPU systems in collaboration with RADEON X8 CrossFire Edition products. Pricing of RADEON X8 family of products starts at $199 and ends at $549. ATI’s RADEON X8 CrossFire Edition graphics cards will be priced at $249, $299 and $549 depending on the model.
ATI CrossFire platform consists of ATI RADEON XPRESS 200 CrossFire Edition core-logic, ATI RADEON X800/X850-series graphics card as well as ATI RADEON X800/X850-series CrossFire Edition graphics card equipped with Compositing Engine, a special set of chips that blends parts of frames rendered by different graphics cards. ATI RADEON XPRESS chipsets code-named RD400 and RD480 for Intel and AMD processors respectively support the latest processors and memory types. Mainboards featuring the chipsets are claimed to support all the latest I/O technologies, such as Serial ATA II.
The CrossFire offers different patterns to boost performance of two graphics cards and also offers ways to improve image quality through advanced antialiasing patterns never before seen on desktop computers.
It is still unclear when the CrossFire technology will be released commercially. ATI originally promised that appropriate ATI RADEON XPRESS 200 CrossFire Edition mainboards would be available from ATI’s partners beginning in June, whereas RADEON X850 CrossFire Edition graphics cards would be in production end of June and available in mid-July. RADEON X800 CrossFire Edition cards was promised to be available early August, ATI said. Still, currently there are neither CrossFire mainboards, nor graphics cards available on the market.
The success of the current campaign is also not obvious, as NVIDIA’s GeForce 7800 GTX, which beats ATI’s top RADEON X850 XT PE in virtually all benchmarks, has already hit the market and enthusiasts – the audience, which actually buys expensive multi-GPU solutions – are likely to pay attention to NVIDIA’s product.