About one and a half years after Nvidia Corp. introduced its quad-SLI technology, its arch-rival ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, plans to introduce its own 4-way CrossFire technology. This time the feature will be a part of AMD’s new dual-processor enthusiast class platform called FASN8 due out this fall.
With the release of AMD Quad FX (4x4) platform late last year AMD offered something truly exclusive for enthusiasts and set a new fashion for dual-processor machines for those, who desire unbelievable performance and can afford additional price. While the first dual-socket direct connect (DSDC) platform did not become massively successful, as Intel Corp.’s quad-core chips turned out to offer higher performance, the new iteration of dual-processor enthusiast-class computers that AMD calls first AMD silicon next-gen 8-core (FASN8) may actually outperform competing solutions and not only due to AMD’s highly-advertised new-generation micro-architecture.
Besides two “native” quad-core AMD Phenom FX processors, AMD plans to put four graphics cards inside FASN8 systems, the company is reported to have said at Computex Taipei 2007 trade-show. As a result, extreme computer gamers and performance enthusiasts will obtain eight processing engines as well as four graphics processing units (GPUs). The new platform will be build upon AMD’s 790 core-logic, which supports HyperTransport 3.0 and more than 32 PCI Express 2.0 lanes.
ATI’s new CrossFire version 2.0 may not work exactly like Nvidia’s 4-way SLI, according to PC Watch web-site. Instead of relying the graphics workload on four ATI Radeon HD 2000 graphics chips, CrossFire 2.0 will use three GPUs for graphics rendering and one GPU for physics effects processing. Unfortunately, currently there are no games to support physics effects processed on graphics chips and it is uncertain whether the advantage of 4-way CrossFire will be obvious immediately. In perspective, however, this may provide some benefits.
AMD FASN8 systems will be available this fall, according to the Sunnyvale-based chipmaker, however, its officials declined to specify when exactly.