AMD’s Graphics Division Readies ATI CrossFireX Technology

AMD Readies “Spider” High-Performance Platform

by Anton Shilov
10/15/2007 | 08:19 AM

ATI CrossFire multi-GPU technology was announced in mid-2005, but has not really gained widespread popularity since then, partly because ATI’s flagship graphics products faced delays and partly because Nvidia put tremendous efforts into popularization of its SLI multi-GPU technology. But ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, may be hoping to reverse the trend with introduction of ATI CrossFireX tech.


Later this year AMD plans to announced new ATI CrossFireX multi-GPU technology that will bring such benefits as 3- and 4-way CrossFire, CrossFire Overdrive, hybrid CrossFire and other features that are set to improve performance, compatibility, scalability and flexibility of ATI’s multi-GPU technology, sources close to AMD told X-bit labs.

The new technology will be supported by AMD’s forthcoming chipsets, including AMD 790X and AMD 790 FX that feature PCI Express Gen. 2 as well as various graphics cards, such as ATI Radeon HD 2600-series, ATI code-named RV670-series and, perhaps, ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT/Pro/GT graphics cards. Currently AMD’s graphics product group is mulling on exact configurations and specifications to be supported via CrossFireX.

Since at the moment AMD can hardly offer the highest-performing graphics solution on the market, it is projected that the company will push its triple and quad CrossFire configurations consisting of three or four graphics cards based on ATI RV670 against Nvidia SLI and Nvidia triple SLI configurations. Even though when it comes to 3-way and 4-way graphics processing actual rendering performance is fully dependent on drivers, ATI tells its partners that the technology will deliver benefits in key DirectX 10 games, such as Bioshock, Call of Juarez, Company of Heroes, Crysis and Lost Planet.

In addition to performance scaling with multiple graphics processing units (GPUs), AMD will also offer such features as CrossFire Overdrive and Hybrid CrossFire under the CrossFireX initiative. The former will dynamically alter clock-speeds of graphics cards in order to boost performance, whereas the latter will allow to combine rendering power of discrete and integrated graphics cores and to disable high-performance GPUs when their horsepower is no longer needed to cut power consumption.

ATI CrossFireX will be a part of AMD’s code-named Spider high-performance platform along with AMD Phenom triple- and quad-core processors, but is likely to become available already later this year, not in Q1 2008.

AMD officials did not comment on the news-story.