Radeon X1800 XT Crossfire -
ATI Radeon X1800 XT Crossfire
The celebrity twins among the graphics arena
Company: ATi technologies
Price: 2x 599 USD
Greetings and salutations earthlings, welcome to yet another all-embracing Guru of 3D article. Today we will be talking about ATI's latest Crossfire solution based on the Radeon X1800 XT. Since this is actually our first Crossfire article, we will have to explain a bit about what it actually is, won't we?
You are a Guru3D.com visitor, thus you have probably read many of our articles. NVIDIA's SLI has been the best marketing solution in 2004 and ATI simply had to offer a competitive answer. Their answer is of course Crossfire. Why two graphics cards you ask ? Pretty much everybody is getting a little annoyed by the fact that you constantly have to upgrade your graphics card each year. Technology is moving so fast plus, well, let's face it .. the graphics chip/card manufacturers really love the fact that you need to buy a card each year.
A good alternative without spending too much money is to add a second similar generation graphics card to the one you already have in your PC and effectively double your brute rendering gaming performance. This is the concept that is SLI and now for ATI Crossfire. You take two graphics cards that you connect to each other and double up that horsepower in your PC. The idea is not new at all though .. if you are familiar with the hardware developments over the past couple of years you'll remember that 3dfx had a very familiar concept with the Voodoo 2 graphics cards series. There are multiple ways to manage two cards rendering one frame, think of Supertiling, it's most simple form. Each card will render a frame (even/uneven) or simply the upper or the lower part of the frame. Now that sounds more easy than it is though because you need to have everything right on your PC.
There are some disadvantages .. the biggest one being your wallet. You need a Crossfire ready mainboard, you need a serious processor to be able to handle that brute force, you need a power supply that can handle all these components and you need to invest in two graphics cards. So all in all that is a rather expensive crusade. It, however, is an extremely fun crusade though.
cross·fire ( P ) Pronunciation Key (krôsfr, krs-)
- Lines of fire from two or more positions crossing each other at a single point: soldiers caught in crossfire.
- A confrontational situation in which opposing factions, forces, views, or opinions converge: caught in the crossfire in a battle over Internet site names (Denise Caruso).
- Rapid, heated discussion.
What we'll be doing today is this: we took a Crossfire mainboard (ASUS A8R-MVP) and started to configure it precisely the same as our main SLI graphics cards test PC to get you guys a nice overview of what Crossfire can do. ATI supplied us with two cards for this test. Of course it's their Radeon X1800 XT 512MB standard and one master X1800 XT 512MB Crossfire graphics card.
Let the games commence !
Today's tested product is the shaggy Radeon X1950 Pro which comes with the newer IceQ3 cooling solution; a review on ATI's latest 12-pipe mid-range product which obviously was based off the R580 silicon, and is quite frankly a very credible graphics card as you'll learn in this article. The card features 36 Pixel Shaders units. And for roughly $219-239 you can pickup the 256MB version already.
Radeon X1650 XT & X1950 Pro & Crossfire
Primarily this is a Radeon X1650 XT Crossfire article, yet with included X1950 Pro Crossfire results as well. Ever since NVIDIA released the GeForce 7600 GS/GT cards earlier this year ATI has had a very rough time delivering a product that offers the same performance. They constantly were close but not close enough. ATI worked hard to finish up its new 80 nanometer products and despite a delay of all the 80 nanometer chips, it is finally ready in good quantities. The Radeon X1950 Pro for example is such a product.
HiS Radeon X1650 PRO review
The Radeon X1650 Pro utilizes the ATI RV535 graphics core, a new revision of the RV530 which was the basis of the X1600 series. What's new then you are asking ? Uhm, well nothing except a newer 80nm fabrication process. That 80nm process ensures cheaper production of the silicon and more importantly less heat and likely lower graphics core voltages. That means you can clock the core faster, which was done quite insignificantly for this model but the increase is there.
Radeon X1950 Pro 512MB Review
So today we'll be looking at the rather lovely Radeon X1950 Pro from this company, a review on ATI's latest 12-pipe mid-range product which obviously was based off the R580 silicon, and quite frankly is a very credible graphics card as you'll learn in this article. The card features 36 Pixel Shaders units. For $199 you can pickup the 256MB version already, it sounds like a great deal as it should offer at least twice the performance of a X1600 Pro.