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September 8, 2005 at 7:36 am #4538
I know that the ATI Crossfire Motherboards are now available… but are the Crossfire edition Controller Graphics card available…
For those that are unfamiliar you need a Crossfire Motherboard, a Crossfire x800 or x850 Radeon “Controller” Card and you also need a normal x800 or x850 Crossfire compatible Card…
Ive been looking into these sort of technologies for a while now, the official website says the release date for the motherboards was in June and the release date for the Controller Cards was in August, but i cant a trace of them on any computer component sites…
Anyone any ideas ?
September 8, 2005 at 8:55 am #24730
Indeedy I do. The Controller cards are known as “Master” cards and are due to go into mass production this month. ATi’s Tier One partners, their big partners in the graphics card industry, have been told that they may begin placing orders for the chipsets immediately.
Now I’m not sure if you’ve been following this indepth but a few guys over at the hardcore modding sites got their hands of engineering samples of the Crossfire solution awhile back. Their tests concluded that the Crossfire solution wasn’t as good as nVidias SLi technology using the 6800 Ultras at the time, however these initial benchmarks were also done on beta drivers.
One thing to remember however is that Crossfire is still abit of a waste for the market it caters for (the enthusiast market) until ATis next gen R520 cards go into production. Currently the GeForce 7800GTX wipes the floor with anything ATi can offer, hell even 2 ATIs 850XTs may have trouble keeping up with one 7800GTX as was seen where in certain engines the performance of 2 GeForce 6800 Ultras couldnt compare to that of one 7800GTX.
Where the x850 Master cards will sell with is to the owners of x850 XT’s or x800XL currently where users can simply buy a new one and have their twin graphics card solution. It will of course also appeal to the ATi fanboys how have ignored nVidias SLi technology completly thus far.
To cut a long story short IF you really want an ATi graphics solution AND you have your eye on Crossfire AND you don’t already own either the 850XT or 800XL then just wait till R520 is released in late October before you buy anything.
September 8, 2005 at 2:37 pm #24759
I ‘thought’ i was following in depth, lol, but obviously not…
How does the R520 fare up against the 7800GTX ? Or is that sort of a comparison not possible yet…
Also the only reason i wasnt too keen on nVidias SLi technology i read somewhere that SLi is game specific… and that Crossfire is not… is this true ?
Also, are the drivers for the SLi coming back with good comments ?
September 8, 2005 at 2:54 pm #24761
Heh, you just gota keep your eye on some of the more well known tech sites and their forums, that way you get the links to all the new info…
Nope, the R520 hasn’t been properly benchmarked against the 7800GTX however these were posted on the net today…Click
As you can see ATi are once again going to release multiple versions of the chipset. Basically I’d wait till October before doing anything on the ATi front, at least that way you’ll know how the new R520s are performing.
As you can see the cards are quite confusing, the R520 XT Crossfire Master card only comes with 256MB RAM whereas the other slave XT card has 512MB. Now to be honest a new gen card at 512MB is gona cost an absolute fortune, the 7800GTXs with 256MB cost ~$600 when they were first realeased so add on another $100-$200 for the extra RAM and you can see why these specs are being taken with a pinch of salt…
SLi is indeed game specific, it a point anyway. There are two factors changing this. Games can be added to an internal config file and may be able to take advantage of the second card straight away on the other hand it will just ignore the second card and run anyway. Secondly nVidia are adding support for more games all the time and the list is still growing constantly.
Crossfire on the other hand uses a different way of handling the second card however as a result of this the sharing of data is slower than the SLi solution hence Crossfire is inherantly slower anyway. Thats what I’ve gotten out of all the coverage anyway.
Yep nVidia drivers are rock solid. If I was to doubt any companies drivers it would be ATi to be honest. I’ll reserve overall judgement of Crossfire till I see the systems being taken for a test drive on some of the more established and credible sites.
September 8, 2005 at 3:25 pm #24763
ok thanks man, s’all for now :)
ive been thinking alot about upgrading…
P4 2.6 – 800 FSB
AGP 8x 256mb GeForce 5700LE
1Gb Dual DDR400 – PC3200
and Usual other bits… lol
AMD 64 x2 (Dual Core) 4400 – 2.4Ghz – 1024Mb L2
256mb XFX 7800 GTX SLi x2
2Gb Dual DDR400 – PC3200
and the usual other parts…
September 8, 2005 at 3:29 pm #24764
Thats a really nice build! May I ask whats it for specifically? Games, media work or what?
What kind of case, hard drives, sound card you gona get?
Just built my computer last weekend at the DCU Games Soc LAN. I love her to bits. :D
September 8, 2005 at 3:58 pm #24765
Games mainly… maybe the odd little bit of video work…
Very simple looking case, maybe even an entry level midi… its great when people start laughin and slagging at matches based on what your case looks like… until you turn it on :twisted: heh heh hehhhh
Sound card… ive never been fussy on sound cards etc, i have 5″ EAX slot drive i bought that goes well with an ever so slightly older Sound Blaster 5.1 audigy i have at min, so i would prob just move that into the new spec… even though the motherboard would most likely have 7.1 surrond etc etc ive always bought a standalone PCI sound card… am i weird or what ??!
also, at present i have 2 S’ATA 8mb Cache HDDs in my current machine… one is 120Gb and the other is 160Gb…
On top of that new spec, i would love a 32″ HDTV, with DVI as the computer input, but i have yet to find one within a sane price range, hehe
What spec u build yourself gizmo ?
September 8, 2005 at 4:19 pm #24768
My new rig is… *takes deep breath*
AMD Athlon64 FX-53 @ 2.61GHz w/ Zalman 7000B AL-Cu
Asus A8N-SLi Deluxe mobo
OCZ PC4000 1Gb Gold Edition RAM
XFX 7800GTX @ 490/1.3
SB Audigy 2 ZS
Western Digital Raptor 74Gb & WD 250Gb SATA
NEC ND-3540A DL-DVD Burner
OCZ PowerStream 520W PSU
Coolermaster Wavemaster case
Saitek Gamers Keyboard
Razer Diamondback Magma Mouse
Logitech Z-2300 2.1 Speakers
BenQ FP71E+ screen
Its abit of a giveaway that its a gaming PC. :D
As you can see I’ve overclocked her abit, the FX-53 now running at the same clock speed as a FX-55 although where the PC is situated at the moment is abit cramped so I’m a wee bit concerned about my temps… :?
The rest of the system though I just love, took me friggin’ ages to get the parts together…
As for your build, well to be honest if I was building a gaming PC I’d be more inclined to go with one of the FX chips. I’m sure you can get a FX-55 for the same price as that Dual Core chip. As you know the DC’s only excell when it comes to encoding / multi-tasking work and aren’t the best when it comes to games, and since you’re splashing out on a 7800GTX SLi solution I’m guessing you want the best! I havnt stumbled across any direct comparisons between the FX-55 and the DC chips since the FX-57 is the new chip out (with its astronomical pricetag) but if you check out the individual review at anandtech here and compare the results you should get a good idea of what to expect…
Indeed I’m the same with my sound, people say you can’t tell the difference between onboard sound and a dedicated card but I know that my system sounds a hell of alot better than my mates who uses his onboard.
Oh and don’t ignore the case! Ignoring the pimp factor a decent case can make life alot easier when building the PC and also when it comes to controlling your temps and with all that stuff in it its gona get pretty hot in there! Oh and make sure and get a decent cooler for whatever CPU get, I’d recommend a Zalman but really anything from the bigger manufacturers is better than that stock cooler…
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