TechSpot

SLI Vs. Crossfire

By ColdBlizzardIce
Oct 22, 2005
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  1. Which one is better, the SLI setup or the soon to be ATI Crossfire?

    *Read a review that the x1800ct single handly beat out 2 Geforce 7800 GTX's in SLI??? Is that possible? :(

    Cold
  2. pkroks

    pkroks TS Rookie Posts: 376

    I read a review on megagames, the guy had seriously overclocked his ATI X1800XT and it must have only just beat the nVidia ones, or it could have been a load of BS!

    I have a single 7800GTX 256mb, with standard cooling and no overclock, i got 7530marks with my 3d Mark 2005 test. so i can't see how that review or article could be true anyway!

    I would say ATI is better but I haven't seen much on it. I do know that SLI has improved drastically over the last few months since it was re-introduced by nVidia!
  3. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,198

    Both forms of multi-board solutions have their perks and weaknesses. They both take different approaches to dual-board configuration.

    NVidia's SLI is still based on optimizations for specific games, so unless a particular game has been optimized for SLI (in the drivers by NVIDIA), it will use a default method that doesn't offer good bang for the buck. In SLI's favor though- it doesn't have much resolution or frequency limitations. NVidia continues to add more and more optimized profiles and performance continues to increase.

    ATI's CrossFire has two added perks- a variety of SLI methods that are user selectable for ALL games, so the user can pick one of three methods of tiling/board workload. ATI also has SuperAA, which provides superior dual-board anti-aliasing as the sample positions are jittered by each board for better AA sample patterns. ATI's Crossfire does have limitations with resolutions and frequency as the compositing engine between the cards is lower frequency. ATI's Crossfire also (currently) saturates the PCI-E bus with AA as work is done across PCI-E versus the board link cable/compositing engine. ATI promises to change this in a future driver revision. ATI's Crossfire is also limited to ATI Xpress 200 chipset mainboards, which are still very, very difficult to obtain.

    So one really cannot say one is better than the other.

    In a nutshell- if you are on an LCD and lean more towards cleaner, alias free image quality with exceptional performance, as well as don't mind forking out for a special ATI mainboard, Crossfire will fit the bill nicely.

    If you prefer to use an existing NForce/SLI chipset mainboard, care more about higher resolutions, have a CRT with higher refresh capability and want blinding performance, SLI fits the bill perfectly.

    Different approaches for different end results.
  4. ColdBlizzardIce

    ColdBlizzardIce TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    I was reading on Nvidia SLI site and it gives you instructions on how to make the games that arent configured work in SLI by adding it in the drivers. To Sharkfood: soo the LCD is limmited to quality image and the fastness of games or am i interputating that wrongly?
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