Crossfire Gaming Performance

The RD580 chipset brings ATI Dual X16 Crossfire video to the marketplace, so both the major players in the Video market now have flagship Dual X16 solutions. SLI and Crossfire are about gaming, so Crossfire tests were confined to gaming benchmarks, and the test suite is heavily slanted to recent and popular titles where SLI and Crossfire make the biggest difference.

Single Video

Gaming Performance - Single Video

Gaming Performance - Single Video

Gaming Performance - Single Video

Gaming Performance - Single Video

Gaming Performance - Single Video

Gaming Performance - Single Video

SLI

Gaming Performance - SLI

Gaming Performance - SLI

Gaming Performance - SLI

Gaming Performance - SLI

Gaming Performance - SLI

Gaming Performance - SLI

The practical reality today is that NVIDIA SLI only works on NVIDIA boards, and ATI Crossfire works on ATI and Intel boards. This limits our ATI Dual X16 testing to Crossfire and we are forced to compare to NVIDIA SLI on another board.

Clearly, with 4X AA turned on at 1600x1200 resolution, the X1900XT outpaces the 7800GTX. X1900XT Crossfire is also the clear winner, but the sweep is not complete as NVIDIA still leads or is razor-close in the Open GL games. The Asus A8R32-MVP ran the single NVIDIA 7800GTX, the X1900XT, and X1900XT Crossfire with no problems at all.

It should be pointed out, however, that ATI has a very clumsy means of enabling Crossfire – and there is nothing intuitive about it. You must install Catalyst Control Center for Crossfire to work. You then go into CCC, select the Crossfire tab and enable the feature. NVIDIA warns you that an SLI-capable system is installed and prompts you to enable SLI. There is no warning at all with ATI. The only clue you will have that Crossfire is not turned on is the poor performance results.

Standard Gaming Performance Overclocking
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  • superkdogg - Wednesday, March 1, 2006 - link

    If you had been working for half the time you have been whining on every forum you can find, you could have bought two SLI-Experts or whatever motherboard you think has no problems.

    Dude, get over it. The A8R was not exactly as reviewed here. Is that disappointing? Yep. Unfair? Maybe. Fact is, anybody who bought it for the "serious overclocking" that you're referencing would do a vMod and get on with it. I have two A8R's. One is dead because I was stupid and tried a vMod. My soldering needs work. I bought a second one on refurb for $75 because I realized that in the best case, that vMod might get me another 150 MHz. You know what else would get me 150 MHz? Dusting off a Pentium Pro in my basement. I could also get the 2% benefit that 1T timing would give me from chance, since most 'marks are + or - 2-3%.

    I was burned by the same problem you were. I have learned to live with it and am currently happily running 300x9 with ram @ 2.5-4-4-9, 2T (166/200). That's not bad for standard blue heatspreader Patriot that runs about $80 per gig.
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, March 1, 2006 - link

    Omid, is that you? Reply
  • yacoub - Sunday, February 19, 2006 - link

    Should have run the 3DMark benches with the 7800GTX like all the other boards so at least we could see if the board itself (the object of review) offered any particular performance gain or loss. :[ Reply
  • yacoub - Sunday, February 19, 2006 - link

    oic now, thanks. :)

    green bars. tricksy hobbitses!
    Reply
  • Missing Ghost - Sunday, February 19, 2006 - link

    I am unhappy with the pictures of the board included in this review. I can't see anything on them because they are too dark. I couldn't even tell if they were a firewire port on the back. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, March 1, 2006 - link

    The pictures are not overly dark on several monitors we tried in reading the review. I'm sorry I don't have advice in that area.

    As stated in the review, both Firewire ports are on an accesory bracket included with the motherboard. The bracket will fit in an empty slot or can be routed to case firewire ports.
    Reply
  • Googer - Sunday, February 19, 2006 - link

    What Phase Power is this motherboard using? 2,3,4,8,24? Reply
  • Beenthere - Sunday, February 19, 2006 - link

    Any properly designed 3-phase or greater CPU vcore circuit that complies with AMD's VRM64/T specs will work just fine. If however a mfg. delivers a poor circuit design or uses inferior MOSFETS, caps, etc., then you experience Vcore instability which causes all kinds of operational Hell. More phases just lowers the ripple and spreads the load across more MOSFETS. Reply
  • Beenthere - Sunday, February 19, 2006 - link

    BTW, if you check the A8R-MVP, the A8N series and the Asus P5GL-MX you'll see that all of these mobos have been confirmed to have vcore instability problems when tested at the mobo with a DVM or scope. Asus seems to have some significant mobo engineering issues they can't resolve... and that are not present on other brands of mobos using the same chipsets. Reply
  • Ecmaster76 - Sunday, February 19, 2006 - link

    Do you work for DFI or Abit or something? This is the third site where I have ran into you flaming Asus constantly!


    (where did I put that troll repellant)

    Seriously, link some proof of said Vcore instability. Show me scope printouts of the Vcore lines (and the 12v rails that were used to drive it)
    Reply

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