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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  • BPB - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    This doesn't make sense: "there will never be another Asus product purchased by our company". Why would a business care about overclocking? A business should care about STABILITY. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    They should have moved the only PCI-E 1x slot to the left. They way it is now, you lose that slot when using a dual slot cooler in the PCI-E 16x slot closest to the processor. Hopefully that will be changed on the AM2 version of the board. Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    a 7800 and 1900 this way we can better gauge the mean performance of the "board" with identical comparison to other previously tested boards because not everyone is going to run out and get a $600 1900 ATI just for this board. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    We DID test the A8R32-MVP with both the X1900XT and the 7800GTX. If you closely at the standard gaming performance graphs on p.9 you will see the orange bars are the A8R32-MVP test eith the X1900XT and the green bars are the same A8R32-MVP tests with the 7800GTX. The other board results are with the 7800GTX so if you compare the green bar to all the blue bars you are comparing 7800GTX performance on ATI and nVidia. In addition, all the bars are labeled with the test board and test video card to prevent confusion.

    This is explained in Test Setup on p.6, and in my comment above, "We reported both results so you could compare 7800GTX performance to the previous boards also tested with the 7800GTX. Since the X1900XT is the latest and fastest video card the results were included for Reference only. As someone else pointed out, when testing Dual X16 Video you have to run SLI on nVidia and Crossfire on ATI (or Intel)."
    Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    never mind, I see someone asked the same question, but were not given a reasonable answer anyways Reply
  • BPB - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    This is exciting news. But I plan on getting the X1900 AIW, which won't do Crossfire. So, when are we going to see non-Crossfire (Xpress 200-type) versions of this chipset? In the end I may get this board, but I'm hoping I can save a few bucks by getting one without the added cost of Crossfire. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, March 1, 2006 - link

    RD580 is only available as the dual x16 version. With both x16 lanes off the north bridge you can't really leave out a chip, as you can in the nVidia version right now, and lower the price. The single X16 slot and dual x8 Crossfire will be provided by RD480. Reply
  • n7 - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    Looks like a superb motherboard for the price! Reply
  • Zebo - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    Look perfect to me. Black, high clocker, built like a tank and relativly inexpensive. I wish they had this two months ago - U seen my DFI chipset mod what a PITA to get silent chipset sitting right under card.:( Not only is ATI chispet seemingly cooler leaving us with passive solutions they clock at least as well if not better.

    Reply
  • Zebo - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    Also the gap between PCIe cards is perfect to run water blocks too and well as nV/ATI silencers w/o touching or being cramped.. Reply

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