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Even if AMD/ATI had to settle for being second for a long time, its multi-GPU technology CrossFire has always been able to measure up to NVIDIA’s SLI. The performance scaling of CrossFire is considered to be better than SLI in most cases and now that we’re closing in on the launch of CrossFireX (up to four graphics cards) we’re eager to see if it can live up to what we’ve been hearing. Radeon HD 3870 X2 was launched a while back and physically you can connect two of these in a CrossFireX setup, but there are no official drivers yet.

AMD has chosen to postpone the release of the first CrossFireX drivers to sometime in March, but the first beta drivers was released last week. FPSLabs decided to test tem using two Radeon HD 3870 X2 in a CrossFire X setup.

The results are actually very promising considering the immature status of the drivers and we can see that CrossFire continues to scale well. Close to 80% can be gained compared to a single Radeon HD 3870 X2 card, which matches what we heard close to two months ago. The two other tests show considerably lower scalings of 50% and 15%, but all in all it really shows the potential of CrossFireX.

AMD is also delaying the official launch of CrossFireX because they have not been able to get the performance up to where they would like. Currently, AMD is saying that CrossFireX will launch in late Q1, meaning most likely sometime in March. The first evaluation version of the CrossFireX-enabling driver was released on Wednesday, the 30th of January, and somehow beyond all expectations, it made its way to us.

A short, but interesting preview which certainly puts a lot of pressure on the driver developers at ATI.

:: CrossFireX preview at FPSLabs

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