CrossFire, Avivo, Catalyst
X1000 Series CrossFire
By now it should be evident that we are NOT going to be testing any of ATI’s X1000 cards in a CrossFire configuration today. The reason behind it: the cards are not ready yet. ATI has committed to making changes to the CrossFire platform that will alleviate all or most of the issues that were brought up in the realm of initial CrossFire reviews just eight days ago.
The list of changes that will be made when CrossFire makes a reappearance is uplifting at the least. First and foremost, ATI is addressing the 1600×1200 @ 60 Hz resolution issue by moving to dual-link DVI ports and a faster compositing engine that will support much higher resolutions at much faster speeds.
ATI will still be using an external dongle and a separate compositing chip for the X1000 series of CrossFire, with the exception of the X1300 cards which will only use the PCIe bus for data transfers.
I was also told that we should expect at least a 60 day delay from now until we see CrossFire edition cards of the X1800 or X1600. This is a huge mistake in my opinion and will only push more users towards the world of NVIDIA SLI (especially now since NVIDIA has new products to go with that SLI). Without getting the word out on what the expected performance is going to be on CrossFire cards (expected to be ready in a couple of months), any user looking to buy a card between now and then is going to take the route that is going to lead them down a path that they at least have a general idea of where it ends: GeForce 7-series and SLI.
More on this as we hear it.
Avivo Video Technology
Due to time constraints and to just plain avoid putting too much information into a single article, we’ll be saving this for a direct comparison to NVIDIA’s PureVideo in the near future.
The only changes at this time for the Catalyst driver are options to enable Adaptive AA and High Quality AF. Other than that, it remains the same from a users’ perspective. A lot of internal work has been done in order to take advantage of the arbitration memory controller, as we already mentioned, but with Catalyst AI enabled, this is transparent to gamers.