In response to nVidia’s success with its SLI technology, ATI has just announced its own tandem graphics card system – the CrossFire. Sister-blog Games Digest writes that using a system called the ‘Composition Engine’ a certified CrossFire motherboard allows a user to hook an orginary X800 generation ATI graphics card into a new CrossFire Edition X800. The setup then merges the data to give your system a considerable graphical boost. You’ll need to carefully match your CrossFire Edition card to your current card because ATI has already ackonowledged that mismatched cards (although probably operating fine) will default to the speed of the slower card.
This is good news for ATI Radeon owners who now at least have the opportunity to keep up with their nVidia SLI counterparts (best not mention rumours of SLI 2 then) however they will need both a new motherboard and the upgrade CrossFire card. ATI has kindly released some prices for these new cards with the X850 costing $549, the X800 256MB at $299 and the X800 128MB at $249. Motherboards supporting the Xpress 200 CrossFire Edition chipsets which will have two PCI Express graphics ports. CrossFire edition graphics cards and motherboards are set to become available from July.