Product: HIS HD3870X2 Crossfire X
Company: ATI Technologies
Authour: Alex 'Morgoth Bauglir' Voicu
Editor: Charles 'Lupine' Oliver
Date: June 3rd, 2008
Introduction
Here we are

Here we are, finally ready to wrap up the 3870X2 investigation, after spending quite a bit of time with the red bicephalous monster. We'll be taking a few liberties in this final part, doing some of the things avoided in Part I and Part II, mainly because the games we'll be going through are not ones you usually see dissected by reviewers. But first, let's talk about a rather recent addition to ATi's bag of tricks, one that has a certain degree of kinkiness attached to it.

CrossfireX: bringing three and foursomes to a computer near you

We've been showing you CrossfireX numbers for quite a while now, but what is this madness about after all? Going over the inherent cool-factor of anything that has a name ending in X, CrossfireX is the evolution of the original Crossfire technology ATi introduced way back with the X800 cards. It enables configurations made up of as many as 3 and 4 GPUs and has been in the works for at least a year. It also gives the boys in red (or is it green now ... ehm) reason to be proud as they were the first to come to market with a Quad GPU solution for Windows Vista, back in March.

Remember that we talked about some of the hurdles related to using a dual-GPU arrangement, and some of the issues that may arise when going to 3 or 4 GPUs complicate things even further, with the effort involved in moving from Dual-GPUs to Quad-GPUs being twice greater than going from one GPU to two. Add the difficulties presented by the new DX10 API and the ride has been a demanding one (and one might argue that it's far from complete). But that is all history now, and we can properly enjoy having 3 or 4 GPUs adding their contribution to our electric bill.

This is what ATi had to say back in March, when they launched CFX:













If you're wondering why is it we're still going on about something that's fairly old news by now, it's because we're going to end up looking at the less than glamorous aspect of CFX during this review, as well as take a peek at its untapped potential.

You've probably already become accustomed to how we're doing the testing so we won't drag you through the whole long enchilada of hows and whats, but the system specs you might want to see so here they are:

Test Configuration
Test Configuration

As for the games on today's menu, they're a spicy bunch: Neverwinter Nights 2, Clive Barker's Jericho, Gothic 3, Colin McRae's DiRT, Overlord and Timeshift. All of them DX9, and all of them not what you usually see in GPU reviews (there are some exceptions out there though). Will the 3870X2 have trouble digesting this oddball dish?


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