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Anybody Read about ATIi?

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June 7, 2006 1:21:50 AM

http://www.ati.com/technology/crossfire/promotions/phys...

That looks pretty interesting with the modified crossfire and physics!!

ATi looking better

More about : read atii

June 7, 2006 1:37:26 AM

That looks good. But why have one card dedicated to physics? GPUs should do the calculations on the side, while rendering. We'll see how that works.
June 7, 2006 1:42:21 AM

think about the possibilities, 2 X1900XTX's running Crossfire, while a X1600XT runs the physics, the cost is soooo much lower
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June 7, 2006 1:48:06 AM

Yea really low cost. :roll: Two X1900XTXs costs low? How? When? :roll:
June 7, 2006 2:11:15 AM

Hmm i wonder if i could use my x850xt as a physics card when i upgrade :idea:
That wouldn't be a bad deal then.

Hopefully ATI will ditch their master card configuration for something more SLI-ish by then.
June 7, 2006 2:22:24 AM

With the Xpress 3200 chipset, some configurations don't require master cards
June 7, 2006 2:27:11 AM

hes talking cheap in the performance/price wise for the ppu...
June 7, 2006 2:34:05 AM

Quote:
Yea really low cost. :roll: Two X1900XTXs costs low? How? When? :roll:


thats just an example, you don't HAVE TO HAVE 2 x1900xtxs,
June 7, 2006 2:48:17 AM

It makes me wonder, why were we bashing AGEIA waiting for ATI's physics solution?
June 7, 2006 2:48:29 AM

During a Beyond3D X1800 review back in October Dave(the author/owner) mentions watching an ATi demo running on a Crossfire setup, where one card was calculating physics alternatively, leaving the rendering to the other card.

ATi has been working on this for a bit it seems.

http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/ati/r520/index.php?p=08
June 7, 2006 2:53:20 AM

But they didn't do 2 cards splitting the game graphics in crossfire, while another gpu (any x1k) processes the physics
June 7, 2006 2:57:05 AM

No, but it showed a standard graphics card being used as a physiscs type ppu....I dunno :?
June 7, 2006 2:58:40 AM

idk, all i know is that it would be cheaper than buying a physx card
June 7, 2006 3:07:25 AM

People without a PCIe slot open wouldnt be able to do it. The outcome would have to be great to get me to buy a Crossfire mobo and a couple of cards to go with it.

The Ageia PhysX cards run on just a standard PCI slot(which everyone has). I dont see how going the Crossfire route would be cheaper.
June 7, 2006 3:10:52 AM

as i understood it, the 3rd card would make use of either the pcie x1 slot
June 7, 2006 3:17:22 AM

great news, but we need to see real performance tests with this setup
a b U Graphics card
June 7, 2006 3:27:57 AM

Quote:
During a Beyond3D X1800 review back in October Dave(the author/owner) mentions watching an ATi demo running on a Crossfire setup, where one card was calculating physics alternatively, leaving the rendering to the other card.

ATi has been working on this for a bit it seems.

http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/ati/r520/index.php?p=08


THANK YOU VERY MUCH! :mrgreen:
You know it's been so long since I saw that I totally forgot that was there! I knew they had demoed before but couldn't remember where that early stuff was. I kept refering back to the BrookGPU stuff to show that this idea isn't new and ATi didn't just come up with it after the PPU and SLi-physics.

Gotta love Wavey Dave's reviews, I always feel like I learn something new or something I didn't think about before reading them because they're so thorough, and here's another example once again.

Thanks again dude! 8)
a b U Graphics card
June 7, 2006 3:30:44 AM

Quote:
as i understood it, the 3rd card would make use of either the pcie x1 slot


No, it still requires a third PEG/PCIe-16X form factor slot.

They said it can run 4-16X lanes, but needs that form factor;

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=32190
June 7, 2006 3:31:25 AM

The concept isn't new, but the way they use a video card with the PCIe x1 is somethign i haven't seen
a b U Graphics card
June 7, 2006 3:37:29 AM

Quote:

The Ageia PhysX cards run on just a standard PCI slot(which everyone has). I dont see how going the Crossfire route would be cheaper.


Well the only way it would be cheaper is if you already have a dual PEG slot mobo. I'm still not sure if it would work on an SLi or Ultra board. Then you could add an X1300 to your existing X1800GTO or whatever. It's a little more attractive overall, but you lose the potential side benifit of Xfire though with an unsupported mobo and asynchronous card setup.

And if you have an X1600, then the choice of a PPU on your current MoBo may not be as attractive as a Crossfire MoBo and second X1600 for the same price.

Just a thought on where it could do well, especially for the mid-level user. Guess it's not as bad as I thought, but I still hate the push for 3 F'in cards! JEEZ!

2 X1600 makes it an easier sell for the market I'd think would be resistant to a PPU.

While I prefer 2 x X1900s versus an X1900+PPU , I'd prefer 2X1900+PPU to 3 X1900s until they figure out how to Xfire 3 cards. So right now they aren't even showing the most compeling example IMO.
a b U Graphics card
June 7, 2006 3:38:59 AM

Quote:
The concept isn't new, but the way they use a video card with the PCIe x1 is somethign i haven't seen


Well they don't it's still use 16X slots.

BTW, matrox already sells a 1X card if the 1x card is of interest. :wink:
June 7, 2006 3:47:39 AM

Did u even read the first post and the article attached to it??
a b U Graphics card
June 7, 2006 4:12:05 AM

Quote:
Did u even read the first post and the article attached to it??


You mean this?

Because at no point does it meantion 1X form factor.

However in both the InQ link and every review sofar they mention that the third card is running in a special MoBo with 3 16x slots.

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=32208

and from [H];
http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTA3OSwx...

"Below are pictures of an Intel Badaxe motherboard running a Conroe processor that has a 3 16x PCIe slot configuration. There are three X1900 XT video cards installed. Two are doing CrossFire graphics and the third X1900 XT is being used at the physics processor."




Since their are also talking about an 'old' X1600 then it's also 16x because there are no 1X X1600s at this moment in the marketplace.



PS, I wonder how this fits into the equation?
http://www.ocworkbench.com/2006/computex2006/day1/asus/...
Could you have 2 VPUs doing phsyics in place of that one X1600?
June 7, 2006 4:18:15 AM

my apologies, i confused this, and the whole nvidia stuff
a b U Graphics card
June 7, 2006 4:22:48 AM

No problemo dude, it's not mention in the ATi presentation, but you can see the connectors on the 3 cards. No worries.

To me it makes the 2+1 a little prohibitive, seriously how many people are going to buy a triple PEG MoBo upfront?

I really do wonder what that dual X1600 would bring to the equation, heck can you even setup that triple PCie16X mobo in a configuration where one card does graphics and 2 do physics?

So many questions and so few answers! :lol: 
June 7, 2006 4:25:19 AM

yeah, idk, its a cool concept , but when you think about the cost, and how much heat and lack of airflow
June 7, 2006 5:04:29 AM

Why not use onboard graphics for the third card? Its got quite a bit of ompf. I think someone mentioned it earlier in an article. Just too look at the transistor count: 125 million on the Ageia chip and 75 million for the RV370 (base for the Xpress 200 integrade graphics).

Just in the intrest of ATI to sell more chipsets, its got to be worth sucking that extra preformance out.

Or is physics acceleration an all or nothing approach and 75 million transistors won't cut it? Or they are doing something when a graphics board is in use?
June 7, 2006 5:08:07 AM

As a side note, does anybody remember when souping up your pc meant installing a math co-processor?

This debate as well as SLI/Crossfire remind me that there is nothing new under the sun.
June 7, 2006 5:12:24 AM

That's kind of funny, since AMD's Torrenza technology is a similar concept to that.

We are seeing more and more "old" technology revisited in modernized forms.
a b U Graphics card
June 7, 2006 6:12:56 PM

Quote:
yeah, idk, its a cool concept , but when you think about the cost, and how much heat and lack of airflow


The cost is the biggest thing for me, OIE!

While it looks poor for airflow think of how the X1800/1900 gets it's air, from the inside end of the card and draw it across the the fins and out the back so it shouldn't impeded airflow by stacking them like that (as long as the case can supply enough fresh external air to avoid an issue of negative pressure), perhaps power cables would form eddies just before the intakes, but they should be largley free to get the same amount of ventilation as before. The GF7 series does take air from the centre of the card and distribut it to the front and back of the cards (50% out of the case 50% back into the case), now having the cards that close together would create a bit more of an issue since they only have that limited space to suck air from.

The heat likely wouldn't be too bad but you're bound to get some conduction/radiation and convection off the back of the two cards below so it will definitely be more than have no cards there, how much more I don't know.

It's far from an ideal situation IMO, but it's defiitely interesting for a first try. Now imagine all the tubing required for liquid cooling! 8O
June 7, 2006 6:39:41 PM

Single GPU and a PPU for me, please. I'm not overburdened with cash like some gamers. I am strictly a mid-range buyer so I don't ever expect to have more than one GPU in my system, nor would the vast majority of gamers I suspect. I could see myself getting one high end card and then a x1600 for physics, but a PPU can do oogles more physics processing than a GPU which just isn't designed for it. If I built a system this year, it'd be a 7600 + PPU for most bang for the buck (assuming there were PhysX games I wanted to play)

However, both nvidia and ATI solutions are still in the lab. If games quickly enough come out supporting the PhysX card I'd get one now in my X1600 Pro 512 AGP system with an Athlon 2800+. It would take some load off my CPU and would be a playable PC into 2007. But since it looks like end of year before a critical mass of physX-capable games arrive, about the time we'll get DirectX 10 cards, it's up in the air how all this will shake out. Right now it's all just benchracing until everyone has their solution on the shelf and developers pick one. I suspect all the big titles will support all three flavors. In the mean time I'm not even rebuilding to a PCI-e system until early 2007 when the dust settles.
June 7, 2006 6:44:35 PM

According to Xbit's Article you can still use just 2 cards using ATI Crossfire. One for graphics and one for physics via Havoc FX. Similiar to Nvidia's idea except you apparently will not need matching cards like Nvidia setups require. However the article reads kinda weird (typo) so I could be wrong on this.

Quote:
Hmm i wonder if i could use my x850xt as a physics card when i upgrade Idea
That wouldn't be a bad deal then.

Hopefully ATI will ditch their master card configuration for something more SLI-ish by then.

IIRC you'll need at least an X1600 class card to use any variant of ATI physics solution. Please correct me if I'm wrong anyone. The 2 card solution require a SM 3.0 compliant card because Havok uses SM 3.0 to do it's physics work. So your X850XT is definately out as far as the 2 card solution is concerned. Sorry, it's still a very good card.
June 7, 2006 6:53:58 PM

Its good to know that we won't have to have 3 cards to get physics processing with ATI. I was hoping for the 1+1 setup as at first it sounded like there was only going to be a 2+1 setup.

With the 2+1 setup what worries me is what the hell else can you put in the motherboard? Nothing unless you get midrange X1600 cards that are single slot. Thats assuming there even is any other PCI or PCI-E slots on the motherboard to begin with. Where are we supposed to put our sound cards or other PCI cards on a system like that?

Motherboard makers seem to be wanting to keep the smaller form factor of the motherboard while adding 16x PCI-E slots and forgetting that we like to have other things plugged into our system as well. What if we want a sound card and a TV tuner? Or a RAID controller card? Or any other host of add-in cards.

What is extremely nice about ATI's solution though is that those with X1xxx cards will now be able to recycle them. If you have an X1900XT(X) or down to a X1600 card now, when DX10 cards come out, provided you have a dual 16x slot motherboard, you can have the old card become the physics card while your new GPU does rendering. No longer will we have these still incredibly powerful cards, and nothing to do with them. Unfortunately for Nvidia fans though, that option will not exist since they, as of now, require identical cards.

Sorry Nvidia, ATI's solutions are just a lot more flexible than yours.
June 7, 2006 7:22:15 PM

I agree. This would finally make SLI and Crossfire setups a viable option for the mid-range gamer and not just for high-end enthusiasts. At least until physics are simply handled with one card or onboard solution.

I'm actually wondering if part of the reason (aside form Agea) Nvidia and ATI are doing this is because they need to find another, more practical use for SLI and Crossfire. Honestly, neither SLI or Crossfire make sense in the mid-range enthusiast market. The performance gains just don't make it worth it when you could get better performance with a single GPU solution. However, in the physics realm I could see myself shelling out another $150.00 for another 7600GT if it makes the gaming experience that much more enjoyable with the added physics and decent graphics quality. Although, by the time games actually start using any of it, my 7600GT probably won't run them well.

IF, ATI's solution can be run with just 2 cards (still not sure if I read that Xbit article correctly) it would be the better option for those on a budget since they could get by with a decent GPU (X1800/X1900), and a budget X1600 for physics.

We'll just have to wait and see after some real world testing has been to see if anybodys answer to the physics part of the equation is worth throwing down some cash for. At least I can say I'm partially ready. I bought a KN8-SLI because it had all of the features I was looking for and it came in cheaper after the rebate (which I did get) than the other non-SLI boards I was considering. I didn't want SLI, I just ended up with it. Now it turns out it might have been worth getting it. :mrgreen:
a b U Graphics card
June 7, 2006 10:14:59 PM

Quote:
According to Xbit's Article you can still use just 2 cards using ATI Crossfire.


But what I'm talking about is reversing the load setup they have there, so no Crossfire at all.

Quote:
IIRC you'll need at least an X1600 class card to use any variant of ATI physics solution. Please correct me if I'm wrong anyone.


That would be wrong, they also gave figures for the X1300 (about 2X that of the GF7900 series, about equal to the PPU) as well in their recent annoucements. They also mentioned integrated in the past, specifically Havok mentioned it in their FX launch.

Quote:
The 2 card solution require a SM 3.0 compliant card because Havok uses SM 3.0 to do it's physics work. So your X850XT is definately out as far as the 2 card solution is concerned. Sorry, it's still a very good card.


That's correct but with Havok saying that all it takes is an SM3.0 compliant chip, would the SM4.0 GMA965/3000 count? The Volari 8600?

We'll have to wait and see once the solution matures somewhat.
a b U Graphics card
June 7, 2006 10:26:49 PM

Quote:
What if we want a sound card and a TV tuner? Or a RAID controller card? Or any other host of add-in cards.


Integrated sound is getting better (you can get an Augidy4 integrated and an SB5.1 integrated, so it's possible to not need a card, still not the best solution, but even in that triple rig I remember seeing a single solitary PCI slot free so there is some option. As for TV tuner, USB, Raid controller card, onboard or else forget a gaming rig. This isn't the sollution for the video editor, this is the solution for the gamer, raid concerns are secondary, add in cards are pretty much restricted to sound, and that's it. Definitely not a versatile solution, but I don't think anyone expects it to be. A MoBo like the Gigabyte Quad SLi would still leave just 1 slot free.

Quote:
Unfortunately for Nvidia fans though, that option will not exist since they, as of now, require identical cards.


I don't think they will require identical cards. They do now, but that was based on nV's own SLi-physics, not on Havok's FX. I suspect them to have asymetrical and unbalanced solutions shortly too. Remember it's still very early in all this.
June 7, 2006 11:06:33 PM

Quote:


IIRC you'll need at least an X1600 class card to use any variant of ATI physics solution. Please correct me if I'm wrong anyone.


That would be wrong, they also gave figures for the X1300 (about 2X that of the GF7900 series, about equal to the PPU) as well in their recent annoucements. They also mentioned integrated in the past, specifically Havok mentioned it in their FX launch.

I wasn't too certain on that one. I thought I remembered ATI stating that an X1600 class or above would be required for their solution, but with all the "info" floating around its hard for me to remember. Thanks.
a b U Graphics card
June 7, 2006 11:32:23 PM

Quote:
I wasn't too certain on that one. I thought I remembered ATI stating that an X1600 class or above would be required for their solution, but with all the "info" floating around its hard for me to remember. Thanks.


Yeah it's far from over information wise, but it's nice to know they tried the X1300 at least. I would've prefered that they show it on a dedicated and integrated solution since an X200 doing some additional phsyics on a system it's otherwise going to waste on would be a nice free bonus, it's like them unlocking geomteric instancing, temporal AA, etc.
June 8, 2006 12:24:25 AM

Quote:
Did u even read the first post and the article attached to it??


You mean this?

Because at no point does it meantion 1X form factor.

However in both the InQ link and every review sofar they mention that the third card is running in a special MoBo with 3 16x slots.

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=32208

and from [H];
http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTA3OSwx...

"Below are pictures of an Intel Badaxe motherboard running a Conroe processor that has a 3 16x PCIe slot configuration. There are three X1900 XT video cards installed. Two are doing CrossFire graphics and the third X1900 XT is being used at the physics processor."




Since their are also talking about an 'old' X1600 then it's also 16x because there are no 1X X1600s at this moment in the marketplace.



PS, I wonder how this fits into the equation?
http://www.ocworkbench.com/2006/computex2006/day1/asus/...
Could you have 2 VPUs doing phsyics in place of that one X1600?

Looking at that triple slot motherboard got my mind wondering, how about three 7950's, all linked together and cooking the frame rates. Cooking everything in the computer too. Might use a frying pan for a heat sink, hamburgers hot and fresh without leaving the computer.
June 8, 2006 12:29:47 AM

Quote:
As a side note, does anybody remember when souping up your pc meant installing a math co-processor?

This debate as well as SLI/Crossfire remind me that there is nothing new under the sun.


What? Is this one of those age related things? And I remember when a 25 mhz CPU was lightening fast.
a b U Graphics card
June 8, 2006 12:31:01 AM

Quote:

Looking at that triple slot motherboard got my mind wondering, how about three 7950's, all linked together and cooking the frame rates. Cooking everything in the computer too. Might use a frying pan for a heat sink, hamburgers hot and fresh without leaving the computer.


Well gigabyte has a Quad Slot mobo, so could be worse. :roll:

BTW, 4 GF7950GX2s in 1 system is call a 'breeder reactor' capable of generating enough heat to boil enough water to power a small house. Of course it takes enough juice to power a small city to get all 4 GF7950GX2s going. :twisted:
June 8, 2006 3:59:41 PM

Have you seen our interviews with Dave Orton (ATI CEO) and Chris Evenden (ATI PR Director) from Computex?

Dave talks briefly about the Conroe board that can take 3 PCIe graphics cards and that one could use an X1600 to do the physics. I have seen X1600 cards as low as $100.

That is certainly cheaper than the PhysX card.
June 8, 2006 4:56:57 PM

HIS have one x1600 PCIe 1x. you can use it for phisics in one normal motherboard. And is cheaper than Ageia.
June 8, 2006 5:01:32 PM

As I said my favorite part of this is we don't necessarily have to just throw out or sell our old cards anymore. They have a use now as a physics card (provided your current cards meets the grade).

Let us hope Nvidia gets smart and allows for different GPUs in the setup because otherwise ATI will own them.
a b U Graphics card
June 8, 2006 10:21:35 PM

Quote:
Have you seen our interviews with Dave Orton (ATI CEO) and Chris Evenden (ATI PR Director) from Computex?


Yep, a few different version on it too depending on the sites. But it's pretty well covered.

Quote:
Dave talks briefly about the Conroe board that can take 3 PCIe graphics cards and that one could use an X1600 to do the physics. I have seen X1600 cards as low as $100.


Yeah but the lovely thing they avoid mentioning is the ability to do so on integrated which was first hinted at and also mentioned by Havok. Remember that the X1300 was also mentioned so less than $50 , heck the Sapphire PCIe X1600P is currently $84.

Quote:
That is certainly cheaper than the PhysX card.


Exactly. So $50 + the premium of a 2 PEG MoBo (doesn't need to be SLi/Xfire) like a DFI Ultra, in order to get your feet wet i accelerated physics. Seems pretty dang attractive as a starting point. Heck think about worst case scenario that the CPUs take over or their is a third more succesful solution that comes along. fiding a buyer for a used X1300 is going to be far easier than for a now defunct PPU.

the built-in benifits are already there for making the VPU solution less risk, but it'd be nice if the companies stop focusing on try to push the giant VPU 'arrays'.
a b U Graphics card
June 8, 2006 10:42:51 PM

Quote:
Let us hope Nvidia gets smart and allows for different GPUs in the setup because otherwise ATI will own them.


You know I don't see that being a problem. This is not AT's physics solution from scratch, it's ATi's approach to Havok's FX solution, and really there's no reason why nV couldn't get it to work in a similar way.

Think of it more like multi-monitor than SLi/Xfire (another reason I don't like the 2+1 example because it confuses the issue) , the fact that we already have dual VPU solutions somewhat muddies ther waters IMO by having us predisposed to thinking of a second card as SLi or Xfire only. What would surprise me is if this ever worked whereby you could add an X1600/GF7600 to your GF7900/X1900 to work on your existing system. Now that would be impressive.

I am surprised nV hasn't announced anything about it, but they may be hoping to still push for SLi-physics as well as HavokFX, and also if people buy a second GF7900GT no because of the physics potential instead of a GF7600GT, then hey, that's nice for our sales. Delaying that revelation as long as possible doesn't lose them much (because as far as we know they don't have to worry about people jumping ship to ATi, because that would be more hassle than waiting). There's no real rush for nV right now it would seem. The only area I could perhaps see there being a benifit right now would be in the MoBo market where you might be buying a MoBo anyways, and now looking to the future you think, hey I want this option, hey I have to prepare for it. Perhaps even a bit in the mid-range vid line. I'll consider going with the ATi because I'll be buying a temporary card for this build to last me until the next generation, so might as well buy with that in mind and get a Crossfire mobo and an X1600XT/X1800GTO to do me until the R600 arrive sand then I can move it to slot 2, whereas my GF7600GT I'd have to sell when I move to a G80. Now that's by no stretch of the immagination what NEEDS to happen, but it could be the RARE situation people will mull over. I don't know if nV considers that as big of an issue as losing potential SLi revenue from a second GF7800 or 7900. Just some random thought about the random actions of consumers.

I suspect we'll here someting from nV very soon that says, hey wait, we can do that too!
June 8, 2006 11:27:22 PM

I thought nV's solution used Havok FX as well?

Are there any hardware limitations within the Scalable Link Interface itself that would limit nV from going to a method like ATIs 1 + a lesser card?
a b U Graphics card
June 9, 2006 12:02:11 AM

Quote:
I thought nV's solution used Havok FX as well?


Well SLi-Phsyics was co-deveoped with Havok, and actually mentioned before HavokFF was formalized, and nV's implementation favours the dual GPU setup, but has since become more enveloping of the 1 or 2 GPU format that seems integral to FX. Personally I think nV's SLi phsyics didn't do as well on it's own and now they're slowly moving to the 'HavokFX was it all along' scenario. Even some of their launch material changed from their early statements.

Quote:
Are there any hardware limitations within the Scalable Link Interface itself that would limit nV from going to a method like ATIs 1 + a lesser card?


Within SLi yes (you can't use unbalanced cards unlike Xfire eg. X1600Pro + X1600XT), but not in the HavokFX implementation because SLi is required for graphics (and SLi physics as it pertains to "SLi" physics) but not for FX. So IMO there is no reason why it should work with say a GF7900GT and GF7600GT across a DFi Ultra (non-moded even) board. The only reason it's not as practical overall is that nice option to switch modes when you don't have FX supported titles, therefore you can switch to SLi mode on the mobo and play games with the added graphics power, but that limitation exists (to a lesser extent though) on Xfire as well, you can't Xfire an X1600 and X1900 together either, but you could Xfire an X1900GT and an X1900Xfire.
June 9, 2006 12:21:55 AM

Quote:
Did u even read the first post and the article attached to it??


You mean this?

Because at no point does it meantion 1X form factor.

However in both the InQ link and every review sofar they mention that the third card is running in a special MoBo with 3 16x slots.

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=32208

and from [H];
http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTA3OSwx...

"Below are pictures of an Intel Badaxe motherboard running a Conroe processor that has a 3 16x PCIe slot configuration. There are three X1900 XT video cards installed. Two are doing CrossFire graphics and the third X1900 XT is being used at the physics processor."




Since their are also talking about an 'old' X1600 then it's also 16x because there are no 1X X1600s at this moment in the marketplace.



PS, I wonder how this fits into the equation?
http://www.ocworkbench.com/2006/computex2006/day1/asus/...
Could you have 2 VPUs doing phsyics in place of that one X1600?

Now that is one serious computer wish I had one :cry: .
June 9, 2006 6:07:18 AM

Quote:
As a side note, does anybody remember when souping up your pc meant installing a math co-processor?

This debate as well as SLI/Crossfire remind me that there is nothing new under the sun.

I'm afraid I do....
!