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Crossfire Question

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 12, 2007 5:17:02 AM

I am currently thinking of purchasing 2 HD 2600xt and running them in crossfire configuration. I also run multiple monitors. Does enabling crossfire disable any video outputs on either video card. I though I read something to this effect in the past but it was referring to the old external dongle crossfire, and I wasn't sure if it applied to the newer internal crossfire setup. Also the main reason I chose this card is because of how well it handles HD video. Would the crossfire configuration help or hinder this in any way. I have never dealt with a multi-GPU setup before so I have no first hand experience on the matter so any input would be greatly appreciated.

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July 12, 2007 5:32:34 AM

u cant use multiple monitors in crossfire it is meant to do 1 display but if you dont crossfire you can use up to 4.
July 12, 2007 7:36:35 AM

Hi romstar do you know how this works for twin gpu cards as i know that the gemini version of the 2600xt has 4 outputs on it and it seems to me to be the answer for the op as i cant see them putting them on for the sake of it
Mactronix
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July 12, 2007 10:05:42 AM

im going to take a stab and say you can, as long as you only use the dvi out on the first card, also, you can run multi monitors on a sli or crossfire setup, it just requires some effort, what you do it you get one of them matrox thingys plug your multi monitors into it, plug it into a single dvi on your card, install the drivers, and you card thinks it is only one monitor thingy and will allow you to do cf on them.
July 12, 2007 10:40:41 AM

from the AMD website;
" 8. Can I use the CrossFire platform to drive multiple displays?

A. Yes, the CrossFire platform will work with ATI’s SurroundView™ multi-monitor technology to enable up to 5 separate displays when not running in CrossFire mode."

so to me, that reads as you can run multi monitors, but not when running in "CrossFire Mode" e.g. when playing games

can I just ask WHY on gods green earth would you want to crossfire 2 2600's?
July 12, 2007 11:16:54 AM

they don't use much power? they have UVD? they are cheap these days? they are...
July 12, 2007 2:55:20 PM

rammedstein said:
they don't use much power? they have UVD? they are cheap these days? they are...


Exactly.

I plan on doing a lot of video work, and when it comes to that, the ATI HD line is wonderful. Seen benches showing decoding using 3-5% CPU utilization while Nvidia's offerings had ~ 20% CPU utilization. Also I am upgrading from an old X800XL which gets out preformed by a X1650XT for the most part, which is about the same performance the HD 2600xt has to offer. I'm a lite gamer and personally I've been satisfied with the X800xl frame rates so that doesn't concern me. The way I look at it I would be gaining S.M. 3 and S.M. 4 support, a few additional FPS in games, multiple dual link DVI connections (verses my 1), and a wonderful HD support. As cheap as they are I was hoping crossfire would give them a little boost at higher resolutions in games. I'm aware the best bang for the buck, as far as gaming, would be the GTS 8800 320 MB but I'd perfer to have a better video experience first.

As far as enabling/disabling crossfire, this simply requires checking/un-checking the box in the ATI control panel, correct?
July 16, 2007 9:16:44 AM

correctio, seems like for once i was right :S, not always gaming is of peoples concerns...
July 16, 2007 10:52:21 PM

itneal2277 said:

As far as enabling/disabling crossfire, this simply requires checking/un-checking the box in the ATI control panel, correct?


Yes but be advised, expect it to be a little trickier, as alot of the bugs I've seen recently 'solved' have been about this very thing when coming back from gaming people had to reboot to re-anable multi-monitor mode, etc.

So it may add a few more headaches, but you'll learn to cope like we all do when trying to mix productivity with the occasional gaming to get the oomph of a little more power, but the cheap flexability of multi-monitors.

Both SLi and Xfire can do this, and both have their little foibles that are always being patched and fixed if you read their bug reports.
July 17, 2007 3:08:07 AM

I just want to thank everyone for all the great info. I went ahead and ordered one Sapphire HD 2600 XT DDR4 off Newegg to get me going. I am in no big rush to get a crossfire setup right away as it seems like a good idea to wait for the drivers to mature. Hey, the prices probably will drop some for the second card while I'm waiting. ;) 

I still have one more concern before I get a second card though. I am using a Gigabyte GA-965P DQ6 motherboard, which features (2) 16x PCI Express slots, but one only runs at 4x electronically. I tried searching for a review of my board's crossfire performance compared to other boards that run with faster PCI Express speeds, but unfortunately I haven't had any luck. I am concerned that the slower speed may cripple performance making the investment in a second card pointless. On the other hand, I was thinking the internal bridge dongle may make the lower PCI Express bandwidth irrelevant. Does anyone know what to expect in this type of situation?
July 17, 2007 2:49:54 PM

I was able to locate an article that seems to answer my question.http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2837&p=1

It is not the same board as mine and the card uses an external bridge vs. an internal one (probably doesn't matter), but the configuration is similar (16x, 4x PCI Express). At the time of release (driver version 6.9 used) tests showed a 3-9% performance hit compared to the 975 chipset. I took a look at the fixes driver version 6.10 had to offer and it appears that the slight drop in performance and a few incompatibility issues in games were being addressed. I'll keep combing through the driver revision history to find out more but the difference would appear to be negligible by now.

I am still curious though, does the 965 chipset require crossfire solutions that use the external dongle? Does it support solutions with the internal connection? I was able to locate this chart from the AMD site that suggest it doesn't but it appears to be outdated so I'm unsure of it's reliability(http://ati.amd.com/technology/crossfire/charts.html). Has anyone been successful in setting an internal bridge crossfire setup with the 965 chipset?
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