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The Dual Graphics Platform Battle, Part 1

Dual Graphics Comparison Table

FeatureATI MVP CrossfireNVIDIA SLI
Motherboard RequirementsATI Radeon Xpress Crossfire Edition chipset or compatible (Intel 975X).NVIDIA SLI certified chipset. Currently nForce4 SLI family only.
Motherboard AvailabilityStill limited.Plenty of models around.
Graphics Cards RequirementOne MVP/Crossfire-compatible Master card and a second one that is at least equally goodTwo equal SLI-compatible graphics cards
Dual Graphics FactsBest performing scenario uses MVP/Crossfire Master graphics cards. These come with an additional chip that composes the imaged rendered by the two graphics chips.SLI has some more overhead due to image composition that is done by the GPUs. In exchange, the GeForce 7 series top model is slightly faster today.
Dual Graphics ModesSuperTilingScissorAlternate Frame RenderingSuper AAAlternate Frame RenderingSplit Frame RenderingSuper AA
Graphics Card InterlinkDVI-type interlink cableSLI bridge connector
Graphics Card FlexibilityUsing ATI's 5.11 Catalyst driver (and up) eliminates the need for a Crossfire Master graphics card and allows running entry-level MVP setups without the interlink cable.Highest end models still in short supply.Using ForceWare driver versions 80 and up eliminates the need for identical graphics cards and allows running entry-level SLI setups without the SLI bridge connector.
Driver Requirements and DetailsATI graphics driver with Crossfire/MVP mode enabled. Dual core CPU support to be added with release 5.12NVIDIA graphics driver with SLI mode enabled. Dual core CPUs supported.
Price range for two entry level graphics cards$95 each (Radeon X1300)$90 each (GeForce 6600LE)