'Just Say No' To Four GPUs
"Double your pleasure, double your fun." Well that is what Wrigley's stated about its Doublemint Gum. When 3DFX launched Scan Line Interleave for the Voodoo 2 it proved to be true as 1024x768 never saw such amazing frame rates. Later on the world was wowed with SLI once again with Scalable Link Interface. Nvidia pushed the envelope again for more performance but ran into the same proverbial brick wall that 3DFX did with the Voodoo 5 6000. Two cores were awesome but four was a bit too much to handle.
Not to be left out of the excitement (or the profits from selling 2 cards instead of one), ATI joined the party late in the game. While the first version of CrossFire with Radeon X850s was not a crowd pleaser, later versions were much more user friendly and pack some punch. Although AMD, Intel and Nvidia started toying with quad processor configurations ATI decided to steer clear.
Many (including myself) anticipated Quad SLI to produce amazing scores and frame rates. However we were left hoping for a miracle driver that fix all of Quad's problems and bring the four graphics processors to their full potential. History shows that it was left in the dust as dual 7900GTX in SLI and a single 8800GTS can out perform Quad SLI.
To our knowledge, ATI never attempted to go for four. While CrossFire can support up to 32 devices I never thought we would see a consumer solution for more than two graphics processors under an ATI/AMD brand name. That was until today! We got a hold of a "near-final" production model of Sapphire's X1950 Pro Dual that features two processors on a single printed circuit board (PCB) and connectors to connection to hook it up to another card for "QuadFire."