I've given quite a bit of thought to the issues raised by AMD's new strategy of pairing up two mid-range GPUs to serve as their only high-end product. I've already said that, given the choice in a vacuum between one big GPU to two smaller ones, I'd rather have the single, big GPU. Our experience with the Radeon HD 3870 X2 in GRID is but one example of a problem we've seen time and again with multi-GPU cards: without a profile in the drivers, you're usually stuck running on just a single GPU. Infuriatingly, you're most likely to run into this problem when playing a brand-new game, right when you want that GPU power the most. Ugh.
However, playing with this early sample of 4870 X2 is a vivid reminder that we don't make these choices in a vacuum. The reality is that a single Radeon HD 4870 GPU is nearly fast enough to keep pace with the GeForce GTX 280. Even if you're running a game that lacks a driver profile or simply doesn't scale well with more than one GPU, the 4870 X2 ought to perform awfully well. And when it does get both GPUs going, as our results show, it's by far the fastest single video card we've ever tested. If this is how AMD rolls, it's hard to complain.
Of course, now it's up to AMD to deliver the final product, to price it right, to get its power saving mojo going, and to keep its drivers updated with CrossFire profiles for all of the latest games in a timely fashion. We'd really like to see AMD work more closely with game developers to implement profiles before new games are releasedsomething Nvidia has historically done much better than AMD. One would hope that committing to this dual-GPU path for high-end products would force AMD's hand a little bit in this regard, but we'll have to wait and see.
131 comments — Last by Asomatous at 11:47 AM on 08/08/08
|Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.7.2 boasts refinements galoreTidying up ahead of RX Vega||14|
|Corsair's Hydro GFX GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card reviewedNo assembly required||28|
|The Tech Report System Guide: May 2017 editionRyzen 5 takes the stage||111|
|Aorus' GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition 11G graphics card reviewedThe eagle has landed||36|
|AMD's Radeon RX 580 and Radeon RX 570 graphics cards reviewedIteration marches on||162|
|Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card reviewedI like big chips and I cannot lie||191|
|Where minimum-FPS figures mislead, frame-time analysis shinesA new way to go Inside the Second||250|
|Aorus' GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Edition 8G graphics card reviewedFlying high||29|
|Velocity Micro workstations harness Epyc, Threadripper, and Xeon SP||10|
|Toshiba puts 64-layer flash to work in the TR200 SSDs||3|
|Threadripper CPUs sneak into pre-built PC listings||16|
|AMD's Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 CPUs reviewed||40|
|Silverstone shines RGB LEDs on the Mini-ITX RVZ03 chassis||9|
|Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.7.2 boasts refinements galore||14|
|Cooler Master gives the MasterBox Lite 5 case an RGB makeover||2|
|USB 3.2 spec pushes bandwidth up to 20 Gbps||55|
|Razer Tiamat 7.1 V2 headset packs ten drivers for immersive audio||13|
|edit: i'm not funny||+38|