WHEN ATI FIRST ANNOUNCED
its CrossFire multi-card graphics platform
to the world in late May, the clever folks on the red team had a few interesting new twists to offer in their answer to NVIDIA's SLI. One of the more appealing features of the CrossFire platform was to be a "super antialiasing" mode, allowing two graphics cards to team up in order to produce higher quality antialiasing than available on a single card alone. We liked the idea, noting that "CrossFire rigs may provide image quality benefits even in games where fill rate and geometry throughput aren't normally at a premium." Since there are quite a few current games that don't really take advantage of even a single high-end graphics card, using the extra power of a second card to improve image quality makes sense.
It seems NVIDIA liked the idea, too, since they announced shortly before the launch of the GeForce 7800 GTX that they would be bringing a similar antialiasing mode to SLI systems via a driver update. Now, in an amusing bit of one-upsmanship, NVIDIA is ready to deliver drivers that will make SLI antialiasing widely available today, while ATI's CrossFire platform is still missing in action, apparently delayed.
We managed to snag an early copy of NVIDIA's new drivers and put SLI antialiasing to the test. Keep reading for a look at the image quality and performance of SLI antialiasing, as well as an explanation of the methods behind the madness.