Memoirs Of A 2900XT CrossFire System :: Introduction

08-15-2007 · Category: Hardware - Systems

By Doc Overclock

ATI has had its share of the glory in recent times, but lately that glory has seemed to wane and almost disappear into the backlight. The new 2000 series was supposed to be the NVIDIA killer and retake their rightful spot as a respectable trend setter. Well from what I have seen so far NVIDIA is still leading the pack as far as sheer numbers are concerned on both the high and mid level markets. ATI does however have some things up their sleeves that make visual clarity better in some applications, such as 3D gaming that still might make you reconsider the entire "who" has the fastest card theology and mindset. Are sheer numbers the end all argument?

The reason I built this system was after seeing the new 2900XT 1GB series cards (I finagled out of Diamond) in action; I started noticing that there were areas in some games that actually had more background detail than my other system based on NVIDIA's 8800GTX. These are small things like more color and pattern clarity on a piece of in-game cloth or the markings on a building. Many people just shoot or run through a game environment in order to win the game, I am a strange one though I usually play a game and take in all the background scenery and the faces and voice matching of the interactive characters.

There is no doubt that an SLI platform based on dual 8800GTX cards is faster as far as sheer numbers go, that is a fact. Two systems, built on all the same parts beyond the motherboard and VGA cards shows NVIDIA to be quite a bit faster in fact. The ATI CrossFire platform is also a slight rip on the whole SLI thing, but that technology avenue is what the current theme dictates. That methodology is two cards are better than one, and it sells. The CrossFire platform is still gaining momentum in small steps but they need to refocus on quality visual aspects of the card and not the Frame Rate Game as I like to call it.


Memoirs Of A 2900XT CrossFire System 2900XT/2600XT

2900XT/2600XT


In the FPS battle NVIDIA wins, but does NVIDIA's 8000 series card really look better than ATI? The answer is questionable in the 3D Gaming environment, as games do look sharper and have more detail in some instances than the 8000 series cards. In the 2D or OS environment it's a bit of a mixed bag, in XP the ATI cards produce a better clearer text, in Vista the NVIDIA cards had definitely superior and sharper text. Vista is slower at running everything, which has been shown around the net from reviewer to reviewer repeatedly. I am however bored to tears with working with it so I use Vista only now and all tests shown were done therefore in the Vista environment. Half my life is spent in servitude to my readers or friends who need a tech question answered and having a CrossFire system around gives a chance for us to learn all the lovely driver or hardware errors that may come about, and then figure out how to fix them. This is a platform review as well as a VGA card review and will be followed up by a similar SLI system in a forthcoming review. For now, check out this CrosFire system it rocks in a big way! Diamond brings back their Viper nomenclature and a pair of 1GB 2900XT cards that make up the 3D backbone of this CrossFire system.