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ATI cleans up CrossFire

ATI cleans up CrossFire

Nvidia's SLI dual 3D card technology has become more or less the de facto winner in high-end gaming rigs, not necessarily because its cards are faster (Quad SLI notwithstanding), but because it was out first, and it's had a much cleaner design than ATI's competing CrossFire mode. ATI still has to challenge the perception that SLI is a more robust, stable solution than CrossFire, but at least its technology has finally caught up, by way of the Radeon X1950 Pro, announced today. Now you don't need a special, more expensive CrossFire Edition of a particular 3D card to run two side by side. ATI has also improved the aesthetics by moving the connector between the two cards to the inside. Good-bye, stupid dongle!

ATI pitched this card to us with an MSRP of $199, to compete against Nvidia's new GeForce 7900 GS card. Confoundingly, Froogle turned up prices more along the lines of $299. ATI assured us that it was just speculative preorder pricing and that NewEgg will have the card at or close to the MSRP when it updates its listings. If it comes in at the lower price, early returns on performance are that the 256MB Radeon X1950 Pro is an impressive midrange deal. If it's more like $300, we suggest that you wait to see what Nvidia has up its sleeve with its next-gen cards, due to be announced within the next few months. Our review is almost ready to go, so stay tuned for full performance results and hopefully the final word on pricing.

ATI Radeon X1950 Pro