10.03.2005

Reward if Found: ATi Crossfire

When AMD, Intel, ATi, or NVIDIA launch something big, they always try to get companies like VoodooPC to test it ahead of time, offer feedback, and perhaps use it in our review systems. I’ve been pretty quiet about the ATi Crossfire launch. Even though we’re listed as a launch “partner” we still don’t know much about it other than what we read online.

I hear it’s pretty good other than the 60Hz 1600x1200 resolution limit, dual x8, the mess of dongles in the back, and the lack of availability. I emailed ATi multiple times in the last month or so, and I’ve received no official reply about when we’ll get it. I already instructed the salespeople at Voodoo to just tell customers the truth about SLI vs Crossfire, there really is no comparison when you’re comparing something that’s real vs something that’s not available.

The closest I've come to sampling Crossfire was when someone outside of ATi emailed me a Powerpoint presentation. That's pretty brutal.

What I don’t understand is why the majority of editors aren’t giving them a hard time about claiming it was available, yet a company like VoodooPC (ie: the ideal target market) still hasn’t seen it. I can’t imagine we are the only company in this position, I’m sure there are many others. I also checked their online configurators and I can only conclude that most of them (if not all) don’t want to speak up for fear that it might hurt them later. I believe that if we don’t speak up we’re doing ourselves, our customers, and the ATi shareholders a disservice. I wasn't even asked to sign an NDA on Crossfire, which is odd because when NVIDIA launched SLi they were bang-on with their schedule. When NVIDIA said it was available now, they didn't mean 8 months from now.

Can someone at ATi please contact me today and tell me when we’ll get a working sample? We can’t really launch something that we haven’t tested as I’m sure you can appreciate. Once we get it we'll certainly consider using it in our systems provided it's everything it's claimed to be.

Perhaps my frustration is getting the best of me -- though I am pretty sure that "Rahul and VoodooPC" is not the issue here. ATi needs to read a thing or two about relationship building. Communication is the key here ladies and gentlemen. Pick up the phone or better yet email me, you know my address. I promise to post an update later either way.


UPDATE: Double Cross

11 comments:

Trée said...

Well said.

Hanners said...

You know, I've been pretty shocked by how badly ATI have handled CrossFire during and since its paper launch, but I think this post puts a whole new aspect on the situation - Lack of retail availability is one thing, but not even sending out samples to system builders?! This could well put CrossFire into the realms of 'worst computer hardware product launch ever' I fear. I really hope there's light at the end of this particular tunnel soon.

MrApogee said...

Lets hope we won't get another 3dfx era like with the Voodoo5 -6000. I think ATI slept a bit and are loosing the connection now. I find it really cool that someone speaks up tough!

-Flo

DarthBeavis said...

The two superior companies (VooDoo and Alienware) should be the first to get this techology. As it is vaporware, it will likely go to eMachines first.

Love,
DarthBeavis

DarthBeavis said...

Oh, did you know Alienware give out Crisco and Duct tape with their ALXs? And they employ legions of midgets in their factories. I can prove the first claim. The second claim is yet to be validated.

Kerim said...

Thank you Rahul for voicing what a lot of people have been thinking about. Also, anyone looking at this and thinking "it sure looks like Crossfire is an "after-thought?" How else can you explain the 16x12 by 60Hz dongle limitation? ATI got caught with it's pants down when SLI was announced AND launched and they are still playing catchup unfortunately.

SGTPan said...

It definatly takes some balls to speakout to ATI like that... especially considering that VooDooPC is a launch partner for Crossfire. Well done Rahul. That being said, by the time Crossfire boards and cards are actually available to anyone, not just the big boys and select OEM's, does anyone actually believe that with its barely on par performance to SLI anyone's going to pay more for it than for Nvidia's tested, and already adopted solution? Sheesh. What a joke ATI.

jordan said...

it's hard to make comments such as these w/o actually trying the product. i wouldn't be surprised if it actually spanked sli. remember that sli has already had its fair share of problems and issues. that product alone has been completely revamped after the launch. nvidia may have launched first, but just getting a product on the market isn't necessarily the best thing to look at. quality over quantity is always the best policy, and don't expect ati to be too shabby. if anyone actually reads anything about video performance in this blog, you might reconsider the crossfire's inferiority to sli. that's just an opinion, but an opinion based on much research, comparisons, and much debate.

SGTPan said...

As a matter of fact jordan, if you did your homework, you'd know that almost every benchmark and field test done on Crossfire hardware has shown its inferior performance when compared with SLI... let alone to one 7800GTX. The only real exceptions being with ATI favored game engines such as Valve's Source. Of course just being the first to launch doesn't make a product better. But a product that's already available, already on its second generation of hardware, and cheaper is probably going to win most people over hands down. Note I said most people... there are always the die hard ATI fanboys, and those that just like to argue for the sake of arguement regardless of their knowledge on the subject; ahem! Jordan, Cough!

Igor said...

Bravo for speaking out. I used to be an ATI guy, but got fed up with the fact that they "release" a video card, but people go on for weeks (months?) before being able to actually get one. That's just crap. My way of "sticking it up" to them? I bought an nvidia 6800GT at the time. I've been extremely satisfied. In addition, the Forceware package is MUCH better than the ATI Catalyst one. There are so many more options and things that you can do!

jordan said...

just to clarify my stance mr. SGTPan, i was speaking in regards to the 7800 vs the R520, two R520s will defeat the god-like stature that the 7800 has received. Nvidia already realizes this, and in fact is preparing an "upgraded" version of their 7800 card, but if you have actually read into that little new card, you would see that all they did was add a few more minor features and tone down some other features to better and new "improved framerates". yes the SLI came out first, but the crossfires benchmarks have never been meant to compete directly against the 7800, they were competing in the benchmarks vs. two 6800s. the chip card comparisions are in relation to the X850 set not the R520 set, just needed to clarify that, sorry for the misunderstanding