Feeds
75%
Asus_X1600XT_tiny

Asus EAX1600XT SILENT passively-cooled graphics card

Gaming performance without the noise?

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The X1600XT is ATI's mid-range product, although it's been pushed down to the bottom end of the mid range by the likes of the X1800 GTO. One of its advantages is its ability to operate in CrossFire mode without the need of a master card.

Asus_X1600XT_back

The drawback of CrossFire at the high end has been the need for a special master card to control the co-operative rendering effort. However, lower cost – and lower bandwidth – cards can operate in CrossFire mode by simply adding a second card and ticking a box in the drivers. It all sounds very easy in theory, but it turned out that things weren’t actually that straightforward in practice. This was partly due to the recently released Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe motherboard the cards where tested and which needed a BIOS update for peer-to-peer CrossFire to work. But ATI's drivers also caused problems, though hopefully they'll be improved in the April update.

Incidentally, the primary card of the two became very hot, even when it wasn’t doing any kind of 3D rendering. Presumably this is because it has to process data from the secondary card as well as its own. If you're after two of these cards for a CrossFire configuration, I’d advise you to invest in some kind of additional cooling, at least for the primary card.

Initial test results where erratic at best, ranging from minus 30fps to 900fps in some tests. The BIOS upgrade solved this problem, though, and it’s unlikely you’d come across this problem with other, more stable motherboards. Once the BIOS was flashed the results where much more in line with what I'd expected, although interestingly enough this is when the second part of the problem showed up. For some reason, it turned out that at lower resolutions CrossFire was significantly slower than a single card in Half-life 2. I’m sure this is down to the drivers as this wasn’t the case in any of the other games, or in 3DMark tests.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.