Monday, September 25th 2017

AMD Phasing Out CrossFire Brand With DX 12 Adoption, Favors mGPU

An AMD representative recently answered PC World's query regarding the absence of "CrossFire" branding on their latest Radeon Software release, which introduced multi-GPU support for AMD's Vega line of graphics cards. According to the AMD representative, it goes down to a technicality, in that "CrossFire isn't mentioned because it technically refers to DX11 applications. In DirectX 12, we reference multi-GPU as applications must support mGPU, whereas AMD has to create the profiles for DX11. We've accordingly moved away from using the CrossFire tag for multi-GPU gaming."
The CrossFire branding has been an AMD staple for years now, even before it was even AMD - it was introduced to the market by ATI on 2005, as a way to market multiple Radeon GPUs being used in tandem. For years, this was seen as a semi-viable way for users to space out their investment in graphics card technology by putting in lesser amounts of money at a time - you'd buy a mid-range GPU now, then pair it with another one later to either update your performance capabilities to the latest games, or achieve the same performance levels as a more expensive, single-GPU solution. This has always been a little hit or miss with both vendors, due to a number of factors.

But now, the power to implement CrossFire or SLI isn't solely on the GPU vendor's (AMD and NVIDIA) hands. With the advent of DX 12 and explicit multi-adapter, it's now up to the game developers to explicitly support mGPU technologies, which could even allow for different graphics cards from different manufacturers to work in tandem. History has proven this to be more of a pipe-dream than anything, however. AMD phasing out the CrossFire branding is a result of the times, particular times nowadays where the full responsibility of making sure multi-GPU solutions work shouldn't be placed at AMD or NVIDIA's feet - at least on DX 12 titles. Source: PCWorld
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55 Comments on AMD Phasing Out CrossFire Brand With DX 12 Adoption, Favors mGPU

#1
ZoneDymo
I like progress, away with crossfire and sli and welcome mGPU.
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#2
AlienIsGOD
Vanguard Beta Tester
I for one welcome our mGPU overlords :p
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#3
gdallsk
ZoneDymo
I like progress, away with crossfire and sli and welcome mGPU.
Same thing, different name.
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#4
EarthDog
gdallsk
Same thing, different name.
Right? Potato Potatoe!!!
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#5
DeathtoGnomes
it's now up to the game developers to explicitly support mGPU technologies,
they said this with Cross-fire too, game devs were not happy with this being dropped in their laps then either.
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#6
Steevo
Death of a meh. Xfire and SLI users were rarely happy with performance and issues, mGPU solves it by forcing devs to implement it instead of hardware manufacturers trying to brute force it.

Essentially I read that multiGPU is dead until game developers need to use it.
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#7
Vya Domus
gdallsk
Same thing, different name.
It's not the same thing at all. Totally different technologies.
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#8
gdallsk
Vya Domus
It's not the same thing at all. Totally different technologies.
Yet in both instances you use 2 GPU's to get more performance. Isn't that the definition of 'same thing'?
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#9
Vya Domus
I guess it has the same end effect yes , but I wouldn't call them the same thing.
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#10
gdallsk
Vya Domus
I guess it has the same end effect yes , but I wouldn't call them the same thing.
It might not be working the same way, but at the end of the day it brings exactly the same end result.
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#11
Kaotik
WTH is up with sites picking this up now? It's been MultiGPU since last year. Radeon Software 16.11.x were the last to talk about CrossFire, 16.12.x and later talk about MultiGPU.
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#12
dozenfury
I think it'd be great in theory, but so far almost no games utilize it. So I'm not sold on it getting full adoption considering it's been very slow coming so far.
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#13
RejZoR
gdallsk
Same thing, different name.
Not quite. For Crossfire, it was up to AMD to create functional profiles for a game. With mGPU, it's entirely up to game developers to add support for multi-GPU. Which also means the engine has to run DirectX 12, because DX11 doesn't even support such a thing. Not sure how it's with Vulkan in this regard...
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#14
gdallsk
RejZoR
Not quite. For Crossfire, it was up to AMD to create functional profiles for a game. With mGPU, it's entirely up to game developers to add support for multi-GPU. Which also means the engine has to run DirectX 12, because DX11 doesn't even support such a thing. Not sure how it's with Vulkan in this regard...
Vulkan supposed to have the same implementation of mGPU as DX12, but not sure if anyone has ever done any work on it. Most of the games that have Vulkan in them, also had OpenGL as primary, which had terrible mGPU support to begin with.
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#15
R-T-B
gdallsk
Same thing, different name.
Not really.

One relies on profiles, the other shifts every bit of support off to devs.

Steevo
Essentially I read that multiGPU is dead until game developers need to use it.
Sadly, that is my expected outcome.
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#16
Octopuss
I thought the whole industry was done with that colossal failure multi GPU setups were? And now I see AMD simply calls it a different name. WTF?
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#17
EarthDog
Oh but its NOT the same thing. Because this thing works a bit different behind the curtain, suddenly its a different name out front.

AMD spend less time on rename, more time on better scaling of features said to work, please. :)
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#18
thesmokingman
Vya Domus
It's not the same thing at all. Totally different technologies.
Not totally different, essentially its the same outcome in a perfect world, but we know that's going to be far from reality. Not sure why everyone cares so much, as cfx/sli/mgpu its all going to be crap anyways.
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#19
Fouquin
EarthDog
AMD spend less time on rename, more time on better scaling of features said to work, please. :)
I'm sure that Intern Brad needed tons of time to rewrite that description text in the driver package...
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#20
Vya Domus
If ya'll care just about the outcome , buy a console. ;)

thesmokingman
Not sure why everyone cares so much, as cfx/sli/mgpu its all going to be crap anyways.
Crossfire and SLI may be crap indeed but for mgpu it's yet to be seen because , whether you like it or not , it just isn't the same technology

https://developer.nvidia.com/explicit-multi-gpu-programming-directx-12

It may still fail simply because people just aren't buying multiple cards but not necessarily because it will be crap.
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#21
r9
I wish the Infinity Fabric bridge the two GPUs.
So they could also combine the GPU memory too.
Like Ryzen sharing loads and cache memory.
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#22
Vya Domus
r9
I wish the Infinity Fabric bridge the two GPUs.
So they could also combine the GPU memory too.
Like Ryzen sharing loads and cache memory.
If they make these multi-die GPUs and then count on mGPU to make it work it will be an absolute failure. They need to find a way to make this work out of the box.
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#23
bug
Kaotik
WTH is up with sites picking this up now? It's been MultiGPU since last year. Radeon Software 16.11.x were the last to talk about CrossFire, 16.12.x and later talk about MultiGPU.
The announcement is really about AMD dropping support for Crossfire. But leave it to PR to make it sound like something else entirely. What this amounts to is that between now and the time DX12 and Vulkan become mainstream, you'll get zero support from AMD for multi GPU setups (best case scenario, current profiles are migrated as they are onto further driver releases).
Which may suck if you have a multi GPU setup, but the market penetration is in the low single digits anyway.
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#24
Kaotik
bug
The announcement is really about AMD dropping support for Crossfire. But leave it to PR to make it sound like something else entirely. What this amounts to is that between now and the time DX12 and Vulkan become mainstream, you'll get zero support from AMD for multi GPU setups (best case scenario, current profiles are migrated as they are onto further driver releases).
Which may suck if you have a multi GPU setup, but the market penetration is in the low single digits anyway.
AMD didn't announce anything, PCWorld noticed that latest drivers have multiGPU, not CrossFire, asked about it from AMD and made a story. AMD would have given exact same answer if someone had asked it last december when it was actually new thing.
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#25
ensabrenoir
......but ....but 2+ gpu looks so cool.....how else are we to let the world know we're boss.....sad face.....
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