If you’ve recently gotten your feet wet in the ever-evolving world of PC gaming you’ve likely encountered the term CrossFireX (or CrossFire as it was previously known.) This is AMD’s multiple-GPU technology that lets you hook up multiple graphics cards into the same rig, allowing them to combine their powers and work in unison.
Imagine you have gaming computer already, running on a CrossFireX certified graphics processor you bought years ago. It runs your games okay. You can play most games at decent settings. Now imagine you find a second CrossFireX certified graphics card matching your own. Now it's a lot cheaper than when you first bought it. If you install it you can link the two cards letting you really max out your gaming experience and give you more juice for future game releases. Buying the latest, greatest video card can be expensive and you might not like the idea of getting rid of your existing GPU, which while not state-of-the-art is still pretty decent. a CrossFireX solution can help you really squeeze every last bit of juice out of your GPU(s) over time, making upgrades less of a strain on your wallet at the same time.
There are a few caveats to keep in mind when setting up a CrossFire system. You’ll need an AMD CrossFireX ready motherboard, and AMD CrossFireX Bridge Interconnect for each additional graphics card (often these can come included with CrossFireX compatible cards and are inexpensive), and depending on your rig, you may need a better power supply. You’ll of course also need CrossFireX certified graphics cards, but luckily those are available across the budget spectrum. You can connect up to four in a single PC. With that in mind, if you’re building a new system with an ATI GPU, I suggest springing for a nice beefy PSU and making sure your motherboard is CrossFire ready. After all, you might not be employing CrossFireX today, but seeing as how it can really extend the life of your system, it's likely to be an option you’ll consider in the coming years.
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