SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

[[History]]

Depending on your personal beliefs and on the extent of your love for videogames you may think of PC setups that feature two graphics cards as; an exaggerated misuse of money, a chance for the companies to increase benchmark scores or simply a practical idea for getting the most out of current games.

Whatever your personal thoughts however, these setups are now available from both major graphics cards manufacturers and they are here to stay. So whether your income puts you in the 1 per cent of this world's population that can afford a twin card setup or if you just marvel at the power wielded by these systems, you will want to know how the ATI Crossfire (+Fire) and nVidia SLI compare.

SLI started life as an abbreviation for Scan Line Interleave as 3DFx boffins got together in 1998 in order to harness the power of two Voodoo 2 boards and deliver the unheard of quality of 1024x768 gaming. The 3DFx design called for a 2D card, in addition to the two Voodoo 2 boards, that would take care of non-3D applications. The firepower came from the 3D cards since one rendered the odd lines of the scene and the other the even ones. Although a lot of time, money and effort went into that design, the concept never made it out of the 3DFx labs and was placed into stasis until the rest of PC technology could catch up.

Six years later and as the arrival of PCI Express meant that the bandwidth available to a video card could now accommodate incoming data from more than one board, nVidia decided to revive the plan, updated for 2004 and beyond. This time SLI means Scalable Link Interface but the concept remains very similar. SLI harnesses the power of two graphics cards on one system in an attempt to increase graphical processing capabilities and ultimately deliver extremely high-end gaming.

ATI did not have the background knowledge that rival nVidia had access to but in some ways that liberated the company from a few restrictions evident in the SLI setup. ATI also had the benefit of witnessing SLIs rising star, a turn of events which made the creation of a two card system a sound investment. Finally ATI decided to address the shortcomings it thought were evident in the SLI product.

So you get ready to spend a shedload of cash to get your hands on a setup that promises two graphics cards instead of one, you accept that you will be paying more than double for the privilege, what should you know before you dive-in?
The most important fact that you should be aware of is that both companies have messed up…

[[Two-Timing Systems]]

The benefits of being schooled in the most advanced country in the world are clearly evident when considering our expectations of a graphics setup with two cards. One finger is raised only to be followed by a shy yet determined second, clearly indicating that we should get twice the power with two cards. Common sense however, rarely prevails and that is also the case in this instance. Both SLI and +Fire promise the potential for a 100 per cent increase in performance but due to a variety of restrictions it is unlikely that either will be able to deliver on that potential.

One other limitation of both setups, one which could be considered a hidden cost as well, is the need for a high-end processor. The fact that you will have two high-end cards delivering vast amounts of data, through PCIe, to your processor means that your CPU had better be able to handle the onslaught. The innocent victim of an inadequate processor will be your frame rate which will suffer. It is however, unlikely that someone investing on a twin card system will go for anything but an adequate CPU.

So now that we know the basics let us consider the things you have to know before buying a dual graphic card setup.

Flexibility

Motherboards
Since nVidia and ATI have both invested heavily on creating a dual graphic card system (or so they'd have us believe), they will want to begin making profit as soon as possible. To that end both companies require you to purchase motherboards that are compatible with their system in order to setup SLI and +Fire.

nVidia's SLI requires a motherboard with two x16 PCI Express slots that runs nForce 4 or an SLI compatible chipset.

ATIs +Fire also requires motherboards too have two x16 PCI Express slots but the company claims that the boards will need to be running the Radeon Xpress 200 CrossFire chipset.

Graphics Cards

nVidia's SLI will only work if both cards used are the same model and SLI compatible; this means that you will either need two GeForce 6800 Ultras, two GeForce 6800 GTs or two GeForce 6800s. The current SLI range of board covers all cards from 6600 to 7800. This limitation however, does not extend to the manufacturer so even cards made by different manufacturers should work fine together as long as they are the same model. nVidia does recommend though that the cards originate from the same manufacturer.

ATI is more flexible as far as graphics cards are concerned, with +Fire supporting the use of different cards, provided that one of them is the crossfire model and will act as the master card. This means that an X850 can be combined with an X800 even though they may feature a different number of pipelines, different clock speeds etc. The one drawback however is that the slowest card will set the pace as the master card will recognize the slave card's specs and downshift as required.

[[But How Do They Do It?]]

The main difference between nVidia's SLI and ATIs +Fire is one of philosophy. Both systems attempt to bring a staggering performance improvement but both companies have gone about achieving their goal in a very different way.

nVidia

nVidia's approach to a dual graphic card system is fairly straightforward, assign 50 per cent of the image to each board and then combine the data. One card is responsible for the top half of the image while the other takes care of the bottom half. The two products are combined by a simple u-shaped bridge-connector that links the two cards. This system is very similar to the way Alienware chose to implement its own dual graphics cards system. The difference however, lies in the dynamic way in which nVidia's SLI handles the work load for each card. In nVidia's case the work load doesn't have to be 50/50 but can be re-assigned as the need arises. So if the top half of the scene requires more processing power than the bottom half, each card will still get half of the work, even if that means splitting the scene 70/30.
SLI will also work in an odds and evens way by splitting scenes into odd and even frames and assigning each category to one of the cards.

ATI

ATIs dual graphics system works on a completely different principle; each +Fire setup has to have a master card, the Crossfire specific model, and a slave card. The two cards are not connected to each other via a bridge connector like in SLI but through a cable. The way the work load is divided by +Fire is more flexible then in nVidia's case. The image can be divided into two halves i.e. top and bottom or in a 3DFx-like odds and evens way, or into quads, the sub-units in which current graphics processors divide the image to be rendered. The final mode is a picture enhancing mode which claims to produce much better picture quality but no real performance gain.

[[So You Bought A Game…]]

If you have a dual card setup at home but are not sure which one you have, a quick visit to a games store will quickly answer your question as nVidia owners have to look for an SLI symbol on the games they buy if they are to make the most out of their system. nVidia, of course, is well known for its PR so expect more and more games to become SLI branded as time goes by. The question remain however, what happens once you've bought your brand new game (SLI support or not) and you load up?

nVidia

SLI will begin rendering your game after it decides which of the three modes available, it will use.

In Compatibility mode, the setup decides that the current installed drivers do not support the game you bought and decide to use only one of the two cards installed. Although it may seem frustrating, this is currently the most frequently used mode of SLI since few games are supported.

If you were careful while buying your game and selected one currently supported by SLI, then you're in luck as the drivers will recognize the pre-installed profile for your game and will select one of the two available dual-GPU rendering modes.

In Alternate Frame Rendering mode (AFR) one card works on the odd frames and the other computes the even frames of the scene, therefore offering a noticeable increase in performance in the game. Games that support this mode include Half-Life 2.

The other dual processing mode is Split Frame Rendering (SFR) which splits the scene horizontally assigning each half to one of the two cards available. Due to the load balancing feature mentioned earlier this mode tends to be the most efficient one if your processor can handle, with the appropriate haste, the information thrown at it by SLI.

ATI

So what happens with ATI +_Fire and games? Good question, ATI says it supports most games out there and plays up the flexibility of its dual-GPU setup. So, are the Canadians right? The wealth of available rendering modes to the +Fire does mean that the system supports both OpenGL and Direct3D games making it rather appealing to most gamers. So once you load your game +Fire looks at it in order to decide which mode to use. If you tell the setup that you wish to go for increased image quality rather than performance, the system will immediately switch to SuperAA.

In SuperAA mode the two GPUs process the same frame but with different FSAA patterns. The information is fed to the master +Fire card which uses its special chip to combine it and produces an image of higher visual quality.

If you go for a performance increase and the game you will be playing is not using render-to-texture functions, the fastest dual mode is Alternate Frame Rendering (AFR). This mode uses the odds/evens splitting of the frames to be rendered method. This mode is patented by ATI and supports both OGL and D3D games.

Direct3D games and applications also have the rendering option of SuperTiling. No it's not a Groove Armada song but it's still pretty cool as it separates the image into quads, creating a chessboard pattern and assigns a number of quads to each card. This mode allows for good load balancing and is a stable way of increasing performance in all D3D applications. Since both cards have to render the entire scene and only pixel information is split between them, the ultimate performance gain is rather moderate and may not impress those of you who have chosen to spend a great deal of money for the setup.

Another option available for both OGL and D3D applications and games is the Scissor method which splits the screen horizontally, much as in nVidia's SFR mode, assigning each half to one of the two cards. Unlike nVidia's SFR mode, ATIs method supports most games. Again this method produces modest improvements as both cards have to process the entire scene geometry.

[[Which One Shall I Get?]]

While both companies solutions are appealing to any gamer, they are both plagued by a variety of issues which you should be aware of before you start dreaming of owning them.

There is a certain balance achieved by the two competitors as ATI has produced a flexible user friendly option and nVidia a more affordable, if a bit cranky, setup.

The cost of +Fire makes it a distant dream for most gamers as the cost of getting the expensive +Fire compatible card, the motherboard and the slave board as well as an appropriate processor reaches nightmarish proportions. If you are not running a small, oil-rich, country you are advised to wait a while for ATI to begin considering a reduction in its prices, something which will become possible at some point after the summer.
In return for your plentiful cash, ATI offers a dual-GPU system with a variety of rendering modes that supports both OpenGL and Direct3D games and applications.
+Fire flexibility also extends to the cards that can be used with the system which do not have to be identical.

nVidia was first to market with its SLI setup and rightfully claims to be the innovator of dual-GPU systems, especially since Alienware's attempt remains as more of a curiosity than a popular option. SLI remains the cheaper option available to gamers and has the potential to produce significant performance increases.
The real problem with SLI is the lack of support for games. Current lists mention approximately 90 supported games although some of the listed titles seem to be yet unreleased titles. The list of supported games however, is clearly inadequate considering the level of investment that the purchase of an SLI rig represents. The history behind nVidia suggests that the company will soon address our concerns but for the time being that remains a wish rather than reality. SLI owners still have to wait for driver updates in order to find out if the manufacturer has added game profiles for SLI.

So our advice as things stand is take a deep breath, count to 10 and sit tight, it will soon be easier and cheaper to get your hands on the setup of your dreams.

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Comments

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

both offers great performance increase, bug at what cost? considering a single high end card (x850/6800/7800) is able to run any game at highest details with sufficent framerates, so what does justify the double price? raw performance isn't everything, coz current cards have enough of it, but after a year, new features will be introduced which the architecture doesn't support, which means that a new card will be required to use these features. Not to mention the cpu limitation on current single high end cards... if ya have money like s**t then you can consider buying sli/+fire.... but single cards are more than good enough for gaming, so why bother?

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

"considering a single high end card (x850/6800/7800) is able to run any game at highest details with sufficent framerates, so what does justify the double price?"pretty much ur right there, all i can say for dual cards is, a way to upgrade in he future without losing anything. Perhaps the day a 6800 ultra only runs medium settings, u can buy another for a little cheaper than now and plug it in, or if u have an ati board, and u got that x800 crossfire compatable card and u want to get a new one but dont want to get rid of the old one and waste money, plug in both! Personally i find Crossfire a mjuch better idea than sli because u are able to 'mix n match' compatable cards, as where with SLi u eed 2 identical cards. This makes ATi users save a lot more money in the future.

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

Once the ATI's one comes down A LOT in price I honestly think they will take the lead in the dual card field (assuming nVidia doesn't come up with another improvement, which they surelyy will). Mainly due to the fact that (if they were relatively the same price) the ATI setup would be less of a waste of money because at least you'd be getting the use out of both cards on many more games than the nVidia setup.Nevertheless the competetion between these two companies will definately make the GPU market very rich with options for us gamers to choose from.:D

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

"they still havent even released the Fudo!"u ask why? because its not a piece of s**t like the 7800 series and it acually GIVES next gen performance. Quality takes time. and as for this article, ATi's crossfire is WAY better"acctually better still who has one?"OMG u are a retard i guess. IT JUST CAME OUT, if there are any motherboards that support it, congrats. u cant compare something and say it sux when it was just released.

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

Before yet another article's comments get spammed with b***hing and screaming n00bs, not saying you two below me of course, the 7800's a piece of s**t? Or are you just being biased? It wouldn't surprise me though I considering how fast it came out. I mean good lord, I just got done getting a 6600GT that I've been trying to get since they announced it, lol.Fudo's an interesting name. :O

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

i own an nvidia card, but i'm starting to believe ATI more and more. They do offer more and better options, however, i read that their drivers are really buggy. I've never had a problem with nvidia drivers. Having an SLI or Crossfire setup is a scam.

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

better to just have the one card for now90 games are available for SLI, which is ok, its all in a matter of time, soon that list of 90 will be 1000+so its better wait and see how it goes and the price to drop downG70 is the way to go for those who don't want a SLI setup.isn't there 2 cards in 1 or something? instead of having a wallet exploding SLi mobo????

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

Anonymousat 23:33I must disagree to what you said about the ATI drivers. In terms of quality, they are just as good as nVidia's drivers but nVidia dosnt release their drivers on a quick regular basis. ATI does do this, to fix bugs and improve performace quickly.On topic, I do believe that 1 video card is better then two, but im glad to know the +fire is very friendly, hopfully the motherboard chipsets will catch on quickly.To be honest, I want to see a computer with 3+ video cards, simpily for performance purposes.

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

guy below me:and 3+ cards would give you more performance..... in what games/resolutions? 4096x3072? if you see benchmarks with sli g70 cards they perform nearly the same in all resolutions. why? because every current cpu is holding them backe, so what's the point of 3+ cards? that level of performance will be required when the current technology is outdated and a single new card beats your 3+ setup...

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

I think they should go the dual core way instead of this 2 graphic cards stuff.Dual core would make much more sense i think in terms of cost and they would sell a sh1tload more of em.I could afford 2 if i wanted but my gut feeling is it just wouldnt be worth it for what extra real world performance gains i would get.Getting one for bragging rights just dont cut it with me.My D1cks big enough already thanks.I dont need a substitute! lol

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

" i own an nvidia card, but i'm starting to believe ATI more and more. They do offer more and better options, however, i read that their drivers are really buggy. I've never had a problem with nvidia drivers. Having an SLI or Crossfire setup is a scam."Actually as of this date right now, ati drivers are rated 1) more stable, 2) less buggy, and 3) they release new drivers monthly giving u more updates. Have a problem with current set of drivers, roll back to the previous month's drivers and wait no more than a month for a new set!

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

I'm the one who said that ATI drivers are really buggy. I "read" never really tried them. And when i say i believe them more and more, i'm saying that my next video card is going to be an ATI. I currently own an GeForce FX 5900 XT, which is said to have lots of problems. Haven't had one as of yet. However, they do produce a lot of heat. My comp keeps crashing everytime i play CS. I don't know if its the vid card, but i've narrowed it down to that.

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

well, if u give a price range and interface (AGP/PCI-e) i could give u some suggestions to pick a card. You wont be sorry, everyone i know who has ATi cards including myself have never had any problems, and have had great performance.

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

"Anonymousat 16:28 8/7/2005"Dual core differs highly from 2 cards. Think of it in terms of cpu's. Which is better, a dual core athlon x2 4200+, or TWO athlon 64 4000+'s? The single core processors would of course cost more to have two, but will WAY outperform dual core. If dual core cpu's dont help gaming much as far as amd claims, then wouldnt it make sense that a dual core gpu wouldnt do much either?

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

"Anonymousat 12:50 7/7/2005I'm a graphics power user, so I am going with SLI, like I did in the past when I did it with my Voodoo2s..." Funny, considering it never left 3dfx's R&D, sorry buddy, burned.i remember my creative labs 12mb voodoo 2 (that was bloody powerful ya know!:p) and it came with the lil cable to connect it to another voodoo 2 to sli...and it said in the manual you could, and there was the control panel that said it supported it...guess must of imagined it!never did get round to trying it, but voodoo 2's still good if u like playing half life 1/cs! good old glide :p

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

"dual Cards suxassume you got GX7800 SLI 2 cardsa new GX8900 will outperform 2 old cardswith new technology and staff"Pretty true, not only that, if the newest card out can already run everything max, WHY NEED A SECOND? my only guess would be future upgrade, so instead of getting a whole new gfx card, u can just add another, however with sli it would be a waste since u need another of the exact same card, and then the new card out would still be better for only a little more cost. On the other hand, same situation with crossfire, it would be better because then u can add in the new top card co-existing with ur current card to have the top power + still keep ur exiting card which would make ur system last a bit longer in terms of performance/date

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

Someday I won't be able to afford a gaming rig since these money eating companies want more and more out of us not to mention that GFX cards get outdated easily so double cards are a waste.. anyways most games today are just like most hot blondes, amazing appearance at the surface but empty inside.

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

i have a 6800GT but my last card was a 9800 pro and i had no problems with the ati drivers except in 1 case when one of em used to crash ET when going online so i just rolled back to the last months drivers.Hardly a major problem eh?

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ ATI OWNZ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

well i was just wondering when the first stupid retarded fanboy would come and in favor of whom he tries to talk, if u call that talking. well lets congratulate him that he finally found out how ctrl+c and ctrl+v works...just a question: you posted "ATI OWNZ ATI"quite stupid for them to own themselves

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

ok, if i had to pick, crossfire would be a much more logical choice. Lets put it like this:Lets say u have an SLi setup of 6800 ultras and pretend u have a orssfire setup of x800xt's/x850xt's. Now u want to upgrade because amazingly, the next card already outperformas that whole setup which u wasted money on...hmm now u have to get TWO new cards for SLi if u want to keep a dual card setup, but with cossfire, u can take out ONE of those cards, and install the new card and SILL keep one of the old ones...so in other words, crossfire is better because u can just replace ONE of the cards when needed, and get EXTRA performance without wasting money

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

"If not, it won't be fast enough if the 7800Ultra is 24 pipelines and the R520 is 24 piplines."you forget that a x850xt is clocked much higher than a 6800ultra, but the performance is very similar on both cards. clock speeds don't say much about performance. to get prove for this compare amd @2,4 ghz and intel @3,8 ghz.

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

I am running SLI with dual 6600GTs w/AMD 3500+ & I love it. It did not cost a huge amount either (built it myself, twas easy :)) I have had only one game (IL-2) to have any real SLI issues, all of my other 100+ games run great on it. (old classics and all the new hot titles, so I don't know what all the compatiblity babble is all about) Also remember the ATI sytem will run at the slowest card. Not to mention I've always had bad karma with ATI. nVidia has always served me better.hip63

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

"you forget that a x850xt is clocked much higher than a 6800ultra, but the performance is very similar on both cards. clock speeds don't say much about performance. to get prove for this compare amd @2,4 ghz and intel @3,8 ghz."actually it has a great deal in performance and u cant compare it to amd vs intel because the reason amd still outperformas intel is aWHOLe other matter. and actually the x850xt outperforms the 6800ultra in at least 8/10 of every game, so i would say its that close to being equal.

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

The performance differences are made more pronounced when resolutions are increased and IQ is maxed out. This is where MHZ increases matter. The big differences between the XT850 and the 6800ultra. If you run games at 1280 or 1600x1200 with no AA or FSAA on, then the 7800GTX, 6800Ultra and the XT850PE all pretty much perform the same way. It's when you increase those features you see the faster clock and more pixel pipeline cards strecth their legs. Go to Techreport.com and read their article on it. Good read.If the R520 is clocked higher by more then 100MHZ with the same pipeline count, by all matters, it will run games faster at higher resolutions. The way you are seeing the 7800GTX run games faster then the XT850PE. Here's the link[url removed]

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

i think nVidia and ATI r completely screwed up now ... wut kind of game that won't run on such 6800ultra or on 7800 GTX !!i brought a new Comp yesteraday and asked for 6800 GTXmy computer now = almost server -.-everything too fast in it ! but wut's the point ! i don't think any game will be higher then wut i got

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

"Also remember the ATI sytem will run at the slowest card."Half way corect. lolSince both AFR and supertiling split the rendering load evenly across both cards, the system will be somewhat limited by the speed of the slowest card. However, to keep the fill rate disparity between mismatched cards to a minimum, CrossFire cards will actually throttle back to 12 pipes when they're paired with 12-pipe partners. That should keep things pretty even. ATI may be able to leverage scissor mode's dynamic screen segmentation to give extra work to the more powerful card in a CrossFire pair, but workloads are locked in at a 50/50 split for AFR and Supertiling.The benefit for Cross Fire is the ability to use different cards. And later upgrade 1 card at a time. You cannot do this with SLI at this time. Nor can you fall back on multiple render modes.Even though Nvidia wants you to believe otherwise.With your dual 6600gt's...if you want to upgrade, you need to buy 2 new identicle cards. With CrossFire. One at a time and you can run them mismatched. NOT to be done on SLI. Mismatched cards or even mismatch brands and bios will make your system run as a 1 card setup. You're twin 6600 and the motherboard you bought would have cost more then 1 6800Ultra. Which the Ultra runs faster then 2 6600's ;) So for your upgrade. 2 new cards all together!

SLI and Crossfire - A Comparison

"actually it has a great deal in performance and u cant compare it to amd vs intel because the reason amd still outperformas intel is aWHOLe other matter. and actually the x850xt outperforms the 6800ultra in at least 8/10 of every game, so i would say its that close to being equal."the x850xtpe outperforms the 6800u only by small margins, which means they are some kind of equal, let's say with slight advantages to te radeon. but still it is clock a lot higher than the 6800u, which means a 7800ultra does not necessarily need as high clockspeeds as a x900 for similar performance

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