AMD Distancing from CrossFire with RX Vega

By Published July 31, 2017 at 8:06 pm

During press briefings leading to Vega’s gaming variant launch, which looks similar to the FE card (but with DSBR and power saving features now enabled), GamersNexus met with several members of AMD’s RTG team to discuss RX Vega’s future.

One such conversation with a group of media led to the topic of lacking CrossFire marketing materials in RX Vega’s slide decks, with parallels drawn to Polaris’ brandished claims from 2016. With the Polaris launch, great emphasis was placed on dual RX 480 cards evenly embattling GTX 1080 hardware – something we later found to be of mixed virtue. This time, it seems, none of the CrossFire claims were made; in fact, "CrossFire" wasn’t once mentioned during any of the day-long media briefing. It wasn’t until media round-table sessions later in the day that the topic of CrossFire came up.

RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 will support CrossFire, technically speaking, but AMD noted that the industry is largely moving away from multi-GPU configurations. We agree with that sentiment, and have for a while, though that’s been the case since before Polaris and its heavy CF marketing language. Regardless, AMD has minimized its marketing focus on multi-GPU for RX Vega and, although the cards can technically function in multi-card arrays, AMD noted that the value is rough when considering limited developer support.

This aligns with nVidia’s decision to begin slowly winding-down SLI support during the Pascal 10-series launch event, where discussion of keyed 3-way SLI would be required (something later changed, though there’s no official support of >2-way SLI in games on 10-series cards).

Not all that much has changed in the game development industry since Polaris, so it’s interesting that AMD is just now deciding to move away from CrossFire marketing and claims. Vega marks the continuation of a winding-down period for multi-GPU advertisement, as begun with Pascal. Both GPU manufacturers are now in a state that feels more like ongoing maintenance than heavy investment in multi-GPU gaming configurations.

Different story outside of gaming, of course.

Editorial: Steve Burke

Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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