I was starting to think that the tide might be turning away from ATI + AMD: my favoured platform for the last four years or so. Both Intel and NVidia have been ahead of ATI/AMD now for about a year in terms of top-end video card and CPU performance.
But ATI, at least, seems poised to introduce some interesting technology during 2008. It appears that my long-held hope that “two GPUs on one card” would finally become a reality is about to be fulfilled. ATI has already been talking about four video cards in one machine- which really doesn’t interest me that much. But the 3870 X2 has two processors on one card…which is much more appealing.
My disinterest in having two video cards boils down to three main things: heat, power, and space. If you’ve ever looked at a single high-end video card of moderately recent vintage (such as my existing ATI X1950XTX), you know they are large beasts with big fans and a requirement for their own power lines. They throw off a ton of heat, and are noisy. Two of them in my machine would mean my huge tower would actually be *crowded*, and my 650 watt power supply would likely be strained keeping up with the power demands. It has always struck me as an ugly way to increase video performance.
Now I have an option: perhaps a four core AMD Athlon with a dual GPU ATI 3870 X2? That might be an upgrade worth waiting for. I get the impression NVidia has something similar in the works…I guess I’ll have some work to do to make a decision 🙂