Future Crossfire cards not limited to 1600x1200 @ 60 Hz@ 2005/10/03
This may be true of the current cards but this will not be the way of the future. In discussions with ATI regarding this drawback to the X8xx Crossfire Edition cards they stressed that they could have made the maximum resolution and refresh rates higher but chose not to in order to support current customers.
ATI stated that in order to "support higher resolutions than 16x12 we would have to add to the cost of the slave cards, and abandon our customers that have already bought Radeon X8xx hardware." When confronted with alienating customers, ATI officials said that Crossfire was intended as a solution that "balances everything" from the feature set, component support, application support, and performance.
We took the opportunity to ask ATI about the reason for implimenting the DVI connecton instead of an internal hardware link like the nVidia product. The company stated that an internal connection would also have alienated existing X8xx series customers. If the new cards had such a link, then the existing cards would not have a way to interface with the new cards. Going forward, ATI felt that a DVI connection was the "best solution for all existing and future card owners."
As it stands, Crossfire will continue to support up to a 1600x1200 resolution at 60Hz with the current hardware. However, the company said that future cards, including the X1800 (R520), X1600 (R530), and the X1300 (R515) will not be limited to this maximum. According to ATI, this current maximum is necessary to support as many current customers as possible and that the dongle (external cable) would not be replaced any time soon.