As long as we have been able to cram multiple video cards into our computers, the branding from NVIDIA and AMD had been the same. NVIDIA calls its multi-GPU tech SLI and AMD has coined theirs CrossFire. With the release of the new drivers to allow gamers to put multiple Radeon RX Vega graphics cards inside gaming PCs, that CrossFire branding has been shelved. When AMD announced the new drivers there was no CrossFire mentioned at all, and so PC World asked why.
An AMD rep said, "CrossFire isn’t mentioned because it technically refers to DX11 applications. In DirectX 12, we reference multi-GPU as applications must support mGPU, whereas AMD has to create the profiles for DX11. We’ve accordingly moved away from using the CrossFire tag for multi-GPU gaming."
Many gamers might have a hard time seeing the value in this branding change. Gamers have been saying CrossFire for a long time now and it is part of the lexicon for Radeon fans. The distinction is an important one for DirectX 12 since the latest game engines do their mGPU business differently. With DX12, the devs have to build support for multiple GPUs into their game engines and games to tell the software how to work with the hardware.
That change has the potential to make using mGPU more versatile and possibly more powerful than it was before. That is a good thing for gamers, as it means the door is open for better frame rates, graphics, and resolutions with DX12 mGPU implementations. The catch is that the new implementation puts more of the onus for implementing it on the developers, which we are seeing with only a few games supporting DX12 mGPU right now. Historically, DX9, DX10 and DX11 games relied more heavily on AMD and NVIDIA to offer their respective CrossFire and SLI profiles in GPU drivers.
The good news is that while AMD had abandoned the CrossFire branding, it will still continue to offer Crossfire profiles for DX11 games. That means it's not abandoning support for gamers. The only real change here is the branding, all the tech is still there. A few days back we mentioned that AMD Radeon RX Vega custom-designed cards are expected to land in October. While they might not use CrossFire branding, they could be more solid offerings than AMD's own reference cards.