One of the interesting shifts taking place in graphics is the move away from multiple card setups in favor of more powerful single card solutions. This has been going on for some time now, though up until Vega, AMD was still pushing Crossfire, especially when making performance comparisons with Nvidia. With the arrival of Vega, however, expect AMD to cool its jets when it comes to Crossfire configurations.
GamersNexus (opens in new tab) notes that when it met with several members of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group team to discuss RX Vega's future, there were lots of slides and marketing materials to digest, though no mention of Crossfire. That is in stark contrast to AMD's Polaris launch, in which the company emphasized how dual Radeon RX 480 graphics cards could match the performance of a GeForce GTX 1080.
"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," GamersNexus says.
When the discussion did finally turn to Crossfire, AMD noted that the industry at large is trending away from multiple-GPU setups. That does not mean RX Vega won't support Crossfire—to be clear, it does—however, AMD is not going to market Crossfire to the same extent it did with Polaris. The decision was made based in part on limited developer support—not all games scale well with multiple GPUs.
We have already seen this play out to some extent. Both AMD and Nvidia have emphasized the capabilities of individual cards, especially in terms of 4K gaming. And with Nvidia, it should be noted that there is no official support of anything greater than 2-way SLI in games on GeForce 10 series graphics cards. In fact, Nvidia had initially decided to require a special "enthusiast key (opens in new tab)" to enable SLI on more than two GPUs with Pascal, but later changed its mind.
While all of this is taking place, motherboard makers are still kicking out high-end boards with multiple PCIe x16 3.0 slots for SLI and Crossfire builds.