Lucid Hydra 200 Multi-GPU Performance Revealed - HotHardware

Lucid Hydra 200 Multi-GPU Performance Revealed

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HOW LUCID CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM: We tested the graphics cards in this article using a unique setup provided by Lucid. The main components consist of a Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R motherboard powered by Intel's Core i7 920 quad-core processor and 2GB of OCZ DDR3 RAM. Of course, this particular motherboard does not feature Lucid technology so as a result, the graphics cards were installed on a special evaluation board featuring the Hydra 200 chip. The evaluation board was connected via PCIe card installed on an x16 slot on the GA-EX58-UD3R motherboard. We were told that this test setup simulates the performance of the Hydra 200 when integrated on a mainboard.



 

Hydra 200 Test System
Core i7 Powered

Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7 920 (2.66GHz)

Gigabyte EX58-UD3R
(X58 Express)

Radeon HD 4890
Radeon HD 4890
GeForce GTX 260
GeForce GTX 260

OCZ 2GB DDR3-1333

Relevant Software:
Windows 7 32-bit

Benchmarks Used:

3DMark06
Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
Call of Juarez Benchmark
Stormrise

Lucid had several graphics cards and video games available for testing. Since time was a limiting factor, we could not test every videocard and game at our disposal but came up with five configurations and chose a handful of benchmarks in order to provide comparable results.

To find our baseline scores, we ran the benchmarks using an HD 4890 and GTX 260 individually. Next, we added identical graphics cards to the setup to determine scaling performance. In other words, we tested a pair of 4890's and two 260's together. The final combination consisted of a GTX 260 and HD 4890 simultaneously.

Some may wonder why we failed to use MSI's Big Bang Fuzion in our testing. For our meeting, Lucid actually had a separate test bed ready that featuried MSI's motherboard, an HD 4890, and a GTX 260. Initially, we sat down for a few minutes and played Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising on the system and acknowledge that it played very smoothly. Unfortunately, we must wait to see the performance numbers from MSI's Big Bang platform as they won't be released until the product has launched. 

Futuremark 3DMark06
Synthetic DirectX Gaming


At first, we wanted to run both 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark06 to produce additional performance scores that would support our gaming tests. Unfortunately, we experienced frequent crashing as driver issues prevented us from completing Vantage runs, so we stuck with just the 3DMark06 numbers as it proved to be a lot more stable than Vantage. At any rate, the results coincide with our expectations as the dual HD 4890 configuration provided the highest 3D Marks, followed by the mixed ATI / NVIDIA combination, and then the dual GTX 260's. 

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This is probably redundant to even mention, but how long before the green and/or red camp say: Oh hells no!!!

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It scales surprisingly well!

You can get the best of both worlds it seems! There are games the ATI cards are better at, and games the Nvida cards are better at. But with 1 of each... The games the Nvidia cards weren't so good at, it performed better and vice versa.

Were there any wierd artifacts or appearnaces when you run things like AA and AF, shadow's, reflections, etc. since they both do them differently

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Agreed acarzt, I was very impressed with the mix GPU setup.

Will we get to see how this performs with three cards? Especially considering that CrossfireX scales horribly.

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Impressive, I'm looking forward to this when it comes to the market. Like acarzt says now you can get the best of both worlds. It's frustrating being stuck on just one platform.

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Also, can you toss in a 3rd card and run it as dedicated physics card?

Oh wait... Nvidia's driver's would probably stop that because of the ATI card being present lol

Wouldn't be much point running 3 Nvidia cards when you can just use SLi. Unless this scales better?

That would be an interesting Comparo. SLI and Crossfire vs Hydra!

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Yep, that's the idea that I had when I first read about Lucid Hydra a couple of months ago! Also, I remember reading that 3+ GPUs would also be possible, with good scaling in performance.

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Color me intrigued.

I would have expected video cards to use much more proprietary communications between each other in SLI/Crossfire mode, but apparently these guys know stuff that I don't.

It will be interesting to see if the benchmarks on the final board match, and if they can work out the bugs.

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I'd love to see 3 or 4 GTX 295s working together!! Crisis at max EVERYTHING anyone?

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acarzt:

I'd love to see 3 or 4 GTX 295s working together!! Crisis at max EVERYTHING anyone?

From what I have read more than 2 GPUs scale much much better with this than ATI/NVIDIA's current solutions.

This is actually really exciting. I will be watching this closely. I honestly expected nothing more than more vaporware press releases from this company.

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yea, same here.. when I first heard about the technology I figured they would just fizzle out and never be heard from again. But here they are! With Working hardware and good number to show us! I'm much more interested in this technology now! Can't wait to see more what this can do!

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