Lucid Hydra 200 Multi-GPU Performance Revealed

1 thumbs up


About a year ago, Lucid started making waves in the graphics space with claims of being able to revolutionize multi-GPU computing. It promised consumers the ability to add any graphics card, unrestricted by model or vendor, to an existing set up and achieve highly efficient load balancing with near linear performance increases. This option presumably provides consumers the flexibility to buy an ATI graphics card, install it next to an NVIDIA model on the same motherboard, and see a boost in graphics rendering performance close to the sum of both individual components.

Today we have news of this technology finally coming to life. The Hydra 200 processor is currently in mass production and will soon be featured on retail motherboards, starting with MSI's Big Bang Fuzion P55 motherboard. While this processor will initially be implemented on high end boards, it is actually better suited for the much larger mainstream market segment. Instead of replacing old hardware, upgraders and system builders alike can presumably optimize their existing graphics performance by adding a new affordable videocard.

Recently, we sat down with Lucid and had the chance to get some hands-on time with their product to see how well it performed. Accordingly, we installed multiple graphics card configurations on Lucid's test system and ran several gaming benchmarks to find the truth about Hydra's capabilities and finally lay some of the rumors to rest. So what's the verdict? Read on as HotHardware gives you an exclusive look at one of the PC industry's most intriguing technologies.   


MSI's Big Bang Fuzion Motherboard featuring Hydra 200 Processor

Lucid Hydra Implementation
ASIC Hardware



"The implementation of the Hydra engine is done in ASIC hardware with the support of a software driver. The ASIC is located between the Northbridge and the GPUs, as shown in the figure. The Hydra engine scales performance of multi-GPU configurations from any GPU vender and will scale relative to each GPU's individual performance. In other words, the GPUs do not need to be identical. The Hydra ASIC  handles all connectivity between the CPU, the GPU, and between the GPUs through a full-duplex wired speed implementation. As such, the solution is connector free and does not require any GPU to GPU connector." - Lucid



Hydra Engine Graphics User Interface

Hydra's control panel is simple to use and provides users the ability to enable or disable installed graphics cards within the operating system. With Hydra enabled, the GUI can be minimized to the system tray while graphics performance is automatically optimized.

Article Index:

1 2 3 Next
0
+ -

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

0
+ -

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

0
+ -

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.

0
+ -

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.

0
+ -

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!

0
+ -

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.

0
+ -

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.

0
+ -

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

0
+ -

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.

0
+ -

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!

1 2 3 Next
Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: