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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Anyone know if this company is listed on NASDAQ? :D

Just kidding, still too early to tell. Hold your praises everyone. Once I see a mainstream motherboard equipped with this tech, I will jump with both feet in!

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gibbersome:
Once I see a mainstream motherboard equipped with this tech, I will jump

 

Yes, "Show Me The Money!" (MainBoard)

Real World test results with the final products will be interesting to see. Swapping a mainboard isn't so expensive, or even much trouble if the results are worth it. It'll also be interesting to see what company does the most with this technology.

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The MSI Big Bang Fuzion motherboard is equipped with the tech and retails for a little over $350. After some fanfare in January, the buzz surround the Lucid Hydra has died somewhat.

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$350.00 is the 'NEW TAX' and must be avoided. I'm interested in the technology, but not in getting raped to have it.

The price will come down however, and if it does not, it would almost be cheaper to just buy a better Video Card.

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As I stated in my earlier post, it will be interesting to see how both Ati and Nvidia react to this tech... especially if it really takes off. 2 big factors IMO will be: 1) Having boards avaiable from all the top vendors at various price points. 2)Driver support!

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recoveringknowitall:
it will be interesting to see how both Ati and Nvidia react

I see your point. They may try to circumvent it or prevent it somehow. I can imagine them writing anti-Hydra drivers and acting like someone is messing about in their knickers. Ha-Ha!

Supposedly, driver support will be provided by Hydra Technicians.

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realneil:
Supposedly, driver support will be provided by Hydra Technicians.

Yeah. What I meant to emphasize is how comitted will they be to continuing to release drivers to adress bugs and maintain compatability with current games and new releases.

This tech looks very promising, but I don't see it going far as is... rather it is more a glimpse of possibility that will lend itself to future developments and advances in multi gpu tech in general.

If it were to completely deliver and offer consumers an option that was less expensive AND performed better at the same time where setups would include cards from both camps, neither camp would be too thrilled obviously. It may end up that whichever company is willing to reach the furthest into their pockets to aquire this tech will dominate the market for multi gpu setups and the gfx industry in general to a degree not yet realized... worst case scenario being a total monopoly.

I feel that I can't over state just how potent this tech really is. Game changing. Point blank.

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recoveringknowitall:
how comitted will they be

 

It's all they do. It's all the company is known for so far. Since it's their 'bread and butter', I think that maybe they'll commit in a big way.

The problem as I see it is how much that hydra chip is going to jack the price of the motherboards that deploy it. I refuse to be hijacked by technology and will gladly sit it out and wonder how nice it really is if I think they're gouging us. A single card solution if you have a nice one, will be, and IS still sufficient for many of us.

I have my doubts about the viability of a dual driver setup in games anyway. That's why I said earlier that I'll wait and see how others like it first.

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There's no doubt in my mind that enthusiasts will be willing to pay a very high premium for this tech, but I see your point and question whether they will be able to move major units to keep things rolling. Perhaps more affordable boards will come down the pipe later, after the enthusiasts have shelled out the big bucks, field tested and subsequently raved about the awesome performance. Regardless, I still believe this will go the way of Ageia and get snatched up.

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Any word on how this would handle Eyefinity with 1 ATI gpu and 1 Nvidia gpu?

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