MSI intros new Fuzion motherboards with Lucid Hydra chip

By on June 30, 2010, 3:30 PM
MSI has launched two new motherboards, the P55A Fuzion and 870A Fuzion, which come with the Lucid Hydra 200 chip. The Hydra technology is similar to CrossFire or SLI, except graphics cards from two different companies (i.e. Nvidia and ATI) can be linked together in a hybrid configuration. In other words, just about any two cards from either camp can be paired up to boost performance.

As indicated by their names, one is for Intel's LGA1156 processors and the other supports Socket AM3 chips. Both have two PCIe x16 2.0 (full bandwidth) and PCIe x1 slots, four DIMM slots, six SATA 3Gb/s ports, two SATA 6Gb/s ports, six USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, 7.1 channel audio, gigabit Ethernet, as well as MSI's "Military Class components" and OC Genie overclocking tool. It's worth noting that the 870A Fuzion can also unlock "unused" cores in AMD processors.

The new Fuzion boards should be available soon and are priced at a surprisingly reasonable $190 (Intel) and $160 (AMD), considering the Big Bang Fuzion's hefty $350 fee.

User Comments: 8

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Reloader2 said:

Combining 2 boards from 2 brands can't be good? Care to explain deeper?

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Wonder how well this actually works - slapping an nVidia and ATI card together. Be interesting to see if you end up with driver conflicts down the road.

KG363 KG363 said:

Could any two Nvidia cards or any two ATI cards be put together?

Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

I haven't read anything on the Lucid Hydra 200 since very early this year, but from what I gathered at the time, it was a promising technology but lacked the proper software to really shine. I recall a test of two ATI cards set up in both CrossFire and with the Lucid Hydra -- the latter scored a bit lower on most if not all tests.

Whether that's changed now, I don't know, but I doubt it. I'm also not sure how well ATI/Nvidia cards work together as of today -- there are plenty of reviews around though.

DokkRokken said:

I like the concept of Lucid. But I don't think there's going to be a mad rush for a one hundred sixty dollar AMD 870 board. That's hitting 890FX territory, and it seems that save for the extra PCIe x16 bandwidth, you're still getting a budget board.

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

I've got my i5 and my 5870 to go, but just in case, i'm going to make sure that I can throw in a GTX 470, because its slightly cheaper than another 5870.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This product might have had more of an interesting niche market if the PhysX capabilities on mixed GPU systems wasn't neutered. I could see many an ATi fan throwing the 5970 into one slot, then a small cheap nVidia just for the PhysX. But, alas, that door has been hermetically sealed, so I really don't see the appeal of this board. Potential driver conflict nightmares alone make me question who would even want to take the chance on such an experiment. But, with some of the other features of the board, I guess it would make for a good tinkerer or enthusiast product.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

First and foremost, multi-GPU scaling has to approach Crossfire/SLI levels-which means Lucid's driver team needs to get together with game developers before game release. Until that happens, both nVidia and AMD, depending upon which company (if either/both) contributed SDK's to the devs, are always going to be ahead of Lucid's driver performance.

As far as PhysX goes, it would be nice to be able to have it cross-platform compatible, but since the software has been bought and developed through nVidia's money then I can see the point of wanting a return on investment. My guess is, if AMD/Intel/game devs ever manage to get Bullet/Havok (or whatever the next iteration is) physics into the wider mainstream then nVidia would likely relax the proprietry nature of PhysX or licence it to Lucid. For this to happen I think nVidia needs a competitor in the marketplace, and as long as TWIMTBP has a dominant market share and the program pours software development resources into upcoming AAA game titles like Mafia 2 as well as those already in release, that's likely not to happen.

If Lucid can also guarantee ongoing Eyefinity/3D surround (or third party software such as iZ3D's...although three distinct graphics drivers could very well be problematic in the extreme, over and above the whimsical nature of "the big two"s drivers that Vrmithrax pointed out) support -and not on an ad hoc basis-then IMO some users may be happy to sacrifice a modicum of framerate scaling for increased flexibility in their choices of graphics cards.

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