LucidLogix has redefined multi-GPU gaming with the introduction of its Hydra 200 parallel processor. The second generation SoC works with any GPU, CPU or chipset to provide scalable 3D graphics performance in a multi-GPU computing environment.
"Multi-GPU systems have traditionally been graphics vendor specific and required the user to be somewhat technically savvy," LucidLogix representative Nir Cohen told TG Daily. "But we are like the United Nations when it comes to GPUs. The Hyrda 200 creates neutral territory for Nvidia and ATI, enabling the cards to peacefully co-exist on a single board."
Cohen explained that the Hydra 200 allowed gamers to improve system performance by adding multi-vendor GPUs with a minimal amount of configuration and effort.
"The Hydra's adaptive and dynamic parallel graphics load-balancing scheme resolves bottlenecks and optimizes the usage of GPU resources," said Cohen. "The 65nm SoC - which has a low power use of under 6W - offers full support for Windows Vista, Windows 7, DirectX 9c, 10.1 standard APIs and DirectX11."
The Hydra 200 chip has already been integrated into MSI's Big Bang Gaming Motherboard. The recently introduced Intel P55-based (Lynnfield) system features 3 PCIe slots for graphic cards and uses the SoC's real-time distributed processing engine to serve as an intelligent graphic load balancer for custom GPU combinations.
According to Henry Lu of MSI, users now expect "flexible" options to conveniently upgrade their systems for maximum gaming performance.
"The MSI Big Bang [has] taken the guesswork out of adding graphics. It's easy to change cards based on what brand and model you like, your budget or what titles you wish to support, whether you are an enthusiast gamer or a mainstream user," added Lu.
It should be noted that additional Intel motherboard systems incorporating the Hydra 200 are expected to be introduced by the end of the year.
Unsurprisingly, the industry's initial reaction to the Hydra 200 has been somewhat cautious. Indeed, an Nvidia spokesperson told TG Daily that the graphics company could not yet comment on the SoC's launch.
"We've not tested this device and cannot comment on it until we do," the spokesperson confirmed. "We thoroughly test our SLI solutions to be sure our products 'just work' and our customers have a great experience."
Similarly, AMD was unable to comment by press time.
However, analyst Dr. Jon G Peddie sounded a more positive note.
"I cannot say the graphics wars are over, but technology demonstrated by Lucid clearly levels the playing field when it comes to GPU scaling," said Peddie. "And with multi-core graphics growing at a rate of ten percent year over year, it will be interesting to see what kind of momentum a mass market M GPU can have in the marketplace."
"AMD's CrossfireX solution is a leading and shipping Multi-GPU technology that enables gamers to get incredible performance. Should Lucid be able to ship a product that can substantially deliver better performance and game compatibility over CrossfireX, to offset the additional cost, latency and power consumption required by their Hydra 200 engine, AMD will embrace and support this technology."