Friday, November 6th 2009

NVIDIA Shuns Lucid Hydra

A promising new technology from LucidLogix, the Hydra, has perhaps hit its biggest roadblock. The Hydra multi-GPU engine allows vendor-neutral and model-neutral GPU performance upscaling, without adhering to proprietary technologies such as NVIDIA SLI or ATI CrossfireX. NVIDIA, which is staring at a bleak future for its chipset division, is licensing the SLI technology to motherboard vendors who want to use it on socket LGA-1366 and LGA-1156 motherboards, since Intel is the only chipset vendor. On other sockets such as LGA-775 and AM3, however, NVIDIA continues to have chipsets that bring with them the incentive of SLI technology support. NVIDIA’s licensing deals with motherboard vendors are particularly noteworthy. For socket LGA-1366 motherboards that are based on Intel’s X58 Express chipset, NVIDIA charges a fee of US $5 per unit sold, to let it support SLI. Alternatively, motherboard vendors can opt for NVIDIA’s nForce 200 bridge chip, which allows vendors to offer full-bandwidth 3-way SLI on some high-end models. For the socket LGA-1156 platform currently driven by Intel’s P55 Express chipset, the fee is lower, at US $3 per unit sold.

The Lucid Hydra engine by design is vendor-neutral. It provides a sort of abstraction-layer between the OS and the GPUs, and uses the available graphics processing resources to upscale resulting performance. This effectively kills NVIDIA’s cut, as motherboard vendors needn’t have the SLI license, and that users of Hydra won’t be using SLI or Crossfire anymore. Perhaps fearing a loss of revenue, NVIDIA is working on its drivers to ensure that its GeForce GPUs don’t work on platforms that use Hydra. Perhaps this also ensures "quality control, and compatibility", since if the customer isn't satisfied with the quality and performance of Hydra, NVIDIA for one, could end up in the bad books. This could then also kick up warranty issues, and product returns.

MSI has the industry’s first release-grade motherboard, the Big Bang Fuzion P55 that uses Hydra to power multiple GPUs, while also allowing users to mix and match various PCI-Express GPUs to suit their needs, something new particularly for NVIDIA users. Earlier expected to be announced around this time, MSI’s Big Bang Fuzion, as it is called by its maker, has been indefinitely delayed up to Q1 2010. Apparently to fill the void created by months of hype, MSI rushed in its cousin, a similar-looking motherboard, that uses the nForce 200 chip, to provide 3-way SLI support, called the Big Bang Trinergy P55, which will stay on as the company’s top offering for the P55 platform. One can only hope that Hydra doesn’t end up stillborn because of corporate strategy by much larger companies.Source: Overclock3D.Net
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230 Comments on NVIDIA Shuns Lucid Hydra

#1
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I hope someone has the guts (and resources) to sue NVIDIA for their practices in regards to SLI and PhysX. Their selfish behavior has to stop, now.

I wonder what Intel is going to do with Larrabee. Are they going to embrace Hydra or invent something on their own for multi-GPU technology. Because of Larrabee, I think it will be Intel that decides this feud between NVIDIA and Lucid if Lucid doesn't act on their own behalf.
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#2
theubersmurf
This is the kind of thing that drives me away from invidia. Something comes out that is genuinely goood for the consumer, and invidia, rather than biting the bullet and coming up with say, a chipset business that can survive on merits other than the presence of SLI, they set their attention to finding a way to stop their gpus from working with lucid's chip. So tired of this crap.
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#3
theubersmurf
by: FordGT90Concept
I hope someone has the guts (and resources) to sue NVIDIA for their practices in regards to SLI and PhysX. Their selfish behavior has to stop, now.
I don't think it's illegal. Maybe disabling physx on a product designed to run it is, but this, is just like refusing to play at anyone's house but their own...It's funny how dedicated to invidia some people will remain after this too.
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#4
Laurijan
I sooooo want to see mobos with he Hydra multi-GPU engine... edit: and screw NVIDIA
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#5
pantherx12
Is AMD/ATI were smart they would jump on Lucid/Hydra and help develop maybe even buy them out completely.

That way you can crossfire any cards you like, and SLI is still stuck with like for like multi gpu set ups .
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#6
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: theubersmurf
I don't think it's illegal. Maybe disabling physx on a product designed to run it is, but this, is just like refusing to play at anyone's house but their own...It's funny how dedicated to invidia some people will remain after this too.
They are shutting out competitors and, in the discreet GPU market and physics acceleration market, they are the majority. Both are ripe for an anti-trust case.
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#7
W1zzard
by: FordGT90Concept
They are shutting out competitors and, in the discreet GPU market and physics acceleration market, they are the majority. Both are ripe for an anti-trust case.
if they say it's for compatibility reasons like they did with physx i doubt there is a case for anti-trust
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#8
Disruptor4
by: FordGT90Concept
They are shutting out competitors and, in the discreet GPU market and physics acceleration market, they are the majority. Both are ripe for an anti-trust case.
Doesn't DX 11 kinda change that though?

Oh, and it has to be said. It's not invidia, it's nvidia.
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#9
InnocentCriminal
Resident Grammar Amender
This sort of thing was bound to happen. Looking forward to seeing some actual results, only seen sneak previews of the hardware working at the moment.
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#10
theubersmurf
by: Disruptor4
Doesn't DX 11 kinda change that though?

Oh, and it has to be said. It's not invidia, it's nvidia.
the eye in the nvidia logo is an "I" invidia means envy in latin. I think you're right that is probably is nvidia, but I prefer it the other way.
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#11
InnocentCriminal
Resident Grammar Amender
He is right, the company is called nVIDIA.
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#12
W1zzard
by: theubersmurf
the eye in the nvidia logo is an "I" invidia means envy in latin. I think you're right that is probably is nvidia, but I prefer it the other way.
too bad that nvidia comes from videre = see
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#13
theubersmurf
by: W1zzard
too bad that nvidia comes from videre = see
really? How do you get from videre to nvidia?
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#14
Airbrushkid
I wouldn't be talking anti-trust case when Intels got sued for it and now New York is sueing them.

by: FordGT90Concept
They are shutting out competitors and, in the discreet GPU market and physics acceleration market, they are the majority. Both are ripe for an anti-trust case.
Just think if every state sued Intel thats 52 states. How would Intel hold up do you think.
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#15
InnocentCriminal
Resident Grammar Amender
Remember folks, edit is your friend.

:pimp:
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#16
mechtech
Nvidia = FTL!!!

Well until we see what ATI's stance on this is with there crossfire........but I thought crossfire works on intel and ati/amd chips, and not nvidias chipsets.

If Nvidia built a car it would probably only run on nfuel and you couldnt fill it up at any other gas station in the world. :nutkick:
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#17
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: mechtech
Nvidia = FTL!!!

Well until we see what ATI's stance on this is with there crossfire.
AMD has nothing to lose with this. Crossfire on Intel chipsets is royalty-free.
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#18
Jizzler
Adapt or become invalidated!
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#19
Yellow&Nerdy?
First PhysX and now this? The whole point of the Lucid chip is to blend Nvidia and ATI cards. No one would Xfire a 5770 and a 5870, assuming that Nvidia has blocked the Lucid chip from using Geforce cards, because the 5770 is going to drag the total performance down instead of increasing it.

Nvidia always has to "spoil the fun".
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#20
Benetanegia
by: FordGT90Concept
They are shutting out competitors and, in the discreet GPU market and physics acceleration market, they are the majority. Both are ripe for an anti-trust case.
You saying that is just hilarious. :roll:

Anyway, I have a few questions:

- Has this been confirmed? From what I can read in OC3D all this claims come directly from Lucid's official site.
Taken from Lucid’s official site,...
- Do we know if Hydra really works as well as they say it works? What they showna year ago or so was not very promising IMO. If SLI is significantly faster, I can understand Nvidia disallowing this for their cards. Yes Hydra allows Nvidia + Ati, but if it comes at the cost of not working as well as SLI/Crossfire when both cards are the same, Nvdia is in their right to not allow it on their cards, specially if

- Has Lucid worked with Nvidia/AMD in order to improve compatibility or make optimizations? Have they shared key technology info, so that optimizations can be made from both sides? IMO no, they don't. They probably don't want to share it with them, because that could let them learn the technology and implement it by themselves.

- From what I understand Hydra takes DirectX calls and converts them into smaller instructions that the GPUs can understand. As I see it that pretty much bypasses most of the vendor or GPU specific driver work. Where do driver level optimizations go? At least 25% of todays performance comes from GPU and game specific driver level optimizatios. Is Hydra really able to take advantage of those optimizations, when it purposedly breaks original DX calls and breaks them up into smaller pieces? Or are they going to make their own optimizations (do they have the manpower to do so)?
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#21
phanbuey
ehh... this was always gonna happen that I doubt anyone was caught by surprise. If HYDRA was going to work, it would always have been despite nvidia - i think that was the original business plan.

Next, Lucid will find a workaround and nvidia will throw a tantrum and file a lawsuit.
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#22
Tartaros
Nvidia is always screwing up good ideas wich could be good for all the community. Greedy bastards...
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#23
mechtech
by: btarunr
AMD has nothing to lose with this. Crossfire on Intel chipsets is royalty-free.
Yes, but I mean you cant crossfire 2 ATI cards in a Nvidia chip mobo, can you??
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#24
cauby
Nvidia dickmove activate!
First,those stupid cartoons about Intel and now this...
Nvidia is working really hard to make people forget that they still don't have any DX11 GPU coming this month (or the next,if those Fud rumours are true).
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#25
Jstn7477
by: Airbrushkid
Just think if every state sued Intel thats 52 states. How would Intel hold up do you think.
Wut? :confused:
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