Wednesday, March 3rd 2010

AMD Platform Meets Lucid Hydra on MSI 870A-GD60 Hydra

MSI has undertaken a very interesting project: to use the Lucid Hydra chip on an AMD platform motherboard, its second design with Lucid Hydra. The 870A-GD60 Hydra is a socket AM3 motherboard based on the AMD 870 + SB850 chipset. The AMD 870 chipset succeeds the AMD 770, in being suited for single discrete-graphics setups. The chipset packs no PCI-Express external switching, and hence there is only one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 link it can give to a graphics card. MSI connected this link to a Hydra Engine chip, to give out two full-bandwidth PCI-Express 2.0 x16 links. "Why not simply use the 890FX?" could be a question for many, but its answer lies in Hydra's advantage over it: it allows you to pair two NVIDIA graphics cards, two ATI graphics cards, or even mix an NVIDIA and an ATI card in a mixed multi-GPU array, as has been demonstrated with MSI's P55 Big Bang Fuzion motherboard.

The AM3 socket is powered by a 10-phase DrMOS based VRM. The CPU connects to four DDR3 DIMM slots for dual-channel memory. It connects to the AMD 870 northbridge over the HyperTransport 3.0 interface. Its lone PCI-E 2.0 x16 port is taken up by the Hydra Engine chip located between the two PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots. Other expansion slots include three PCI-E x1, and one PCI. The SB850 southbridge gives out six internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Connectivity includes 8 channel HD audio with SPDIF connections, eSATA by an additional controller, FireWire, two USB 3.0 ports, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. The 870A-GD60 Hydra could be released late next month.


Source: Tweakers.net
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23 Comments on AMD Platform Meets Lucid Hydra on MSI 870A-GD60 Hydra

#1
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I just hope NVIDIA doesn't find a legal means to shut Lucid down. :( Hydra is the proper way to do multi-GPU and it looks like they are getting close to having it made. :D
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#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Nah, Big Bang Fuzion's sales are going on.
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#3
AlienIsGOD
Interesting.... If this pans out well i may just pick one up.
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#4
steelkane
looks like msi is starting to open some cans
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#6
dclprojekt
I really hope this works out, I've been looking forward to this for quite some time.
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#7
Reefer86
i thought i read a review of the MSI big bang and the performance was very very disappointing.
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#8
suraswami
This is awesome. Hopefully MSI brings out something with DDR2 support too, then it will just be a mobo swap.
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#9
Kitkat
by: FordGT90Concept
I just hope NVIDIA doesn't find a legal means to shut Lucid down. :( Hydra is the proper way to do multi-GPU and it looks like they are getting close to having it made. :D
nah there not going to they got no chipsets coming out and they want to sell gpus
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#10
pjladyfox
I'd be more interested in this technology IF more vendors were using it. But with MSI being the only one seemingly pushing the chip, my last choice as a vendor were I upgrading, it really limits the impact of this release. And then there is the fact that, to be honest, we really do not know how well this will work over the long-term or if NVIDIA will try the same shenanigans that they did with the AMD/Uli fiasco; buying them out and just stopping any further updates to the chipset.

While I do hope that this chip succeeds, never really liked the proprietary nature of SLI, I have some serous reservations about it's future and certainly would not spend a few hundred dollars to gamble that it will stick around.
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#11
theubersmurf
Anyone know if Lucid's drivers have improved significantly? I understand that was the largest issue with The Big Bang's performance issues.
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#12
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: FordGT90Concept
I just hope NVIDIA doesn't find a legal means to shut Lucid down. :( Hydra is the proper way to do multi-GPU and it looks like they are getting close to having it made. :D
I think ATi shutting this down is just as big of a threat as nVidia, both are equally restrictive with their dual-GPU technologies.
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#13
Jizzler
by: btarunr
MSI connected this link to a Hydra Engine chip (probably Hydra 100), to give out two full-bandwidth PCI-Express 2.0 x16 links.
Then it's probably a Hydra 200 (LT22102) chip as I believe the Hydra 100 chip wasn't 2.0.


I can certainly see some benefits, though few of them apply to me. Like trying configurations that are not normally possible, 4 x GT240/1GB cards for instance. Could it take a GTX285 (similar price)? This is of course just silly fun. The more viable cases like keeping my 4870 and adding a 5870 or GTX4x0 is mildly appealing, but performance needs to be top for me to consider it.
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#15
1Kurgan1
The Knife in your Back
by: FordGT90Concept
I just hope NVIDIA doesn't find a legal means to shut Lucid down. :( Hydra is the proper way to do multi-GPU and it looks like they are getting close to having it made. :D
It's most likely the best idea..... in the world

It's a proper chipset :laugh: (had to mostly since I know you'll get it)
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#17
1Kurgan1
The Knife in your Back
by: zithe
win7 commercials?
Got to watch the UK Tv show, TopGear to understand, Clarkson would call NV's tactics rubbish.
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#19
Wile E
Power User
After looking at the anand benches, It' definitely a step in the right direction, but still needs a little work. I hope drivers bring the performance and compatibility higher.
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#21
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
Looks pretty cool, but with that heatsink.chip of lucid between the two graphics ports, is it viable for two cards? Looks like it may interfere with the card there, especially with AM coolers.
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#22
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: 1Kurgan1
Got to watch the UK Tv show, TopGear to understand, Clarkson would call NV's and ATi's tactics rubbish.
Like when they came to the US to do a Muscle Car review with the Challenger SRT-8/Corvette ZR1/Cadillac CTS-V. And Dodge refused to give them a Challenger at the last minute because they never give American cars good reviews...

And, IMO, their review was rubbish anyway, because no American Muscle car review is a good one without the Dodge Viper...and don't say "price was a concern" because the ZR1 is $100,000.
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#23
Wile E
Power User
by: newtekie1
Like when they came to the US to do a Muscle Car review with the Challenger SRT-8/Corvette ZR1/Cadillac CTS-V. And Dodge refused to give them a Challenger at the last minute because they never give American cars good reviews...

And, IMO, their review was rubbish anyway, because no American Muscle car review is a good one without the Dodge Viper...and don't say "price was a concern" because the ZR1 is $100,000.
The ZR1 is better than the Viper anyway. And who cares how hard they are on American cars? First, most American built cars deserve the criticism, second, their reviews are funny as hell, despite not always being factual.
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