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

Benetanegia said:

Thanks, anyway.

- Lesson #2: learn to quote and link better so that the same doesn't have to be posted 50+ posts later. :)

Just for information purposes, that apology was made the same day that the article was posted at OC3D, same for the edition made in Semiaccurate. IMO this has never been news and should have never made it to the news.
Love the causticness of the post by the by.
Posted on Reply
DaedalusHelios said:
SemiAccurate is not a source, its a disease.
None-the-less one he keeps referring to.:toast:
Posted on Reply
inferKNOX said:
None-the-less one he keeps referring to.:toast:
Because all this has been originated there, that's why I refer to that site :laugh:. You know how to read? Then follow the link in the OP and look at the source of that article on the top...

Oh... :eek:
Posted on Reply
Mussels said:
since people love linking to the wrong article...
Yeah apparently Demerjian doesn't even know how to make a proper link and linked to a GTX260 review instead of this one. :laugh: I noticed that when I followed infernox's link, but I managed to find the good one. It doesn't show anything that the Techreport article I linked before didn't show. When it works it works more or less well. Mix and match doesn't perform even close to SLI/Crossfire on a SLI/Crossfire board and that shows that at the time of writing those previews the technology is not ready for launch, but it does look promising.

Both articles mention that Lucid only had few games for testing and that doesn't look like a good sign though.

All in all this is just like any other new technology, it's promising, but it has a long way to go yet.
Posted on Reply