LucidLogix have just announced its HYDRA 200 solution. This PCI-Express switch is available in 3 versions:
- LT22012: x16 lanes in, 2x16 lanes out
- LT22114: x8 lanes in, 2x18 lanes out
- LT24102: x16 lanes in, 2x16 or 4x8 or 1x16+2x8 lanes out
At first, only the LT24102 version will be available as of October and will be integrated into the MSI Big Bang motherboard that is based on the P55 Express. Engraved at 65 nm, this chip has a TDP of 6W and is likely to cost around $70.
The importance of the Hydra 200 goes beyond a simple PCI-Express switch such as the nForce 200 because of the Hydra Engine technology that cumulates GPU performance, whatever the model or make. At IDF LucidLogix had a machine on show that coupled a Radeon HD 4890 with a GeForce GTX260!
In order to do this, the Hydra Engine includes software that intercepts Direct3D commands and balances AFR or SFR load between the GPUs and then puts it all back together in the video memory of the primary GPU. The Hydra Engine is supposed to offer a generic solution for profiles as well as software.
Compatible with Vista and Seven, only Seven allows the coupling of GPUs made by different manufacturers, the Hydra Engine supporting DirectX 9 and DirectX 10.1, with Direct3D 11 support coming later. Not so for OpenGL apparently.
Of course there are still many questions to be answered but we won’t be able to do this until we can carry out a test of real performance across a good number of games. We would also need to see what extra processor load is caused by the Hydra Engine.