1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Competitor rules

    Please remember that any mention of competitors, hinting at competitors or offering to provide details of competitors will result in an account suspension. The full rules can be found under the 'Terms and Rules' link in the bottom right corner of your screen. Just don't mention competitors in any way, shape or form and you'll be OK.

    Dismiss Notice

Lucid Hydra - Multiple GPU's with no need for SLI/Crossfire or Profiles

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by MR.B, 23 Sep 2009.

  1. MR.B

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Aug 2004

    Posts: 1,816

    Location: London

    If this thing works it will be a massive improvement over what we currently have and sell extremely well.

    I heard about this chip over a year ago, then nothing, now finally some news that it's out in a month-ish time. It will appear on a MSI P55 board at first it seems.

    What it can do...
     
  2. Perfect_Chaos

    Mobster

    Joined: 26 Aug 2004

    Posts: 4,635

    Location: South Wales

    Will that prevent microstuttering? sounds good btw.
     
  3. Tute

    Capodecina

    Joined: 24 Jul 2004

    Posts: 22,312

    Location: Devon, UK

    What's ATI and nVidia's stance on Lucid coming along and copying their technologies?

    It looks great on the surface but I can see it being straight into the courtroom.
     
  4. MR.B

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Aug 2004

    Posts: 1,816

    Location: London

    No idea. But i've found micro stuttering is not noticeable on newer GPU's anymore. The 8xxx series did it for me, the ATI 4870X2 to a lot lesser extent, but my 295 has no noticeable stuttering.
     
  5. MR.B

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Aug 2004

    Posts: 1,816

    Location: London

    It's not copying there tech at all, the way this chip handles it is completely different, and far superior (on paper). And ATI, NV do SLI/Crossfire in software only.
     
  6. BubbySoup

    Mobster

    Joined: 22 Nov 2003

    Posts: 2,846

    Location: Cardiff

    Yep, there is no tech copying involved.

    If you read the article, the Hydra chip just interrupts the DX calls and reallocates stuff.
     
  7. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 72,534

    Hydra can semi-intelligently render different parts of the same scene seperatly and then merge the rendered images back together to produce the output image... so one card could be rendering a high detail vehicle while the other card could be rendering the terrain its driving over...

    With SLI/CF they either render an entire frame seperatly on each card or just split the scene up into rectangles i.e. one card renders the top half of the screen and the other the bottom.
     
  8. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 72,534

    And from my other post:

    While its nice tech - I'd imagine that mixing 2 cards that are too different is going to have less than ideal results... i.e. nvidia card and ATI card are going to have slightly different light levels, color balance, filtering quality, etc. which means the composited scene could look kinda odd.
     
  9. BubbySoup

    Mobster

    Joined: 22 Nov 2003

    Posts: 2,846

    Location: Cardiff

    I don't think mixing cards will be on most people's wish list with this chip.

    If they can get it working better and faster than XFire/SLI, then they win regardless in the performance sector.
     
  10. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 72,534

    My main interest is latency - if they can reduce the input lag thats typical in SLI/CF then it would be a big win for me... the gains from SLI are pretty good in most of the titles I play.
     
  11. Angilion

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 5 Dec 2003

    Posts: 17,814

    Location: Just to the left of my PC

    Since it can also be available as an extra card, I think they could pick up sales further down the market too, and with mixing cards if it does work seamlessly. Say, for example, you have a 285 now and the 5870 comes out with really good price/performance. Buying a Hydra card and running your 285 with a 5870 might well be appealing, as would being able to mix graphics cards as you please in the future. It depends on the retail price of Hydra cards, essentially a matter of whether it's a better buy than selling the (in this example) 285 second hand and buying another 5870.
     
  12. Angilion

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 5 Dec 2003

    Posts: 17,814

    Location: Just to the left of my PC

    As other people have pointed out, it's a different technology. I doubt if it could go to court.

    Also, I think ATi and nVidia won't lose out because I think it will result in more graphics cards being sold. So I think they'll lose some Crossfire/SLI licensing fees but sell more GPUs.
     
  13. StevenRaith

    Hitman

    Joined: 30 Apr 2009

    Posts: 688

    Talk about selective demo - that article says they had a 4890 and 260 Hydra'd up, running Bioshock and FEAR2 and it worked.

    Yeah, well, my 4850 will play both of those at 60fps so no chance of stutter there ;)

    Still, very interesting tech - especially if it can intercept ComputeShader DX11 calls too - you could use one card from any vendor to accelerate any ComputeShader calls [physics, advanced lighting and translucency, smoke, etc] and the other for regular vertex and pixel rendering.

    Interesting times!
     
  14. Duke

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 29 Jun 2003

    Posts: 33,593

    Location: Wiltshire

    Looks very interesting tech, just waiting to see the results.
     
  15. nikebee

    Capodecina

    Joined: 9 Nov 2004

    Posts: 14,003

    Location: Pembrokeshire

    Sounds very interesting.

    However I just cannot see that happening for one reason or another.

    I love the idea of not having to pair the same cards together though, that's a massive improvement.

    It means I could pair my 7800GT and my 8800GTX together in my media centre :)
     
  16. tomos

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jan 2004

    Posts: 2,292

    Location: Liverpool

    is this only implemented in motherboards now? or will there be PCI addon cards also?
     
  17. StevenRaith

    Hitman

    Joined: 30 Apr 2009

    Posts: 688

    If you read the article itself, you'll see that they have already done that and it works, at least to a degree where BioShock and FEAR2 run.

    if it's intercepting the DirectX calls before it reaches the hardware and load balancing it out intelligently, there's no reason why it shoudn't work - it's little different in theory to load balancing router to share a couple of PPPoE modems from different manufacturers onto one network, or oload balancing anything else; as long as they are using a common inerface or communications standard [for networks, PPPoE standard, for GPUs, the DX API] then the GPUs don't realise they are being fooled into performing dispirate tasks - they're just crunching numbers and Hydra is sorting the rest out.

    It's remarkably simple, even elegant, as a pure concept, but by christ I bet it was a nightmare to code...
     
  18. nikebee

    Capodecina

    Joined: 9 Nov 2004

    Posts: 14,003

    Location: Pembrokeshire

    I'm totally aware that it is already working.

    What I mean is that I can't see ATI/AMD and nVidia allowing them to implement it into motherboard for mass sale.
     
  19. StevenRaith

    Hitman

    Joined: 30 Apr 2009

    Posts: 688

    Why? They aren't modding the code or the hardware, they are taking advantage of DirectXs API with a hardware interface to suit, it's got sod all to do with ATI or nVidia as far as I can tell, and they wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on other than withdrawing support for Hydra'd systems.

    It's like the server makers using Infiniband and other high speed interfaces to cluster up four single socket Intel based server mobos in a single 2U server case [as some companies are doing with mutlipe Atom chipsets], instead of buying a quad socket mobo from Intel themselves and using QPI in the same form factor; just because the OEM says "We want you to do it this way" doesn't mean you have to.
     
  20. LeJosh

    Capodecina

    Joined: 24 Sep 2008

    Posts: 10,434

    Location: Edinburgh.

    Why not? It boosts there cards performance? Mixing and matching would be a bit silly with driver issues but if you could have 285 sli or 5870CF it will *pinch of salt* give maximum performance. And it's win/win for both manufacturers...

    Edit - I'm more interested in who's going to buy them over first and make it brand exclusive!