Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lucid Hydra 200: Vendor Agnostic Multi-GPU, Available in 30 Days

A year ago Lucid announced the Hydra 100: a physical chip that could enable hardware multi-GPU without any pesky SLI/Crossfire software, game profiles or anything like that.
At a high level what Lucid's technology does is intercept OpenGL/DirectX commands from the CPU to the GPU and load balance them across any number of GPUs. The final buffers are read back by the Lucid chip and sent to primary GPU for display.
The technology sounds flawless. You don't need to worry about game profiles or driver support, you just add more GPUs and they should be perfectly load balanced. Even more impressive is Lucid's claim that you can mix and match GPUs of different performance levels. For example you could put a GeForce GTX 285 and a GeForce 9800 GTX in parallel and the two would be perfectly load balanced by Lucid's hardware; you'd get a real speedup. Eventually, Lucid will also enable multi-GPU configurations from different vendors (e.g. one NVIDIA GPU + one AMD GPU).
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