For more than a year now we have been talking and hoping that Lucid's HYDRA technology would be the answer to many of our questions and complaints about multi-GPU computing. If you haven't read about the first iteration of the HYDRA technology in a motherboard, you should read our review of the MSI Big Bang Fuzion motherboard - the short story is that Lucid wants to create a hardware and software solution that will allow you to use NVIDIA and AMD GPUs of different types, as well as combine NVIDIA and AMD GPUs in the same system, to scale graphics and gaming performance. Even though the first iteration of the product wasn't as solid as we'd hoped, we still believe the technology shows promise if they can improve the drivers and iterate on a regular basis.
Regardless, tonight we saw something shown at GDC 2010 that was very interesting; using an NVIDIA GPU to scale a multi-monitor AMD-based Eyefinity gaming configuration. While we have been thinking that this combination would be possible with the HYDRA technology at its theoretical levels, this is the first time we have seen it in action.
The idea is pretty straight forward: because Windows 7 sees the multi-monitor setup as a single contiguous display from the AMD graphics card, the HYDRA driver can accelerate it regardless of the complexity of the driver and hardware on the AMD side. Even though this demo was using only a two monitor configuration, that was due to cabling confusion during setup and it will apparently have no problems accelerating 3 or even 6 display options.
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