MSI Big Bang First Look @ [H]

FrgMstr

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So we finally took delivery of the first MSI Big Bang motherboard that MSI would allow us to put our hands on. Below are some pictures of the retail product. Also, we have included a shot of the intro line on the Lucid Hydra setup page. A full scan of the document is included as well. Testing is just starting today.

Notes of interest are as follows.

"The HYDRA engine scales performance of multi-GPU configuration from any single GPU vendor and will scale relative to their individual performance (the GPUs do not need to be identical). The intertesting thing there is "from any single GPU vendor." Then it does go on to document some "X-Mode"/"Multi vendor" GPU configurations using both NVIDIA and AMD GPUs avaible in Windows 7 only. You have to use NVIDIA G90/G200 GPUs with AMD HD4XXX series of GPUs. No support beyond that currently, and quite frankly I am going to suggest you will not see much support beyond that. On the final brown colored page you will note "Game Qualified" games. Under X-Mode we see only 5 actual games tested to support Lucic Hydra usage models.

MSI has now informed us that this information is under embargo so the pictures have been removed. I am going to let the thread remain online.
 
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Ehren8879

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I'll admit that I had doubts about the Hydra technology ever going anywhere. I'm very eager to read this review.
 

anthrex

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So it won't work anything besides those cards? That's pretty lame and makes this pointless
 

The Gonz

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This seems like a good starting point for this technology.

Say you have a 9800 GT. You can get another 9800 GT for vanilla SLI but why when a GTX 285 is so much faster. Then you need to find something to do with your 9800GT. Sell it? Scrap it? Etc.

At least now you can use it for some extra FPS. Moving forward the list of workable cards should grow unless Nvidia and AMD put a hardware block in place.

I think the key behind this technology is that it makes upgrading to a new video card MUCH less painful as you can keep your old card (within reason) and use it for a boost in performance.

I hope they sort out the issues quickly. This could be a game changing tech.
 

vengence

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So it doesn't work with Modern Warfare 2, it doesn't work with Crysis, it doesn't work with Arma II. But good thing you'll be able to use it on Age of Empires III! I didn't think I'd ever be able to run age of empires III at max settings but now I can! What is on that list that you can't max out with a single card these days?
 

nsx241

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You know, the only reason I never went SLI or XFire was because I hated waiting for updated drivers to actually profile new games. I thought Hydra would be the solution for me, but then I found out that hydra itself would need driver updates to keep up with the latest games which frankly kills any appeal for me.

I guess I still have to stick to single gpu's for the foreseeable future.
 

magoo

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Awesome concept. Thanks for the preview.
I hope the software can catch up and enable more games in "X" mode.

So far it looks like you can benchmark your brains out, but that's about it.

Still it would be pretty cool to see a GTX 285 and a HD 4890 running in the same system.

Can't wait for the full scoop.:D
 

vengence

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You know, the only reason I never went SLI or XFire was because I hated waiting for updated drivers to actually profile new games. I thought Hydra would be the solution for me, but then I found out that hydra itself would need driver updates to keep up with the latest games which frankly kills any appeal for me.

I guess I still have to stick to single gpu's for the foreseeable future.

Waiting for drivers really isn't an issue anymore. Most everything SLI works out of the box with. And there is a 3rd party utility for ATI cards now to create the profile.
 

cditty

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Is this the same Lucid that makes digital clock generators? I just bought a Lucid master clock for one of the radio stations at work.
 

weuntouchable

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Anyone who would buy this board for this technology is probably going to be hugely disappointed when Nvidia inevitably locks their drivers out of using it. Nvidia has shown with the ATI & Nvidia Physx card driver lock that they will cripple technology if it isn't 100% Nvidia cards for graphics.
 

Gorankar

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Anyone who would buy this board for this technology is probably going to be hugely disappointed when Nvidia inevitably locks their drivers out of using it. Nvidia has shown with the ATI & Nvidia Physx card driver lock that they will cripple technology if it isn't 100% Nvidia cards for graphics.


Both Nv and Amd said they would not lock it out. I don't have the interview links on hand right now. Ati/AMD may keep their word, they have always been pretty loose with Crossfire. Nv on the other hand has been locking everything down since SLI in the 6800 generation, so I am not really sure we can expect them to keep their word should this product prove any real competition to SLI.

I honestly do not believe this product will out perform SLI/Crossfire. By now you would think that Nv/AMD know how to get the most out of their own multi gpu solutions. I doubt a 3rd party is going to do it better than they will with their own damn chips.

Multi vendor gpu support is interesting, but seems like it would only be a financially good idea in only the most limited of situations, especially with only 5 games currently supporting it. Selling old card and buying a better card still seems a better idea most of the time.
 

FrgMstr

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So basically it has a LONG way to go, if it goes?

When will we get a full review? (ETA)

Dunno yet, don't know if it really works.

So it won't work anything besides those cards? That's pretty lame and makes this pointless

Maybe.

Kyle - are you allowed to confirm any specs yet? Presumably this board does support normal Crossfire? If it does, and the price is reasonable then I think that may well make it worth taking a risk on being an early adopter of Hydra.

It is a P55 board, should work with CF and SLI no issue. I have the Hydra disabled right now and stress testing the board through our normal channels and all looks OK.

"Reasonable price...." Hmmm.

Both Nv and Amd said they would not lock it out. I don't have the interview links on hand right now.

Please prove this statement when you get a chance as I need these links.
 

JokerCPoC

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From what I've read about this MSI motherboard, If You have a 4870 X2 or a GTX295 then this motherboard is not for You as there is no support for dual gpu cards, yet(maybe or maybe not). :D
 

Ualdayan

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Both Nv and Amd said they would not lock it out. I don't have the interview links on hand right now. Ati/AMD may keep their word, they have always been pretty loose with Crossfire. Nv on the other hand has been locking everything down since SLI in the 6800 generation, so I am not really sure we can expect them to keep their word should this product prove any real competition to SLI.

If you're thinking of the same interview I remember reading here's what nVidia actually said:

"Legit Reviews: Scan-Line Interleave was introduced to the consumer market in 1998 in the Voodoo2 line of video cards. NVIDIA later bought out 3dfx (maker of the Voodoo2 line) and announced the Scalable Link Interface (SLI) in 2004. That makes SLI fairly 'old' technology compared to the Lucid Hydra 200 solution that was announced this past week at IDF. Some journalists have gone as far as saying that this is the death of SLI. Does NVIDIA have any concerns with this new technology or is SLI safe in the long run?

nVidia: SLI is a proven and stable technology that accelerates more than 700 PC games. We have not tested Hydra yet and can’t comment on its technical merits. If it substantially improves gaming for consumers then we all win."

Sure you could take that to mean they wouldn't block it (after all if they block it, then it isn't exactly a 'win' for consumers is it?) but it isn't an outright "We won't block it".
 

Sovereign

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Great concept. Now, if this could go mainstream-ish... Even if one assumes that the kinks are worked out to the point where you're just dropping GPUs in without regard for brand or line (midrange or better, let's be honest dropping a 9800GT with a 9300GT isn't going to do much), I'm guessing it will be a more affordable version of SLI/CrossFire.

I hope it works, but until it makes it out of the "interesting tech toy" stage, I'm not holding my breath.
 

Gorankar

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If you're thinking of the same interview I remember reading here's what nVidia actually said:

"Legit Reviews: Scan-Line Interleave was introduced to the consumer market in 1998 in the Voodoo2 line of video cards. NVIDIA later bought out 3dfx (maker of the Voodoo2 line) and announced the Scalable Link Interface (SLI) in 2004. That makes SLI fairly 'old' technology compared to the Lucid Hydra 200 solution that was announced this past week at IDF. Some journalists have gone as far as saying that this is the death of SLI. Does NVIDIA have any concerns with this new technology or is SLI safe in the long run?

nVidia: SLI is a proven and stable technology that accelerates more than 700 PC games. We have not tested Hydra yet and can’t comment on its technical merits. If it substantially improves gaming for consumers then we all win."

Sure you could take that to mean they wouldn't block it (after all if they block it, then it isn't exactly a 'win' for consumers is it?) but it isn't an outright "We won't block it".

Yeah, that was one of them, and you are correct, it does not say definitively that they will or will not. I may have been double speaked, and lead around the bush, into thinking Nv "said" they were intending to block. I already said I think they will block regardless of what they say, both in this thread and the older Hydra thread on this board.
 

amdturtle

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nVIDIA:


Most importantly:
Nvidia Spokesman Ken Brown said:
"...we welcome Lucid to the market and have no intention of blocking them with our drivers, etc."

As for AMD, you can very well ascertain they will not block the technology. Open standards, remember? There is NO precedent for it, and plenty to the otherwise. AMD is fine with SLI on their own chipsets, and it even worked until nVIDIA locked it down.

As for the cards supported, makes sense to me that no cards supporting DX11 could be mixed with DX10 cards. I always wondered how they were going to handle that. Locking it to DX10 or just not support them? Judging by the fact they haven't finished getting DX11 at all straightened out yet (judging by lack of 5000-series support?), I guess I'll keep wondering.

As for drivers, Lucid has mentioned most games work similarly and should work. If there is an anomaly, often it is an over-riding problem occurring in more than one game. If they fix said issue, it should fix it in every game. Also, they've mentioned that most coding was done (until recently) towards Vista. On-going it'll be Windows 7. This baby is fresh, and perhaps too early out the oven for such a relatively small company/driver team...Give the software a short while to mature and I bet there will be nary an issue.

That being said, I don't expect miracles in scaling, but I don't think that's it's niche...I agree it's more towards keeping your old card and using it to your advantage. Also, to quote David Chen, "It looks expensive". It's certainly not my bag, but I think one has to go into it realistically. This could be great. It may be great soon. Still, it might not be great YET.
 
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N2OInferno

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I'm looking forward to the review. It's a great idea on paper. We'll see how it works out.. I just saw the price of one of the boards and that immediately gave me second thoughts.
 

technogiant

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First off I think the "game list" only applies to when you are using Hydra in "X mode" ie with mixed vendor graphics cards and will work with any game in a non mixed vendor mode.

The big spoiler for me is that it does not support DX11 or ATi 5000 series cards.....really what is the point in "upgrading" to a mobo that doesn't support the latest software/hardware.
 
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magoo

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care to share?

Over on PCPerspective, there's a review of the BigBang Triple SLI board.
No Lucid technology, but a pretty similar board and the price was $359.
Essentially the same board from EVGA is $339 if that 20 dollars makes you think twice.:D
 

CJ1

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First off I think the "game list" only applies to when you are using Hydra in "X mode" ie with mixed vendor graphics cards and will work with any game in a non mixed vendor mode.

The big spoiler for me is that it does not support DX11 or ATi 5000 series cards.....really what is the point in "upgrading" to a mobo that doesn't support the latest software/hardware.

DX11 support will be added in a future driver from Lucid.
 

vengence

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Over on PCPerspective, there's a review of the BigBang Triple SLI board.
No Lucid technology, but a pretty similar board and the price was $359.
Essentially the same board from EVGA is $339 if that 20 dollars makes you think twice.:D

lol. It's even worse than I thought. Yeah, I think most people would be much better served buying a 200$ X58 or P55 and and spending an extra 150-200$ on graphics cards than buying this POS. Add in selling your old graphics card for 50-100$ your talking 200-300$ more graphics cards. What a joke.
 

vengence

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First off I think the "game list" only applies to when you are using Hydra in "X mode" ie with mixed vendor graphics cards and will work with any game in a non mixed vendor mode.
Look at the pics again. There is a list for Nvidia cards, ATI cards, and then mix. It only works with these games.

The big spoiler for me is that it does not support DX11 or ATi 5000 series cards.....really what is the point in "upgrading" to a mobo that doesn't support the latest software/hardware.
It is pretty silly. This whole thing is quickly becoming a joke.
 

magoo

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Look at the pics again. There is a list for Nvidia cards, ATI cards, and then mix. It only works with these games.

It is pretty silly. This whole thing is quickly becoming a joke.

You are correct. The list is pretty short and not much recently released.

I would think that the big advantage here would be to used a very new card and an older card.......say a HD 5870 and a GTX 8800..........if you are restricted to the last generation of cards, it IS sort of futile to buy a MB supporting the latest CPU and memory.

But, as I said earlier.....at least you can run benchmarks all day long.:eek:
 

Hornet

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Its an interesting technology, but with that list of compatible games, it clearly isn't ready yet for the market, IMO.

I hope they can significantly improve it soon.
 

CJ1

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Look at the pics again. There is a list for Nvidia cards, ATI cards, and then mix. It only works with these games.

It is pretty silly. This whole thing is quickly becoming a joke.

The list states "Verified by Lucid". It's not an extensive list. :)
 

CJ1

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Remind me again why I am going to spend money on something they won't even say works?

I've played with it a few weeks ago here in the office. To my surprise it actually worked. Yes, I was just as sceptical! :) The hardware is ready, but we're just very dependent on drivers from Lucid.

But even without the Hydra chip we created a high quality mainboard. The same goes for Big Bang Trinergy; even without NF200 it's a great board with a lot of features and extras. PC Perspective and Guru3D seem to be very impressed by it and Fuzion is very similar to Trinergy except for that one special little chip onboard.
 

vengence

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I've played with it a few weeks ago here in the office. To my surprise it actually worked. Yes, I was just as sceptical! :) The hardware is ready, but we're just very dependent on drivers from Lucid.

But even without the Hydra chip we created a high quality mainboard. The same goes for Big Bang Trinergy; even without NF200 it's a great board with a lot of features and extras. PC Perspective and Guru3D seem to be very impressed by it and Fuzion is very similar to Trinergy except for that one special little chip onboard.

From your post you clearly work for MSI. Forgive me if I don't belive the fox about the chickens.
 
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