Legit Reviews also got a chance to talk with Ken Brown (PR Manager for Platform Products [ION and SLI]) and Tom Peterson (Director of Technical Marketing) at NVIDIA about Lucid and what they think about HYDRA 200.
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?
Legit Reviews: For our readers that are gamers and enthusiasts is SLI still the best option for a multi-GPU solution? If so, why would you say this?
Legit Reviews: Lucid recently said that GPU frame rendering methods that are being used by both ATI and NVIDIA were primitive and that you are limited by AFR [Alternate Frame Rendering], SFR [Split Frame Rendering]. Is this true?
Legit Reviews: On paper, having two identical graphics cards in a system that do not depend on driver profiles for scaling would seem superior to an end user. This has always been a caveat of SLI when a particular game or demo has no out of the box profile. What makes SLI technology better than the Lucid Hydra solution in this situation?
Legit Reviews: Can you run PhysX or 3D Vision on a multi-GPU setup with a motherboard that runs Hydra 200?
Legit Reviews: If you can would the experience be the same as on an SLI licensed motherboard?
Legit Reviews: NVIDIA recently disabled a feature in your Windows 7 drivers that would allow you to run an ATI Radeon HD series graphics card and then a secondary NVIDIA GeForce graphics card as a dedicated PhysX GPU. Why was this done and will we ever see support for this opened up down the road?
Legit Reviews: Lucid said that with their Hydra 200 solution that you could mix and match cards for load balancing and then have a third card that was dedicated for PhysX. If this is correct wouldn’t it make sense to re-enable that feature in the drivers?
Legit Reviews: When it comes to multi-GPU systems NVIDIA allows you to run SLI on identical series cards no matter who the manufacturer is. ATI on the other hand allows users to do the same, but also allows users of CrossFire to mix and match different cards within a particular series. For example you can run an ATI Radeon HD 4890 and a Radeon HD 4850 in CrossFire together if you like. With Lucid coming to the market will we see NVIDIA open any of the restrictions in order to support more configurations?
Legit Reviews: Is the Lucid Hydra being certified for SLI?
Legit Reviews: Lucid informed us at IDF that motherboards featuring the Hydra 200 ASIC (chip) wouldn’t add anything to the cost of the motherboard and hinted that the NVIDIA SLI licensing fee wouldn’t have to be paid. What implications does this have as far as SLI licensing is concerned since technically it is not SLI technology?
Legit Reviews: Intel’s venture capital arm invested in Lucid Logix and helped pave the way for their product reach the market. Would you speculate that Intel’s support of Lucid Logix was done to disrupt the GPU market before they could introduce Larrabee?
Legit Reviews: Lastly, the last time a company tried to make a move in the GPU market it was AGEIA with PhysX. NVIDIA eventually purchased that company shortly after their products hit store shelves. Does NVIDIA have any interest in Lucid Logix?