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ATI and Nvidia cards in one system: Lucid demo Hydra 200

Lucid's Hydra 200 release imminent.

Lucid's Hydra allows for this kind of fraternizing to take place. An Nvidia and ATI card in the same system. Eric Franklin/CNET

Last year I reportedon the Lucid Hydra 100. For details on what Hydra is and how it works, check that post.

This week Lucid is announcing an upgraded solution, the Hydra 200. Hydra allows two video cards to simultaneously be used in a single system.

Before clicking the Back button, yes I know Nvidia and ATI have been doing this for years with their SLI and Crossfire solutions, respectively.

The twist here is that the Lucid technology will allow you to mix and match both ATI and Nvidia cards. According to Lucid, you'll even be able to use cards from different manufacturers like EVGA and Sapphire. Lucid says that as long the cards are PCI-Express-compatible and support Direct X 9, they will work and provide an additive performance increase when paired together.

The first motherboard to implement the technology will be MSI's Big Bang in late October 2009, using Intel's P55 platform.

From there, we'll see how well it works out in the real world. With so many different configurations to test for, there are bound to be a few Lucid's testing team missed, as diligent as I'm sure they were.

Also, how much performance ncrease will you actually see? It had a demo PC running Bioshock and FEAR 2, but to be honest it was difficult to see a noticeable difference between using just one card or both.

It will be interesting to see how ATI and Nvidia respond to this as well, and can they get OEMs like Dell to adopt the technology?

The technology is exciting if it actually works in the real world and they can get enough support from manufacturers and OEMs. I guess we'll have a clearer picture in a few weeks when Big Bang drops.