Ready For Prime Time?
Today’s benchmarks show how Lucid has continued to advance its hardware through improvements in software, expanding its list of compatible titles as it improves the performance in formerly-supported titles. But what it also shows is that some supposedly-supported titles don’t benefit in a noticeable way.
That puts us in a tough position. We want Lucid to succeed because we want its drivers to continue to improve. We want continuous driver improvement because we think the company has a great idea. What we don’t want is someone to buy the product expecting performance miracles, only to be disappointed.
Thus, while we’d like Lucid to sell as many of these things as it must to assure future success, we’re not sure you’re the customer who should buy just yet. Consider the benefits of this technology for each game you plan to use before making your decision, and feel free to look around for additional information on games we didn’t test. HydraLogix might still not be ready to take on the gaming market at large, but we’re sure a few users will find it a valuable technology while we continue to look forward to further development.
MSI’s P55A Fuzion is a good board in spite of Lucid’s teething problems, because it also supports SLI and CrossFire. That makes HydraLogix an added feature, as it should be. The biggest problem we have in recommending the board to a wide variety of buyers is that it costs more than similar products in a market where the money saved could eventually be put towards a properly-matched second graphics card. If that price difference isn’t a big deal to you, also consider that MSI doesn’t include the SLI bridge needed to properly support Nvidia's multi-GPU rendering technology, and that MSI’s most-recent Radeon graphics cards don’t include the CrossFire bridge also missing from the P55A Fuzion’s installation kit. Were MSI to add these two inexpensive accessories, it could make a much stronger argument for the value of this truly-flexible platform.
We do appreciate the fact that MSI listened to our initial feedback on its Big Bang Fuzion board--a platform that was priced far too high to attract customers with LGA 1156-based CPUs--and introduced this technology at much more palatable price points. We sat down with representatives from the company on multiple occasions to discuss where HydraLogix made the most sense, and that is unquestionably in the value segment, where upgrades (rather than outright replacements) are most likely. MSI has its ducks in a row. Now it's up to Lucid to match the performance and compatibility both AMD and Nvidia have had to work at for the past six years. Lucid's job is that much more complex because it's also getting both competing GPU vendors working together. But look how far the company's drivers have come in less than a year.