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The demo that we were shown behind closed doors was of course an MSI Big Bang motherboard that was running Windows 7 and ATI Radeon HD 4890 and GeForce GTX 260 graphics cards at the same time with both cards being load balanced. Notice that the Lucid HYDRA 200 load balancing solution has no interconnects, bridges, external dongles or adapters that are needed. Both cards were running fine and we were able to change which card had the monitor output on it from the Windows 7 desktop, which was pretty slick. Lucid gave us a chance to try out PC Game titles F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin and Bioshock to see what the future of scalable graphics looks like with the Hydra 200. We must admit that we were fairly impressed with what we saw as the technology appeared to be working without any issues on these two game titles...
The HD 5870 already measures in at an unheard of 11″ long, bigger than what a lot of case manufacturer’s have budgeted for (standard spacing is 10.5″). Images obtained this morning seem to depict that the x2 version could be even bigger!
While it is difficult to get an accurate length just from pictures, with a second die , it would be nearly impossible to squeeze it into the same sized PCB as the 5870. From our basic visual calculations, the card appears to be extended by at least 1″ – 1.5″, giving it a total footprint of an estimated 12″-12.5 inches long. Best of luck fitting this behemoth into any mid sized tower, or even a smaller full tower.
This multi-GPU beast more appropriately known as Radeon HD 5870 X2 was shown in a meeting room running CryTek’s latest CryEngine 3 development build at very smooth framerates. More specifically, the engine was running at 1920x1200 with AA turned off (as CryEngine has never needed manual AA) and the Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) rendering technique was significantly more pronounced than in Crysis and Crysis Warhead.
While the enthusiasts are getting crazy over the Radeon HD 5870 and Radeon HD 5850 cards, AMD keeps up the hype by showcasing us a machine fitted with a Hemlock graphics card. Due to launch later this year in Nov-Dec, a Hemlock card has two "Cypress" ASICs on it and it is priced below US$500.
We're not going to blabber on too much here, because we're sure you don't want to read about us having two HD 5870s. You just want to know what happens when we put those two HD 5870s into the one system and run our flurry of benchmarks.
We loved the HD 5870 in single form and we love it even more now. CrossFire manages to scale extremely well and if this is an idea of what we can be expecting from the HD 5870 X2, then NVIDIA had better be worried! Once companies like Sapphire start attacking the model with new cooling and overclocks, it's only going to get better for the model.
Intel has given the first ever public demonstration of its long-awaited Larrabee graphics system.
"Larrabee gives you a fully programmable rendering pipeline. So you can use DirectX, or OpenGL - or your own pipeline."
"These reflections here are just ten lines of code," he stated. "To do something like this on a conventional GPU would be really quite painful."
Developed by LucidLogix and dubbed HYDRA, the technology was set to revolutionise multi-GPU graphics by eliminating the need for specific, limited driver support from either ATI or NVIDIA in the form of CrossFireX or SLI, respectively. Rather, sitting in-between the DirectX API and graphics cards, Lucid employed a manufacturer-agnostic chip and associated software that latched on to the PCIe bus to mete out the necessary data to two-, three-, and four-card combinations.
So, a year or so later, LucidLogix is back with a newer HYDRA 200 chip. This time around, however, the company has leveraged the support of a tier-one motherboard vendor, and we'll be seeing the HYDRA-powered board in a few weeks' time.
There are several key features in DirectX 11 that will make graphics on the screen look closer to reality. Tessellation is used to increase the polygon count in an image. The more polygons, the more realistic the image will look. Gone will be the days of blocky looking characters as the polygon count will increase significantly with the next generation of DirectX 11 hardware.
Multithreaded rendering will allow Direct3D processes to run across multiple CPU cores. Most games are using dual core CPUs, but multithreaded rendering will make gaming on triple and quad cores finally worth the cost. A faster processing pipeline and increased scaling are only some of the benefits.
DirectCompute allows access to the shader cores and pipeline. It allows for non-proprietary physics implementations, which some open-source physics projects are looking to take advantage of. Video transcoding will also take a significant leap due to access to the many processors on a modern GPU.
As far as AMD+Pixelux announcement go, there isn't exactly much to be discussed - Pixelux will work closely with AMD in order to push OpenCL CPU+GPU acceleration of its Digital Molecular Matter Engine, and the platform of choice is AMD Opteron with ATI Radeon 5800 series and FirePro graphics cards.