When we benchmarked it last year, MSI's original Big Bang Fuzion motherboard left us with mixed feelings. The board and the integrated Lucid Hydra GPU load balancer worked as advertised, but Hydra multi-GPU performance left a little to be desired.
At Computex last week, MSI blamed Lucid for pushing to get a product out despite the immature status of its drivers, and it says much has improved since then. Purportedly, Hydra configs running the latest drivers now outperform native AMD CrossFire multi-GPU setups by 6-8%, and Lucid has added support for DirectX 11 and Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 400-series graphics cards.
Not only that, but MSI is going full steam ahead with Lucid-powered products. The firm plans a trio of surprisingly affordable boards featuring the load balancing chip. Among those will be the $159 P55A Fuzion for Intel processors and the $139 870A Fuzion, pictured below, for AMD CPUs:
MSI told us the 870A Fuzion will have an SB850 south bridge, but shortages will keep supply of SB850 chips tight until the end of the year. Consequently, MSI intends to offer a version of the board with the older SB710 south bridge and an even lower price tag of $125. You should start seeing that product in stores in mid-July.