Cheap MSI Fuzion motherboards officially launched

You know those two affordable MSI motherboards with Lucid Hydra GPU load balancers we saw at Computex? Well, MSI has now formally launched the boards, revealing more details about their features in the process.

MSI calls the two models the P55A Fuzion and 870A Fuzion; in case it’s not immediately obvious, the former has a P55 chipset and supports Intel LGA1156 processors, while the latter has a 770 chipset and supports AMD Socket AM3 chips. The two designs otherwise look uncannily similar, with more or less identical I/O panel loadouts, lone USB 3.0 ports, and dual 6Gbps Serial ATA ports riding alongside six vanilla SATA ports. MSI found room on the P55 design for an extra 32-bit PCI slot, though.

Perusing MSI’s press release will tell you about some of the less obvious perks, like "military class materials" and some auto-overclocking goodies. However, the big selling point of these boards is Lucid’s Hydra chip, which enables multi-GPU configurations for "any two [AMD] or two NVIDIA graphics cards" using proprietary load-balancing technology.

The Hydra’s performance wasn’t all that inspiring when we looked at it last year, but MSI told us at Computex that performance has improved dramatically since then. Considering the prices we were quoted—$139 for the 870A Fuzion and $159 for the P55A Fuzion—MSI must see some mainstream appeal in these two motherboards.

Comments closed
    • jplayer01
    • 9 years ago

    Huh … 180 Euros for the AMD version on Amazon.de. What the …

    • internetsandman
    • 9 years ago

    Forgive me for my confusion….but why on earth is MSI using the lowest end last gen chipset for the AMD offering?

      • Rza79
      • 9 years ago

      AMD 870 last gen?

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 9 years ago

    I would totally drive fifty-something miles to bench-test one of those things. *ahem*

    • UberGerbil
    • 9 years ago

    Has anybody seen a technical article about what the Lucid stuff is actually doing? I read what was available when they came out of stealth mode but haven’t been keeping up since, so I don’t know if anyone has dug into it (or if they’ve disclosed more details themselves).

    • thermistor
    • 9 years ago

    This is niche…add $139 to the next gfx you want to buy and figure out that a single next gen card +$139 is still better than 1 next gen and 1 previous gen card.

    Add in potential execution/compatibility issues…

    For this to go mainstream with wide availability, Lucid will need to be cheap and easily implemented, like a firewire chip. I’m betting it’s neither.

      • UberGerbil
      • 9 years ago

      Or just integrated into the chipset (presumably by Intel, since they already have an investment and have no dog in the GPU fight)

    • Grigory
    • 9 years ago

    I still have a hard time believing Hydra wasn’t just vaporware but actually reached production and deployment. I am thrilled. 🙂

    • TechNut
    • 9 years ago

    Gah.. it’s MSI, I’ll pass.

    I’ve had a good number of MSI and ASUS boards die in the last couple of years on me (even with regulated power and decent power supplies). Those issues make me not want to touch them.

    I wish the days of when you could have a MB outlast a system would come back. I had some old Gigabyte boards that used to run 400Mhz Celeron’s that lasted for over 5 years. I’m lucky nowaday’s if I get 2 years, maybe3 max out of my MSI boards. ASUS I’m only getting 2 max! 🙁

    Cool concept for this kind of board though. Here’s hoping it will appear on someone else’ offerings.

    • freebird
    • 9 years ago

    I should have stated in my previous post that the article is incorrect in stating the motherboard is based on the 870 chipset according to MSi’s own website.

    And to answer my question from the 1st post about PCI-E lanes supported here is a good link for everyone (as long as it is correct. 😉

    §[< http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_AMD_Chipsets< ]§ and from §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_700_chipset_series< ]§ 770 * Codenamed RX780 [29], final product name revealed by ECS [30] * Single AMD processor configuration *[<* One physical PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, one PCIe 2.0 x4 slot and two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots, the chipset provides a total of 22 PCIe 2.0 lanes and 4 PCIe 1.1 for A-Link Express II solely in the Northbridge<]* * HyperTransport 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0 * AMD OverDrive * Energy efficient Northbridge design o 65 nm CMOS fabrication process manufactured by TSMC _[http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-phenom-ii-x6-1090t-890fx,2613-4.html<]§ Quote: "870 Likewise, the AMD 870 chipset boasts 22 PCI Express lanes as well. But because the value-oriented part doesn’t support CrossFireX, its single 16-lane graphics link is reserved for single-card configurations (and not divisible into a pair of x8 links). You won’t find an integrated GPU in this northbridge—it’s decidedly a discrete graphics-only value part. As with all of the other 8-series chipsets, AMD’s 870 employs the same 4 GB/s A-Link III interface with whichever southbridge motherboard vendors choose to pair it up with." So the only difference seems to be the A-Link II for the 770 running at 4 PCI-E v1.1 lanes = 1GB/s vs A-Link III for the 870 which Tom quotes above to be a 4GB/s link.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    Sweat!!! I really hope Hydra takes off.

      • hapyman
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah me too. This sounds like a really appealing idea and may help you harness some power from your older hardware when upgrading. I really want to see some new performance numbers though. Hope they’re right about improving.

    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    Fuzion. Not to be confused with /[

    • Fighterpilot
    • 9 years ago

    Not a bad price really.
    Do the 2 cards communicate via the Hydra chip solely or is the Crossfire ribbon still used?

      • henfactor
      • 9 years ago

      From what I understand, it does not need the SLI or Crossfire connector.

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