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.