MSI introduces two new Lucid Hydra boards

Lucid's GPU-uniting Hydra chip might have been lurking in the underground doldrums for the first few years, but it's now well and truly becoming a mainstream bit of silicon. So much so, in fact, that MSI has just unveiled two new motherboards that enable you to mix and match Nvidia and ATI GPUs.

The first is the 870A Fuzion, which we first had a glimpse of back in April. The AM3 motherboard features AMD's 870 chipset, although you'll get a different Southbridge depending on which version you buy. According to MSI, one version of the board will feature AMD's SB850 chip, while a cheaper version will feature the SB710 Southbridge.

Despite the choice of Southbridge, MSI says that both versions of the board will support USB 3 and 6Gb/sec SATA. The boards will also feature two 16-lane PCI-E graphics slots, into which you can slot either two Nvidia GPUs, two AMD GPUs or one of each.

Using Lucid's X-mode, the boards will be able to combine the power of an ATI and Nvidia GPU, although the limit of two slots will mean that you can't take advantage of MSI's new three-way Hydra features.

In addition to this, MSI has also revealed an equivalent board for Intel CPUs. The LGA1156-based P55A Fuzion also has a pair of 16-lane PCI-E graphics slots, into which you can put in pretty much any combination of Nvidia and AMD GPUs.

MSI first launched the good ship Hydra when it released the Big Bang Fuzion at the beginning of the year, and the momentum now appears to be building up. As well as the new MSI boards, Asus has also revealed that its forthcoming 890FX-based Crosshair IV Extreme will use a Lucid Hydra chip too, and with four graphics slots too.

In addition to this, Lucid has also just revealed a new scheme to help get as many driver bugs ironed out as possible. The company is seeking 50 enthusiasts to basically test Hydra into the ground, while offering the incentive of prizes, free games and intimate knowledge of all things Hydra-related. If you own a Hydra board and are interested in taking part, then check out the details here.

MSI expects the new motherboards to go on sale shortly after Computex at the end of this week, although the company told us that no UK pricing has been set yet.