Lucid Hydra 200 chip tested

Hardware Roundup

THE ANSWER to the million dollar question that’s been preoccupying the geek hivemind, that is, “Will Lucid’s Hydra 200 work?” has finally been answered. That’s a definite Yes. PC Perspective has run the first benchmarks on the Hydra system using a narrow combination of graphics cards from both main vendors and has come up with some very interesting numbers.

Although “linear” is pushing it as there’s *always* overhead to be factored in, a mix’n’match of ATI and Nvidia graphics cards actually output some +50% of the full performance. ATI and Nvidia execs are sure to have gotten shivers down their spines, or as they put it:

“We welcome the opportunity to … (fill in random marketing babble about how new tech/competition is so good and will help gamers and the market)”.

A few bugs aside (drivers aren’t yet final) let’s face the awkward truth here, there are two ways to look at this:

1) You want extra performance by bunging in an old graphics card and getting the extra FPS satisfaction, or;

2) You want extra performance in same-vendor, multiGPU situations that generate better than SLI of CrossFire performance.

In the first case it sounds a bit strange that you’d buy a whole new mobo to accomplish this. In the second case – the more plausible one – it’s simply a matter of disregarding motherboard costs and focusing on performance gains, making it a real enthusiast solution. You could argue neither makes sense. What makes sense is someone snapping up Lucid’s IP, quick-ish like.

Don’t miss out on the action.

Corsair’s bold move beyond PC memory has produced some notable examples like the H50 Hydro Series CPU cooling system. Tweaknews puts it through its paces. Sure it’s only slightly better performing than a high-end air cooler, but here you get the added benefit of quasi-silent running. Periscope down!

TweakTown takes the Seagate Savvio 10K.3 RPM SAS 2.0 enterprise HDD in its 300GB variant. Chris did his testing with both integrated and discrete controllers, but the Savvio performed equally well under both (ie: don’t waste money on a discrete controller). Get it here.

There’s a Mexican standoff over at Anandtech. Evga, Asus and Gigabyte P55 motherboards face each other off in a Overclocking cook-off. All we can say is FTW!

Roccat peripherals include some of the fiercest mice on the block. The Kova is the newest member to Roccat’s line-up and you can find it reviewed at XS Reviews. It’s the most basic of gaming mice, it seems, and lacks many of the features trigger-happy gamers desire (macro/keymapping, realtime DPI switching). Read about it here.

Hardware Canucks has a massive WD Caviar Black 2TB HDD. The Black series delivers performance, capacity (as opposed to the Green version) and value (when compared to a SSD). Although it costs much more than your standard HDD, it is still unbeatable in terms of $/GB when compared to SSDs. Give it a look.

Hexus looks at the Inno 3D GT220 graphics card. As we’ve mentioned before, the GT220 should make a fine, cheap, PhysX card on someone’s system if you’re into that kind of thing. Otherwise it’s another one of those cards that the press gratuitously labels as HTPC-class hardware. Well, it’s not. It’s full height, it’s got a fan on top and it’s the last thing we’d put in our HTPC.

HardOCP goes over the details of DX 11 benchmarking using the Unigine’s Heaven software. Good stuff from an Eastern European developer who has done its best to build an all-in-one simple DX 11, 10, 9 and Open GL benchmark. Of course, the question remains, only one vendor is marketing DX 11 right now…

Without making an open statement, Asus has slowly been making ground on their laptop competitors by offering a steady flow of gaming notebooks. Case in point, the Asus G51j, a 15-incher with a Core i7 720QM processor and GTX 260M graphics that gobbles frames like mad. It isn’t too expensive either. Hot Hardware has one.

Via is by far one of the most underestimated companies in the hardware business. They come up with excellent ideas and even follow-through with developing silicon, but ultimately fail to market the right stuff. The Artigo A2000 is one perfect example of this, a NAS appliance based on Via’s C7-D processor. It makes for a cheap NAS where you can plug a Linux server.

Still on the subject of storage, these plug device that you stick on a power outlet really bring out the geek in us. The Ctera Cloudplug offers storage serving with eSATA and USB 2.0 host support. Nice GUI, simple enough to use, the price might be hard to swallow.

RunCore isn’t the most famous of SSD vendors, but as SSDs all come the same limited number of ODMs, well… it’s an opportunity to break into an otherwise incipient market. Test Freaks manhandles the RunCore 64GB Pro IV miniPCIe SSD. A great boost for your Netbook, we’re sure. S|A

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