Manufacturers these days go to extremes to bring a graphics card to the market that is unique. With that sentiment HIS is releasing a product with a bit of difference. Roughly a year and a half ago LUCID entered the market with what they claimed to be the revolution in multi-GPU (from different brands) technology, the LUCID Hydra solution.
It caused quite a stir in the market and motherboard manufacturers quickly jumped onto the bandwagon so as not to miss that trendy boat. Unfortunately, ever since the release, LUCID Hydra has been a drama with bad scaling, a lot of incompatibility, slow driver updates; really most reviewers have cursed the chipset and me personally, I'd like to see that Hydra solution 6 feet under.
As such we were a little surprised to see a Hydra chip being implemented on a graphics card. HIS decided to add that way too expensive Hydra chip onto their high-end graphics cards. And sure, the idea is sound, the implementation is cool, but what HIS has not foreseen is that Hydra is cursed.
We've been reviewing products from HIS for a long time now, it is one of the more reputable and known names in the industry that keeps on going with its formula: reference, IceQ and Turbo edition graphics cards. A little while ago they decided to release a somewhat custom edition of the Radeon HD 6970, to date the fastest GPU offering from AMD/ATI.
HIS took a blue colored PCB, plastered the R6970 GPU and two Gigs of memory on there along with a new model of the ICEQ cooler. Next to that they embedded that LUCID Hydra chip, allowing you to run say an NVIDIA graphics card alongside this card and in theory increase your game performance.
So we always give new solutions a chance, whether or not our previous experiences have been good or bad does not matter.
We'll test the card all by itself, and then install and activate LUCID Hydra (or MIX as HIS refers to the solution). We'll install a GeForce GTX 580 next to the Radeon 6970 and see where we end up performance scaling wise.
Let's have a peek and then head onwards into the review.
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