MSI P55a Fuzion Review
For our 3D benchmarks we'll leave the GD85 at home and concentrate on the Fuzion. We will be running with a single GTX480 at stock and overclocked speeds, and also testing the Lucid chip out by combining the Asus GTX480 with a XFX 5870 XXX to see if the chip really can do all that is claimed.
Wow. I think it's fair to say the Lucid HYDRA on the MSI P55a Fuzion really does exactly what it claims. We'd expect to see larger overheads from the Hybrid setup than we'd see from a pure CrossfireX or SLI arrangement, mainly due to the need to get two different drivers to talk to each other and every CPU instruction being passed through the Lucid chip first. Even allowing for that it's clear that the benefits are enormous. The maximum frame-rate nearly goes off the chart and the average frame-rate is almost double that of the single card.
Pushing the cards harder by implementing 8xAA actually exaggerates the difference the extra card makes. The stock and overclocked GTX480 start to close up at the GPU becomes the limiting factor at these extreme settings, but with the 5870 in place too we see nearly double the average frame-rate.
3D Mark Vantage
Vantage is very sensitive to any changes because it's such a worldwide standard benchmark and so needs to demonstrate a result of even the smallest adjustment to available performance. Still when we compare the results of our twin setup to the results we obtained in our recent Gigabyte UD9 test it's clear how powerful this P55a Fuzion is. A single GTX480 is 3, THREE, points behind the score we obtained on the UD9, and using the 5870 in Hybrid mode we're only 2000 points behind the score from a pure GTX480 SLI setup.
Moving to High settings the single 480 is 26 points behind the X58 based UD9 and again we see a drop of 2000 points when we have two cards. Regardless of how it compares to the much more expensive board, we can see how brilliant this Fuzion is. 22000 points in a 3D Mark Vantage High is great in anyones book.
Finally we wanted to test one of the HYDRA compatible games we have, and what would be better than Crysis? We really wanted to push the system hard and so we ramped everything up to Enthusiast and included 8 times Anti-Aliasing. An image quality that would have had even the greatest systems playing a slide-show last year.
Understandably the Hybrid twin card setup doesn't give quite the performance boost we saw above, but this is less about the difference between the single and twin card, and more that a) it works and b) we get an average of 45FPS even at this insane settings.