Among many new motherboards being shown off by MSI at its Computex booth, there was one that particularly caught our eye. The 870A Fuzion uses AMDs 870 chipset so will accomodate AMDs latest CPUs but is otherwise a fairly mainstream board so doesn't have the crazy power circuitry, overclocking features, and enormous cooling systems we normally expect to find. What it does have, however, is a Lucid Hydra chip.
This chip enables graphics cards from both ATI and Nvidia to work together – as though they were in SLI or Crossfire – to improve performance and also brings with it an extra 16 PCI lanes for full-bandwidth SLI and Crossfire configurations. The result is a motherboard that can potentially offer stellar gaming performance and longevitiy (through graphics upgradeability) yet only costs £180. Seen above is an ATI Radeon HD 5770 working alongside an Nvidia GTS 250.
Obviously this isn't exactly bargain basement but with most of the other motherboards we've seen sporting Hydra chips being enthusiast models costing £300+, it seems to hit quite a sweet spot. As with most of MSI's other new motherboards, the 870A Fuzion sports (2x) USB 3.0 ports and SATA 6Gbps so all your bases are covered with regards new tech. With samples becoming available within a few weeks we hope to soon know if this solution actually holds up in the real world.