Now that we know how the 870A Fuzion will perform when run as a single GPU system, we need to see if the Fuzion side of the house is worth the price of admission. After all, that is one of the major selling points of the system (running dual NVIDIA GPUs on the board).
But simply getting an SLI replacement on an AMD system does not cover what Fuzion is all about. As we have mentioned before, there are three modes for Fuzion. There is A Mode - which is dual AMD based GPUs, N Mode - dual NVIDIA GPUs and the one that made Fuzion famous; X-Mode or mixed mode. Each of these modes offer different levels of performance gain and can help to deliver a different type of performance boost.
For our testing here we are going to dive right in and look at the X-Mode performance. We are going to stick within the MSI family for now and will be playing around with an MSI R5870 Lighting and an MSI N465GTX Twin Frozr. Shall we see what kind of results we get?
The system we used for testing today was identical to the one used for the basic testing, with the exception of the GPUs we used. As we'd just mentioned, for our X-Mode testing we went with an MSI N465GTX Twin Frozr and an MSI R5870 Lightning. These two cards represent a good division of tech and of course are both DX11. This means that there should be no issues with our DX11 game testing.
What will be interesting to find out is if there are any issues with the new NVIDIA drivers and PhysX. If the drivers block PhysX from working we will know it at once. It will also be interesting to find out what happens with each card running as the primary GPU. According to some of the initial claims from Lucid, the Fuzion (usually called the Hydra chip) will dynamically determine which GPU renders what for the best performance gain. This test will find out if that is true for X-Mode.
We will run each card as a stand-alone with Fuzion disabled and then with the other card added in. In our graphs below the Fuzion setups are labelled A and N. These represent when the AMD GPU is primary and when the NVIDIA GPUs is in the driver seat.
Enabling Fuzion is simple; insert the secondary card, install the most current driver for that GPU, then install the most current Fuzion driver from MSI's website. Once that is complete you will have Fuzion enabled and running.
Fuzion, like SLI and Crossfire has to be associated with the game in question. Although there is quite a list by default, you can still add in new games and tests by browsing to where the .exe is in the system (many times you will also need to add the engine .exe as well). Fortunately for us all of the games and tests we use were listed and we did not have to add anything into the mix and try to see if it would work.
Remember that this is only X-Mode for now. We will get to the AMD and NVIDIA dual GPU performance in an upcoming article. For now, let's dive in and get to work.