MSI 870A Fuzion review

Enabling the mainstream to mix ATI and Nvidia in multi-GPU setups

MSI 870A Fuzion
Nvidia and ATI cards can live together in harmony (dogs and cats still a lost cause, though)

TechRadar Verdict


  • +

    SLI support for AMD platform

  • +

    General board layout

  • +

    Offers the potential of mix and match graphics

  • +

    Decent price for a board with the Lucid technology


  • -

    Poor graphics performance in some games when using the Hydra technology

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One motherboard with any combination of graphics card. That's a hell of a selling point and MSI's 870A Fuzion is bringing it to the mainstream.

If you were designing your own dream motherboard, one feature that surely would find itself near the top of the list of features would be the ability to slap in any old pair of graphic cards regardless of architecture and get full multi-GPU support as if it was a pair of identical cards.

Well, the dream arrived in the form of Lucid's Hydra 200 chip, which first appeared on MSI's Big Bang Fuzion motherboard. It must be said that it didn't really set the world on fire, due to the combination of some early teething problems with the drivers and an eye-wateringly high enthusiast's price tag.

Credit to MSI for not slinking off and forgetting about the idea – what they did instead was to go back to the drawing board and return with two boards. There's the Intel-based P55A Fuzion and the MSI 870A Fuzion, our review board, based around AMD's AM3 socket.

This time, MSI has targeted the boards at the mainstream market, with price tags to match. In the case of the 870A Fuzion, this is thanks to the use of AMD's mainstream 870 Northbridge paired with the older SB710 Southbridge, which helps to keep the cost down in comparison with the latest 890FX/SB850 chipset combination.

Apart from the ability to run Nvidia and AMD boards together, the 870A Fuzion also has a feature list that ticks most of the boxes for a motherboard these days: support for AMD's Phenom II X6 processors, SATA 6Gbps, USB 3.0, DDR3 support and a host of overclocking features and utilities that come with a modern MSI motherboard.

The other significant thing about the Hydra chip, apart from the mix and match function, is the fact that it brings SLI support to AMD platforms, something that hasn't been available for quite some time.