NVIDIA Optimus Lands on Desktops

By on April 26th, 2011 07:28 GMT

It looks like the need for switchable graphics technologies was high enough on the desktop market that NVIDIA decided to adapt its Optimus technology to work on motherboards based on the latest Intel chipsets.

As end-users know, pretty much every processor belonging to Intel's and even AMD's most recent series have their own integrated graphics.

While said graphics aren't overly strong, they do remove the need for add-in-boards and, in the case of laptops, discrete solutions if the machines aren't intended for anything visually heavy.

There is also the issue of which graphics a PC uses at any given time, and it looks like desktops are now part of this problem.

The Virtu technology from LucidLogix has already been introduced, it being a software that lets any add-in-card and GPU-equipped chips work together.

More specifically, the program automatically swaps between the built-in and add-in graphics, depending on workload.

It looks like NVIDIA doesn't want to be left out of this arena, as stated by a certain, recent report.

Apparently, the Optimus Technology, which has been allowing notebooks to switch between CPU and discrete GPUs for months, will be available to desktops starting in June, 2011, under the name of Synergy.

The unveiling should take place during Computex and will actually come a fairly short time after LucidLogix Virtu itself makes its debut (next month, May 2011).

Any H67 and Z68 motherboard should be compatible with the technology, except the Z68 models with no display outputs (Gigabyte has some). The main difference from Virtu is that only NVIDIA video controllers will be supported.

On the flip side, no hardware tweaks will be needed and the feature will actually be available free of charge (Virtu needs a licensing fee).

As always, the purpose of the technology is to minimize power consumption by only activating the graphics adapter when required. Both GeForce and Quadro series will be supported.

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NVIDIA desktop boards get Optimus
   NVIDIA desktop boards get Optimus