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Dual Graphics Technology

It is not only the opportunity to overclock the integrated graphics core that makes Llano processors a good choice for the entry-level gaming systems. A great advantage of the Socket FM1 platform is the AMD Dual Graphics technology, which allows using CrossfireX technology to combine the potential of the graphics accelerator integrated into the processor with the external graphics card. This technology works for all 6000-series add-on graphics cards and is very efficient if you are using a graphics accelerator, which performance is comparable to that of the integrated Radeon HD 6550D. As a result, if you add an inexpensive graphics card to your Socket FM1 system with a CPU featuring integrated graphics core, you will end up with a pretty decent graphics sub-system.

For example, the manufacturer recommends to pair their AMD A8 processors with Radeon HD 6670, HD 6570 or HD 6450. In case of faster graphics accelerators, you will hardly be able to boost your performance because the synchronization with the integrated Radeon HD 6550D graphics core will slow down the external graphics card, instead of speeding it up. However, if you maintain the balance as recommended, then AMD promises about 45% increase in graphics performance compared with a stand-alone card. The manufacturer refers to a system using a combination of integrated and external graphics as to Radeon HD 6600D2.

Of course, this technology has a few weak spots, too. For example, Dual Graphics works only in DirectX 10 or DirectX 11 modes, and in DirectX 9 or OpenGL the performance will drop to the level of the slowest GPU in your system. But overall it is very interesting to be able to combine the integrated and external graphics and to be able to use the integrated graphics core as intended even if there is an external graphics accelerator in your system. In other words, when putting together an inexpensive gaming rig, Dual Graphics technology allows you to significantly improve the price-to-graphics performance ratio of your system.

Using Dual Graphics is very simple. You just install an additional graphics card into your AMD A8/A6/A4 based system, but appoint the integrated GPU as your primary graphics adapter in the mainboard BIOS. After the operating system has booted, it finds two graphics accelerators, so the only thing left to do at that point is to enable Dual Graphics core in the graphics driver.

Note that in this case AMD recommends connecting the monitors to the external graphics card, which should ensure higher overall performance and will allow switching to the faster external graphics card in those situations when the Dual Graphics mode is not supported. However, you should keep in mind that the system with two graphics accelerators considers the integrated graphics core to be a primary one by default and therefore displays the image using only integrated graphics resources before the driver boots. Therefore, you should connect the monitor to the external graphics accelerator only at the final stage of the system setting once the mainboard BIOS options have been configured accordingly and he operating system with all the drivers has been successfully installed.

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