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Despite of hype, Nvidia Corp.’s Hybrid SLI technology that can reduce power consumption of high-end multi-GPU systems as well as improve 3D graphics performance on entry-level computers with integrated graphics core (IGP) has several serious drawbacks that are likely to prevent the current implementation from going into systems of serious gamers or professionals.

Nvidia’s new Hybrid SLI technology has two modes that target different applications and usage models. The HybridPower mode switches off discrete graphics core or cores and uses only integrated graphics engine when high performance is not needed, thus, cutting power. The GeForce Boost mode make integrated graphics processor (IGP) assist discrete graphics processing unit (GPU) and boost performance when it is required. In both cases computer monitor has to be plugged to video output of mainboard’s IGP.

Apparently, the first implementation of Hybrid SLI technology not only does not support multi-monitor output capability, but also does not support dual-link DVI output, which means that such a system cannot support 30” high-end displays with resolution of 2560x1600.

Multi-monitor support is crucial for business and professional customers, who utilize two or sometimes even more displays to simultaneously access necessary information with their eyes without necessity to switch windows. In fact, multi-GPU SLI technology itself, designed strictly to boost graphics performance for gaming also does not feature multi-monitor capability, but since not many gamers require it, this was hardly a substantial disadvantage.

Perhaps, a more important drawback in the current implementation of Hybrid SLI technology is the lack of support of dual-link DVI output. The latter is needed to transfer data to monitors that have resolution of higher than 1920x1200 at 60Hz, which means that owners of high-end 30” monitors are not able to use native 2560x1600 at 60Hz resolution in case they use Nvidia Hybrid SLI system. Given that many gamers who utilize high-end graphics cards or 2-way or 3-way multi-GPU SLI systems also have 30” screens, despite of promises, will not be able to reduce power consumption of their systems by using Hybrid SLI technology.

When asked for a comment on the matter, Drew Henry, general manager of media and communication processor business at Nvidia Corp. said that didn’t “see the first generation of this product as an all encompassing solution”, but saw it “as an ongoing development process”, reports Bit-tech web-site. Mr. Henry confirmed that there was still “a hell of a lot of development work to be done on Hybrid SLI” and implied that it might be 24 months before Nvidia is truly happy with this technology. Launching the Hybrid SLI now will allow Nvidia to get additional feedback from end-users and design future implementations without the drawbacks.

Nvidia did not unveil any technology-related reasons that prevented it from implementing multi-monitor support as well as dual-link DVI output.

Discussion

Comments currently: 6
Discussion started: 01/23/08 08:27:18 PM
Latest comment: 12/05/10 05:41:06 AM

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I think ATI's Hybrid CrossFire is a much better solution then nvidias.

nvidia for high end gaming, ati for low-end

and VIA/SIS/SGI for mid :P


and intel for uber low
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 01/23/08 08:36:34 PM]
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