Nvidia Optimus technology to arrive for desktops as Synergy

By on April 25, 2011, 7:00 AM
Nvidia plans to launch the desktop version of its Optimus graphics switching technology at Computex this coming June in Taipei, according to a report on VR-Zone. Dubbed Synergy, the technology will initially work on Sandy Bridge boards carrying Intel H61, H67 or Z68 chipsets, and unlike with SLI, motherboard vendors won't need to pay a licensing fee or sign an agreement to implement Synergy graphics switching in their products.

As you'd expect the technology will only work with discrete graphics cards from Nvidia. Basically, Synergy will work much in the same way as Optimus does in notebooks, allowing dynamic swapping between the integrated GPU in Sandy Bridge processors and an installed GeForce graphics card depending on the task being executed.


For example, the Intel HD graphics core will be used when doing light work like browsing or writing documents, while the GeForce card will kick in when gaming and running benchmarks. Video playback and encoding will be handled by Intel's Quick Sync technology that's built onto Sandy Bridge-based processors.

The result should be lower power draw and a quieter system. Users will also be able to manually switch between integrated and discrete graphics on the fly, or set up profiles to switch when a particular application or game is launched.

It's worth mentioning that a similar technology already exists for desktops in the form of LucidLogix's Virtu. The latter is compatible with both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards but requires motherboard vendors to pay a licensing fee. Nvidia's technology apparently won't require any hardware tweak or cost motherboard makers a thing.



User Comments: 9

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madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This is nice... and would (sadly) help justify my bad habit of running my computer almost 24/7/365 power consumption wise, if I were to build a new system with Nvidia. Granted my current system doesn't pull more than 150w under load, so it is not a concern now, but one of these last/current generation high end video cards easily pulls that by itself so in the future it would be a consideration.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

It's a shame that Intel won't let users access the integrated graphics on P67 boards. This new technology from Nvidia would be ideal for users running Sandy Bridge "K" processors on P67 boards. After all, nobody plays games 24/7 and we definitely don't need our overclocked, nuclear-powered video cards to run simple graphics tasks in Windows.

brianmsu said:

Is this motherboard feature or a motherboardANDvideocard feature

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

And it will come with a big red button, attached via USB, that you can hit with your fist to activate the GPU(s).

So I'm guessing this will require new motherboards, or will it work via a firmware upgrade?

AnonymousSurfer AnonymousSurfer said:

The real question is...

How much will this bad boy cost me?

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

gwailo247 said:

And it will come with a big red button, attached via USB, that you can hit with your fist to activate the GPU(s).

That would be awesome, I'd want one. XD

Considering they say it'll work with existing chipsets, I'm leaning on it being a firmware update/driver based, though a new motherboard would be fine by me since I've been in the market for a new computer since... last October. =p

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Is this motherboard feature or a motherboardANDvideocard feature

So I'm guessing this will require new motherboards, or will it work via a firmware upgrade?

Authorization code/call inserted into the boards BIOS - exactly the same implementation as SLI (or enabling SLI on non-SLI chipsets for that matter). A BIOS flash will update those H61/H67 boards in the wild.

Guest said:

Hmm, this might actually be a good reason to go for an Intel chipset for my next build instead of AMD. I tried using the old HybridPower technology from Nvidia with my current AMD board and GeForce GTX 275, but it turned out the 275 was manufactured after HybridPower had been discontinued... so I'm running the GPU at all times, and this is in a recording environment in my home. I already had to find software measures to get the idle RPMs of the card's two fans down so they don't make too much noise.

Glad to read it will be a firmware update of sorts, since it clearly says in the article that it will work with existing chipsets.

Guest said:

Hence the Z68 chipset coming next week. Intel did not do anyone any favors by releasing a chipset ( the P67) that is virtually past it's prime in a matter of weeks. Rumor has it that they are already planning on phasing it out.

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