Linux driver code points toward multi-GPU support in Intel's upcoming discrete video cards

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Yesterday, one such clue may have been spotted by Phoronix. The site noticed some intriguing code in the latest Linux graphics drivers from Intel. The code in question points toward the possibility of multi-GPU processing with Intel's upcoming discrete "Xe" cards.

However, unlike AMD's CrossFire or Nvidia's SLI technology, Intel's driver code pairs a discrete video card with a processor-integrated internal GPU. To be more specific, Phoronix's latest findings contain a "perf PMU (Processor Monitoring Unit) bit of code" for handling discrete and internal GPU use cases.

Interestingly, this is not the first time Phoronix has found references to multi-GPU support in Intel's Linux driver code. The website made a similar discovery back in August, when it found code that essentially confirmed the functionality's existence, and today's news simply reinforces this idea.

Of course, Intel may toss the entire concept out in the future. Still, the company has certainly had plenty of opportunities to do so up to this point -- the fact that it has instead doubled down on the technology seems telling.

Regardless, Intel's discrete Xe GPUs are still a long way from release, so we wouldn't advise our readers to take any of this for granted until launch day arrives.

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Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
It might be good for running 2D off to save on power but that's about it. Hybrid mGPU has never worked well.
 

yRaz

Nigerian Prince
Got excited when I saw duel you Linux support but I'm probably just going to get a 5700xt to replace my 1070ti since the driver support is garbage.
 

Irata

TS Addict
This imho sounds very interesting. If this works, it could allow you to get decent performance by using an APU + lower end dGPU combo (I.e. at lower cost). I find this much more beneficial and interesting than just switchable graphics.

This would also be a nice advantage for whoever gets this to work since you will need to stick with an APU + GPU from the same company for this benefit.
 

yRaz

Nigerian Prince
Youre 1070 not working well?
Nvidia Linux drivers are garbage. I can get 60 fps in a game but what they don't tell you is I'm getting 120fps for half a second and 1fps for the next second. AMD has always had better Linux support but I got my 1070ti at an absurdly low price.

Great card when running windows. But I haven't run windows on a single computer in my house in over 2 years.
 

Irata

TS Addict
AMD already made this with APU A* series
Did this actually work ? Still have a Lenovo Laptop with and A-Series APU and an AMD dGPU (very nice for an AMD based laptop at the time if you used it plugged in) laying around but never knew it could actually cross-fire the two. Was always under the impression that it would use either one of the two GPU available but not both together.
 

Heclone

TS Rookie
Did this actually work ? Still have a Lenovo Laptop with and A-Series APU and an AMD dGPU (very nice for an AMD based laptop at the time if you used it plugged in) laying around but never knew it could actually cross-fire the two. Was always under the impression that it would use either one of the two GPU available but not both together.
It's named Dual Graphics. It worked only for low-end desktop parts I think, you Chan check it there (french article) :
 

Shadowboxer

TS Addict
I think being able to add performance from your integrated GPU is a great idea. It will just sit there unused most of the time anyway. Might even help Intel sell some CPUs! So long as they implement this solution well though. Dual graphics solutions have never really been executed well before in my opinion.
 

Boilerhog146

TS Evangelist
Nothing new seen it all before with Lucid's Virtu MVP
It did actually work but honestly it was more bother than it was worth.
Total pain .I have a 3570K on a Z77 Sabertooth.with the lucid logics chip.it runs at 4.8/4.9 gig .without the onboard gpu enabled.but, huge BUT.artifacts and crashes with with the chip enabled,and have to reset bios.to get back to overclocking.
 

grumblguts

TS Addict
Total pain .I have a 3570K on a Z77 Sabertooth.with the lucid logics chip.it runs at 4.8/4.9 gig .without the onboard gpu enabled.but, huge BUT.artifacts and crashes with with the chip enabled,and have to reset bios.to get back to overclocking.
It did actually work but it depends if the game was in the list.
I quit using it when they stopped supporting it. was nice for removing page tearing on a standard monitor.