z68 in the wild

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z68 in the wild

Postposted on Sat May 07, 2011 6:23 am

Saw this today as I was looking for z68 motherboard news:

http://www.excaliberpc.com/606858/gigabyte-ga-z68x-ud4-b3-intel-z68-lga.html

After seeing the pic of the board retailing for $400 overseas (Taiwan?, don't remember), glad to see it priced at $210. Not the board I want because the lack of graphics port, but thought it was interesting news anyway.
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Re: z68 in the wild

Postposted on Sat May 07, 2011 8:16 am

I think NDA is up next week sometime. We should get a nice review from TR Sunday or Monday night, I imagine. Should know official pricing then.
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Re: z68 in the wild

Postposted on Sat May 07, 2011 1:10 pm

This chipset is really interesting me.

I want two things from it:
1. I want to be able to use the video transcoder completely independently from anything else
2. I want to be able to drive to monitors from the CPU graphics core through a hybrid scheme, where the monitors stay attached to my primary HD6950 2GB, but the card team completely spins down until needed for a game, selectable by profile where I get to choose which applications have the authority to spin one or both cards up.
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Re: z68 in the wild

Postposted on Sat May 07, 2011 1:21 pm

You know you can buy one already. It's in the current iMac, according to the iFixit teardown.
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Re: z68 in the wild

Postposted on Sat May 07, 2011 3:40 pm

Airmantharp wrote:I want to be able to drive to monitors from the CPU graphics core through a hybrid scheme, where the monitors stay attached to my primary HD6950 2GB, but the card team completely spins down until needed for a game
That's not possible. Think about it. If the monitors are attached to your video cards, then your video cards can't be completely "spun down" -- the display circuitry has to remain powered up to drive the signals to the monitors and the GPU has to be handling the framebuffer (the IGP can be handling all the desktop display tasks and doing all the rendering in system memory, but the GPU has to be pulling that into the display buffer on the card so it can get output to the screens). It's pretty minimal work but it is work and requires the GPU to remain powered up. The only way you can have "the card team completely spin down" is if you do it the other way, with your screens being driven from the video outputs on the motherboard. Then the graphics cards can go to sleep when you're at the desktop, but wake up and render for games (copying the screenbuffer to system memory so that the IGP can then display it -- which is a bit of a performance hit, but perhaps not as much as you might fear. Though as you can see, you really have to choose between optimal power efficiency or optimal graphics performance).

With the latest (1.0.105) version of the Virtu software, as I understand it (haven't actually used it), you can now hook the monitors up to the cards as you'd prefer, with the IGP getting "virutalized" so its functionality (QuickSync in particular) is still available to the system while gaming performance is maximized; previously the only option was to have the monitors hooked to the IGP with the discrete GPU(s) virtualized, for maximum power savings but a hit to performance (and possibly compatibility, since there were reports that some games didn't like "virtualized" GPUs).
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Re: z68 in the wild

Postposted on Sat May 07, 2011 11:38 pm

I'm pretty sure that the streaming can be done, as other hybrid solutions have accomplished. And while the discrete GPU(s) cannot be completely spun down, they're not even going to need the fan running just to pass video across the PCIe bus from the Intel GPU to the monitor.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
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Re: z68 in the wild

Postposted on Sun May 08, 2011 12:25 am

Whether or not the fans need to be spinning, the discrete GPU will still be active. The laptop hybrid solutions use a common video output shared by both the integrated and discrete graphics parts.
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Re: z68 in the wild

Postposted on Sun May 08, 2011 11:23 am

I'm aware that I was over-simplifying, and that there are a multitude of methods available for hybrid solutions; I'm just sharing my wish-list :).

The real work would be on the end of the discrete GPUs themselves, to allow for frame-buffer streaming across the PCIe bus. Considering that both Intel and AMD will be putting discrete GPU logic on all but their highest-end CPUs, it seems like a logical evolution for the GPU arms of AMD and Nvidia. Most of it is just firmware and driver level.

And while the discrete GPU will have to be active, it could be in such a low-power state that it's power draw would be inconsequential; I'm hoping for .1w or less to have the discrete GPU installed and active only as a pass-through to the external display ports.

I can't see a situation where this couldn't work and wouldn't be beneficial to either AMD or Intel. Their integrated GPUs have become and are becoming amazing at every task except for mid-range gaming on up, and a streaming technology like I have proposed above would allow for their GPUs included in the latest process technology and gated for efficiency to be the primary output, with discrete GPUs serving the purpose of high-level rendering and massive GPGPU boosting when needed.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
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