While Nvidia and AMD keep themselves occupied with new driver optimizations, game bundles, and insanely expensive graphics cards, Lucid is keeping busy polishing its Virtu GPU virtualization software. Earlier today, the Israeli start-up announced that Virtu MVP 2.0, the new version of its software, is "now available for direct sale." Anyone with an Intel Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge system—and either Nvidia or AMD discrete graphics, of course—can nab Virtu MVP 2.0 right here from Lucid's website.
Here's Lucid's spiel for this update:
Lucid Virtu MVP 2.0 takes the best of the original software with GPU Virtualization, Virtual Vsync™ and Hyperformance™ features and makes it even better with improved visual quality and responsiveness. Additionally, it features a new animated graphical user interface with .Net 4, supports multiple languages, integrates Windows® 8, and is enhanced for Intel® Core™ Processors.
All games from AAA titles to casual games and content creation apps are automatically supported for the frame rate and visual quality benefits of Virtual Vsync. Hundreds of today’s top games have been tested with the responsiveness boosting Hyperformance feature including Diablo® III, Dragon Age II, Lost Planet™ 2, Mass Effect 3™, Metro 2033, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. ™ Call of Pripyat, Star Craft II™ and The Elder Scrolls® V Skyrim.
Virtu MVP 2.0 comes in three flavors: Basic, Standard, and Pro, which are priced at a respective $34.99, $44.99, and $54.99. All three editions use GPU virtualization to unlock the QuickSync hardware transcoding acceleration in recent Intel CPUs when a discrete graphics card is plugged in. (Normally, using a discrete GPU disables both the Intel IGP and QuickSync.) The virtualization scheme also balances the IGP and GPU to save power. In addition to this functionality, the Standard edition of Virtu MVP 2.0 adds Lucid's Virtual Vsync technology, and the Pro edition incorporates both Virtual Vsync and HyperFormance. We explored those two technologies at length in our recent look at Virtu MVP's mobile incarnation.
According to Lucid, an "optimal" system config for Virtu MVP 2.0 should have a Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processor, a matching motherboard, and at least a GeForce GTX 460 (or AMD equivalent) with 2GB of memory. Windows 7 and 8 are supported in both 32-bit and 64-bit modes. If you'd like to try VIrtu MVP 2.0 before you buy, Lucid offers free 30-day trials. Just don't wait too long if you do intend to buy—the company says it's currently charging "special launch prices."