LUCIDLOGIX HAS STARTED to ship its Virtu GPU virtualization software to motherboard partners that will enable automatic switching between the onboard graphics in Intel’s Sandy Bridge sorry, second generation Core processors and a discrete graphics card. Despite it having been nearly two months since the initial announcements, thanks to a little SATA bug, it seems like LucidLogix didn’t need to rush out its software, as currently there’s something of a shortage on suitable motherboards in the shops.
In as much as a software solution for swapping between Intel’s integrated graphics and a discrete graphics card is a great feature in our opinion, we can’t really see this take off until Intel launches its Z68 chipset which isn’t expected to arrive until next quarter at the earliest. The current H67 chipset simply has too many limitations as a chipset to make it an attractive solution for LucidLogix Virtu software, unless you’re not concerned about any form of overclocking, but then it’s not every likely that you’ll be overly concerned about the benefits of a discrete graphics card or the Virtu software either.
What LucidLogix brings to the table with Virtu is the ability to save power when you don’t need the power of a discrete GPU and of course the option to use Intel’s Quick Sync technology for transcoding or encoding video. On key thing that’s important to point out here is that you’ll need a motherboard with the correct display connector to work with your display, so make sure you choose motherboard carefully, as the display signals from the discrete card will be routed through the connector on the motherboard.
We’re hoping LucidLogix will develop a version of Virtu for notebooks as well, as it would be far more useful in a notebook than a desktop system. We don’t know who LucidLogix is working with at the moment as the company didn’t mention any specific motherboard partners in its press release, but considering the company has worked with Asus, MSI and Sapphire in the past; it’s possible we’ll see these three companies being some of the first to start shipping Virtu with its motherboards. That said, we don’t know if that will happen with the H67 board or if we’ll have to wait for the Z68 chipset, although the fact that LucidLogix doesn’t expect any of its partners to start shipping Virtu until next quarter suggests the latter.S|A
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