|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 16 June 2008|
Page 5 of 16
NVIDIA Hybrid SLI Technology
Benchmark Reviews learned of Hybrid SLI during our time with NVIDIA at the 2008 International CES. I thought that seeing the Stereoscopic 3D Gaming demonstration would be the highlight of NVIDIA's offerings, but then the following morning they proved to have at least one more trick up their sleeve. At CES we were privileged to see Hybrid SLI make it's formal release.
NVIDIA announced the industry's first hybrid technology for PC platforms-Hybrid SLITM-that addresses two critical issues: increasing graphics performance and reducing power consumption. NVIDIA Hybrid SLI technology will be incorporated into a wide variety of graphics and motherboard desktop and notebook products that the Company is rolling out for both AMD and Intel desktop and notebook computing platforms throughout 2008.
"From the introduction of programmable GPU's to the rapid adoption of our multi-GPU SLI technology, NVIDIA has repeatedly pioneered and innovated to solve difficult problems for the industry. We believe Hybrid SLI technology is one of the most important innovations we've come up with to date," said Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of NVIDIA. "Hybrid SLI delivers new multi-GPU technology to a large segment of the PC market, delivering consumers a level of PC graphics performance and power efficiency never before seen."
First disclosed in June 2007, NVIDIA Hybrid SLI technology is based on the Company's market-leading GeForce graphics processor units (GPUs) and SLI multi-GPU technology. Hybrid SLI enables NVIDIA motherboard GPUs (mGPUs) to work cooperatively with discrete NVIDIA GPUs (dGPUs) when paired in the same PC platform. Hybrid SLI provides two new technologies - GeForce Boost and HybridPower - that allow the PC to deliver graphics performance for today's applications and games when 3D graphics horsepower is required, or transition to a lower-powered operating state when not.
NVIDIA HybridPower Technology
For lower energy consumption and quieter PC operation, HybridPower allows the PC to switch processing from a single GPU or multiple GPUs in SLI configuration to the onboard motherboard GPU. HybridPower is most useful in situations where graphics horsepower is not required, such as high definition movie playback on a notebook platform or simple e-mail or Internet browsing on a desktop. It is also beneficial for those users who want a quiet operating state with reduced thermals and noise. For notebooks, HybridPower can also dramatically extend battery life by up to 3 hours. When a game or application is started that requires the additional 3D horsepower, the PC can automatically transition back to the discrete graphics cards and power up the 3D capabilities all transparent to the end user.
In applications where 3D performance is required, GeForce Boost turbo-charges 3D operation by combining the processing power of the traditional NVIDIA GeForce-based graphics card with that of the second GPU integrated into the motherboard core logic. In media-rich applications, both GPUs work in tandem to render the combined images with the end user benefiting from the increase in performance and frame rate. For typical games and 3D applications, GeForce Boost can kick in automatically resulting in a greatly enhanced consumer experience.
When coupled with a HybridPower-enabled motherboard, the GeForce GTX 280 (and GTX 260) can be power down completely. For everyday computing and watching HD movies, the motherboard GPU is used and the GTX 280 can be turned off, consuming no power at all. When an intensive 3D application is engaged, users can turn on the GeForce GTX 280 for maximum performance. HybridPower works by sending the output of the discrete GPU through the output connector on the motherboard. This allows the system to use both GPUs as it sees fit without physically changing the connector.
NVIDIA is the recognized market leader for GPU desktop and notebook solutions for both Intel and AMD platforms and has a full lineup of Hybrid SLI-capable graphics and motherboard products planned for 2008. New Hybrid SLI-capable products include the upcoming NVIDIA nForce 780a SLI, nForce 750a SLI, and nForce 730a media and communication processors (MCPs) for AMD CPUs, which will be released next month, as well as the new GeForce 8200-the industry's first micro-ATX motherboard solution with an onboard Microsoft DirectX 10-compliant motherboard GPU. NVIDIA Hybrid SLI notebooks as well as desktop products designed for Intel CPUs will be available next quarter. Look for Hybrid SLI to make its way into everything NVIDIA produces from this point forward.