Z68 chipset, iGPU, nVidia dGPU and enabling full potential

Discussion in 'Video Cards and Graphics' started by BonzaiDuck, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. BonzaiDuck

    BonzaiDuck Lifer

    Jun 30, 2004
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    As much as some think I "know something" and being an avid over-clocker for six or seven years, I'm totally confused about the Sandy Bridge on-board iGPU graphics.

    Supposedly, this is supposed to "work with" your discrete graphics adaptor -- in my case, an eVGA/nVidia (Fermi) 570GTX.

    When I first put the system together, I didn't know or think that the board would automatically default to the dGPU if it was inserted into the PCI-E x16 slot. With enough experience to know not to panic when things don't seem to work right off the bat, I powered down the system and moved the monitor cable to the nVidia card. OK!

    Here's where I have to beg for indulgence. The only OS I could install on the system at the time was VISTA-64-SP1 retail. I was actually planning to defer Windows 7 until later in the year.

    The "Accelerated Graphics" drivers that came with the motherboard were installed, just as expeditiously as the chipset and other drivers and the nVidia graphics driver to dispatch any bang nodes in Device Manager as soon as the OS was installed. I didn't initially notice that the Device manager only showed the eVGA/nVidia 570GTX card. Nothing about the Intel graphics or driver.

    Looking further and later in the journey of working with this new machine, I discovered that the LUCID_VIRTU software touted in review articles didn't ship any VISTA-compatible version with my ASUS p8Z68[ . . .] motherboard. [The basics of that entire motherboard line are all the same, just some product differentiation over the Marvel SATA-3 controller for the V-Pro and some other peripheral extras included with the Deluxe version.]

    Apparently Lucid-Virtu was only made to work with Win-7.

    And -- OK -- so I got the V-Pro board . . .

    Here, I'm a bit confused. I should be able to have some advantage in a coordinated use of the iGPU and dGPU without Lucid Virtu. There's also a feature called Intel Quick Sync -- which seems related to this new iGPU-on-processor phenomenon.

    I've tried to find some explanation of this on-line, but there isn't much to be found except vague discussions in reviews touting Lucid-Virtu.

    Further, you'd think that whatever integrated advantages for the extra GPU would be, they would also be available under VISTA-64 since the drivers are provided for that OS as well as Win-7.

    I've enabled the iGPU and reserved the 64MB of memory in UEFI-BIOS, but disabled the "multi-monitor for Lucid Virtu" feature.

    Where should I go from here? What advantages can I capture? Or is the iGPU just some appendage of the operating system that has "dead" value to me until I get the Win 7 OS to install next Wednesday?

    Before I do that, I'd like to know (a) what I can do with the iGPU and dGPU in VISTA-64 [without Lucid-Virtu], (b) what I can do with them in Win-7 without Lucid, etc.

    What should I do NOW with the VISTA-64 OS installed? What advantages can I capture from the iGPU to allow usage of the dGPU? Must I connect the monitor to the iGPU instead of the dGPU?

    Did I install the drivers correctly? Should I uninstall the nVidia 570GTX drivers, shut down the system, boot to BIOS and make the default graphics iGPU? Shut down again and reconnect the monitor? Install the Intel accelerated graphics drivers? Then install the drivers for the 570 GTX?

    Someone, someone must know more about this than I do, and someone must have a clear idea how I should proceed. There seems to have been a time to my remembrance that you could have two (more?) graphics adapters in a PC connected to more than one monitor, and that you could reap the benefits of both.

    what about rendering? Does the iGPU allow me to get enhanced performance for those types of operations?

    Guidance and insight? Anybody have any?

    #1 BonzaiDuck, Jul 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  2. ViRGE

    ViRGE Elite Member, Moderator Emeritus

    Oct 9, 1999
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    So here's the deal: Vista does not support heterogeneous GPUs. That was a feature added with Windows 7. So Virtu will never, ever be supported under Vista, as it's a fundamental OS limitation.

    Vista: Nothing. You can use either the iGPU or the dGPU, but that's it.
    Win7: Without Virtu you can run a multimonitor setup where one monitor is connected to the dGPU and one connected to the iGPU. This only works for desktop usage; under games and such you'd be using just the dGPU.

    You installed the drivers correctly. There's nothing different to be done.

    The purpose of using the iGPU alongside the dGPU in Virtu is primarily to take advantage of the iGPU's strengths: QuickSync (Intel's blazing fast hardware H.264 encoder), and lower desktop power usage. For rendering, games, etc, the iGPU isn't doing anything else for you.
  3. Arkadrel

    Arkadrel Diamond Member

    Oct 19, 2010
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    That seems like alot of trouble to go through, just to have QuickSync.
    Unless you encode movies 24/7 or something, just keep vista and learn to live without QuickSync feature.

    The only differnce really is that your loseing out on some performance, with certain encodeings of film files.
  4. BonzaiDuck

    BonzaiDuck Lifer

    Jun 30, 2004
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    Many thanks to VIRGE and ARKADREL.

    That pretty much makes it simple for moving this project forward.

    With -- say -- "20 years working with Windows [3.0 through VISTA-64]" -- you pick up a lot of information which then gets lost, delayed or obscured in your [I mean MY] deteriorating senior mind. This is one feature of the Sandy Bridgers I should've been on top of from the git-go.

    And -- like all those enhanced instruction-set features at the time of "Pentium MMX" or whenever they were added -- yeah -- the most extant Operating System would enable those, and anything earlier? S--- Outta Luck. No Cigar! Stop [my] dreamin'!!

    As for ARKADEL's very thoughtful comments hinged in frugality, I already order Win-7-64 Pro -- should arrive in the mail Wednesday. Meanwhile awaiting an RMA "Exchange" on a hard-disk -- a week or so away. If I were on the verge of food-stamps, I'd certainly avoid buying the newer OS unless I could afford it. But it just doesn't make sense to run an OS which: (a) doesn't allow IntelBurnTest to "do its stuff," (b) doesn't even allow for graphics heterogeneity and independent multi-monitor off the different cards.

    Quoting from ViRGE:

    I want HDTV capture and viewing off a second monitor, which could either be the iGPU or the dGPU. My "gaming" needs are driven mostly from "enthusiast-tinkering" -- I don't collect a lot of Crysis/Call-of-Duty and other software -- just a few . . . But I think having a different monitor for the "HTPC" capability will be much better. Then there's the encoding or rendering factor. I don't particularly like the idea, though, that there's an extra feature of the Sandy Bridge that would be unused given my short-term OS choice on this [comfort-level notwithstanding, budget, or even ambivalence I've had from hands-on observations about Win 7 when I had the RC and helping others with their PC's down the hill. Heck. It's gone into SP 1 now. Time to dump my "comfort level."]

    Looking into the ISRT thing (other threads per the ASUS Z68 mobo on other forums), we'd observed that the speed of the HDD is less significant than that of the SDD for the cached performance improvement. I'd hoped that I could put a "fast" HDD on SATA-III with the very fast SATA-III SSD, but it wouldn't much matter. If the SDD sustained or sequential throughput was rated at ~520 MB/s and the HDD sustained throughput at 145 MB/s, the "2nd-pass" or "3rd pass" performance of the ISRT acceleration would be close to 400 -- even a tad more for certain things. It's likely going to be close to 400 even with an SATA-II drive on the same controller!!

    So the fast drive is better off running on the Auxiliary Marvel SATa-III. And THEN -- for the Win-7 installation issue and the RMA return -- no need to wait. I'll stick with the Caviar Black for the OS install. Heck -- I can even pull a swap later by using Acronis to clone . . .

    At least it was a VISTA-64 retail version that I already installed, and we can re-install it on another machine in the household -- maybe an LGA-775 system with at least 4GB RAM.