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Nvidia tech slashes costs of graphics processing

Posted: 15 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:graphics processing unit? motherboard? graphics processor? hybrid technology?

Nvidia has introduced technology that can reduce the cost of adding a graphics processor to a desktop.

Hybrid SLI, introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, makes it possible for Nvidia's motherboard-embedded graphics processing unit (GPU) to work cooperatively with a Nvidia graphics card added to a system.

Traditionally, when a graphics card is added, the motherboard GPU hands the workload over and essentially shuts down, Nvidia spokesman Bryan Del Rizzo told InformationWeek at CES. With the new hybrid technology, the mGPU will work in conjunction with the graphics card in rendering video and performing other graphics-intensive tasks.

What this means to many customers is they can buy less expensive graphics cards and have them perform equal to or better than more expensive cards added to a PC without Hybrid SLI. If a person is looking to watch video on a PC and manipulate pictures, and isn't a hardcore gamer, than the less expensive card may be all that's needed.

Nvidia's latest technology also reduces heat and power consumption by running an mGPU or graphics card only when it's needed. If the mGPU is sufficient for performing a task, then the discrete GPU is shutdown. This feature is particularly important in extending the battery life of a notebook.

Nvidia's Hybrid SLI will be available in nForce 780a, 750a, and 730a mGPUs that are scheduled to be available next month for CPUs from Advanced Micro Devices. The technology also will be available in all graphics cards starting with the new GeForce 8200.

Hybrid SLI is an extension of Nvidia's SLI technology, which enables gamers to add multiple graphics cards to their PCs and have them work as one.

- Antone Gonsalves

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