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 Post subject: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:10 am 
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Hi Everyone,

My PC goals are to have a computer that is inaudible during browsing, music editing and recording, and don't mind some noise when I want to game with good graphics. Since I feel a lot of people want this same goal (there are a lot of posts about cards with the quietest idle), I wanted to run this idea by you all, as I have not seen it discussed anywhere on the web yet. I have been looking at the new AMD 7000 Cards and see there may be some potential to get the fans to turn off during light use if using the Virtu software. For reference, my (currently inaudible) rig has a Z68 board with a i7-2600k, 8gigs of ram, SSD, and using the integrated graphics only right now. (surprising ok for low quality gaming)

AMD 7000

All of the 7000 series cards have a new Zerocore technology. I can't find a good link right now, but it is a power saving technology. It reduces the load it idle, but during what they call 'long idle' (ie the monitor is off) the GPU load will go all the way down to 3W and even turn off the fan to reduce power usage. This means when you are downloading something overnight, the GPU with power down to just 3W and turn off the fans. This discussion to see if the Virtu software to activate this feature during light graphical work (i.e. not gaming).

Lucid Virtu software

Virtu software allows you to channel a discrete graphics card power though the integrated graphics port on some Intel (z68/h67) motherboards. The idea was to have the integrated graphics handle all of the small loads and to kick over to the discrete when additional power was needed for games, CAD, ect. There are 2 primary uses for this technology.
1. Using the integrated graphics card for video encoding (don’t encode, so I won't touch this)
2. To put the discrete card on idle and save power while browsing the web. The downfall is you lose some power (FPS) when routing the discrete GPU data through the integrated GPU pipeline.
#1 doesn't pertain to this discussion, but #2 never caught on, because current GPUs don’t significantly reduce power or noise when in idle compared to being lightly used as the sole graphics source.

After all that, it seems hypothetically that the Virtu software could allow the 7000 GPU to turn off the fan and go low power during most activities if Virtu sent the signal for a 'long idle' to the GPU. It seems like the (buggy) Virtu software may be the lynch pin to this concept. Has anyone tested this out or had any Virtu experience?

Please let me know your thoughts and help me correct any false info above.

-Jared


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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:25 pm 
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evoeater wrote:
Please let me know your thoughts and help me correct any false info above.


My thought is that I'm interested in knowing this also. If the GPU turns off, I could use one system for thinking work AND for gaming -- rather then having two computers.

Does anyone have an AMD HD 7970 HD 7950 HD 7770 or HD 7750 and a Z68/H61 board?
If so, can test if the GPU fan stops when the HDMI is plugged into the integrated graphics?


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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:27 pm 
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I'm also curious about this. The downside to (I think they call it) "i-mode" is an fps hit..and you are dealing with another layer of s/w that may or may not work well with your particular game.

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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:44 am 
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Any news on this issue? I'm getting an Ivy bridge and would love if my 7970 fan would turn off while not gaming.


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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:35 am 
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I haven't seen an answer...so I sent a support email to Lucidlogix. Let's see what happens.

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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:47 pm 
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This is I suspect an issue of how ZeroCore actually works. It could involve a hardware device on the 7xxx series graphics cards which monitors when the screen is put into a sleep state (blanked) by a Windows power management option. When it does ZeroCore is activated. The same device would detect the reactivation of the screen as soon as any app updates it, and ZeroCore would be terminated. Apps which normally update the screen, such as weather reports, can be or are designed not to update the screen when the monitor is in sleep state. So they would not disturb ZeroCore.

For Lucidlogix Virtu software not to affect ZeroCore looks to me to be very difficult, if ZeroCore involves a check based on whether the screen is being updated, not the source of the app creating the change. So rather than a Lucidlogix issue, it seems to me that this is an AMD graphics driver issue. As the same situation applies to the forthcoming Ivy Bridge Z77 boards and AMDs APU/Fusion CPUs this may be something that AMD would give consideration to.


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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:15 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
I haven't seen an answer...so I sent a support email to Lucidlogix. Let's see what happens.


Did you ever get a response from them?

I have a 7970 and would love it to be completely silent when i'm not playing games.


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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:06 am 
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Nope - no response. I hope that this'll be covered in some IVB mobo reviews...but nothing so far in the ones that have covered it.

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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:15 am 
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Well, given the comments from Anandtech regarding Lucid's software, it appears that it is a bit of a mess at this time. It is strange though that no reviews discuss the software; maybe there is an NDA?

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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 11:19 am 
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Ug, I guess I kinda thought this Lucid Virtu stuff was working pretty well by now and assumed that the AMD ZeroCore would work with it. So far I haven't had much luck with it even working let alone powering down the GPU and fan. :( I still have testing to do though. Maybe I'm missing some things.


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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 5:28 am 
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Apparently, Virtu is such a fiasco currently that it doesn't even support AMD 7xxx and Nvidia 6xx cards.

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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:58 am 
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Hi 1st post as I signed up looking for info on this subject.

It is my plan to swap my current completely passive media PC (note this is already a full tower based system not an HTPC)connected to my big TV in to a device capable of much more.

The plan is for media watching movies playing music etc the system is 100% passive but with a semi fanless PSU and hopefully using this technology be able to have a full fat gaming graphics card in the machine.

The 2 options of course I had been looking at are Lucid Virtu and simply finding the fastest possible graphics card capable of running fanless while playing a full 1080 movie using a fan profile to fully shut down the fan.

This really does look like it should be able to work but like everybody else spending large chunks of money to test theorys is not goo and there is so little in the way of reviews on this subject, really strange as I am sure there are many people who want to do exactly the same as me.


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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:38 pm 
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When I first read about Virtu i-Mode, I thought, "finally my silent PC prayers have been answered!". I thought SPCR would be all over it. Using i-Mode I want two things: dual displays and my GPU fan off out-of-game.

I did find this: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/lucidl ... 15958.html No word on which graphics cards will have "a special chip to do the monitoring and waking" or which motherboards can turn a "x16 PCIe slot on and off".


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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:34 am 
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Juventas wrote:
I did find this: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/lucidl ... 15958.html No word on which graphics cards will have "a special chip to do the monitoring and waking" or which motherboards can turn a "x16 PCIe slot on and off".


Thanks for that - I hadn't seen it. While the Tom's article talks about a special chip needed and USB interface to the mobo, the card in the video clip had no extra USB connection...

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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:58 pm 
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Having read all the info discussed and linked in this thread (big thanks!), it seems Virtu won't be the savior I needed. My workspace becomes uncomfortably hot with a gaming-grade discrete GPU, so I've been working with Intel's HD 4000 only and waiting for GTX 660s to arrive... I guess I won't be getting one after all, as Virtu doesn't seem to help there - yet?

It would truly be a dream come true if the discrete GPU could be powered down and only activated for gaming.

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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:21 am 
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Hi Everyone,

I know I haven't responded since my original post, but I haven't given up. I was thinking today that as a worst case I could swap the monitor cable from the integrated to discrete GPUs.


Will ZeroCore activate without a monitor plugged in? More specifically, if not using lucid, and connected to the discrete, would the 7000 GPU still register as running or would it go to standby?

Also, can you hot swap the monitor or should you do it durring a shutdown?


This may seem inconvient (and is definetly brute force) but I know when I turn my computer on what I will be doing on it for the next few hours. Since I have an SSD restarts are even less of a consideration.

Thanks for all your input on this post. I will see if I can find something in the user manuals on this.


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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:27 pm 
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I wouldn't recommend hot swapping, just for the potential of one contact touching the wrong thing. On the other hand, I wonder if you could use a KVM switch?

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Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:11 am 
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I've got a monitor with two inputs and have been considering the same thing. Fans of my Sapphire Radeon 7950 950mhz edition won't turn off though. :(


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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:44 am 
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Given that people can shut off the fans during idle without Virtu, I don't think it will be an issue.

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=65146


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 Post subject: Re: AMD 7000 cards + Virtu = GPU fan off at idle?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:43 am 
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Coil whine is still an issue and turning off fans might not work on every model.


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