Onboard graphics AND expansion card?

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MassMan
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Onboard graphics AND expansion card?

Post by MassMan » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:27 am

Hi, been a while since I built a system and I noticed your test system has onboard gpu, so I've got 2 questions:

Does it makes sense (noise/heat/money-wise) to get a motherboard with onboard GPU to use when idle/browsing/movie, and then a "real" graphics card for gaming use?

Could it cause problems with games that refuse to use the proper gpu and insist on using the onboard? (asking because a friend was at my house last weekend and we played the Tera beta, and his laptop strait up refused to use the proper gpu)

CA_Steve
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Re: Onboard graphics AND expansion card?

Post by CA_Steve » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:39 am

MassMan wrote:Hi, been a while since I built a system and I noticed your test system has onboard gpu, so I've got 2 questions:

Does it makes sense (noise/heat/money-wise) to get a motherboard with onboard GPU to use when idle/browsing/movie, and then a "real" graphics card for gaming use?
Yes. It's one of the big features of Lucid's Virtu software that ships with most H67, Z68 and the upcoming H/Z Ivy Bridge mobos. Plug your monitor into the mobo's gfx port and graphics load will toggle between the iGPU and the gfx card depending on how you set up Virtu's preferences. You lose some fps for this overhead.
MassMan wrote:Could it cause problems with games that refuse to use the proper gpu and insist on using the onboard? (asking because a friend was at my house last weekend and we played the Tera beta, and his laptop strait up refused to use the proper gpu)
There's always a chance Virtu won't work well with a given game. I haven't built a Sandybridge system, so don't have first hand experience. Perhaps a current user can post their experiences.

kuzzia
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Re: Onboard graphics AND expansion card?

Post by kuzzia » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:18 am

If you look at the latest generations of graphic cards they don't really consume that much power at idle. The Radeon HD 7850 is estimated to consume 10 W at idle:

http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-radeo ... 0-review/7

Personally, I'd choose the extra idle power consumption over the technical hassle of switching between two types of graphic cards.

smilingcrow
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Re: Onboard graphics AND expansion card?

Post by smilingcrow » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:35 pm

Keep in mind that the desktop versions of graphic switching don’t appear to put the discrete card into a fully powered off state so the power saving is minimal to non existent. Unless newer versions have resolved this?

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Re: Onboard graphics AND expansion card?

Post by CA_Steve » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:44 pm

Unless you run 2 monitors...then having the iGPU in charge for 2D saves anywhere from 20W to 50W.

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Re: Onboard graphics AND expansion card?

Post by CA_Steve » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:14 pm

smilingcrow wrote:Keep in mind that the desktop versions of graphic switching don’t appear to put the discrete card into a fully powered off state so the power saving is minimal to non existent. Unless newer versions have resolved this?
Still waiting to hear if Virtu (in Sandy bridge and IVB) puts the HD7xxx series into long idle (that's ~3W).

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Re: Onboard graphics AND expansion card?

Post by smilingcrow » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:11 pm

CA_Steve wrote:
smilingcrow wrote:Keep in mind that the desktop versions of graphic switching don’t appear to put the discrete card into a fully powered off state so the power saving is minimal to non existent. Unless newer versions have resolved this?
Still waiting to hear if Virtu (in Sandy bridge and IVB) puts the HD7xxx series into long idle (that's ~3W).
I don’t see why that shouldn’t work and that would be a great solution.
Recent high end cards from both camps have low idle power consumption anyway so the issue isn’t so great these days. It would be good if by default they all had a long idle state that was passively cooled.

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