Lucid Virtu and Intel Quick Sync: Pairing GPUs

Intel Insider, Conclusion

Intel Insider:

We invite all readers who've "enjoyed" DRM over the past ten years to write and tell us how much you loved the experience.

One of Virtu's additional capabilities (we'll leave it up to you as to whether or not this counts as a feature) is that it enables Intel's "Intel Insider" technology to function simultaneously with a discrete GPU. What makes the above particularly amusing is that Intel fell all over itself insisting that Intel Insider was not a DRM technology.

Dubious definitions aside, Intel is planning to roll out its own multimedia content service that SB customers might be interested in.

Intel will launch its own service later this year and hopes that technologies like this will make studios feel better about posting their content online. The only way for anyone to use this service and run a dGPU is to use Virtu—P67 users are out of luck on this front as well.

Right now Virtu looks like a solid product. It can't undo all the issues that prevent enthusiasts from taking full advantage of Intel's new Quick Sync technology but it does at least improve general compatibility. The fact that Virtu is a software-only solution that'll be shipping out with various motherboard OEMs should also help it gain popularity.

If you're weighing the difference between waiting for Z68 and springing for P67, here's how things break down. Z68 will allow for CPU and GPU overclocking (at the moment, P67 is CPU overclocking-only, while GPU-overclocking is reserved for H57.) Z68's bus clock will also be more overclocking-friendly; present Sandy Bridge motherboards can only reach 105-108 percent above stock speeds. Finally, Z68 will allow enthusiasts to use an SSD as a cache drive to speed system performance. Exactly how effective this will prove is up in the air, particularly since the feature may require significant patches from Microsoft in order to reach its full potential.

Despite Z68's benefits, Virtu will still be required to use both the integrated GPU's Quick Sync and a discrete GPU's powerful 3D rendering capabilities. The value of waiting is therefore dependent on how much you care about overclocking as opposed to how much you want an SB-equipped system right now.

  • Allows For Lightning-Fast Transcoding
  • Offers discrete GPU performance
  • Available to all motherboard OEMs 
  • It's ultimately a software patch to a hardware flaw
  • Discrete GPU scaling can vary
  • No easy way to access NV/ATI Control Panels

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