NVIDIA says it's planning to put integrated graphics chipsets on all of its motherboard chipsets. Usually IGPs were only found in entry-level or mainstream chipsets but the firm says it will now also give enthusiast chipsets integrated graphics so every NVIDIA chipset user can benefit from the new NVIDIA Hybrid SLI technology.
This technology aims to improve performance and reduce power consumption:
Of course most core logic includes an integrated graphics processor, albeit disabled.
Two fundamental components make up Hybrid SLI: HybridPower and GeForce Boost. HybridPower, as the name indicates, is the power-consumption reducing aspect of the technology. It allows for systems to completely turn off discrete graphics cards when their high-functionality is not needed. Instead, the chipset’s integrated graphics takes over.
In order to use Hybrid power, the system must include an NVIDIA IGP and a discrete NVIDIA video card. Under HybridPower, users connect their display to the motherboards graphics outputs. When users require the use of their discrete GPU, the frame buffer contents for the discrete graphics cards are copied over to the integrated graphics processor’s frame buffer. NVIDIA asserts that the second generation PCI specification provides enough bandwidth.
Latency is considered a "non-issue," claims NVIDIA spokesman.
GeForce Boost combines the power of the IGP -- which NVIDIA calls the mGPU) and the discrete GPU (dGPU) to improve performance. NVDIA told the press that this technology is meant for low-end or mid-range PCs. In fact, the company states that this feature could be detrimental to the performance of high-end PCs.
Unfortunately Hybrid SLI support is a Windows Vista exclusive, it's not certain if or when other operating systems will get support for this technology.