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SLI for low power instead of high performance

Laptop Logic has scored some insider information on the one of the projects brewing in NVIDIA's secret labs. According to sources close to the company, NVIDIA is working on a new kind of SLI technology for notebook designs. Instead of pairing two identical GPUs for increased performance, NVIDIA is going for a pairing of integrated and discrete GPUs for a balance of power and performance.

The concept of pairing up a low-power integrated GPU with a high-power discrete GPU is nothing new. Sony has already treaded through these waters with its VAIO SZ lineup which features Intel GMA950 and NVIDIA GeForce Go 7400 GPUs. This setup requires an external switch to make the transition and also requires a system reboot. NVIDIA's "SLI Power" on the other hand will be done through a combination of hardware and software, but will not require a reboot of the machine to take place.

Considering the complexities involved with Windows XP graphics drivers and the additional level of complication added by Vista's new Windows Driver Display Model (WDDM), NVIDIA surely has its work cut out in making the transition a smooth one. There's no telling how much such a feature would add to the cost of a notebook, but it probably won't come cheap.

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We need smarter CPU's and GPU's.
By akugami on 7/20/2006 12:46:03 PM , Rating: 2
What they need is to make better CPU's and GPU's designed to ramp up in power when needed but with ultra low power draw when not in use or when lightly used. For instance, if it's sitting idle for 5 minutes while I go get a coffee or use the restroom it should drop down to a near hibernation state in terms of power draw. When I'm browsing the web it should be smart enough to know to ramp up the pwoer draw but not to full power. When I'm rendering 3d models, playing a game or doing something else that's intensive then ramp it up to full power.

I see CPU's moving towards this direction but GPU's seem to be getting more and more power hungry. I don't believe we'll see true power conscious GPU's until after the R600 and G80 cores. Presumably the R700 and G90 if nVidia and ATI keep the same naming conventions.

By Garreye on 7/20/2006 1:14:48 PM , Rating: 2
Ya this would be a much better does definetely seem to be moving away from this in the GPU sector, especially when you hear about how DX10 GPU will consume up to 300W....

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