Nvidia’s new Hybrid SLI technology will have two modes and that will target different applications: the Power Saving Mode, which will switch off discrete graphics core and use only integrated graphics engine when high performance is not needed, whereas Max Performance Mode will make integrated graphics processor (IGP) to assist discrete graphics processing unit (GPU) and boost performance when it is required.
If it's actually coming out, I'll switch my CPU over to it, or I'll just build an Agena system with it. I plan on getting either a G92 or an 8800GTS 640 by November anyways.
Just having the 405 chipset 2 pixel/1 vertex GPU disabled because of the PCIe card is a waste of motherboard resources. Hopefully, AMD will do something similar for their DX10 motherboard GPU as well.
What I'm curious about in the long run is AMD's fusion. Will it work alongside a discreet GPU in a hybrid Crossfire? Will it work alongside a discreet GPU from Nvidia? What if you have an AMD fusion CPU/GPU with an Nvidia chipset motherboard and both an integrated Nvidia GPU and a discreet PCIe GPU?
One standard would allow all the company's hardware to work together and no one would be locked into one upgrade path.
This is a step in the right direction. High end graphics cards use more power than anything else in the system. I don't mind paying for that power when gaming but I don't need to use a 150w to display this page right now. Currently your only option is to clock lower for 2d which ATI does already do incrementally on the 2900. Being able to turn off the gpu completely should allow much larger power savings than the 20w I've found I can save under clocking for 2d.
That's the other advantage of hybrid SLI, powering down the graphics card for web browsing. Even my 7600GS pulls more power than the IGP would, and I wouldn't need anything more than the IGP to post.
Still, it's adding the IGP to the GPU that intrigues me. I wonder if the DX10 integrated graphics will have something like 12 stream processors and if it will boost the performance of an 8600GT's 36? That's the promise, so let's hope it's delivered.