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Z68: Using a discrete graphics card and the integrated graphics simultaneously?

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April 5, 2011 2:24:48 AM

So basically what I'm wondering is if the new Z68 chipset will allow me to have a dual-monitor setup where my Discrete GPU will be processing my main monitor where I play games and other applications, while the integrated GPU on the 2500k I will get can run on the other monitor, at the most, 720p video (streaming and downloaded). I will generally be browsing the internet or running small applications on this 2nd monitor, but if I'm gaming and want to watch a stream at the same time, I want to know if this is a possible setup. Also, will I be able to overclock the CPU and Integrated GPU at the same time?

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April 5, 2011 3:41:36 PM

JetPirate said:
So basically what I'm wondering is if the new Z68 chipset will allow me to have a dual-monitor setup where my Discrete GPU will be processing my main monitor where I play games and other applications, while the integrated GPU on the 2500k I will get can run on the other monitor, at the most, 720p video (streaming and downloaded). I will generally be browsing the internet or running small applications on this 2nd monitor, but if I'm gaming and want to watch a stream at the same time, I want to know if this is a possible setup. Also, will I be able to overclock the CPU and Integrated GPU at the same time?


JetPirate, it seems it doesn't matter which monitor you make primary, but one of the monitors has to be plugged into the CPU's integrated GPU video port on the motherboard to enable the integrated GPU in addition to the discrete card GPU, and presumably to enable the Quick Sync feature/engine.

Read 03-01-2011, 09:04 AM #16 fuzzymath10 to 03-01-2011, 08:56 PM #20 anikk.

Also, "The flow diagram ... shows that for a game running on the discrete GPU, the resulting images are actually sent to the frame buffer of Intel's HD 3000/2000 graphics rather than to the cards own frame buffer. This is allows the Intel display outputs to properly display the workloads being rendered on BOTH GPUs."

Regarding integrated GPU overclocking, it seems it's possible, http://en.inpai.com.cn/doc/enshowcont.asp?id=7950&pageid=7758. I'm not sure how that will affect Quick Sync, but gaming appears to improve:
Left 4 Dead 2
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Far Cry 2
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Starcraft II

Two follow-up question could be:
1.) can 2 or more monitors be used on only the integrated GPU ports simultaneously, and
2.) can 3 or more monitors be used on both the integrated GPU and discrete card GPU ports simultaneously?

The Lucid Virtu software would still be using "the most appropriate" GPU for each concurrent task, but in any case, I wonder if output to the discrete card would be limited, such as video appearing slower on the discrete GPU-connected monitor. Furthermore, I wonder if windowing/full-screening a program on the discrete GPU-connected monitor would force Lucid Virtu to use the discrete GPU even though it's not necessarily "the most appropriate" GPU as it would normally determine when the program is windowed/full-screened on the integrated GPU-connected monitor, in which case both GPUs would presumably be available and "the most appropriate" one used for the task without restriction. Empirical evidence would be of great help here, too.
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April 6, 2011 12:52:06 AM

I have to correct myself here. It appears Lucid Virtu works on a "whitelist" algorithm, so "the most appropriate" GPU is nothing more than what's on the whitelist. Namely, all programs on the whitelist use the discrete GPU, and everything else uses the integrated GPU. Do I have that right? Well, so much for the mystery.
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April 6, 2011 1:19:23 AM

Thanks for the detailed reply! :o 

This answers my integrated GPU overclock question and gets at what I was trying to figure out for the other.

Looking at the article with the flow diagram, it seems that they are running a 2 monitor setup but both display cables are coming from the motherboard's ports. I was thinking that one cable could be directly to the GPU and the other to the motherboard port, but it looks like to be able to use the Discrete + Integrated GPUs with Lucid Virtu requires it to be centralized through the motherboard ports. I guess they haven't shown tests with both GPU/motherboard ports being used because the software doesn't allow it.

The point of this dual GPU setup for me was to have my discrete GPU use most of its processing power without being hampered by the 2nd monitor. Seeing the ability to be able to specifically choose applications to run on the discrete GPU puts my concerns aside where (hopefully) any application other than the full-screened game I would subsequently run will be allotted to the integrated GPU's renderer as the point of Lucid Virtu is to simultaneously use the discrete and integrated GPU, since the discrete GPU would be (heavily) in use already.

A small side question is to the HD Graphics 3000's performance: Can it run smoothly 720p video, streamed and/or downloaded? 1080p?

Again, thank you for your reply. :ange:  (Will probably Best Answer after seeing what others, if any, have to say.)

*Just saw you replied while I was typing this, so I guess we both saw that the "whitelisting" would basically solve the main issue of maximizing the performance on a demanding application, while the integrated GPU would do any other rendering.
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a c 198 U Graphics card
a c 110 C Monitor
a c 110 V Motherboard
April 6, 2011 2:18:38 AM

Lucid allows using both graphics when using one monitor. When one is plugged into mobo and another is in a card, there is no need for lucid. The integrated will handle the one its plugged into, the card will handle the one its in. Give me some time, Ill find the link that said it.

Edit: Well I cant find it right now, there seems to be a lot more forum posts asking the same thing. http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2146489 This one even has someone trying quicksync with a 2 monitor setup and succeeding on a H67.
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April 9, 2011 4:13:41 AM

Best answer selected by JetPirate.
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