Can Lucidlogix Right Sandy Bridge’s Wrongs? Virtu, Previewed

Test Setup, Benchmarks, And Video Transcoding

Test Hardware
Intel Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge) 3.4 GHz at 3.4 GHz (34 * 100 MHz), LGA 1155, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled
Unnamed Z68 Motherboard (LGA 1155) Intel Z68 Express
Kingston 8 GB (4 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333, KHX2000C8D3T1K3/6GX @ 8-8-8-24 and 1.65 V
Hard Drive
Intel SSDSA2M160G2GC 160 GB SATA 3Gb/s
Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 1.5 GB

AMD Radeon HD 6970 2 GB
Power Supply
Cooler Master UCP-1000 W
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectX 11
Graphics DriverAMD Catalyst 11.2

Nvidia GeForce Release 266.58
Lost Planet 2
Highest Quality Settings, 4xAA / No AF, vsync off, 1920x1080, DirectX 11, Steam version
Just Cause 2
Highest Quality Settings, 4x AA / 16x AF, vsync off, 1920x1080, Bokeh filter and GPU water enabled (for Nvidia cards), Concrete Jungle Benchmark
Metro 2033
High Quality Settings, AAA / 4x AF, 1920x1080, Built-in Benchmark, Steam version
F1 2010
Ultra High Settings, 4x AA / No AF, 1920x1080, Steam version, Custom benchmark script, DX11 Rendering
Aliens Vs. Predator Benchmark
Ultra Quality Settings, SSAO, 4x MSAA / No AF, vsync off, 1920x1080
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Custom (Highest) Quality Settings, 4x MSAA / 16xAF, 1920x1080, opening cinematic, 145 second sequence, FRAPS
Performance Default
Highest Quality Settings, 4x AA, 1920x1200, Retail Version, Built-in Benchmark, Tessellation on
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
Ultra Quality Settings, 4x AA / 16x AF, From Crushblow to The Krazzworks, 1920x1080, FRAPS, DirectX 9 Rendering

Benchmark Results: Video Transcoding

The entire reason to lust after an app like Virtu is its ability to expose access to the best features from one graphics vendor without blocking access to the capabilities from another vendor. In this case, we’re talking about Intel’s Quick Sync technology and the DirectX 11-based performance of modern discrete cards.

Before we jump into the 3D tests, let’s first be sure we’re getting the full benefit of Quick Sync.

Death Race Trailer, Virtu Enabled
Time (s)
Core i7-2600K w/ Quick Sync
Core i7-2600K w/o Quick Sync

With our display attached to Intel’s HD Graphics engine, CyberLink’s MediaEspresso 6.5 recognizes its capabilities immediately. With Quick Sync enabled, we converted our 1080p trailer of Death Race to an iPad-compatible (1024x768) video in 17 seconds. With acceleration turned off, the process took 1:31 on Intel’s quad-core Core i7-2600K.

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  • rhino13
    AMD's Fusion stuff integrates without needing software though right?
  • mister g
    I'm pretty sure that Fusion only works with AMD parts, but the idea whould be the same. Anybody else remember this company's ads on the side of some of Tom's articles?
  • jemm
    I wonder how much the Z68 will cost.
  • Anonymous
    I suppose a multi-monitor setup, main screen for gaming on the discrete card (assuming game only uses that one screen), secondary on the Z68 Output of the Intel HD card, will not have any need for this, and just run perfectly.

    Thats how i will roll, once Z68 gets out.
  • user 18
    sounds cool, although the whitelist could be a deal-breaker for a lot of people.
  • haplo602
    seems like we are heading to what voodoo graphics and TV tuners were doing long long time ago. just now over the PCIe bus.

    I wonder why it's so difficult to map framebuffers and create virtual screens ?
  • tommysch
    I dont want a cheap graphic solution producing heat along my precious CPU...
  • RobinPanties
    This sounds like software technology that should be built straight into OS's, instead of added as separate layers... maybe OS manufacturer's need to wake up (*cough* Microsoft)
  • truehighroller
    I already sent back my sandy bridge setup, that's to bad. Guess it's Intel's loss huh?
  • lradunovic77
    This is another absolutely useless piece of crap. Why in the world would you put deal with another stupid layer and why would you use Intel integrated graphic chip (or any integrated solution) along with your dedicated video card???

    Conclusion of this article is...don't go with such nonsense solution.
  • hp79
    (unrelated to article)
    Dear Tom's,
    your pull down menu for page navigation sucks. I mean it really really sucks. I am so annoyed that it makes me want to stop reading the articles. It is the worst design of any webpage. I use IE, Firefox, and Chrome. It's very hard to jump through pages using the pull down menu. Please fix the style of it.
  • lradunovic77
    Again Intel and AMD move to integrate graphic chip into CPU is good for mobile useless for anything else. It is far from being smart solution for desktops unless they can pack GTX580 capable card into....mmmm i don't think so.
  • wolfram23
    I'm sorry but Intel seriously didn't bother to allow you to do transcoding with the EPUs with a discreet card?? WTF are they thinking!?
  • lradunovic77

    I agree with you. You guys need to implement partial rendering on this site. It is annoying how much it flickers on post back actions.
  • Travis Beane
    I've been asking for using the integrated GPU for GPGPU purposes, and the discrete for gaming for a year now.
    It seems like we're slowly getting there.
    I'd like to run PhysX, but why not on the HD 3000 instead of a second $200 card, requiring a more meaty power supply, better cooling etc.?
  • sblantipodi
    Why care about quick sync when you have a discrete GPU?
  • Anonymous
    Who needs this ? Mobile users can use Optimus, as part of native NVidia drivers. And for desktops, why do I need this at all ?
  • ProDigit10
    I wished the intel graphics could be used for most desktop activities, and the discrete card as main monitor connector for games, using a dual monitor setup.
    It's a much easier, and much better approach!

    Play games on the discrete, while your desktop is showing on the other monitor.
  • ProDigit10
    ^^-*edit while your desktop is showing through the intel card*
  • cangelini
    sblantipodiWhy care about quick sync when you have a discrete GPU?

    Because the discrete GPU can't do what Quick Sync does :)