Z68 Chipset-Specific Benchmarks
In a nutshell, Virtu is software developed by LucidLogix that allows the use of a dedicated GPU and the CPU’s integrated GPU (as present on Sandy Bridge processors) simultaneously.
There are three modes of operation: ‘Off’ (use of dedicated GPU only; integrated GPU is not being used), ‘i-Mode’ (integrated), and ‘d-mode’ (dedicated).
‘i-Mode’ is limited to a single dedicated GPU, but offers power saving features. The drawback is that it cuts down 3D performance. On the other hand, ‘d-Mode’ offers a multi-GPU flavour, but with no power savings. Both utilize Quick Sync.
Once the Virtu software was installed, I decided to give it a whirl:
EVGA GTX 560Ti (Normal/i-Mode)
HD Video Playback: 87/95
Metro 2033: 204/205
Next, I took a look at 3D performance (normal/i-Mode):
Metro 2033: 49.9/48.1
Crysis Warhead: 50.6/48.2
Mass Effect 2: 104.8/102.7
*All at 1680×1050
Finally, the results for ‘d-Mode’ compared to normal, non-Virtu settings yielded no changes:
Metro 2033: 57.2/57.2
Crysis Warhead: 58.1/58.1
Mass Effect 2: 108.1/108.1
*All at 1680×1050
As we can see, there is virtually no power saving present, which is a tribute to NVIDIA’s (and AMD’s) excellent GPU designs. Furthermore, for the minimal power savings, there is an approximate ~3% reduction in performance, which in my opinion is not a worthy trade-off.
Taking a look between ‘d-Mode’ and normal mode, there is no difference at all.
Virtu being relatively new technology, hopefully presents more of an advantage in the future. Although I did not test it extensively, the best way to utilize it would be to activate Quick Sync in ‘d-Mode’, maintain the best 3D performance by using a dedicated GPU for 3D applications, and use the integrated GPU for transcoding.
Speaking of transcoding, here is the list of default programs that come with Virtu (pictured above). I fired up the MediaExpresso utility to test video conversion speeds:
*4.0GB MKV to 1.5GB MP4*
Page 1: Introduction
Page 4: CPU Benchmarks
Page 7: Memory Benchmarks
Page 8: Gaming Benchmarks
Page 9: Overall System Benchmarks
Page 10: Z68 Chipset-Specific Benchmarks
Page 11: Temperature, Power, and Efficiency
Page 12: BIOS and Overclocking
Page 13: Final Words and Conclusion