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: 82/90
Metro 2033: 199/208
Next, I took a look at 3D performance (normal/i-Mode):
Metro 2033: 50.9/48.7
Crysis Warhead: 52.8/49.1
Mass Effect 2: 106.5/103.7
*All at 1680×1050
Finally, the results for ‘d-Mode’ compared to normal, non-Virtu settings yielded very little changes:
Metro 2033: 61.2/61.9
Crysis Warhead: 59.7/59.6
Mass Effect 2: 110.3/110.7
*All at 1680×1050
As I have stated in previous reviews, there is virtually no power saving present, which is a tribute to NVIDIA’s (and AMD’s) excellent GPU designs. While in theory the power-saving feature sounds great, in reality, anyone who has a modern graphics card already has access to this technology via Nvidia CUDA or AMD Stream, without having to suffer performance reduction.
Taking a look between ‘d-Mode’ and normal mode, there is virtually no difference at all.
Virtu being relatively new technology, hopefully presents more of an advantage in the future. Currently, 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