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Hybrid SLI - good choice or more trouble than it's worth?

by barkal_l / June 4, 2008 1:05 PM PDT

In my new PC, will it be worthwhile to get a G45 mobo so I can realize power savings for normal use (including HD video, which I have read the GMA4500HD is fine for), while using a 9800GTX for more demanding tasks, or is it just more complexity and hassle than it's worth? My understanding is that a hybrid SLI setup, properly configured, only uses the GPU card when needed and otherwise simply runs off the Intel GMA.

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hybrid sli only works with nvidia mobos and video cards
by ramarc / June 4, 2008 1:36 PM PDT
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hybrid is good idea, but
by squirtlewa / June 4, 2008 10:21 PM PDT

I read about the hybrid sli, and it seemed like a great idea to me. It's always seemed a shame to have the onboard graphics just sit there with the sad little blue cap over the vga plug. Now with hybrid SLI they can do what they're good at and the 9800 cards are sadly conspicuous energy consumers.

But what I came away with from the benchtest/review was it wasn't yet ready for prime time, like they couldn't get it to work long enough to test, even. I thought I read it at X-bit, but I don't see it there now.

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Forget about it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 4, 2008 11:58 PM PDT
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already selected good card, hybrid is for green
by squirtlewa / June 5, 2008 11:58 PM PDT
In reply to: Forget about it.

The O.P. already listed a great card.

The issue that hybrid SLI is s'posed to address is that for most of our day those of us with nice graphics cards aren't making good use of them. Spreadsheets, emails, surfing at cnet... none of that requires high end gpu. Yet they're power-hungry beasts that elevate your carbon footprint beyond most 3rd world countries.

In principle, hybrid SLI seems like a great idea -- put the beefy graphics card to bed except when you actually need it, and make use of the on-board graphics for your everyday tasks. I just haven't seen a good instantiation of it, and the benchtest I remember reading they couldn't even get it to work thru their tests.

In the laptop world, I read Sony has a hybrid system where you can switch off the graphics in the interest of saving battery. And I think the industry as a whole is (finally) taking a bit of interest in environmental/energy issues. So I'm hopeful we'll see hybrid graphics commonly in place soon.

Nvidia has talked about their hybrid sli a few times, and maybe they're getting close to a solution, but my take-away was it's not yet ready for easy consumer use.

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What I learned over the years...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 6, 2008 12:08 AM PDT

Is to not go too near the leading bleeding edge. We often discover we are in BetaLand and some will not accept this. The list I offered will perform very well and as to power... These cards do have a lower power draw when you are not running the games so we're halfway there as to green.

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