A Surprising Addition

When Intel announced the Z68 chipset on their roadmap, I remember being extremely confused on the purpose of the platform and why someone would need the ability to use the onboard GPU and discrete GPU – especially after all the reviews and testing showed they could not switch from one to another. Z68 was essentially just an ‘unlocked’ chipset that provides the benefits of both P67 and H67 boards – little did I know they had more in store.

LucidLogix (the company known best for their HYDRA technology) recently announced their new VIRTU software, which provides a switching capability from iGPU to discrete (based on what you are doing). I’ve personally loved this idea from where it was introduced on laptops by NVIDIA, called Optimus. It allows your laptop to generate less heat and save on battery life by DYNAMICALLY switching between the two graphics sources to provide the best balance. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but my PC is pretty powerful yet it radiates heat like crazy. I don’t want my GTX 480 doubling as a heater for my room, so I’d love to see this ability available to desktop users. It just seems like a logical solution, right?

Well, it looks like we’re going to be getting it – on the latest Z68 motherboards that should be rolling out about the time you read this. So that answers my concern regarding the whole purpose of Z68 (or rather, why even bother with P67 when Z68 does that AND more) – but the benefits of this new chip don’t just stop there.

Rajiv Kothari is an industry insider who moonlights as a computer enthusiast, providing a different perspective and insight to new technologies.