updated 10:40 am EDT, Tue May 6, 2008
NVIDIA Hybrid SLI
NVIDIA is shifting its emphasis from speed to energy today with the official launch of Hybrid SLI, its unique power-saving graphics technology. Rather than run two chips at once for greater performance, as with normal SLI, the new approach dynamically switches between video hardware depending on the need. In casual use, the technology can run on basic integrated video to save power and reduce heat; games and other demanding tasks will automatically invoke a dedicated graphics card if present.
The advancement is environmentally friendly and potentially saves "hundreds" of dollars in energy bills over the lifetime of a system, NVIDIA claims.
Currently focused on desktops, Hybrid SLI requires a mainboard based on an AMD Phenom-oriented nForce 720a, 730a, 750a SLI, or 780a SLI chipset and a GeForce 8100, 8200, or 8300 integrated graphics chip. Dedicated cards needed to kick in Hybrid SLI include the GeForce 9800 GTX and GX2 as well as the budget-oriented 8400 GS and 8500 GT models. All of these are available immediately, while reports suggest NVIDIA will add Hybrid SLI to notebooks in the future.