Nvidia’s hybrid sli and hybridpower put to the test

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The energy-saving properties of Nvidia’s hybrid sli technology were put to a field test and impressed Legitreviews to such an extent that the technology was awarded the Innovation Award.

Thanks to hybrid power, part of the hybrid sli technology, Nvidia would be able to significantly reduce the energy consumption of systems. That claim was tested using an Asus M3N-HT Deluxe and an XFX Geforce 9800 GTX video card. After installing the necessary drivers, nForce 18.11 and Forceware 175.16, and activating hybrid sli in the bios, hybrid sli mode can be selected via the desktop. The ‘save power’ option allows the igp to do all the work, whereby the gpus of separate cards did not receive any power. In boost performance mode, all graphics cards and onboard igp will work as long as the demand for graphics computing power exists. When no 3D activity is detected for four minutes, the system automatically switches back to ‘save power’.

Switching between different sli modes was only possible when no 3d applications were running. The energy gain from hybrid power was measured both idle and under load. From the Results of those tests, hybridpower proved to be particularly effective at saving energy. Once the system was idle, the power consumption dropped by more than 40 percent, although the graphics cards were not completely switched off during ‘save power’: they still consumed a few watts compared to a system without a graphics card. However, the tester did notice some drawbacks, such as the slow switching between energy profiles and the limited range of hardware that supports the technology.

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