Feeds

Nvidia launches dual-GPU tech for notebooks

Hybrid graphics done properly

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Running a given app can trigger the change, Nvidia said, or it can be done on a moment by moment basis. Photoshop, for example, can trigger the use of the GPU if a filter requires it. Again, it's Windows 7's graphics foundation code, rather than Nvidia technology, that makes this possible. So users won't need Optimus-specific versions of their favourite apps.

Nvidia Optimus

GPU-rendered imagery is fed into the IGP's frame buffer via the PCIe bus

There's another benefit too: better battery life. Past dual-GPU solutions never entirely disabled the discrete GPU when it wasn't being used. Nvidia has made much of its mobile chips' power conservation abilities, but it's had to admit these really only help when the GPU is operating. If the chip is idle, it's still consuming a fair bit of power.

But not in the Optimus scheme of things. When that extra rendering ability isn't required, Nvidia powers the GPU right down to zero so there's not even any leakage current. Powering up again takes a small but finite time, but not enough to interrupt the experience.

The result, though, is a battery life extension. For ordinary tasks, that amounts to a gain of two hours, Nvidia claims. Clearly, running any app that thrashes the GPU is going to mean that an Optimus system's GPU will engages frequently, so there's going to be no overall benefit then - and you'll be likely running on mains, in any case. But if the GPU is required only occasionally, simply the ability to switch it off will generate a big power saving.

Of course, if you never run the kind of software that prefers a GPU to an IGP, then there's no benefit either, though Optimus does mean you can happily rely on your IGP safe in the knowledge that the GPU is not only there should you need to call upon it, but that it's not eating into your battery life in the meantime.

Nvidia Optimus

Optimus vs solo IGP, according to Nvidia

A word of caution, though: Nvidia is charging laptop makers more for its Optimus-enabled chippery and software than it does for regular GPUs. It argues that since vendors now no longer need to fit a mux chip, and so they can use the same motherboard for IGP only laptops as IGP+GPU kit, Optimus shouldn't cost the consumer an old-style dual-GPU machine.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.