Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Family Feud - Sandy Bridge built-in graphics and Discrete GPUs don't get along

Intel Sandy Bridge processors support internal graphics built right into the chip, but it is only active without discrete graphics. In other words, as soon as a graphics card is plugged into a PCIe slot, the internal GPU is disabled. My question is why? I think it would be great to have a game played and email or music on the second display, where that second display is powered by the lower-powered Sandy Bridge GPU. I think it is an amazing advancement in CPUs to include a GPU on the same die, but limiting it's use to a solitary life style where you are forced to choose one or the other is not the enthusiast way. Let's be realistic: non-enthusiasts will not be purchasing this CPU. The chip offers amazing performance and power saving over it's predecessor (Nehalem), but I guess you can't win them all.

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