4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 15, 2012 4:51 PM by the_wine_snob

    Dual Display Chips/Cards - Why?

    the_wine_snob Level 9

      This is for my education only. I see many mfgrs. using both an Intel HD display chip, and then an nVidia, or AMD card/chip. I also see this configuration causing problems with some Adobe products. My question is, why are they doing the dual chip/card configuration? To what purpose?


      Thanks in advance for the educational responses,



        • 1. Re: Dual Display Chips/Cards - Why?
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          No personal knowledge here, since I don't own a laptop, but from reading those threads concerning dual video in a laptop, the idea I have picked up is that a "low power and low function" video chip is used for "most" things to let the battery last longer, with the option to switch to a "high power consumption and higher function" video adapter as needed


          Of course, the problems I've seen noted on these forums is that the auto/manual video switching does not always work properly... with the solution, for video editing, being to go into the laptop's BIOS and completely disable the low power video chip so only the higher power/function video hardware is used

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          • 2. Re: Dual Display Chips/Cards - Why?
            josephs51576386 Level 3

            NVIDIA's version of switchable graphics is called "Optimus". Basically it works like this the NVIDIA drivers sit around and wait for a application that will benifit from GPU usage. Then once a application request "help" or sends a call siginal to the NVIDIA drivers it wakes up and starts rendering the items that are requested. Working this way basically saves battery life like John has mentioned and in many cases saves quite a bit of battery life.


            If you want a really in depth and easy to understand explanation though I'd recommend reading this article from AnAndtech.com

            http://www.anandtech.com/show/4839/mobile-gpu-faceoff-amd-dynamic-switchable-graphics-vs-n vidia-optimus-technology/2

            • 3. Re: Dual Display Chips/Cards - Why?
              jasonvp Level 3

              Bill Hunt wrote:


              My question is, why are they doing the dual chip/card configuration? To what purpose?


              You generally see this on laptops (I think the Macs were the first to do this several years ago) as a way to keep power consumption lower.  The less-powerful chip is used for as much as possible until the OS decides that whatever is being done needs more video power.  While the Intel is being used, it's using less battery power and producing less heat.  All good things when you've got a laptop literally sitting on your lap.



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              • 4. Re: Dual Display Chips/Cards - Why?
                the_wine_snob Level 9



                Thank you for the responses. I can see where an on-board graphics chip would likely consume less power, hence extending battery life. I know that my Sager w/ nVidia 8800M (and 3x SATA HDD's) will run for only about 20 mins. on battery, before it goes into power-save mode. In my case, I always run on AC mains, so it's never a problem, unless I forget to plug the sucka' in.


                I appreciate the replies.