Generally when we talk about integrated GPUs, it’s with a sniff. Onboard graphics? Please. They can’t even handle Windows’ visual effects, much less Call of Duty’s. This new motherboard from Asus, shown at Computex, will break the cycle by integrating not some bargain bin silicon, but a real GPU you can buy on the street. In this case it’s a Radeon HD 5770 (no slouch), and with HYDRA capability, the mobo can put it in
SLImulti-GPU mode with any card or cards you decide to add in.
If you’re wondering why people didn’t do this before, it’s because this is going to make the motherboard pretty expensive. A 5770 goes for at least $150, and even if you take into account the lack of PCB and PCI interface, it’s still going to cost a pretty penny. This is for moneyed enthusiasts only — and even they may not buy, since they may prefer a more traditional approach to SLI.
My question is this: if the benefit is allowing the integrated and PCI-E GPUs to run in SLI, why even bother having a serious GPU there? Anything will do, really, and give a decent little performance boost due to increased memory channels and such. I don’t know, maybe I’m missing something here. The Asus mobo is still a prototype right now, though, so I suspect they’re working out the best price/performance combo.
Head over to PC Perspective for a video of the mobo in question.